2023 USAC Championship Saturday at IRP

500 Sprint Car Tour Championship On The Line At IRP

500 Sprint Car Tour Championship On The Line At IRP

Five drivers enter the 500 Sprint Car Tour season finale at Indianapolis Raceway Park with a mathematical shot at winning the championship.

Oct 12, 2023 by Brandon Paul

A nine-race championship beginning in April comes to a climactic end this Saturday, October 14 during Howard Companies Championship Saturday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The 64th Running of the Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial will see an Auto Value Bumper to Bumper 500 Sprint Car Tour Champion crowned for the second straight year.

After a solid third place finish in the 8th Annual Tony Elliott Classic at Anderson Speedway last weekend, Tyler Roahrig extended his slim lead over Kody Swanson in the championship standings. Dakoda Armstrong’s victory in the Tony Elliott Classic leaped him into third place, besting Kyle O’Gara by only one point. Roahrig, Swanson, Armstrong, and O’Gara are four of the five drivers having a mathematical chance of winning the championship, the fifth driver being Bobby Santos III.

Roahrig currently leads Swanson by 13 points at the top of the standings, with Armstrong 77 points back in third, O'Gara 78 points back in fourth and Santos 178 points back in fifth. 

Not only will a champion be crowned after Saturday’s racing event, but another prestigious award will be presented as well. After an impressive rookie campaign, Jackson Macenko will receive Rookie of the Year honors. Macenko, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, came into the 2023 season having never driven a non-wing pavement sprint car. Pairing with Brad Hayes Racing for their first season with the series, the rookie driver was a perfect match for the rookie team. With seven top ten finishes and one top five finish, Macenko has positioned himself safely in the seventh spot in the championship point standings. Having already secured the top spot among this season’s rookie class, Macenko will be presented with the Rookie of the Year award at the conclusion of Saturday’s event.

Following a trend that has become common for the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper 500 Sprint Car Tour, fans will see new names make their way to the starting grid for their season debut. Bradley Galedridge will not only be making his season debut, but his series debut in the #07 United Group Services entry owned by Ted Slinkard and traditionally driven by Scott Hampton. Bryan Gossel and Kyle Robbins will both be making their 2023 season debuts after having appeared in races for the series in 2022. Also returning to the grid is reigning Little 500 Champion, Jake Trainor. 

Trainor went to victory lane as a rookie in the 75th Annual Lucas Oil Little 500 presented by UAW. The Massachusetts native competed with the 500 Sprint Car Tour on Championship Night at Indianapolis Raceway Park in October of 2022. He most recently competed with the series when they traveled to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee back in late July. Trainor has proven to be an instant favorite in every event he competes in and will surely be one to watch going into Saturday night.

Howard Companies Championship Saturday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park is set for this Saturday, October 14 at 5:00pm. Spectator gates open at 12:00pm followed by the first round of practice beginning at 12:30pm. Qualifying for the 64th Running of the Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial with the 500 Sprint Car Tour is set for 3:10pm and the green flag is scheduled for 5:00pm. The 500 Sprint Car Tour will be the second feature of the night breaking up twin 25 lap features for the Pavement Midgets. The USAC Silver Crown Series will also be in action Saturday night. 

All the night's racing action can be seen live on MAVTV on FloRacing. For updates and more information, follow the 500 Sprint Car Tour on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formally known as Twitter).