USAC Sprint Title Defense Begins for Courtney

It’s already been a dream start to the season for Tyler Courtney as he’s continued his roll of success through the offseason following a 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car crown.

Last weekend, his fast start included back-to-back victories in the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget openers at Bubba Raceway Park.   Now the Indianapolis, Ind. driver embarks on a mission in his Clauson/Marshall/Newman Racing No. 7BC to duplicate the feat that only some of the very best in this sport can lay claim to as a repeat series champion.

Parnelli Jones was the first to do the deed in 1961-62, followed by Sheldon Kinser (1981-82), Rick Hood (1984-85), Steve Butler (1986-88), Robbie Stanley (1991-93), Brian Tyler (1996-97), Levi Jones (2009-10-11) and Bryan Clauson (2012-13).

Last year, Courtney had one of the top seasons in the history of the series with 11 victories, only the tenth driver to reach double-figures in USAC Sprint Car wins during a single year.  If anything has been proven, it’s not to discount anything Courtney can accomplish at this moment with the streak of success he’s enjoying at the moment.  It’s difficult to win one championship, let alone back-to-backers and put up the same numbers as the year before.  However, it’s been duplicated before and will be again.

While most of the consecutive championship-winning drivers saw their numbers go up on the backend of the back-to-back, Parnelli dropped from nine wins to four between 1961-62, yet still had enough mustard to relish the championship honors once again at season’s end.  Twenty years later, meanwhile, Kinser had a slight dip between his two in 1981-82, from seven to 5.

From thereon, the numbers, in most instances, picked up with Rick Hood increasing from six to nine wins from 1984-85.  Steve Butler was the first three-peat titlist in 1986-87-88, bouncing up from two to three to three victories, respectively, in those years.   Robbie Stanley became the next three-peater, staying stagnant from two to one wins between 1991-92, but 1993 would prove to be his career year, winning five times en route to a series title.  

Brian Tyler had nowhere to go but up following a rare winless championship campaign in 1996, but in 1997, the talented driver would find victory lane on four occasions on his way to another championship.

Levi Jones saw all ends of the championship-winning spectrum during his three-straight from 2009-11, beginning with four in 2009, doubling it to eight in 2010, then back down to three in 2011.  Even-keeled Bryan Clauson notched his second-straight in 2013 with seven scores, following a seven win season the prior year in 2012.

But the main lesson here with those numbers is that championships are made in a myriad of manners.  Winning is only one part of the recipe, along with qualifying up front, transferring through the heat, taking care of the equipment and finishing in the top-five, top-ten every chance you get.  After all, the title race could come down to one single point somewhere along the line.  Case in example when Courtney and Kevin Thomas, Jr. racked up the same number of points throughout 40 races, only being decided on a tiebreaker in the number of wins.

The USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car portion of “Winter Dirt Games X” begins this week.  Pits open at 3pm Eastern each day at Ocala.  Grandstands open at 5pm on Thursday/Friday and 4pm on Saturday.   Cars hit the track for engine heat at 6:30pm Eastern on Thursday/Friday and at 5:30pm on Saturday.  An open practice session will take place a day before the action starts from 7-10pm.

All nights of racing from Ocala will be live on https://www.FloRacing.com/.


“WINTER DIRT GAMES X” USAC SPRINT TENTATIVE ENTRY LIST

B1 Joey Biasi / Mary D, PA

3 Dakota Jackson / Elizabethtown, IN

3R Kyle Cummins / Princeton, IN

4 Justin Grant / Ione, CA

5 Dave Darland / Lincoln, IN

5G Chris Windom / Canton, IL

5K Kent Schmidt / Owensville, IN

5o Daron Clayton / Sikeston, MO

7 Timmy Buckwalter / Douglassville, PA

7BC Tyler Courtney / Indianapolis, IN

12 Robert Ballou / Rocklin, CA

19 Kevin Thomas, Jr. / Cullman, AL

19AZ C.J. Leary / Greenfield, IN

20 Damion Gardner / Concord, CA

20G Noah Gass / Mounds, OK

20x Frank Carlsson / Oxford, FL

21 Carson Short / Marion, IL

21H Travis Hery / Piqua, OH

27 Zane Hendricks / Stillwater, OK

28 Brandon Mattox / Terre Haute, IN

32 Chase Stockon / Ft. Branch, IN

33m Matt Westfall / Pleasant Hill, OH

39 Matt Goodnight / Winchester, IN

42 Ty Tilton / Lima, OH

52 Isaac Chapple / Willow Branch, IN

61m Stephen Schnapf / Newburgh, IN

69 Brady Bacon / Broken Arrow, OK

71 Robert Bell / Colfax, IA

71p Jason McDougal / Broken Arrow, OK

75 Dustin Christie / Washington, IN

77K Katlynn Leer / Moulton, IA

84 Tom Harris / Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK

87 Paul Dues / Minster, OH

98e Chad Boespflug / Hanford, CA

USAC Stat Book: AMSOIL National Sprint Cars

Brady Bacon rose to the top of the charts in the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship in terms of wins with back-to-back scores earlier in the month at Knoxville, Iowa, his third and fourth of the year.  No other driver has more than two: Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) and Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.).  C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) remains the point leader on the back of tremendous consistency coming into a stretch of nine races in 11 nights, beginning Wednesday, July 17, at Eldora, then eight nights of NOS Energy Drink Indiana Midget Week July 18-27.

Indiana Sprint Week Start Times Shifted

The opening weekend of the 32nd annual NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week tour will have a cooler start with this Thursday through Sunday’s event times pushed back to later in the evening.

USAC Sprints Tackle Eldora Wednesday for $10 Grand

The kickoff to one of the busiest stretches in the history of USAC’s AMSOIL National Sprint Car division begins this Wednesday, July 17, on the high banks of “The Big E,” Eldora Speedway for #LetsRaceTwo #TakeTwo in which the winner will take home $10,000!

Atko Takes Dramatic First ARX Victory at Gateway

Australian driver Chris Atkinson won the second round of Americas Rallycross (ARX) 2019 for Subaru Motorsports USA by making a last corner overtake for the race lead at the World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

It's Sweet, Sweet Springs Victory for Carrick

Most times, it seems the only thing predictable in USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget racing is unpredictability.  And sometimes when you think you know what’s about to transpire, that’s when everything turns on its head.  At times, literally.

Carlson Bears Down for DMA Win at Bear Ridge

Seth Carlson of Brimfield MA, scored the win Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, VT. This is Carlson’s second win of the season piloting the #2 Seals-it sponsored, Skip Matczak owned dirt midget.

Baugh Back to Winning Ways at Spoon River

Andy Baugh returned to his winning ways in Saturday night’s USAC Engler IMRA Speed2 Midget event at Spoon River Speedway.

The Demon Strikes at Perris

After temperatures reached triple digits, fast qualifier “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) raced to victory at Perris Auto Speedway.

Watson's Last Lap Pass Nets Montpelier Victory

Past USAC champion Alex Watson used a last lap pass to get by two-time and defending series champ Aaron Leffel and win Saturday’s USAC Midwest Thunder Speed2 Midget feature at Indiana’s Montpelier Motor Speedway.

Smith Scores Second WSO Win at 81

Danny Smith raced to victory for the second time in his last three USAC Wingless Sprints Oklahoma starts, winning Saturday night’s series visit to 81 Speedway in Park City, Kansas.