By Richie Murray
Speedway, Indiana (September 10, 2020)………No other season in recent memory can match the closeness of this year’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car championship battle entering the month of September.
The standings currently have the top-four drivers separated by just 18 points, and the top-5 separated by a mere 46 points coming into the Fri., Sept. 11 event at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway and the Sat., Sep. 12 twin features at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) took over the point lead in the series’ most recent race at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway on Aug. 29 and enters this weekend’s three-race slate with a four-point lead over Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.). Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) is just seven points out of the lead in third and Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) sits just 18 markers back in fourth. Defending champ C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) lurks in the shadows just 46 tallies behind the leader.
Digging through the USAC National Sprint Cars’ past point standings at this juncture entering the month of September has revealed that there has not been another year in the past 37 seasons that even approaches the proximity between the top-four and top-five drivers in the standings. Prior to 1983, the race-by-race points records were unavailable.
The prior closest gap between first and fourth since over those past 37 seasons came in 2014, a 92-point difference between first and fourth, just 74 points more than the difference this year. Of note, 24 races were held to this point in the season back in 2014 while 19 have been held this year.
Among the top-five, the 116-point interval between first and fifth in 1986 was the prior closest in that span. Keep in mind, however, the number of races on the 1986 season’s schedule has long been surpassed by the amount of races run to this point already in 2020.
Below, you’ll see the full rundown of all the point differentials between first and fourth, plus first and fifth, between 1983-present for the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship.
Friday at Bloomington, pits open at 4pm ET, grandstands at 5pm, drivers meeting at 5:45pm and hot laps at 6:30pm. General admission tickets are $25 while children age 10 and under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece, with kids age 10 and under $15. You may use your Bloomington Speedway Indiana Sprint Week tickets if they have not been used for the Lincoln Park Speedway Indiana Sprint Week Show. Modifieds are also on the event card.
Saturday at Lincoln Park, pits open at 3pm ET, grandstands at 4pm, drivers meeting at 5:30pm and hot laps at 6pm. General admission tickets are $25 while children age 10 and under are free. Pit passes are $35 with kids 10 and under free.
At Lincoln Park, the racing program will have the last four laps of the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car semi-feature and the 30-lap feature from the rained out July event, plus another full USAC Sprint event featuring qualifying, heat races, last chance races and a second 30-lap feature. Modifieds and Super Stocks will also be in action.
Tickets will be available at the gate, but you can purchase your tickets in advance at http://usactickets.com.
All three events will streamed live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2Zs7zFP.
USAC NATIONAL SPRINT POINT RACES ENTERING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER:
1983: Top-4 separated by 183, Top-5 separated by 196
1984: Top-4 separated by 265, Top-5 separated by 272
1985: Top-4 separated by 411, Top-5 separated by 457
1986: Top-4 separated by 99, Top-5 separated by 116
1987: Top-4 separated by 145, Top-5 separated by 195
1988: Top-4 separated by 204, Top-5 separated by 221
1989: Top-4 separated by 215, Top-5 separated by 244
1990: Top-4 separated by 387, Top-5 separated by 599
1991: Top-4 separated by 566, Top-5 separated by 575
1992: Top-4 separated by 245, Top-5 separated by 337
1993: Top-4 separated by 279, Top-5 separated by 352
1994: Top-4 separated by 162, Top-5 separated by 316
1995: Top-4 separated by 177, Top-5 separated by 232
1996: Top-4 separated by 199, Top-5 separated by 387
1997: Top-4 separated by 577, Top-5 separated by 589
1998: Top-4 separated by 445, Top-5 separated by 451
1999: Top-4 separated by 609, Top-5 separated by 851
2000: Top-4 separated by 236, Top-5 separated by 245
2001: Top-4 separated by 170, Top-5 separated by 309
2002: Top-4 separated by 453, Top-5 separated by 480
2003: Top-4 separated by 544, Top-5 separated by 721
2004: Top-4 separated by 236, Top-5 separated by 414
2005: Top-4 separated by 124, Top-5 separated by 143
2006: Top-4 separated by 139, Top-5 separated by 152
2007: Top-4 separated by 300, Top-5 separated by 356
2008: Top-4 separated by 100, Top-5 separated by 158
2009: Top-4 separated by 216, Top-5 separated by 336
2010: Top-4 separated by 232, Top-5 separated by 269
2011: Top-4 separated by 151, Top-5 separated by 152
2012: Top-4 separated by 128, Top-5 separated by 245
2013: Top-4 separated by 157, Top-5 separated by 215
2014: Top-4 separated by 92, Top-5 separated by 223
2015: Top-4 separated by 149, Top-5 separated by 241
2016: Top-4 separated by 241, Top-5 separated by 344
2017: Top-4 separated by 178, Top-5 separated by 184
2018: Top-4 separated by 221, Top-5 separated by 244
2019: Top-4 separated by 177, Top-5 separated by 178
2020: Top-4 separated by 18, Top-5 separated by 46