By Richie Murray
Du Quoin, Illinois (February 27, 2020)………Past Shamrock Classic winners Justin Grant and Cannon McIntosh are among the latest entries for the 5th annual USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget event on March 7 at the Southern Illinois Center as the list of competitors has ballooned to 33 with more entries continuing to be filed each day for the race at the 1/6-mile indoor dirt oval in Du Quoin.
Competitors can enter the Shamrock Classic presented by Dooling Machine Products Midget event at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2020-shamrock-midget-entry until Thursday, March 5th at noon eastern time. After that deadline, entries for the midget division will increase to $100. Early entry is highly suggested as officials prepare to set heat race lineups with a “draft,” similar to that used previously at Du Quoin’s “Junior Knepper 55” in 2018 and the 2019 “BC39” at the IMS Dirt Track.
Grant (Ione, Calif.), the 2017 “Shamrock” winner, will pilot a car for RAMS Racing with whom he captured victory one year ago during the Indiana Midget Week round at Gas City I-69 Speedway.
Reigning “Shamrock” victor McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.), meanwhile, will compete as one of four entries from the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team alongside five-time series winner Zeb Wise (Angola, Ind.) and standout Rookie of the Year contenders Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) and Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.).
Additional latest entries come from Hayward Motorsports and drivers Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) and Gage Rucker (Bellflower, Mo.). Thorson, the 2016 USAC National Midget champion, was victorious in the 2020 season opener at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. in early February.
Petry Motorsports has filed Shamrock Classic entries for Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.), who scored the team’s first two triumphs with the series in 2019 at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway and Arizona Speedway. He’ll be joined by 2017 USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year and 2019 USAC National Most Improved Driver Tanner Carrick (Lincoln, Calif.).
Collinsville, Oklahoma’s Tyler Thomas, a winner in both USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car and National Midget competition during his career, will drive his familiar No. 91T, entered by Brian Thomas.
Earlier entries for the “Shamrock” including reigning series champ Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.), 7th place finisher in last year’s event after starting 21st. He is also a past victor in USAC Midget competition at the 1/6-mile indoor dirt oval, capturing the non-points special event Junior Knepper 55 in December of 2016.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.), the 2014 and 2016 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion, is undefeated thus far in USAC National features in 2020, sweeping both nights in a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. in mid-February. He’s one of just two drivers to have started in the feature event of all four previous editions of the Shamrock Classic with 4th place finishes in both 2016 and 2017 serving as his best. He also took 14th in 2018 and 18th in his most recent start in 2019.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) leads the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget standings entering the event following a victory on the second night of the Winter Dirt Games in Ocala. The 2016 USAC Silver Crown and 2017 National Sprint Car champ took 9th in his first career Shamrock Classic start a year ago.
Among the other early Shamrock Classic midget entries include 2019 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Rookie of the Year, Andrew Layser (Collegeville, Pa.), who comes into the event off his best career series result of 3rd in Ocala and finished 8th in his Shamrock debut in 2019.
Tyler Nelson (Olathe, Kans.), a USAC Regional Midget winner at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway in 2019 and a Shamrock Classic starter in 2018 is entered and will be joined by last year’s USAC Western States Midget titlist Robert Dalby (Anaheim, Calif.), five-time USAC Western States Midget champion Ronnie Gardner (Corona, Calif.) and 2017 USAC Gulf Coast Midget champ Kyle Jones, all of whom are vying their first Shamrock Classic starts.
Winged micro-sprints will complete their program on Saturday after competing in preliminary events on Friday night, March 6th. Micro competitors are urged to enter at: https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2020-shamrock-micro-entry?fbclid=IwAR3bLKcOlN8E3aUJK8zMTkHLjfX81-4fUwa6p_ABGbeiuOJZfleWzJiq4fg.
Micros will complete the majority of their program on Friday night, starting at 6:30pm Central and culminating with dashes to set up Saturday’s events. Only last chance races and the feature will be mixed into a full program for the National Midget Series, which will feature a passing-points format with both heat races and qualifying races.
The “Shamrock Classic” features appearance points only for competitors chasing the NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship, so all eyes will be on the top prize, elevated to $5,000 for the fifth annual event thanks to event sponsors DM Machine, WWT Raceway, and Fast Lane Racing Apparel.
Fans and competitors alike are invited to join the fun on Friday night at the St. Nicholas Brewing Company in Du Quoin for food and drink specials after a night of micro-sprint racing. Midget teams are also welcome to unload and park on Friday night. Gates open on Friday at 4pm Central with cars on track at 6:30pm. Grandstand tickets for Friday are just five dollars, with pit passes at $25.
Shamrock Classic tickets are on sale at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2020-usac-shamrock-classic with reserved seats at $25, while general admission tickets are $20 for ages 13 and up. Children’s general admission tickets (Age 6-12) are $10. Kids 5 and under are free. Pit passes for Saturday are $35, and those attending both days can purchase pit passes for $55. Tickets and pit passes will be available at the door both days.
Doors open on Saturday at 1pm Central to prepare for hot laps starting at 4pm. More information can be found at http://www.ShamrockClassicDuQuoin.com.
2020 SHAMROCK CLASSIC MIDGET ENTRY LIST
(33 entries as of February 27, 2020)
4 ROBERT DALBY/Anaheim, CA (Robert Dalby Motorsports)
4A JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (RAMS Racing)
5 KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL (Petry Motorsports)
5o ANTHONY NICHOLSON/Millington, TN (Hagar-Proctor Racing)
7BC TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Clauson Marshall Racing)
7m RONNIE GARDNER/Corona, CA (Iron Dome/Moonshine Motorsports)
7R KYLE JONES/Kennedale, TX (Iron Dome/Moonshine Motorsports)
9 DAISON PURSLEY/Locust Grove, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
9JR DEREK HAGAR/Marion, AR (Hagar Proctor Racing)
10A MICHAEL KLEIN/Elsmere, KY (MWR Technology)
11m KENDALL RUBLE/Vincennes, IN (Martin’s Motorsports)
13 AUSTIN YARBROUGH/Myrtle Beach, SC (McGee Racing)
19 TANNER THORSON/Minden, NV (Hayward Motorsports)
19G GAGE RUCKER/Bellflower, MO (Hayward Motorsports)
21H BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Kelly Hinck)
28 ACE MCCARTHY/Tahlequah, OK (Dave Mac Motorsports)
35 TANNER CARRICK/Lincoln, CA (Petry Motorsports)
39BC COLE BODINE/Rossville, IN (Clauson Marshall Racing)
41 OLIVER AKARD/Fort Myers, FL (Dan & Shellie Akard)
56AP RILEY KREISEL/Warsaw, MO (Travis Young)
57D AIDEN PURDUE/Clinton, IL (McCreery Motorsports)
67 BUDDY KOFOID/Penngrove, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
71 ZEB WISE/Angola, IN (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
71K CANNON MCINTOSH/Bixby, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
72 SAM JOHNSON/St. Peters, MO (Sam Johnson)
77 DONNIE GENTRY/Henderson, KY (Wayne Simmons)
82 ANDREW LAYSER/Collegeville, PA (Tucker-Boat Motorsports)
88 TYLER NELSON/Olathe, KS (Tyler Nelson)
89 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Tucker-Boat Motorsports)
91 ANDY BISHOP/Harrisburg, IL (Jack Harris Racing)
91T TYLER THOMAS/Collinsville, OK (Brian Thomas)
91x CRAIG OAKES/Marshall, TX (Mounce Motorsports)
95 CHRIS ANDREWS/Tulsa, OK (Miller Racing)