By Richie Murray
Haubstadt, Indiana (September 9, 2019)………$10 Grand and 40 laps await this Saturday’s field at Tri-State Speedway’s Haubstadt Hustler, co-sanctioned by the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and the Midwest Sprint Car Series.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) has earned Haubstadt Hustler glory in each of the past two seasons and eyes his fourth win in the event. Last year, Thomas became the first three-time winner of the race, following his first triumph in 2013. In the 2018 “Hustler,” Thomas went to the front with just four laps remaining to capture the big check in victory lane – an unusual ride to victory lane that came via a four-wheeler after being involved in a turn one pile up following the checkered flag.
With a single victory, Thomas would also rise to the top as the winningest USAC Sprint Car driver of all-time at Tri-State Speedway. He currently ranks tied for first at five wins apiece with Daron Clayton, a 2014 Haubstadt Hustler winner himself.
Like Clayton, a driver and track that have become synonymous with each other are Kyle Cummins and Tri-State Speedway. The Princeton, Ind. driver is six-for-six at the quarter-mile dirt oval this season in USAC and MSCS competition. The undefeated Cummins grabbed the number one spot with just four laps remaining from Stephen Schnapf in July’s Indiana Sprint Week A-Main to claim his third USAC Sprint Car victory at Tri-State, one of which was the Haubstadt Hustler in 2016.
Brady Short (Bedford, Ind.) collected his Haubstadt Hustler victory in 2015, taking the lead from Cummins with just five laps remaining to score his second USAC Tri-State triumph, both of which came in 2015. In the first score that year, Short set a 30-lap track record in the caution-free feature that stands to this day – 7 minutes and 31.5 seconds.
Chase Stockon, whose residence is just right down the road from the track in Fort Branch, Ind., won with USAC at Tri-State in 2016 and set fast time in the rained out June event. He finished 8th in the 2018 Haubstadt Hustler and was 4th this July during Indiana Sprint Week. He’s also twice won in IMCA RaceSaver competition this year at Tri-State, going back-to-back with feature victories in July and August.
Two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) was victorious with USAC at Tri-State in 2015. He was 5th this past July at Indiana Sprint Week and is also a former winner in a USAC Midget at The Class Track, capturing the Hut 100 in 2012, leading only the final two laps.
The driver finishing 2nd in the 2012 Hut 100 behind Bacon in a Wilke-Pak Racing sweep was Chris Windom. The 2017 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ from Canton, Ill. won his first visit of that season to Tri-State en route to the title.
2016 Indiana Sprint Week was not only a milestone for USAC, it was also for Carson Short who scored his first and, to date, only career AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature win in the 10,000th USAC-sanctioned race. The Marion, Ill. driver was 5th in the 2018 Haubstadt Hustler.
Series point leader C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) came within four laps of his first USAC Tri-State victory in last year’s Haubstadt Hustler, leading a race-high 35 of the 40 laps before Thomas got by for the victory. Leary was victorious three times with MSCS in 2018 at Tri-State, capturing the Sprint Stampede, the Hoosier Sprint Nationals and the Harvest Cup.
Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) was 6th in the Haubstadt Hustler a year ago. His best showing in the event came in the 2016 race where he led 12 laps and finished in the runner-up spot behind Cummins. He remains on the hunt for his first career Tri-State victory.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) was the fastest qualifier in July’s USAC round at Haubstadt en route to a solid 3rd place result in the night’s feature. Like Courtney, he’s seeking his first Tri-State victory, as is Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.), a 3rd place finisher in the 2018 Haubstadt Hustler and 9th in July, as well as Isaac Chapple (Willow Branch, Ind.) who stands 10th in series points.
Stephen Schnapf, who’s third in MSCS points entering Saturday, was impressive in his last USAC outing in July at Tri-State, leading 26 laps and finishing 2nd to Cummins, the best career USAC finish for the 2018 Midwest Madness victor at Tri-State.
Saturday’s Haubstadt Hustler will have the UMP Modifieds in action as well. Pits open at 3pm Central, grandstands at 4pm and cars on track at 6pm. Adult general admission tickets are $25, students (ages 13-18) are $20 and 12 and under are free. Pit passes are $35 apiece.
The Haubstadt Hustler will have live, flag-to-flag coverage on FloRacing. You can listen to live audio of the broadcast for free on the USAC app or follow along with live updates on https://www.facebook.com/usacracing/ and https://twitter.com/USACNation/ with live timing and scoring available on both the USAC and Race-Monitor apps.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-C.J. Leary-1,702, 2-Tyler Courtney-1,581, 3-Brady Bacon-1,564, 4-Justin Grant-1,525, 5-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-1,524, 6-Chris Windom-1,495, 7-Chase Stockon-1,472, 8-Jason McDougal-1,294, 9-Carson Short-1,273, 10-Isaac Chapple-991.
2018 HAUBSTADT HUSTLER FINISH: (Starting position in parentheses) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (3), 2. C.J. Leary (2), 3. Jason McDougal (8), 4. Dave Darland (7), 5. Carson Short (15), 6. Tyler Courtney (16), 7. Robert Ballou (10), 8. Chase Stockon (11), 9. Kyle Cummins (9), 10. Donny Brackett (13), 11. Stephen Schnapf (5), 12. Isaac Chapple (14), 13. Chet Williams (19), 14. Brady Bacon (6), 15. Critter Malone (21), 16. Kendall Ruble (20), 17. Chris Windom (4), 18. Daron Clayton (17), 19. Justin Grant (12), 20. Tony DiMattia (22), 21. Brandon Mattox (23), 22. Kent Schmidt (1), 23. Aric Gentry (18). NT
HAUBSTADT HUSTLER WINNERS: 2008: Jeff Bland, Jr., 2009: Bryan Clauson, 2010: Jon Stanbrough, 2011: Casey Riggs, 2013: Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2014: Daron Clayton, 2015: Brady Short, 2016: Kyle Cummins, 2017: Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2018: Kevin Thomas, Jr.
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS:
1. (5) Daron Clayton & Kevin Thomas, Jr.
3. (4) Cory Kruseman
4. (3) Kyle Cummins & Rick Hood
6. (2) Hunter Schuerenberg, Brady Short & Jon Stanbrough
9. (1) Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou, Steve Butler, Dave Darland, Jay Drake, Tony Elliott, Blake Fitzpatrick, Damion Gardner, Tracy Hines, Kenny Jacobs, Levi Jones, Casey Riggs, Carson Short, Chase Stockon, Chris Windom & J.J. Yeley
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINNERS:
1983: Rick Hood (9/4)
1984: Steve Butler (5/28) & Rick Hood (9/2)
1988: Kenny Jacobs (8/7)
1989: Rick Hood (6/3)
2000: Cory Kruseman (7/30)
2001: Tony Elliott (5/13) & Jay Drake (7/22)
2002: Tracy Hines (5/19) & Cory Kruseman (7/21)
2003: J.J. Yeley (7/20)
2004: Cory Kruseman (7/18)
2005: Cory Kruseman (7/17)
2006: Jon Stanbrough (7/15) & Daron Clayton (9/2)
2007: Daron Clayton (7/21)
2008: Hunter Schuerenberg (7/19)
2009: Levi Jones (7/18)
2010: Blake Fitzpatrick (7/17)
2011: Damion Gardner (7/16) & Casey Riggs (9/17)
2012: Hunter Schuerenberg (5/12), Jon Stanbrough (7/21) & Daron Clayton (9/15)
2013: Kevin Thomas, Jr. (5/11) & Kevin Thomas, Jr. (9/14)
2014: Daron Clayton (4/26), Robert Ballou (7/19) & Daron Clayton (9/13)
2015: Brady Bacon (4/18), Brady Short (7/18) & Brady Short (9/19)
2016: Chase Stockon (4/16), Carson Short (7/16) & Kyle Cummins (9/17)
2017: Chris Windom (4/15), Kyle Cummins (7/15) & Kevin Thomas, Jr., (9/16)
2018: Kevin Thomas, Jr. (4/28), Dave Darland (7/28) & Kevin Thomas, Jr. (9/15)
2019: Kyle Cummins (7/27)