USAC & STARS Team Up for National Midget Event at Grundy County


From Rich Murray

MORRIS, IL – (August 6, 2014) — The Honda USAC Pavement Midget Series, in conjunction with the D’Arcy GMC STARS National Midgets, comes to Grundy County Speedway on Saturday, August 9th. Danville, Indiana’s Kyle Hamilton has won the previous two USAC National Midget Series races at Grundy County in 2012 and 2013. This race is one that Hamilton greatly anticipates each year and he feels that bagging another victory would reinforce his standing as the mayor of USAC midget racing at the 1/3-mile, semi-banked, paved oval in Morris, Illinois.

“The USAC race is always circled on my calendar,” Hamilton said. To take it three years in a row would solidify us as the car to beat at Grundy no matter who is sanctioning the race.”

Hamilton returns to this race after being sidelined during last week’s running of the Illinois State Championship at Grundy County. On July 26th, during the “Bob Tattersall Challenge,” Hamilton had moved up to 2nd place from his 8th starting spot in the first 14 laps of the feature. Hamilton began to close on Ryan Probst for the lead coming out of turn two when, suddenly, the engine let go and the car came to a stop. It was a disappointing end to a strong run for the 22-year-old Purdue University student.

This week, however, Hamilton has a new bullet installed between the frame rails of his Curtis Motor Sales Spike chassis. It is not an unfamiliar engine to Hamilton and he has the confidence that it can perform as well as it did when it was in the Todd Domark-owned car that Hamilton drove in the STARS National Midget season opener.

“Domark is putting his Esslinger in my car,” Hamilton stated. “It’s the same motor that I set quick time with on opening night, so I’m not worried about the power at all.”

With just six races left on the 2014 STARS National Midgets schedule, Avon, Indiana’s Austin Prock holds a commanding 130-point lead over Tyler Trainor with Probst, Billy Hulbert, and Brad Greenup rounding out the top five. Last week’s STARS winner, Nick Baran, currently sits in the 6th spot with Kyle Kettmann, Nick Wagner, Kyle O’Gara, and Hamilton complete the top-10.

By virtue of his win in the “Night Before the 500” at Lucas Oil Raceway @ Indianapolis on May 24th, Tracy Hines leads the USAC Pavement Midget point standings with a 5-point advantage over Kyle O’Gara while Derek Bischak, Nick Hamilton, and Michael Fanelli complete the top-5 with four races remaining in the season. Kody Swanson, Bret Sanderson, Prock, Bryan Nuckles, and Kevin Studley sit in spots six through ten, respectively.

Other action at Grundy County on the night includes the Classic Modifieds, INEX Legends, CSR Super Cups, and Legacy Midwest Series. Adult tickets are just $12. Kids age 5-12 get in for $2. Children age 4 and under are free! Grandstands open up at 5 p.m. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m. Grundy County Speedway is located one mile north of I-80 on Route 47 in Morris, Illinois.

You’ve had previous success at Grundy County, winning, in 2012. Can you tell me how that experience will help you in this weekend’s race?

Since this is one of the very few pavement midget races on the USAC schedule, you don’t have many laps in
one of these cars on the pavement compared to the STARS drivers who do this regularly. Does that give an advantage to those guys or are you still confident in your chances to win this thing?

Swanson – dominant on the dirt in silver crown. Night Before the 500 win. Previous win at Grundy!

June 3, 2006 – USAC Regional Midgets – Winner: Jim Anderson
July 8, 2006 – USAC Regional Midgets – Winner: Adam Nuetzel
August 19, 2006 – USAC Regional Midgets – Winner: Brian Olson
June 16, 2007 – USAC Regional Midgets – Winner: James Robertson
July 14, 2007 – USAC Regional Midgets – Winner: Travis Young
September 9, 2007 – USAC Regional Midgets – Winner: David Gough
June 14, 2008 – USAC Regional Midgets – Winner: Alison MacLeod
August 16, 2008 – USAC Regional Midgets – Winner: Mario Clouser
July 2, 2011 – USAC National Midgets – Winner: Darren Hagen
June 2, 2012 – USAC D1 Midgets – Winner: Jim Anderson
June 9, 2012 – USAC D1 Midgets – Winner: Kody Swanson
June 23, 2012 – USAC D1 Midgets – Winner: Mario Clouser
June 30, 2012 – USAC National Midgets – Winner: Kyle Hamilton
July 14, 2012 – USAC D1 Midgets – Winner: Billy Hulbert
July 28, 2012 – USAC D1 Midgets – Winner: Jim Anderson
August 11, 2012 – USAC D1 Midgets – Winner: Kyle O’Gara
August 25, 2012 – USAC D1 Midgets – Winner: Kyle Hamilton
September 29, 2012 – USAC D1 Midgets – Winner: Tyler Cottongim
August 10, 2013 – USAC National Midgets – Winner: Kyle Hamilton