2023 USAC Sprints at Circle City Raceway

Storylines! USAC Sprints Get After It In The Circle City This Friday

Storylines! USAC Sprints Get After It In The Circle City This Friday

Circle City Raceway presents a smorgasbord of opportunities Friday night in Indianapolis.

Sep 14, 2023 by FloRacing Staff
Storylines! USAC Sprints Get After It In The Circle City This Friday

Circle City Raceway presents a smorgasbord of opportunities Friday night in Indianapolis.

For fans, it’s the final central Indiana race of the year for the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, and the word “Championship” is more prevalent than ever this time of the year for drivers and teams, as there’s a tight points race going on, with only seven events remaining.

It’s time to make a final push before the curtain falls on 2023, from the top of the title race to those wanting to close the season on a sweet note and make a lasting impression going into the fall and winter months.

It’s also time to run through the storylines we’re all going to be tuned into for Friday’s showdown in the Circle City.

Battle Royale Between Grant & Bacon

First and foremost, as we enter the latter stages of the season, the race for the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship becomes top-of-mind.

The point lead has switched hands 13 times this season among six drivers. In comparison, in the three-year span between 2020-2022, the series point lead changed only 11 times between six drivers. 

Needless to say, this already has become one of the fiercest title fights in series history, and we’re still seven events from the finish line.

Reigning champ Justin Grant (Ione, California) took the lead after last week’s series venture to Texas and Arkansas, and he now leads four-time titlist Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma) by nine points.

Neither driver has won before at Circle City in USAC National Sprint Car competition. Both drivers have come close, however, with each collecting best results of second place along the way. 

Grant did so in July 2022, and Bacon followed suit in September 2022. 

Grant has recorded a pair of fast qualifying times at Circle City this season, while Bacon won the first sprint car race run at Circle City in 2021, sanctioned by MSCS.

Cummins Is Rock Steady At Circle City

No driver of late has been as consistently successful at Circle City as Kyle Cummins, especially this year. 

In three starts at the 1/4-mile dirt oval this season, the Princeton, Indiana, driver has yet to finish outside the top 2.

In May, he finished as the runner-up to Jake Swanson, before reeling off two consecutive triumphs in May and July. He could become the second driver this season to pull off the rare feat of winning three straight at a single track.

Tom Bigelow is the only driver to win three consecutive USAC National Sprint Car features at a dirt track in Indianapolis, doing so in succession at the Indiana State Fairgrounds during the 1977 campaign.

Westfall On The Climb

Matt Westfall pulled off one of the most popular victories in recent USAC National Sprint Car history last weekend in the series debut at Arkansas’ Texarkana 67 Speedway.

There, the veteran racer burst from third to first on the opening lap, then carried onward to a dominant victory, his first with the series in more than 17 seasons.

The Pleasant Hill, Ohio, driver hopes his next victory takes a little less time to achieve than the last. After all, his previous-best finish of the season with the series before last Saturday came at Circle City Raceway, when he advanced from his ninth starting spot to finish fifth.

Swanson & More Lurking Again

Four drivers have finished inside the top 10 in all three of their USAC National Sprint Car starts this season at Circle City.

The aforementioned Cummins has finished inside the top 2 in all three, while C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Indiana) has been seventh, ninth and ninth in three appearances, along with a fast-qualifying time in July. He is wheeling a car for the same BGE Dougherty Motorsports team that won the Fall Circle City event in 2022.

Top series rookie Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Oklahoma) has excelled at Circle City this year, finishing ninth, sixth and 10th in three tries with his KO Motorsports team.

However, only one driver besides Cummins has raced to multiple top-2 results at Circle City in 2023, and that is Jake Swanson. 

The Anaheim, California, racer won the first night in May, then finished as the runner-up to Cummins the following night. In July, he returned to finish eighth and looks to add to his tally, which already features four wins in what has been a career-best year on the national tour.

Full Circle In The City

Not many times does one get a chance to compete at a track four times in one calendar year, but that’s what is on the docket Friday for USAC National Sprint Car drivers at Circle City.

Many drivers have shown flashes of brilliance at the southeast Indy oval this year and look to position themselves as a winner come this weekend.

Shane Cottle (Kansas, Illinois) charged from 12th to third at Circle City in July. 

Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Indiana) possesses a pair of fourth-place finishes in each of his past two tries there this season. 

Bacon finished third on back-to-back nights in May. 

Robert Ballou (Rocklin, California) led both May races this year for a total of 14 laps and finished fifth and seventh.

Logan Seavey (Sutter, California) posted his best USAC National Sprint Car result of the season with a runner-up finish in July. 

Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Indiana) put up an eighth and seventh, both in May, while Grant took fourth in May.

Race Details

On Friday night at Circle City Raceway, the program card features the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, in addition to the USAC Midwest Thunder SpeeD2 Midgets and DIRTcar UMP Modifieds.

The pits will open at 2 p.m. Eastern, with the front gates opening at 5 p.m. and cars on the track at 6:30 p.m., followed by qualifying and racing.

General admission tickets will be available at the ticket booth the day of the event. Advance tickets are on sale at circlecityraceway.com

General admission tickets for ages 13-64 are $30. General admission tickets for ages 12 and under are free. General admission tickets for Seniors 65+, veterans, military, first responders and teachers are $20. 

Pit passes for ages 11 and older are $45. Pit passes for ages 12 and under are $20.

Both nights of racing at Circle City Raceway can be watched LIVE on FloRacing.