By Richie Murray
Terre Haute, Indiana (May 24, 2021)………The four most recent winners of the Sumar Classic will be among the 32 entries ready to hit the ground running this Thursday night, May 27, for the 19th running of the Sumar Classic at Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track, the 2021 season opener for the USAC Silver Crown National Championship.
Benton, Illinois’ Shane Cockrum (2015), Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary (2016), Canton, Illinois’ Chris Windom (2017) and Ione, California’s Justin Grant (2018) have won each of the last four 100-lap visits by the “Big Cars” of USAC, which haven’t competed at the half-mile dirt oval since 2018.
Those four will join six past USAC Silver Crown winners who are seeking their first Sumar Classic victories, including USAC National Champions Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and career Triple Crown champion Jerry Coons Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.), plus 2020 Silver Crown season opener winner Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.), David Byrne (Shullsburg, Wis.) and Eric Gordon (Fortville, Ind.).
Eight more drivers have won in USAC National competition before but are absent a victory in USAC’s Silver Crown series entering the week: 2015 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car king Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) and 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champ Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.).
They are joined by Terre Haute USAC Sprint winners Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) and Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.), plus May MSCS Terre Haute Sprint victor Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.) as well as Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.), Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) and former Terre Haute USAC Sprint Car track record holder Dave Peperak, who will make his first USAC Silver Crown appearance since 1983!
USAC Silver Crown Rookies of the Year, Fort Collins, Colorado’s Bryan Gossel (2020) and New Castle, Indiana’s Kyle Robbins (2018), are flanked by 2017 USAC West Coast Sprint Car champ Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) and 2014 USAC HPD Midget champion Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio).
Recent USAC CRA Sprint winner Chase Johnson (Penngrove, Calif.) will be making his USAC Silver Crown debut, joining teammate Matt Goodnight (Winchester, Ind.), plus veterans Travis Welpott (Pendleton, Ind.), Mike Haggenbottom (Levittown, Pa.), Dave Berkheimer (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Ronnie Wuerdeman (Cincinnati, Ohio), Casey Buckman (Chandler, Ariz.), Chris Fetter (Troy, Mo.), Jimmy Light (West Springfield, Pa.) and Terry Babb (Decatur, Ill.), a 4th place finisher at the Sumar Classic in 2010.
Thursday will mark the 20th appearance by the USAC Silver Crown National Championship at Terre Haute since Gary Bettenhausen’s triumph in November of 1980. Donnie Beechler captured the victory in the inaugural Sumar Classic held in 1995.
Pits open at 2pm EDT, grandstands at 3pm, hot laps at 6:30pm with racing to follow. Adult general admission tickets are $30. Infield admission is $20. Pit passes are $35. Scott’s Custom Colors DIRTcar Modifieds will also be in action.
Advance tickets for both the Sumar Classic and the preceding night’s Tony Hulman Classic USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car race at Terre Haute on Wednesday, May 26, are on sale now at www.tracpass.com. Tickets will also be available at the gate on each race day.
The Sumar Classic will be streamed live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3dgONXz.
2021 SUMAR CLASSIC ENTRY LIST: (32 CARS)
06 BRYAN GOSSEL/Fort Collins, CO (Gossel)
3 CHASE STOCKON/Fort Branch, IN (Simmons)
6 JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK (Klatt)
7 KYLE ROBBINS/New Castle, IN (KR)
9 TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Dyson)
10 JAKE SWANSON/Anaheim, CA (DMW)
16 AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko)
17 CHASE JOHNSON/Penngrove, CA (Goodnight)
18 TRAVIS WELPOTT/Pendleton, IN (Welpott)
22 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Rice)
24 MIKE HAGGENBOTTOM/Levittown, PA (Haggenbottom)
26 KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL (Pierce)
30 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Leary)
31 DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA (Berkheimer)
33 RONNIE WUERDEMAN/Cincinnati, OH (Wuerdeman)
39 MATT GOODNIGHT/Winchester, IN (Goodnight)
40 DAVID BYRNE/Shullsburg, WI (Byrne)
53 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Five Three)
54 MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH (Westfall)
55 JERRY COONS JR./Tucson, AZ (Bateman)
66 ROBERT BALLOU/Rocklin, CA (Rose)
69 KYLE CUMMINS/Princeton, IN (Pink 69)
71 SHANE COCKRUM/Benton, IL (BLS)
74 CASEY BUCKMAN/Chandler, AZ (C-Buck Racing)
81 SHANE COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Williams)
88 CHRIS FETTER/Troy, MO (Fetter)
91 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn)
97 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Lein)
99 ERIC GORDON/Fortville, IN (Armstrong)
123 JIMMY LIGHT/West Springfield, PA (Two-Three)
177 DAVE PEPERAK/Clinton, IN (Peperak)
188 TERRY BABB/Decatur, IL (Babb)