Billy Shuman, younger brother of National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Ron Shuman, picked up his first of three career USAC National Midget victories on May 18, 1973 at Henry’s Speedway in Boswell, Ind., now known as Daugherty Speedway. On an interesting side note, the race was promoted by none-other-than that year’s USAC National Midget driving champ, Larry Rice.
Tom Bigelow collected his second of back-to-back USAC National Sprint Car victories on this date in 1974 at Indianapolis Raceway Park while Rollie Beale earned the first of his six USAC Sprint wins in 1975 in the series debut at Millstream Motor Speedway in Findlay, Ohio.
The 20th of Steve Cannon’s 21 career USAC National Midget victories arrived on May 18, 1979 at Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Ill., the same site where, five years later in 1984, Sheldon Kinser notched his 31st win in the USAC National Sprint Car division.
Stevie Reeves (Midget) and Robbie Stanley (Sprint) each won their second career feature races in their respective divisions on May 18, 1991, an ESPN nationally televised event from Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, the first USAC National Sprint/Midget doubleheader aired live on ESPN. Both Reeves (1992-93 Midget) and Stanley (1991-92-93 Sprint) would soon become kings of their USAC divisions in the coming years.
Kenny Irwin Jr. appeared headed for victory in the May 18, 1996 USAC Silver Crown 100-lapper at Indianapolis Raceway Park but got caught in traffic on the final lap and tangled with Mike Bliss, who was challenging from behind. Bliss and Irwin locked together and slid across the finish line with Bliss winning by inches. The two cars then separated but were forced to take the pit exit escape route to turn one.
Kasey Kahne’s career exploded after his 2000 USAC National Midget championship, and even as a part-timer with the series in 2001, he scored five wins, including the first at Hawkeye Downs on May 18, 2001.
Brian Olson stunned the field to emerge victorious for the only time in his USAC National Midget career on May 18, 2008, at the paved Rockford Speedway in Illinois for the series’ first visit to the track in 35 years.
In 2012, it was Bobby East capturing the 15th win of his USAC Sprint Car career, and just his second on a dirt surface, on the red clay of Indiana’s Bloomington Speedway.
MAY 18 USAC NATIONAL WINNERS: (Through 2019)
1973: Billy Shuman, USAC Midgets at Henry’s Speedway – Boswell, Ind.
1974: Tom Bigelow, USAC Sprint at Indianapolis Raceway Park – Clermont, Ind.
1975: Rollie Beale, USAC Sprint at Millstream Motor Speedway – Findlay, Ohio
1979: Steve Cannon, USAC Midget at Santa Fe Speedway – Hinsdale, Ill.
1984: Sheldon Kinser, USAC Sprint at Santa Fe Speedway – Hinsdale, Ill.
1991: Stevie Reeves, USAC Midget at Winchester Speedway – Winchester, Ind.
1991: Robbie Stanley, USAC Sprint at Winchester Speedway – Winchester, Ind.
1996: Mike Bliss, USAC Silver Crown at Indianapolis Raceway Park – Clermont, Ind.
2001: Kasey Kahne, USAC Midget at Hawkeye Downs – Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2008: Brian Olson, USAC Midget at Rockford Speedway – Rockford, Ill.
2012: Bobby East, USAC Sprint at Bloomington Speedway – Bloomington, Ind.