usac United States Auto Club 2012 logo

usac United States Auto Club 2012 logoFrom Dick Jordan

“Winter Dirt Games VI” will showcase USAC’s AMSOIL National Sprint Car stars in three consecutive nights of racing at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. February 19-20-21. An open practice session is scheduled February 18 and February 22 is reserved as a rain date.

The Ocala events are set to kick off USAC’s 2015 racing season but additional events in the Sunshine State are also under negotiation and may be announced in the weeks ahead.

Bubba Raceway Park’s 3/8-mile D-shaped oval presents a unique challenge for those who compete there and the USAC races there have provided race fans with numerous memorable events since 2010.

Brady Bacon and Bryan Clauson opened the 2014 AMSOIL National Sprint series with Ocala victories and they now stand 1-2 in the battle for the championship entering the final events on the west coast.

Clauson also won the 2013 opener, but Tracy Hines swept rounds two and three. Damion Gardner and Darren Hagen scored 2012 Ocala wins, while Gardner won twice there in 2011 and Clauson also scored that year. Gardner, who appears headed for the 2014 USAC/CRA title, swept the two “Winter Dirt Games” features at East Bay Raceway Park in 2010.

Florida has offered a “winter” destination for USAC participants ever since the debut of USAC in 1956. The first USAC Sprint race ever held saw 1955 Indianapolis 500 winner Bob Sweikert win at Southland Speedway in West Palm Beach. Chuck Weyant and Pat O’Connor scored wins that year at Jacksonville and Miami respectively.

Larry Dickson swept a pair of Sprint races at Hollywood in 1970 and Rich Vogler was the Sprint winner at the Tampa Fairgrounds in 1987.

In 2005, Dave Steele won at Orlando’s Speed World. Then came the “Winter Dirt Games” in 2010 at Gibsonton.

“I’m always to ready to get going early in the year,” says series point leader Bacon. “The Ocala track is unique, with different character from one corner to the other, and we’ve run good there in the past. Ocala is a great way to kick off the year and it’s always nice to leave the cold, snowy climate in Indiana back home while we enjoy the sunshine in Florida.” Bacon pilots the Dynamics, Inc. Mean Green/Lykins Oil Triple X/Stanton Mopar. The Dynamics, Inc. team is the all-time leader in terms of USAC National Sprint Car wins with 86.

The entire 2015 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series schedule is expected to be released the weekend at USAC’s “Night of Champions” National Awards Dinner in Indianapolis, Ind. December 12.