By Richie Murray
Lawrenceburg, Indiana (March 26, 2019)………The USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Midwest season opener is always a time to celebrate as the roar of 410-cubic inch engines finally come back to life following the winter doldrums.
This year is no exception as the series returns this Saturday, March 30, to Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway, host of 61 previous series events dating back to its debut on the schedule in 1983.
The most recent of those 61 was won by Ione, California’s Justin Grant, who drove the TOPP Motorsports car to victory last Fall at the 3/8-mile, high-banked dirt oval amidst a flurry of wins to conclude the 2018 season. He’s won USAC shows at Lawrenceburg three times, his first in 2012, then again in 2014 and in 2018. He’s already begun 2019 with a victory in Ocala, Fla. back in February and sits fourth in the standings.
Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary debuted with the Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports team in similar fashion the night following Grant in Ocala, winning the “Winter Dirt Games X” finale. The 2013 Lawrenceburg track champ won during “Indiana Sprint Week” at The Burg in 2017 and leads the USAC standings coming into Saturday night’s race.
Chris Windom, the 2017 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion, won the Spring opener at Lawrenceburg that year to kickstart his title run. The Canton, Ill. driver won this year’s season opener in Ocala in spectacular fashion, on the final lap over Kevin Thomas, Jr.
Thomas, of Cullman, Ala., sits two markers behind Leary in the standings following a pair of runner-up finishes and a fifth to his credit. He’s won with USAC at Lawrenceburg on three occasions, including the Spring opener in 2013.
Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, Ind., didn’t snare a win down at Ocala but did manage to grab a pair of third-place runs, including a charge from 22nd to the podium on the second night. The defending series champion, and winningest driver from a year ago with 11 scores, won the “Indiana Sprint Week” round at Lawrenceburg a year ago.
No driver has won as many USAC Sprint Car races at Lawrenceburg than has Lincoln, Indiana’s Dave Darland with seven between 1998 and 2016. The combination between the winningest series’ driver of all time and Chase Briscoe Racing is lethal heading into The Burg. Briscoe’s father, Kevin, won three times in USAC competition in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Brady Short, on the crew for the CBR team, won a USAC Sprint feature here himself as a driver in 2008.
Robert Ballou, Chase Stockon and Brady Bacon have each scored a USAC win at Lawrenceburg over the years. Ballou, the 2015 series titlist out of Rocklin, Calif., won there in 2011. Fort Branch, Indiana’s Stockon won his first career USAC Sprint main in 2012 at Lawrenceburg. Meanwhile, two-time series champ Bacon from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was victorious in 2015.
Like Leary, Hanford, California’s Chad Boespflug is a USAC regular who’s a past track champ at Lawrenceburg back in 2011. He’s aiming to get back to victory lane for the first time in two seasons this Saturday, looking to tack on to his six career USAC National Sprint Car points-paying victories with his initial USAC score at Lawrenceburg.
Pit gates open at 3pm this Saturday with front gates opening at 5pm and hot laps beginning at 6pm (Eastern Time).
Adult tickets are $25, kids 7-12 are $7, while children age 6 and under are FREE. Pit passes are $30 (all ages).
Live, flag-to-flag coverage of the event will be on http://www.FloRacing.com/. The USAC app will also have free live audio of the entire event. You can follow along with live updates on https://www.facebook.com/usacracing/ and/or https://twitter.com/USACNation with live timing available on the Race Monitor app.