$10,000 and 40 laps.That's what await this Saturday’s field at Tri-State Speedway’s Haubstadt Hustler.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) has earned Haubstadt Hustler glory in each of the past two seasons and is eying his fourth win in the event. Last year, Thomas became the first three-time winner of the race, following his first triumph in 2013. In the 2018 “Hustler,” Thomas went to the front with just four laps remaining to capture the big check. His ride to victory lane was an unusual one that came via four-wheeler after being involved in a turn-one pile up following the checkered flag.
With a single victory, Thomas would also rise to the top as the winningest USAC Sprint Car driver of all-time at Tri-State Speedway. He's currently has five wins and is tied for first with Daron Clayton, a 2014 Haubstadt Hustler winner himself.
Another driver that have become synonymous with Tri-State Speedway is Kyle Cummins. The Princeton, Ind. driver is six-for-six at the quarter-mile dirt oval this season in USAC and MSCS competition. The undefeated Cummins grabbed the #1 spot with just four laps remaining from Stephen Schnapf in July's Indiana Sprint Week A-Main race to claim his third USAC Sprint Car victory at Tri-State. One of those three wins was the Haubstadt Hustler in 2016.
Brady Short (Bedford, Ind.) collected his Haubstadt Hustler victory in 2015. He took the lead from Cummins to score his second USAC Tri-State triumph, both of which came in '15. In the first score that year, Short set a 30-lap track record in the caution-free feature that stands to this day – 7 minutes and 31.5 seconds.
Chase Stockon, who resides just down the road from the track in Fort Branch, Ind., claimed a Tri-State victory in 2016 and set fast time in the rained out June event. He finished 8th in the 2018 Haubstadt Hustler and was 4th this July during Indiana Sprint Week. He’s also won twice in IMCA RaceSaver competition this year at Tri-State, claiming back-to-back feature victories in July and August.
Two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) was victorious with USAC at Tri-State in 2015. He was 5th this past July at Indiana Sprint Week and is also a former winner in a USAC Midget at The Class Track. He captured the Hut 100 in 2012, where he only lead the final two laps.
The driver finishing 2nd in the 2012 Hut 100 behind Bacon in a Wilke-Pak Racing sweep was Chris Windom. The 2017 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ from Canton, Ill. won in his first visit of that season at Tri-State.
2016 Indiana Sprint Week was not only a milestone for USAC which had its 10,000th sanctioned race. Carson Short scored his first and only career win in the AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature race that same year. The Marion, Ill. driver was 5th in the 2018 Haubstadt Hustler.
Series point leader C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) came within four laps of his first USAC Tri-State victory in last year’s event where he lead a race-high 35 of the 40 laps before Thomas got by for the victory. Leary was victorious three times with MSCS in 2018 at Tri-State, capturing the Sprint Stampede, the Hoosier Sprint Nationals, and the Harvest Cup.
Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) was 6th in the Haubstadt Hustler a year ago. His best showing in the event came in the 2016 race where he led 12 laps and finished in the runner-up spot behind Cummins. He remains on the hunt for his first career Tri-State victory.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) was the fastest qualifier in July’s USAC round at Haubstadt en route to a solid 3rd place result in the night’s feature. Like Courtney, Grant is seeking his first Tri-State victory, as is Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Isaac Chapple (Willow Branch, Ind.).
McDougal was a 3rd place finisher in the 2018 Haubstadt Hustler and 9th in July. Chapple currently occupies the 10th place spot in series points.
Stephen Schnapf, who’s third in MSCS points entering Saturday, was impressive in his last USAC outing in July at Tri-State. He lead 26 laps and finished 2nd to Cummins. It was his best career USAC finish for the 2018 Midwest Madness victory at Tri-State.
Saturday’s Haubstadt Hustler will have the UMP Modifieds in action as well. Pits open at 3pm Central, grandstands at 4pm and cars on track at 6pm.Adult general admission tickets are $25, students (ages 13-18) are $20 and 12 and under are free. Pit passes are $35 apiece.
The Haubstadt Hustler will have live, flag-to-flag coverage on FloRacing.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-C.J. Leary-1,702, 2-Tyler Courtney-1,581, 3-Brady Bacon-1,564, 4-Justin Grant-1,525, 5-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-1,524, 6-Chris Windom-1,495, 7-Chase Stockon-1,472, 8-Jason McDougal-1,294, 9-Carson Short-1,273, 10-Isaac Chapple-991.
2018 HAUBSTADT HUSTLER FINISH: (Starting position in parentheses) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (3), 2. C.J. Leary (2), 3. Jason McDougal (8), 4. Dave Darland (7), 5. Carson Short (15), 6. Tyler Courtney (16), 7. Robert Ballou (10), 8. Chase Stockon (11), 9. Kyle Cummins (9), 10. Donny Brackett (13), 11. Stephen Schnapf (5), 12. Isaac Chapple (14), 13. Chet Williams (19), 14. Brady Bacon (6), 15. Critter Malone (21), 16. Kendall Ruble (20), 17. Chris Windom (4), 18. Daron Clayton (17), 19. Justin Grant (12), 20. Tony DiMattia (22), 21. Brandon Mattox (23), 22. Kent Schmidt (1), 23. Aric Gentry (18). NT
HAUBSTADT HUSTLER WINNERS: 2008: Jeff Bland, Jr., 2009: Bryan Clauson, 2010: Jon Stanbrough, 2011: Casey Riggs, 2013: Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2014: Daron Clayton, 2015: Brady Short, 2016: Kyle Cummins, 2017: Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2018: Kevin Thomas, Jr.
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS:
1. (5) Daron Clayton & Kevin Thomas, Jr.
3. (4) Cory Kruseman
4. (3) Kyle Cummins & Rick Hood
6. (2) Hunter Schuerenberg, Brady Short & Jon Stanbrough
9. (1) Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou, Steve Butler, Dave Darland, Jay Drake, Tony Elliott, Blake Fitzpatrick, Damion Gardner, Tracy Hines, Kenny Jacobs, Levi Jones, Casey Riggs, Carson Short, Chase Stockon, Chris Windom & J.J. Yeley
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINNERS:
1983: Rick Hood (9/4)
1984: Steve Butler (5/28) & Rick Hood (9/2)
1988: Kenny Jacobs (8/7)
1989: Rick Hood (6/3)
2000: Cory Kruseman (7/30)
2001: Tony Elliott (5/13) & Jay Drake (7/22)
2002: Tracy Hines (5/19) & Cory Kruseman (7/21)
2003: J.J. Yeley (7/20)
2004: Cory Kruseman (7/18)
2005: Cory Kruseman (7/17)
2006: Jon Stanbrough (7/15) & Daron Clayton (9/2)
2007: Daron Clayton (7/21)
2008: Hunter Schuerenberg (7/19)
2009: Levi Jones (7/18)
2010: Blake Fitzpatrick (7/17)
2011: Damion Gardner (7/16) & Casey Riggs (9/17)
2012: Hunter Schuerenberg (5/12), Jon Stanbrough (7/21) & Daron Clayton (9/15)
2013: Kevin Thomas, Jr. (5/11) & Kevin Thomas, Jr. (9/14)
2014: Daron Clayton (4/26), Robert Ballou (7/19) & Daron Clayton (9/13)
2015: Brady Bacon (4/18), Brady Short (7/18) & Brady Short (9/19)
2016: Chase Stockon (4/16), Carson Short (7/16) & Kyle Cummins (9/17)
2017: Chris Windom (4/15), Kyle Cummins (7/15) & Kevin Thomas, Jr., (9/16)
2018: Kevin Thomas, Jr. (4/28), Dave Darland (7/28) & Kevin Thomas, Jr. (9/15)
2019: Kyle Cummins (7/27)