By Richie Murray
Speedway, Indiana (December 9, 2019)………Two-time USAC National champion Chris Windom will suit up for Hayward Motorsports to drive car No. 19 on the full USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car trail in 2020.
Along with Windom, his longtime sidekick and crew chief Derek Claxton will be turning the wrenches on the machine that will carry sponsorship from NOS Energy Drink. Additional corporate sponsors will be announced by the team during the Performance Racing Industry show this week in Indianapolis.
Windom, the 2016 USAC Silver Crown and 2017 National Sprint Car champion, began the 2019 AMSOIL National Sprint Car campaign in similar fashion with a new team, Parallax Group/Goacher Racing. Their first race out of the box, they won at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. Windom aims for a similar grand opening in his new digs with Hayward.
“It came together, I guess you could say, last minute.” Windom explained. “It was Sunday night (on Thanksgiving weekend) that he gave me a call and we chatted for a while. I was at a point right now to where I was unsure with what I had for a sprint car deal next year. I could’ve stayed with the same deal, but all the logistics weren’t really put together yet. Brody called me and basically offered me the full-time deal and to bring Derek along full-time as well. That was something I couldn’t really turn down. I know they want to run a top-notch situation over there too. I think it’s going to be a good deal.”
The Canton, Ill. native, who now resides in St. Louis, Mo., is the owner of 25 career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature victories, tied for 21st all-time with Steve Butler and Jay Drake. In 2019, with Parallax/Goacher, Windom notched four victories, 22 top-fives and 29 top-tens in 34 starts.
Ironically, in last year’s season debut victory, Windom passed the Hayward Motorsports car driven by Kevin Thomas, Jr. on the final lap to score the win. Windom gained additional victories at Granite City, Ill., Kokomo, Ind. and Gas City, Ind. to round out a year that saw him finish sixth in the final standings.
Hayward Motorsports, meanwhile, had Kevin Thomas, Jr. at the controls in 2019, and together, the combo captured a pair of victories during the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season at Bloomington, Ind. and Lawrenceburg, Ind. Last week, Thomas announced his return to the KT Motorsports No. 9K for the 2020 USAC season.
Since 2015, Hayward Motorsports has won 13 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature events as a team, nine with Bryan Clauson and two with Brady Bacon came under the Dooling/Hayward Motorsports banner while Thomas won a pair with Hayward a year ago. Hayward expects the success to continue with Windom starting in February of 2020 in the Sunshine State.
We’re very excited to bring Chris on board,” Hayward exclaimed. “Chris is a USAC champion and he ran really well this past year, is always a front runner and we’re glad to have him at Hayward Motorsports in 2020.”
The 2020 season openers for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship and the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship begin in February at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. Midgets hit the track for practice on Feb. 6 with two full nights of racing to follow on Feb. 7-8. The sprints take their turn the following week with practice on Feb. 12 and three-straight nights of full racing programs on Feb. 13-14-15.