The USAC Triple Crown Strives for Gold at The 4th Annual “Copper on Dirt”

From Kevin Montgomery

Tucson, AZ — Someone once said that visionaries create the future! In December 2006 at a local restaurant, Dennis Wood shared his idea of bringing the “Copper on Dirt” to Manzanita Speedway. He told a tale of bringing USAC Sprint Cars, Midgets and Silver Crown cars to Arizona and only had five weeks to make it happen. On February 9th 2007, Dennis Woods, successfully ran the first “Copper on Dirt” with more than 130 cars participating in the two day event.

The vision will be carried on as Arizona will host the 4th Annual “Copper on Dirt”. USAC Silver Crown, USAC National/CRA Sprint Cars and USAC National/Western States Midgets will all take part in a sensational racing spectacle at Tucson’s USA Raceway’s for two nights on February 19th and 20th marking USA Raceway as one of only two dirt track venues to host USAC’s Triple Crown all in one event.

“The Copper on Dirt is a great event and we are looking forward to having it at our facility,” commented Benji Lyons. “We are constantly looking at marquee events for USA Raceway and this was one that we have been after for a while. With the closure of Manzanita Speedway we felt the need to continue to carry the torch for premier racing events in Arizona and this is one of those events.”

Mississippi’s Ricky Stenhouse became the first and only driver to win multiple “Copper on Dirt” features in a single year. Stenhouse set the bar high at the inaugural “Copper on Dirt” by winning back to back races in the 40-lap sprint car feature and finishing off the night by capturing the 50-lap USAC Silver Crown Feature.

California native, Darren Hagen, is the only other driver to win in two divisions with a midget victory in 2008 and a sprint car win in 2009. Hagen will lead the USAC trio into Tucson as the defending “Copper on Dirt” Sprint Car Champion while Brad Sweet and Bud Kaeding will likely set out to defend the USAC Midget and Silver Crown titles respectively. Hagen also leads the “Copper on Dirt” stats with 8 of 9 feature starts (Did not participate in 2007 Silver Crown portion) and an average finish of 5th in 8 total events.

USA Raceway is located east of Tucson off I-10 exit 268, then 1.6 miles south on Craycroft Road, which turns into Los Reales. For more information please, contact the track at 520-574-8515 or additional information regarding USA Raceway can be found at

Past Copper on Dirt Winners
2007 USAC Midgets – Cory Kruseman
2007 USAC Sprint Cars – Ricky Stenhouse

2007 USAC Silver Crown – Ricky Stenhouse
2008 USAC Midgets – Darren Hagen
2008 USAC Sprint Cars – Shane Cottle
2008 USAC Silver Crown – Jerry Coons Jr.
2009 USAC Midgets – Brad Sweet
2009 USAC Sprint Cars – Darren Hagen
2009 USAC Silver Crown – Bud Kaeding