By Richie Murray
Haubstadt, Indiana (September 15, 2020)………In recent times, nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and Kyle Cummins winning at Tri-State Speedway. Or so it seems, at least.
Cummins, of Princeton, Ind., continued his immaculate season at the quarter-mile dirt oval in Haubstadt, Ind. during the 2019 Haubstadt Hustler en route to an undefeated season in a sprint car at TSS.
At that time 12 months ago, it was his seventh feature win in seven tries as he picked up his second career Haubstadt Hustler victory after collecting the $10,000-to-win 40-lap feature co-sanctioned by the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and the Midwest Sprint Car Series. He’d eventually win all nine of his sprint car starts during the 2019 season at the track.
This Saturday night, September 19, in the 13th annual Haubstadt Hustler at Tri-State, Cummins comes in as the most recent USAC winner at Tri-State, capturing the Indiana Sprint Week round there on August 2. Unsurprisingly, his resume at the Haubstadt Hustler is top-notch. His two victories in 2016 & 19 are joined by a 2nd in 2017, a 3rd in 2010 & 14 and a 5th in 2013.
The only driver to have achieved more Haubstadt Hustler victories than Cummins is Kevin Thomas Jr. Thomas (Cullman, Ala.) has won the event three times, in 2013-17-18, and his five overall USAC Sprint Car feature wins at Tri-State are tied with Cummins and Daron Clayton as the most all-time. Thomas also collected a 2nd at the Hustler in 2015, plus a 4th in 2016 and a 7th in 2012.
Brady Short (Bedford, Ind.) notched the victory in the 2015 Haubstadt Hustler, one of his two career USAC Sprint wins at “The Class Track.” He’s also recorded runner-up finishes in the inaugural edition of the event in 2008 and again in 2013, a 3rd in 2009, a 7th in 2017 and 9th in 2019.
Five more drivers – Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou, Dave Darland, Chase Stockon and Chris Windom – have prior USAC National Sprint Car wins at Tri-State but are seeking a first Haubstadt Hustler triumph this Saturday. Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) won there in early 2015. The two-time USAC National Sprint champ’s Haubstadt Hustler record has a 3rd in 2013, 4th in 2015, 5th in 2011, 8th in 2014 & 19 and a 9th in 2016.
Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.), won the 2014 Indiana Sprint Week finale at TSS. He’s come close twice to taking home the top honors at the Haubstadt Hustler, finishing 2nd in 2014, 3rd in 2012, 7th in both 2015 & 18 and 8th in 2017. The 2015 USAC National Sprint titlist notched a fast qualifying time at the 2018 Haubstadt Hustler.
Darland (Lincoln, Ind.) made the journey to victory lane in the 2018 ISW finale at TSS. That same year, the 1999 series champion equaled his best Haubstadt Hustler result with a 4th, which he also achieved in 2012. A 6th place finish in 2015 is among one of his four top-ten results in the event as well as 9th in 2009.
Chase Stockon, from nearby Fort Branch, Ind., captured his lone TSS USAC Sprint score in the Spring of 2016. The southwestern Indiana track also holds a special place in his racing career as it was the location where he clinched the Indiana Sprint Week title earlier this year back in August. His Haubstadt Hustler stat sheet displays constant consistency with eight top-tens during the decade of the 2010s, with three consecutive 5th place runs between 2014-15-16 serving as his best to go along with a 6th in 2013, a 7th in 2019, an 8th in both 2010 & 18 and a 10th in 2012.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) corralled his TSS USAC victory nearly one year to the day of Stockon’s in April of 2017. His five top-tens in the Haubstadt Hustler have had him pilot his ride to 5th in both 2012 and 2019, plus a 6th in 2016-17 and 8th in 2015.
Drivers who’ve been successful in year’s past at the Haubstadt Hustler who are primed to score a first victory in the event include C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.), who’s led 44 total laps over the past two installments of the race that led to finishes of 2nd in 2018 and 3rd in 2019, which serve as his two best performances. The reigning series champ also took home 9th place results in 2015 & 17.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) was the fastest qualifier at the 2019 Haubstadt Hustler, but ran into trouble just before midway of the feature event, ending his best run as of yet in the event. His best final placement at the “Hustler” came in 2016 where he finished 8th followed by a 10th in 2017.
Veteran Critter Malone (Pittsboro, Ind.) has annually made the haul to TSS to compete in USAC Sprint Car events throughout the past decade. At the Haubstadt Hustler, the two-time USAC National Midget feature winner turned in his best performance yet in the 2019 race, finishing 6th. The son of former longtime USAC Chief Starter Shim Malone was 7th in 2010 and 10th in 2011 at the “Hustler.”
Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.), a winner if both USAC National Sprint and Silver Crown competition in 2020, was a personal-best 3rd in the 2016 Haubstadt Hustler to go along with a 10th in 2013. Dakota Jackson (Elizabethtown, Ind.) put in his best career USAC result in the 2015 race, finishing 3rd. Likewise, Kendall Ruble (Vincennes, Ind.) punched in a career best 4th with USAC in the 2019 race.
Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) will be making his first career Haubstadt Hustler appearance this Saturday. He set fast time during qualifying for the Indiana Sprint Week round at TSS in August, ultimately finishing 12th in the main event. His first ever USAC Sprint Car ride at Tri-State resulted in a 3rd place finish in the Spring of 2018.
Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Ind.), a 9th place TSS finisher this past June, leads the USAC National Sprint Car Rookie point standings by 41 points over Anton Hernandez (Arlington, Texas). Rogers enters as a Haubstadt Hustler Rookie himself as does Hernandez. Rogers’ ride, the Randy Edwards #61m, won its first USAC National Sprint Car feature this past June with Stephen Schnapf as the driver.
Garrett Aitken (Paris, Ill.) is another driver who has yet to make a Haubstadt Hustler appearance. His performance at TSS during Indiana Sprint Week came as he posed a fierce challenge to Cummins for the lead before finishing 4th, his best career USAC result.
The $10,000-to-win event will utilize the format regularly utilized by the Midwest Sprint Car Series. The night will be led off by group qualifying to set the heat race lineups and conclude with a 40-lap feature event.
USAC and MSCS have co-sanctioned the event since 2011. The first three events held in 2008-09-10 came under the MSCS banner solely. Jeff Bland Jr. was victorious in the inaugural Haubstadt Hustler in 2008.
This is a 50% capacity event. Adult general admission tickets are $25, students (ages 13-18) are $20 and 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at the gates. Pit passes are $35 apiece.
Pits open Saturday at 3pm Central, with grandstands opening at 4pm and cars on track at 6pm.
You can watch Saturday’s Haubstadt Hustler LIVE on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2Zs7zFP.
HAUBSTADT HUSTLER WINNERS: 2008: Jeff Bland Jr., 2009: Bryan Clauson, 2010: Jon Stanbrough, 2011: Casey Riggs, 2012: Daron Clayton, 2013: Kevin Thomas Jr., 2014: Daron Clayton, 2015: Brady Short, 2016: Kyle Cummins, 2017: Kevin Thomas Jr., 2018: Kevin Thomas Jr., 2019: Kyle Cummins
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS
5-Daron Clayton, Kyle Cummins & Kevin Thomas, Jr.
2-Hunter Schuerenberg, Brady Short & Jon Stanbrough
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, Stephen Schnapf, 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) & Kyle Cummins (9/14)
2020: Stephen Schnapf (6/14) & Kyle Cummins (8/2)