By Lance Jennings
APRIL 16, 2019… After a break in the schedule, the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars are back in action this Saturday, April 20th, at Arizona Speedway. Promoted by Jonah Trussel, the “4th Annual Lealand McSpadden Classic” is the first of five appearances at the San Tan Valley, Arizona oval. Thanks to the McSpadden family, the event will pay at least $2,500-to-win with extra bonuses available from fan and sponsor donations. The fourth point race will also feature IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Dwarf Cars, Robert Horne Bombers, and Easter Egg Hunt. The Front Gates will open at 5:00pm and Racing is scheduled to start at 7:00pm. For more event and ticket information, visit arizonaspeedway.net or call 480.926.6688.
NOTICE TO RACERS:
– The Schoenfeld 14272735-78 Muffler is MANDATORY for Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest competition at Arizona Speedway. Failure to comply will be disqualified from the events.
– FRONT AXLE TETHER SYSTEMS (2-Chassis, 1-King Pin to King Pin) ARE MANDATORY.
– FULL CONTAINMENT SEATS ARE MANDATORY.
– Hoosier Tires are required on all four corners with the 105/16 Medium and the 105/18 Hard as the only approved right rear tires. The “Medium” is also legal with the USAC National, USAC/CRA, USAC West Coast, and VRA Sprint Cars.
– Cockpit adjustable shocks ARE ALLOWED.
– USAC SouthWest charges a $25 entry fee to all competitors and the series rule book can be found online at usacracing.com.
– USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased at the track or online at usaclicense.com.
– USAC BONUS / Any racer who enters every event for both the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest and AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car schedules will have their entry fees reimbursed at the end of the year.
Originally a winged 360 race, the “Lealand McSpadden Classic” honors the Arizona racing legend and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame driver. Starting his career at the famed Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, McSpadden raced Super Modifieds before graduating to the Arizona Racing Association (ARA) Sprint Cars. Known for his “on the gas” driving style, “The Tempe Tornado,” earned his first ARA win in 1972 and claimed the series championship in 1975. In 1977, the fan favorite won 25 main events at Manzanita racing sprint cars, midgets, sprint buggies, stocks, and super-modifieds. After being hired to run Gary Stanton’s “house car,” McSpadden raced across the country and was very fast and competitive. This brought him national attention and racing opportunities with the United States Auto Club (USAC) and the World of Outlaws, where he claimed a victory at California’s Ascot Park in 1978.
Throughout the years, “The Tempe Tornado” had a flexible work schedule that allowed him stay home and race as he chose. Whether it was a sprint car, midget, or silver crown car, it was not uncommon to see McSpadden race with the California Racing Association (CRA), Northern Auto Racing Club (NARC), USAC, World of Outlaws, United Sprint Association (USA), Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA), and various open competition shows. By the time he retired from racing in 1996, Lealand had won over 200 main events, most notably the Western World Championships (1978, 1993, 1995), Dirt Cup (1981, 1984), Copper World Classic (1988 Sprint Car), Chili Bowl Midget Nationals (1991), and the Hulman Hundred (1992). Along the way, “The Tempe Tornado” also won the 1992 CRA and 1995 SCRA Sprint Car Championships.
Since April 13, 2013, Arizona Speedway has hosted thirty-eight USAC SouthWest Coast Sprint Car events. Five-time champion R.J. Johnson leads all drivers with eighteen victories and using a qualifying format, a new track record will be set this Saturday night.
Heading to Arizona Speedway, Brody Roa (Garden Grove, CA) holds a 12-point lead over the competition. Driving the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Burris Racing Maxim, Roa scored a third place finish at the March 9th “Spring Showcase” at Canyon Speedway Park. To date, the 2016 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has one heat race victory, one Saldana Racing Products Hard Charger Award, three top-10 finishes, and 13 feature laps led. With two USAC SouthWest wins to his credit, Roa will be looking to add the “Lealand McSpadden Classic” to his resume.
Josh Hodges (Tijeras, NM) ranks second in the championship point standings. Piloting the family owned #74X Jackson Compaction / Parts Plus DRC, Hodges scored ninth at Canyon’s “Spring Showcase” finale. At press time, the young driver has one feature win, one Beaver Stripes Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one Saldana Racing Products Hard Charger Award, three top-10 finishes, and 29 feature laps led on the year. Josh is a regular competitor in the Midwest and might skip the “McSpadden Classic.”
Isaac Chapple (Willow Branch, IN) is currently third in the USAC SouthWest point chase. Racing his #52 CFH Enterprises / Superior Consulting DRC, Chapple scored an eighth place finish in the March 9th main event. With three top-10 finishes on the season, the USAC National driver has returned to the Midwest to race closer to home.
R.J. Johnson (Laveen, AZ) sits fourth in the chase for the championship. Driving the Bobby Martin Racing #51 Martin Family Auto Museum / Pro Flyer Race Engines Sherman, Johnson ran fourth in the “Spring Showcase.” To date, the five-time USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Champion has posted one heat race victory, two top-10 finishes, and 1 feature lap led in the campaign. Johnson has fifty-five USAC SouthWest wins and will have his sights on the “Lealand McSpadden Classic” triumph.
Stevie Sussex (Tempe, AZ) ranks fifth in the USAC SouthWest point standings. Piloting Robbie and Gaye Allen’s #12 ABC Body Shop / PPG Automotive Finishes Maxim, Sussex placed sixth in the Canyon Speedway Park main event. At press time, the 2017 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year has two top-10 finishes on the season. The second generation driver has twelve series wins and will be a fan favorite at Arizona Speedway.
Currently ranked seventeenth in points, Ryan Cully (Alger, WA) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Stephen Sanchez (Flagstaff, AZ), Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, CA), and Jeff Dyer (Bermuda Dunes, CA) are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are “The Magic Man” Mike Martin, “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr., Jake Swanson, “The Real American” Matt Rossi, Michael Curtis, Matt Lundy, Landon Cling, “The Bull” Tye Mihocko, Chris Bonneau, Tyler Most, and more.
Arizona Speedway is located at 47800 N. Ironwood Road in San Tan Valley, just five minutes from Mesa, Arizona. To get to the track, exit Ironwood Drive on US 60, then head four miles south. Adult Tickets are $18, Senior Tickets are $15, Kids Tickets (11 & under) are FREE. For more event and ticket information, visit arizonaspeedway.net or call 480.926.6688.
The Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Beaver Stripes, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Hoosier Tire, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Saldana Racing Products, and Ultra Shield Race Products for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, contact PR Director Lance Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at usacracing.com and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content at southwestsprintcars.com and the USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Facebook and Twitter pages.
SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS: 2013-R.J. Johnson, 2014-R.J. Johnson, 2015-R.J. Johnson, 2016-R.J. Johnson, 2017-R.J. Johnson, 2018-Charles Davis Jr.
LEALAND MCSPADDEN CLASSIC WINNERS: 2016-Billy Chester, 2017-Jesse Baker, 2018-Charles Davis Jr.
SAN TAN VALLEY SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR WINS: 18-R.J. Johnson, 8-Charles Davis Jr., 4-Stevie Sussex, 3-Brady Bacon, 2-Chris Windom, 1-Mike Martin, 1-Tye Mihocko, 1-Josh Pelkey, 1-Jake Swanson.
2019 SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR WINS: 1-Josh Hodges, 1-C.J. Leary, 1-Hunter Schuerenberg.
2019 SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. Brody Roa-214, 2. Josh Hodges-202, 3. Isaac Chapple-200, 4. R.J. Johnson-180, 5. Stevie Sussex-156, 6. Mike Martin-153, 7. Charles Davis Jr.-147, 8. Damion Gardner-139, 9. Jake Swanson-134, 10. Matt Rossi-128, 11. Jason McDougal-124, 12. Hunter Schuerenberg-119, –. Dennis Gile-119, 14. Michael Curtis-117, 15. Austin Williams-115, 16. Matt Lundy-114, 17. Ryan Cully-86, 18. Landon Cling-84, 19. Tommy Malcom-78, 20. C.J. Leary-77.