Storylines: USAC Sprints Bound For Lawrenceburg Speedway On Saturday

Storylines: USAC Sprints Bound For Lawrenceburg Speedway On Saturday

It'll have been exactly 50 days since we’ve last seen the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship in action. Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway is ready.

Apr 4, 2023 by FloRacing Staff
Storylines: USAC Sprints Bound For Lawrenceburg Speedway On Saturday

It will have been exactly 50 days since we’ve last seen the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship in action.

It’s a week later than we would’ve like after last weekend’s washout, but this Saturday night presents the long-awaited return of the series, as the competition gears up for the 3/8-mile high banks of Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway, culminating with a 30-lap, $5,000-to-win feature event.

While it’s the fifth time the USAC National Sprint Cars have been on track this season, technically, this Saturday’s race will mark round No. 3 of the 2023 calendar. 

The opening two events at Volusia Speedway Park in February did not pay points toward the championship, while the two most recent displays at Bubba Raceway Park have thrust four-time series champion Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma) into the early point lead.

Here are six storylines to grab your attention heading into the weekend.

Baconator On Mount Rushmore Of USAC Sprint Wins

At Bubba Raceway Park, Bacon was greeted in victory lane by Jack Hewitt, whom Bacon passed for fourth place on the all-time USAC National Sprint Car feature win list with his 47th career victory. 

In the process, that victory tied 2002 series champion Tracy Hines for third on the all-time win list.

Bacon nearly reached No. 48, leading 31 of the 35 laps, before finishing as the runner-up behind Kyle Cummins on the final night at Bubba’s on Feb. 18. 

With another victory Saturday at Lawrenceburg, Bacon would move himself into the top 3 all-time in that regard, trailing only Dave Darland (62) and Tom Bigelow (52).

The “Wait” Off Their Shoulders

While USAC Sprint Cars have had to endure a month-and-a-half wait to get back on track, several drivers and teams were able to get their seasons underway in local Indiana action at both Paragon Speedway and Lincoln Park Speedway, while the western states have opened their doors to 2023 as well.

Logan Seavey (Sutter, California) and the 2B Racing team scored a big win in mid-March during the No Way Out 40 at Paragon, while C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Indiana) locked down the victory this past Sunday at Lincoln Park. 

On the AMSOIL USAC CRA Sprint Car scene, Justin Grant (Ione, California) made the venture to California’s Perris Auto Speedway on March 18 to grab a Sokola Shootout triumph.

What’s one thing they all have in common outside of winning this season? 

They’ve all experienced multiple USAC feature winning performances at Lawrenceburg, with Seavey taking both a midget and sprint win in 2021, Leary with sprint victories in 2017 and 2019, in addition to a track championship in 2013. 

Grant has won four USAC Sprint features at The Burg, including the first of his career in 2012, and he is the winningest driver on the 3/8-mile configuration at the venue, which was renovated prior to the 2008 season.

I Repeat – Nobody Repeats At Lawrenceburg’s Spring Race

Grant has experienced springtime success at Lawrenceburg, winning the USAC round in April 2014. 

However, in 10 springtime USAC Sprint Car rounds at Lawrenceburg, there’s never been a repeat winner dating back to the track’s initial early season outing in 2006.

Among those who’ve won with the USAC Sprints at Lawrenceburg in the spring are Jon Stanbrough (2006), Levi Jones (2007), Josh Wise (2009), Jerry Coons Jr. (2010), Kevin Thomas Jr. (2013), Grant (2014), Logan Jarrett (2015), Darland (2016), Chris Windom (2017) and Bacon (2021).

Thomas, Grant and Bacon, who possess 12 Lawrenceburg USAC Sprint Car victories between them, all will be in the field on Saturday with expectations to obliterate this particular statistic to smithereens.

Coming Into Lawrenceburg, Bringing In A Couple Of Key Wins

Exiting Florida and February and entering the swing of the season starting Saturday at Lawrenceburg, USAC National Sprint Car racing already has seen four winners emerge, with Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California), Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Oklahoma), Bacon and Kyle Cummins all tasting victory thus far.

Bacon has been the most consistent to this point with a seventh, fourth, first and second in his four appearances this year. 

Cummins, meanwhile, experienced multiple engine woes early on in Florida, with a 22nd-place finish followed by an absence the following night at Volusia due to the troubles. 

He and the Rock Steady Racing team lived up to their moniker by rebounding with gusto by finishing fifth and first to close out Florida and head into Lawrenceburg, where both he and Bacon have won over the past two seasons.

A New Beginning Starts Now

A number of USAC National Sprint Car feature winners are off to less-than-ideal starts to their 2023 campaigns based on circumstances and misfortune down in Florida, but the odds of the magic 8-ball say, “Chances are Good” that a complete turnaround is in store, starting Saturday at Lawrenceburg.

Thomas (11th), Swanson (12th), McDougal (14th), Pursley (15th), Robert Ballou (17th) and Jadon Rogers (18th) all reside outside the top 10 of the USAC standings coming into the weekend, and all are primed to put a quality mark onto the performance chart this weekend.

Thomas owns five USAC Sprint main event wins at Lawrenceburg, second only to Darland’s all-time record of seven. 

Ballou (Rocklin, California) has been a USAC winner at Lawrenceburg, doing so in 2011. 

Swanson and Rogers (Worthington, Indiana) were USAC Sprint Car fast qualifiers there in 2020 and 2021, respectively. McDougal (Broken Arrow) and Pursley each have hit seventh in the running order at Lawrenceburg in their USAC careers – McDougal with the sprints in 2019 and Pursley with the midgets in 2021.

Race No. 100 For USAC Racing At Lawrenceburg Speedway

Lawrenceburg Speedway, which opened in 1950 and conducted its first USAC event in 1961, with A.J. Foyt winning a midget feature, will become the eighth track to have hosted 100 or more combined USAC Silver Crown, National Sprint Car and National Midget races.

Ohio’s Eldora Speedway (301) has hosted the most in this category followed by Indianapolis Raceway Park (267), Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track (250), Indiana’s Winchester Speedway (196), Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway (162), California’s Ascot Park (140) and Indiana’s Salem Speedway (135).

Fifty-one drivers have reached victory lane in a USAC National event at Lawrenceburg Speedway, with USAC Triple Crown champion Darland leading all drivers with seven, all of which have come in a sprint car.

Race Details

No less than nine past USAC National Sprint Car winners at Lawrenceburg are expected to be on hand Saturday, including Thomas (five), Grant (four), Bacon (three), Leary (two), Ballou (one), Cummins (one), Thomas Meseraull (one), Seavey (one) and Chase Stockon (one).

That group will face off against some standouts looking for their first wins at Lawrenceburg, including 2022 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Indiana), Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio), Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, California), Swanson, Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colorado), McDougal, Pursley, Rogers, Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute) and many more.

Saturday marks the first Midwest appearance of the season for the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship at Dave & Kim Rudisell’s Lawrenceburg Speedway. The event presents the KOI Auto Parts Modifieds and Bessler's U Pull & Save Hornets.

Pits will open at 3 p.m. Eastern, the grandstands will open at 5 p.m. and cars will be on the track at 6 p.m., with qualifying and racing to immediately follow. 

Adult general admission tickets are $30, kids 7-12 are $7, children 6 and under are free. Pit passes are $35 (all ages).

If you’re unable to make it to the track, you may also watch this Saturday’s Lawrenceburg event LIVE on FloRacing.