By Richie Murray
Indianapolis, Indiana (December 9, 2021)………Fifty-one events are slated for the 67th season of USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship competition in 2022, beginning as far south as Florida before hitting mid-season tours as far east as New Jersey and as far north as South Dakota, then rounding out the season with the crowning a new champion out west in California.
A number of events marks returns to venues after lengthy absences, in addition to first-time tracks and an array of changeups from recent years.
The series last competed at Chillicothe, Ohio’s Atomic Speedway in 2010, albeit briefly, before rain washed away the remainder of the program. On April 16 of this year, USAC is back 28 years following its last feature event at the 3/8-mile dirt oval in 1994.
A hearty mid-May weekend makes a jaunt across the Mississippi River for three-straight USAC National Sprint Car races. Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. reenters the fold on May 12 after last holding a series race in 2017. The following night’s venue, U.S. 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo., is the lone first-time host on the series schedule, which will be held on May 13. To round out the weekend, it’s off to I-70 Motorsports Park in Odessa, Mo., which was last visited by the series in 1996 when it was still pavement. The one and only occasion of USAC Sprint Car racing at I-70 on dirt came in 1982.
The 52nd annual Tony Hulman Classic is the longest-tenured race on the series’ schedule, dating back to 1971. The event has moved to the weekend for the upcoming season and has now doubled in size, going from one night to two on May 20-21, where it will now occupy two boxes on the calendar, with the second of two nights now paying $10,000-to-win for at Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track.
Indiana’s newest dirt track, Circle City Raceway in Indianapolis, is slated for two consecutive events during the Week of Indy, on May 25-26, with the second night there also paying $10,000-to-win.
A Badgerland weekend brings the USAC Sprint Cars to the state of Wisconsin on June 25-26. The first of the two nights takes the series to Wilmot Raceway for the first time since 2012 while Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie rolls out the red carpet for Thunder & Lightning division action after an absence since 2015.
The bulk of the schedule consists of tried and true, popular annual events across the board, starting off the campaign with Winter Dirt Games XIII at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. for three-straight nights on Feb. 17-18-19, with the latter of the trio of evenings paying $10,000 to the winner.
Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway kicks off the first Midwest race of the season on April 2 with southern Indiana staples, Bloomington Speedway and Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt serving up early season affairs on April 29 for the Larry Rice Classic and on April 30 for the Spring Showdown, respectively.
May brings us horsepower in the form of two-straight Eldora Speedway stops for #LetsRaceTwo alongside the NOS Energy Drink World of Outlaws on May 6-7 at the Rossburg, Ohio half-mile, both USAC events paying $10,000-to-win each night.
Eastern Storm takes the stage featuring six races in six nights during mid-June in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, starting at Grandview Speedway on June 14, Bridgeport (N.J.) Motorsports Park on June 15, Selinsgrove Speedway on June 16, and a return to Williams Grove Speedway for the initial time since 2018. The series rounds out with a USAC Silver Crown / USAC National Sprint Car doubleheader on June 18 at Port Royal Speedway with the Eastern Storm finale set for June 19 at Bloomsburg Fair Raceway.
The Bill Gardner Sprintacular is annually spectacular, and the event provides back-to-back nights of activity on July 1-2 at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind., the finale paying $10,000 to the victor.
The following week, the series makes the trek to Brandon, South Dakota for the second edition of the Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals, with three nights of USAC National Sprint Car and USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget doubleheaders on the card for July 8-9-10, the finale of which pays $20,000 for the triumphant driver.
The 35th edition of Indiana Sprint Week has expanded to eight events over a nine-night span between July 22-30, featuring seven familiar Hoosier-state venues as well as a first-time host on the annual USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship summer tour.
Gas City, Kokomo, Lawrenceburg, Terre Haute, Lincoln Park, Bloomington and Tri-State will be joined by Circle City in making 2022 tied for the largest ever Indiana Sprint Week slate. An eight-race schedule has also previously taken place in 2007 and 2019.
Sprint Car Smackdown XI welcomes USAC National Sprint Cars for three nights at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway on August 25-26-27, with a $15,000 top prize going to the winning driver on the final, championship night.
The final month of the season brings more high-powered, lucrative paying events with the $12,000-to-win Haubstadt Hustler on Sept. 17 at Tri-State Speedway, followed by the James Dean Classic at Indiana’s Gas City I-69 Speedway on Sept. 22, which leads right into the $10,000-to-win 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora on Sept. 24 and the $10,000-to-win Fall Nationals at Lawrenceburg on Oct. 1.
USAC Sprints close out the 2022 campaign on Nov. 3-4-5 with the Oval Nationals at California’s Perris Auto Speedway, which concludes with a $15,000 payday going to the winner of the 26th running of the event.
Four TBA events are posted on the schedule during the latter stages of the season on September 16, September 30, October 28 and October 29.
2022 USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE:
Feb 17: Bubba Raceway Park | Ocala, FL | Winter Dirt Games
Feb 18: Bubba Raceway Park | Ocala, FL | Winter Dirt Games
Feb 19: Bubba Raceway Park | Ocala, FL | Winter Dirt Games
Apr 2: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN
Apr 16: Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, OH
Apr 29: Bloomington Speedway | Bloomington, IN | Larry Rice Classic
Apr 30: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN | Spring Showdown
May 6: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH | #LetsRaceTwo
May 7: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH | #LetsRaceTwo
May 12: Lakeside Speedway | Kansas City, KS
May 13: U.S. 36 Raceway | Osborn, MO
May 14: I-70 Motorsports Park | Odessa, MO
May 20: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN
May 21: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN | Tony Hulman Classic
May 25: Circle City Raceway | Indianapolis, IN | Week of Indy
May 26: Circle City Raceway | Indianapolis, IN | Week of Indy
Jun 14: Grandview Speedway | Bechtelsville, PA | Eastern Storm / Jesse Hockett Classic
Jun 15: Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, NJ | Eastern Storm
Jun 16: Selinsgrove Speedway | Selinsgrove, PA | Eastern Storm
Jun 17: Williams Grove Speedway | Mechanicsburg, PA | Eastern Storm
Jun 18: Port Royal Speedway | Port Royal, PA | Eastern Storm
Jun 19: Bloomsburg Fair Raceway | Bloomsburg, PA | Eastern Storm
Jun 25: Wilmot Raceway | Wilmot, WI
Jun 26: Angell Park Speedway | Sun Prairie, WI
Jul 1: Lincoln Park Speedway | Putnamville, IN | Bill Gardner Sprintacular
Jul 2: Lincoln Park Speedway | Putnamville, IN | Bill Gardner Sprintacular
Jul 8: Huset’s Speedway | Brandon, SD | Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals
Jul 9: Huset’s Speedway | Brandon, SD | Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals
Jul 10: Huset’s Speedway | Brandon, SD | Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals
Jul 22: Gas City I-69 Speedway | Gas City, IN | Indiana Sprint Week
Jul 23: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN | Indiana Sprint Week
Jul 24: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN | Indiana Sprint Week
Jul 25: Circle City Raceway | Indianapolis, IN | Indiana Sprint Week
Jul 27: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN | Indiana Sprint Week / Don Smith Classic
Jul 28: Lincoln Park Speedway | Putnamville, IN | Indiana Sprint Week
Jul 29: Bloomington Speedway | Bloomington, IN | Indiana Sprint Week / Sheldon Kinser Memorial
Jul 30: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN | Indiana Sprint Week
Aug 25: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN | Sprint Car Smackdown
Aug 26: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN | Sprint Car Smackdown
Aug 27: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN | Sprint Car Smackdown
Sep 16: TBA
Sep 17: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN | Haubstadt Hustler
Sep 22: Gas City I-69 Speedway | Gas City, IN | James Dean Classic
Sep 24: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH | 4-Crown Nationals
Sep 30: TBA
Oct 1: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN | Fall Nationals
Oct 28: TBA
Oct 29: TBA
Nov 3: Perris Auto Speedway | Perris, CA | Oval Nationals
Nov 4: Perris Auto Speedway | Perris, CA | Oval Nationals
Nov 5: Perris Auto Speedway | Perris, CA | Oval Nationals