2015 USAC season starts with Winter Challenge

USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series Top Story

usacsouthwestlogotopstoryFrom Dick Jordan

The 4rd Annual “Winter Challenge” opens the next two weeks in Arizona as the 2015 USAC racing season gets under way with a flourish.

The USAC West Coast and Southwest Sprint Cars will compete in five races at two Arizona dirt tracks to kick off the year. Races at Canyon Raceway Park in Peoria are slated this week (January 23-24-25) and Tucson’s USA Raceway hosts the Jan. 30 and 31 events.

E & K Construction of Phoenix has posted a $5,000 points fund to be distributed among the top five Winter Challenge Series point earners and the “Most Valuable Player” award, which goes to the lowest point earner starting all five A-features.

Defending series champions are Matt Mitchell of Yorba Linda, Calif. (West Coast) and R.J. Johnson of Phoenix, Ariz. (Southwest). Mitchell’s title was his first under USAC sanction while Johnson captured his second consecutive championship.

Dave Darland is the defending “Winter Challenge” champion, while Bryan Clauson was the 2013 champion and Tracy Hines was the inaugural champ in 2012.

Last year’s “Winter Challenge” races went to Darland (3 wins), Brady Bacon, Colby Copeland and Richard Vander Weerd. IN 2013 Clauson won three of the four races and Johnson also scored. The 2012 events, not sanctioned by USAC, were won by Hines (3), Charles Davis Jr. (2) and Jon Stanbrough.