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TRI-CITY’S “HUT HUNDRED” OPENS BUSY USAC WEEK

From Dick Jordan

The “Hut Hundred” Honda USAC National Midget race is always among fan favorites and this year’s running sports a new twist. The USAC/POWRi race scheduled July 3 will find a new home at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill.

The race also kicks off a spectacular weekend of USAC racing, continuing with the July 4 AMSOIL National Sprint race at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind., then the July 5 and 6 USAC/POWRi “Bash @ Belle Clair” races at the Belle Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill.

The Hut Hundred tradition dates all the way back to the early fifties and has spanned numerous facilities in its 59 years.

Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Okla., who scored a USAC Sprint victory last week at I-96 Speedway in Michigan, is the defending champion, adding his name last year to the illustrious list of former winners.

The Pontoon Beach track also sports a long history of USAC events, dating back to Danny Frye’s Midget victory in 1961. Thirty-eight of the 59 USAC races held there have been Midget races and defending Honda USAC National Midget Champion Darren Hagen and the late Bob Tattersall lead all drivers with four wins. Mel Kenyon owns three, while two-time winners have been Tracy Hines, Kyle Larson, Jeff Gordon, Steve Knepper and Brad Sweet. Others with Tri-City victories include Levi Jones, Bryan Clauson, Jerry Coons Jr., Josh Wise, J.J. Yeley, Jack Hewitt, Russ Gamester, Tom Bigelow, Pancho Carter, Merle Bettenhausen, Larry Rice, Jimmy Caruthers, Les Scott, Bob Wente, Billy Mehner, Don Meacham and Frye.

The 100-lap race is unique as it sports a three-abreast start and with 33 scheduled starters there will be plenty of action.

It’s sure to provide a weekend of memories for race fans and what a way to kick off the Independence Day weekend!