By Robert Miller
For the thirteenth consecutive year, the USAC AMSOIL Non Wing Sprint Car National Championship returns East with stops at the Grandview Speedway, Bridgeport Speedway, BAPS Motor Speedway, Port Royal and Weedsport Speedway’s. The five race swing, in keeping with tradition will open with the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill signature event at the Grandview Speedway. The Tuesday night, June 11 show will boast the USAC $10,000 to win Jesse Hockett Classic joined by the 358 NASCAR Modifieds with racing getting underway at 7:30 PM. This year also marks the 30th Anniversary of the Thunder on the Hill Racing Series.
Wednesday night, June 12 the Bridgeport Speedway will present the USAC AMSOIL Non-Wing sprints in a double header with the 600 micros, Thursday night, June 13 the tour moves to the BAP’S Speedway joined by the 360 Sprints and Super Sportsman. Saturday night, June 15 the traveling non-wing racers invade the Port Royal Speedway before closing out the swing at the popular Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport, NY on Sunday night, June 16. Defending USAC Eastern Storm Champion Chris Windom is already planning that trip East. Brady Bacon, winner of the two previous Grandview events would like to make it three in a row and collect that $10,000 payday.
The USAC National Championship is rich in history with some of the greatest names in racing parking in the coveted USAC victory lane. Drivers like Tommy Hinnershitz, Johnny Thomson, A.J. Foyt, Roger McCluskey, Jim Hurtibise, Jud Larson, Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Eddie Sachs, Ronnie Shuman, Pancho Carter, Lee Osborne, Greg Weld, Lee Kunzman, Larry Dickson, Gary Bettenhausen, Bruce Walkup and Toby Tobias are just a few of the legends to compliment even a longer list of current day USAC racing stars.
USAC has four race dates in the books for 2019 with victories going to Chris Windom, Justin Grant and C.J. Leary at the Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL. Brady Bacon took the win on April 12 at Bloomington in Bloomington, IN. There next stop is Eldora.
In the 2019 point battle, Kevin Thomas holds just a three point lead over Chase Stockon followed by Justin Grant, Tyler Courtney, Chris Windom, Brady Bacon and Robert Ballou.
The Berks County one-third mile high banked Grandview Speedway is just the perfect setting for a USAC National Non-Win Championship event. USAC time trials at Grandview are usually more exciting than the main divisions elsewhere, so don’t miss time trials. USAC first raced in Berks County at the Reading Fairgrounds in 1956 and it was Oley, PA driver Tommy Hinnershitz who won the first three USAC events on the Reading half-mile. The USAC/Berks County tradition continued until April 1979 when Paul Pitzer took the win at what would be the final USAC event in Berks County, following the closing of the Reading Fairgrounds.
Grandview Track Owner Bruce Rogers and Thunder on the Hills’ Bob Miller made several attempts to bring 410 non-wing sprint cars back to Berks County, even presenting CRA and SCRA events in the 1990’s . After many discussions, a deal was worked out and in June 2007, USAC made the trip to Grandview and it was Levi Jones who took the win in a historic USAC return to Berks County. Now in 2019, the Eastern Storm will mark its’ thirteenth tour to the East, opening on the famed “hill” of Grandview Speedway.
Start planning now for the 13th Annual Eastern Swing, Tuesday night, June 11 to Sunday night, June 16.
Tuesday, June 11 Grandview Speedway, Bechtelsville, PA Jesse Hockett Classic $10,000 to Win www.thunderonthehillracingseries.com
Wednesday, June 12 Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, NJ www.bpspeedway.com
Thursday, June 13 BAPS Speedway, York Haven, PA www.bapsmotorspeedway.com
Saturday, June 15 Port Royal Speedway, Port Royal, PA
Sunday, June 16 Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY