Tri-City USAC Midget River Town Showdown Preview

USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget racing has a heritage at Tri-City Speedway that dates back to 1961.  Over the past three years now, the sight of the series on the 3/8-mile dirt oval in Granite City, Ill. has been absent, and the sound of midget racing has grown silent.

That all ends this weekend at the River Town Showdown, which brings the series back to Tri-City for two-straight nights, Friday and Saturday, May 17-18, in conjunction with the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars.

This weekend’s events will mark races number 47 and 48 for USAC’s Midget division at Tri-City.  The lone driver from the current crop who’s won there in USAC Midget competition is Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr., who was victorious in 2008.  He’s part of a four-car Petry Motorsports contingent that carries the momentum into Tri-City as the winner of the most recent series race, in April at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway with Kevin Thomas, Jr. of Cullman, Ala., who resides second in the standings, ahead of teammates Coons (12th), Rossville, Indiana’s Cole Bodine (15th) and Tempe, Arizona’s Sterling Cling (22nd).

Tyler Courtney has been on a tear during the young USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season, winning three times in five races, twice in Ocala, Fla. and once at Kokomo to hold down the point lead coming into the event.  He’s one of three Clauson/Marshall Racing drivers currently in the top-five of the standings, along with Chris Windom of Canton, Ill. in fourth and Zeb Wise of Angola, Ind. in fifth.  Fast Rookie Andrew Layser of Collegeville, Pa. lurks just outside the top-ten in 11th.

Layser is among a strong Rookie class which sees C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Ind. at the top, third overall in the standings.  He’s been stout this year so far with three top-fives in four starts for FMR Racing.  He led nine laps in last year’s USAC Sprint Car race at Tri-City and will be joined by two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ and seven-time USAC Midget winner Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Okla. who returns in a second car for the team in which he won five races with between 2016-18.

Sixth through tenth in the points are separated by a mere 40 points with Tucker Klaasmeyer of Paola, Kans. at the top end of the scale, edging Phoenix, Arizona’s Chad Boat, reigning series champion and teammate Logan Seavey of Sutter, Calif., followed by a pair of more Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian drivers in Lincoln, California’s Tanner Carrick (9th) and Red Bluff, California’s Jesse Colwell (10th) rounding out the top-ten.

The most recent time the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets raced outdoors in the state of Illinois, Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla. collected his long-awaited first career victory in Wayne City, Ill.  He’s currently 13th in the standings ahead of a slew of Rookies in Holley Hollan of Broken Arrow, Okla. (14th), Bodine (15th), Stillwater, Oklahoma’s Zane Hendricks (16th), Mooresville, N.C.’s Karsyn Elledge (17th) and fellow Mooresville native Ethan Mitchell (19th).

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Jason McDougal is 18th, but was impressive in two starts at Kokomo, finishing 2nd and 4th.

Tanner Thorson, who earned two top-ten finishes in the first two races of the season, has won five-in-a-row at Tri-City, dating back to the “Gold Crown Midget Nationals” in 2015-16, and is the winningest USAC Midget driver in the history of the track at five.  He is currently recovering from injuries suffered in a March highway accident.

Darren Hagen and Bob Tattersall each have four wins apiece.  Bryan Clauson, Jeff Gordon, Tracy Hines, Mel Kenyon, Steve Knepper, Kyle Larson and Brad Sweet have two each while Rico Abreu, Christopher Bell, Merle Bettenhausen, Tom Bigelow, Pancho Carter, Jimmy Caruthers, Jerry Coons, Jr., Danny Frye, Russ Gamester, Jack Hewitt, Levi Jones, Mel Kenyon, Don Meacham, Billy Mehner, Larry Rice, Les Scott, Bob Wente, Josh Wise and J.J. Yeley each have one.

The “River Town Showdown” features complete shows for the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship and B-Mods on consecutive nights, May 17-18, on the 3/8-mile Tri-City Speedway dirt oval in Granite City, Ill.

Registration and pit gates open at 3pm (Central).  Grandstands and ticket office open at 5pm.  Cars on track at 6:30pm.

Adult general admission tickets are $25 while children 12 and under are FREE.  Pit passes are $30 apiece for members and $35 for non-members.

Tri-City Speedway is located at 5100 Nameoki Rd, Granite City, IL 62040.  You can reach the promotion team of Track Enterprises at (217) 764-3200 and Tri-City Speedway at (618) 931-7836.  For more information, visit the series website at http://www.usacracing.com and the track website at http://www.tricityspeedway.net/.

Both nights of action will have live, flag-to-flag coverage on http://www.FloRacing.com/.  You can listen to live audio of the broadcast for free on the USAC app or follow along with live updates on https://www.facebook.com/usacracing/ and https://twitter.com/USACNation with live timing and scoring on the Race Monitor app.

USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tyler Courtney-358, 2-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-354, 3-C.J. Leary-308, 4-Chris Windom-305, 5-Zeb Wise-290, 6-Tucker Klaasmeyer-274, 7-Chad Boat-273, 8-Logan Seavey-266, 9-Tanner Carrick-243, 10-Jesse Colwell-234.

New Ride, No Problem: Buckwalter Wins Grandview

It all started with a phone call on Monday and ended with victory lane photos on Saturday for Timmy Buckwalter of Douglasville, PA as he was able to collect his first Rapid Tire USAC East Coast 360 sprint car win at his weekly home track, Grandview Speedway.

Tri-City USAC Sprints Fall to Rain

For the second consecutive Saturday, rain captured the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature, this time in Saturday’s Brandt “River Town Showdown” at Tri-City Speedway. A subsequent makeup date for the event will be announced soon.

Mother Nature Claims Tri-City USAC Midgets

Rain fell just as cars were pushed off for the start of the semi-feature, forcing cancellation of Saturday’s Brandt “River Town Showdown” program for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship at Tri-City Speedway.  A subsequent makeup date for the event will be announced soon.

Leffel Takes USAC MTM Opener at Gas City

Two-time and defending USAC Midwest Thunder Speed2 Midget Series Champion Aaron Leffel of Springfield, Ohio captured the 2019 series opener Friday night at Gas City I-69 Speedway.

East Coast Champ Drevicki Shines at Big Diamond

After fighting off an evening thunderstorm, a stellar field of 31 Rapid Tire USAC East Coast 360 Sprint Cars jammed the pit area at the Big Diamond Speedway for a fantastic night of open wheel racing.

Hoosier Hundred Entry List Revealed

The entry list for the 64th running of the “Hoosier Hundred” brings 42 USAC Silver Crown cars and drivers to the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Thursday, May 23, for the final edition of the race at the legendary one-mile dirt oval.

Stremme Steers to Bedford Renegades of Dirt Win

A smooth sailing David Stremme cruised his way to a popular win at Bedford Fairgrounds Speedway last night in Renegades of Dirt action at the ½ mile ‘Museum of Speed’. Thirty six Renegades of Dirt Modifieds from eight states signed in to do battle in the tours first ever visit to the ultra fast Bedford Fairgrounds.

Liggett Tops Peter Murphy Classic at Tulare

Securing the lead from Richard Vander Weerd on lap 14, Austin Liggett (Tracy, CA) held off all challengers to win the “Peter Murphy Classic” at Tulare’s Thunderbowl Raceway.

Windom First to Repeat in Tri-City USAC Sprint Win

In a season with so much parity, the first winner of 2019 became the first repeat winner of the season as Chris Windom outdueled Carson Short in a wild Brandt “River Town Showdown” USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature Friday night at Tri-City Speedway.

Courtney Chalks Up History in Tri-City Midget Win

Tyler Courtney’s early-season USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship prowess has been paramount, and with his fourth win in the first six races of the season, he became the first driver to ever accomplish the feat following his victory in Friday night’s Brandt “River Town Showdown” opener at Tri-City Speedway.