By Richie Murray
Brandon, South Dakota (September 8, 2021)………The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship travels up and down the road, north, south, east and west throughout the 2021 season.
This weekend, however, marks the series’ northernmost road trip of the year, to Brandon, South Dakota’s Huset’s Speedway for three consecutive nights of doubleheaders with the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 10-11-12.
The inaugural Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals marks the first-ever USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car points races in the state of South Dakota. Two previous series events were held at Huset’s in 2016 but were scored as non-points special events.
All three nights this weekend will pay feature points only, but it pays big time in the wallet too with Friday and Saturday paying $5,000-to-win while Sunday night’s finale is $20,000-to-win and $1,000 to start as part of a total three-night purse totaling in excess of $200,000.
A number of drivers entered for this weekend’s event were in competition during the 2016 races at Huset’s. Seven-time 2021 series winner Justin Grant finished 3rd and 2nd on each night five years ago. Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) led the first 16 laps en route to a 2nd place finish on night one in 2016 and followed it up with a 5th on night two.
Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) won his heat and finished 4th in the 2016 opener. Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) recorded the fastest lap ever turned by a USAC Sprint Car at Huset’s in 2016 with a time of 12.711. He won his heat and finished 6th on the first night, then collected a 7th place result on the second of two nights.
Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) was the hard charger in his Huset’s debut, racing from 18th to 8th. The 2015 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car titlist notched a 10th the following night. Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.), the 2017 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ, was 10th on opening night 2016.
A pair of USAC National Sprint Car champions ran into trouble during their visit to Huset’s in 2016. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) flipped on his qualifying run and was a scratch for the remainder of the weekend. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) flipped during the feature just four laps from the finish, which knocked him out of competition for the weekend. Clinton Bruns (Little Rock, Iowa) missed the transfer spot for the 2016 race but will try to find a bit of redemption this weekend.
USAC regulars making their first Huset’s visits this weekend include three-time 2021 USAC Sprint Car feature winners Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) and Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.), plus the seventh-place ranking driver in the standings, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.).
They’re joined by USAC National Sprint Car feature winners Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) as well as 2018 USAC Southwest Sprint Car champ Charles Davis Jr (Buckeye, Ariz.) and 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Ind.).
Isaac Chapple (Willow Branch, Ind.), the 2016 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year, will make his first run at Huset’s as will POWRi WAR Sprint Car point leader Mario Clouser (Auburn, Ill.), and sprint car Rookies Alex Banales (Lafayette, Ind.) and Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colo.).
Chad Frewaldt (Kansas City, Kan.) comes to Huset’s from the Great Plains as does Robert Bell (Colfax, Iowa), while several drivers from the region within earshot of Huset’s will be on hand, including Minnesotans Jeff Pellersels (Woodbury, Minn.), Tony Rustad (Pipestone, Minn.), Jori Hughes (Tower, Minn.) and Cam Schafer (Little Canada, Minn.).
Wyoming driver Zac Taylor (Green River, Wyo.) has won a heat race in USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship competition this season. He’ll be on hand at Huset’s as will David Zitterich (Sioux Falls, S.D.).
A Thursday practice night begins the festivities for both divisions on September 9 starting at 6pm Central. Pit gates will open at Noon Central, and the front gates will open at 4pm. Pit passes are $20 for practice night and the stands will be open to all fans for free admission. Engine heat takes place at 5pm, followed by a quick drivers meeting at 5:45pm, then moving right along into the first practice session at 6pm.
For the first two nights of racing at Huset’s on Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11, pit gates open at Noon Central. The front gates will open at 4pm with the drivers meeting at 3:30pm and engine heat and cars on track at 5:15pm. The Sprint Car and Midget features will each pay $5,000 to win on Friday and Saturday.
On the final night, championship night, on Sunday, Sept. 12, pit gates open at Noon Central. The front gates will open at 3pm with the drivers meeting at 4:15pm and cars on track at 4:45pm. The Sprint Car and Midget features will each pay $20,000 to win on Sunday.
General admission tickets each night are $35 for adults, $20 for youths age 6-12 and free for children age 5 and under. Reserved tickets are available now in advance at www.USACnationals.com.
If you can’t make it to the event in person, all three nights of racing action at the Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals will be aired live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2ZpafUr.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-2085, 2-Kevin Thomas Jr.-2041, 3-Justin Grant-2034, 4-C.J. Leary-1842, 5-Tanner Thorson-1821, 6-Chris Windom-1753, 7-Jake Swanson-1686, 8-Robert Ballou-1618, 9-Chase Stockon-1332, 10-Kyle Cummins-1163.
PAST HUSET’S SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINNERS:
2016: Chad Boespflug (8/20) & Chad Boespflug (8/21)
TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CARS AT HUSET’S SPEEDWAY:
1 Lap – 8/20/2016 – Kevin Thomas Jr. – 12.711
PAST HUSET’S SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RESULTS:
2016 NIGHT #1 FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Thomas Meseraull, 5. Brady Short, 6. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 7. Ryan Bernal, 8. Robert Ballou, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Chris Windom, 11. Bud Kaeding, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Dustin Smith, 14. Mark Dobmeier, 15. Rob Caho, Jr., 16. Tim Kaeding, 17. Mike Martin, 18. Matt Goodnight, 19. Alex Schriever, 20. Scotty Weir, 21. Bret Mellenberndt, 22. Brady Bacon, 23. Dylan Peterson, 24. Landon Simon. NT
2016 NIGHT #2 FEATURE: (35 laps) 1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Bud Kaeding, 4. Ryan Bernal, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Dustin Smith, 7. Kevin Thomas Jr., 8. Brady Short, 9. Scotty Weir, 10. Robert Ballou, 11. Dave Darland, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Mark Dobmeier, 14. Alex Schriever, 15. Landon Simon, 16. Thomas Meseraull, 17. Chris Windom, 18. Matt Goodnight, 19. Rob Caho Jr., 20. Mike Martin, 21. Bret Mellenberndt, 22. Dylan Peterson, 23. Tim Kaeding, 24. Aaron Reutzel. NT