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

Memorial Day Event at Weedsport Speedway

Weedsport Speedway's annual Memorial Day race is shaping up to be another extravagant event for not only the Super DIRTcar Series drivers but for the fans as well.

Almost Heaven: 5th Mega 100 Draws Near

Are you ready to take country roads to the place where you belong? It’s Almost Heaven once again at the Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, West Virginia. The 5th running of the Dirt Modified “MEGA 100” kicks off your unofficial start to racing summer on Thursday May 30th until Saturday June 1st. Witness the warriors of open wheel battle for unprecedented payouts during the Easts Elite Grassroots Racing Vacation!

7 Talking Points Heading Into Speedmachine Weekend

The events are coming thick and fast right now as the FIA World Rallycross Championship build’s up to round four in the UK this weekend, with the Dayinsure World RX of Great Britain being held at Silverstone as part of the Speedmachine Festival.

Opinion: Andrew Coley's Verdict on New RX Tracks

We’re three rounds into this year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship, and of those three rounds we’ve had two brand new rallycross tracks, so I thought I’d write a few words on the new track layouts and the racing they provided.

Stockon Finally Holds the Rifle; Wins Tony Hulman Classic

Chase Stockon had tamed the Terre Haute Action Track multiple times in his USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car career with a “Jim Hurtubise Classic” win in 2012 and a “Don Smith Classic” victory in 2016 to his credit.

Dave Steele Carb Night Classic Entry List Released

Six past USAC Silver Crown winners at Lucas Oil Raceway are ready to roll this Friday, May 24, in the “Dave Steele Carb Night Classic” at the .686-mile paved oval in Brownsburg, Ind.

USAC/CRA Sprints to Salute Indy at Perris

This Saturday, May 25th, the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series will return to their “home track,” Perris Auto Speedway for the annual “Salute to Indy.”

Hoosier Hundred - What it Means to Me

As we look forward to one final ride, it is difficult to put into words just what the Hoosier Hundred, and racing at the Indiana State Fairgrounds means to me. I’m originally from Kingsburg, a small town in California, and moved to Indianapolis with my wife Jordan for the racing. Let’s be honest, it certainly wasn’t for the weather.

River Town Showdown Rescheduled for Aug. 30

The Brandt “River Town Showdown,” featuring a USAC doubleheader with the AMSOIL National Sprint Cars, NOS Energy Drink National Midgets in addition to the B-Mods, has been rescheduled for Friday, August 30, at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill.  It will now be the start of a big racing weekend in Southern Illinois with Du Quoin State Fair events Saturday-Monday.

Tulare's Faria Memorial Moved to June 7

The previously scheduled “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” for Saturday, June 8th, at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway has been moved to Friday, June 7th.