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USAC is Back...at the Speedrome

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  • USAC is Back...at the Speedrome


    The United States Auto Club returns to the
    historic and newly-repaved
    Indianapolis Speedrome in 2004, with regular
    Wednesday night
    "tripleheaders," featuring three different types
    of Midget Car competition
    on what is being billed as "Open Wheel
    Race organizer Joel Cohen will debut the unique
    USAC "tripleheaders" at his
    1/5-mile paved oval on May 5 and USAC racing will
    extend through August 18
    and include "regional" Midget, Ford Focus Midget
    and Kenyon Midget
    competition. The 2004 USAC Indianapolis Speedrome
    schedule is also expected
    to contain "National" involvement, with
    information regarding those dates
    yet to be finalized for release.
    "USAC is back," pronounced Cohen, the track
    owner and race organizer. "We
    look forward to USAC's return and to an
    open-wheel Wednesday we feel
    restores the rich tradition of history already
    established here." The track
    records will most certainly be in jeopardy in
    2004, with a new track
    crack-free surface replacing the old one, work
    slated to begin in November.
    USAC Midget racing at the Speedrome dates back
    to 1958 and in the ensuing
    45 years USAC has conducted 376 total events at
    the track, including 337
    featuring the Midgets. Gene Hartley won the
    initial USAC race there, a
    50-lap Midget feature on August 3, 1958. From
    1981 through 1999 (except for
    1988 and 1989) a "regional" series was conducted
    at the storied track.
    Special USAC events there included 500-lap Midget
    races in 1981, 1982 and
    1983. The track has also hosted USAC events in
    late models and modifieds.
    "USAC is pleased to return to the Indianapolis
    Speedrome and particularly
    pleased at the avenue this new program opens for
    aspiring drivers with three
    basic levels of competition," added USAC
    President/CEO Rollie Helmling. "A
    great tradition of excellent racing already
    exists between USAC and the
    Speedrome and we are excited that we are able to
    expand that rich heritage
    in a new and exciting format."
    Involvement with the Kenyon Midget Cars is not
    new, with the Kenyon Cars as
    a conjunctive event with the USAC "regional"
    Midgets in the late-1990s, but
    USAC sanctioning will be new for that series.
    "I'm really excited about the
    prospects for the future," said Don Kenyon, whose
    innovative ideas have been
    instrumental in creating this new form of Midget
    racing. "USAC's progressive
    ladder is now complete and I'm proud to be a
    bigger part of it." Don and
    brother Mel, a 7-time USAC National Midget
    Champion, have long been USAC
    participants and between them own 11 National car
    owner championships.
    Eric Bunn, National Director of the USAC Ford
    Focus Midget Car Series,
    adds: "Ford's involvement in this Wednesday night
    program is a natural and
    our participants are extremely excited about a
    regular weekly program of
    competition. We expect this to augment our
    newly-expanded Midwest Series and
    anticipate continued growth of this new and
    exciting form of motorsports."
    Numerous drivers have progressed from Speedrome
    competition to the
    Indianapolis 500, including Gene Hartley, Eddie
    Johnson, Jimmy Davies, Mel
    Kenyon, Chuck Rodee, Rich Vogler, Bob Wente,
    Larry Rice, Tom Bigelow, John
    Andretti, Tony Stewart and Rick Treadway.
    "Racing USAC Midgets at the Indianapolis
    Speedrome was a great opportunity
    to prepare myself for racing in USAC, Indy Cars
    and NASCAR," stated John
    Andretti. "The competition really helped me to
    hone my skills as a driver
    and learn how to race safe, fast and clean. I
    can't think of a better place
    for a young driver to get a start or for an
    experienced driver to enjoy the
    fun and excitement of the best open-wheel oval
    track racing."
    Dates on the USAC calendar for 2004 at the
    Indianapolis Speedrome are May
    5, 12 and 19, June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, July 7,
    14, 21 and 28 and August 4,
    11 and 18.


  • #2
    This should be fun (but I hope they don't try 33 midgets @ one time again!)


    • #3
      I'll be there for those USAC national events. I only live five minutes away from the track but haven't been there at all in the last few years.
      If I were Ed Carpenter and you were a lady...


      • #4
        Hate to ask this, but must. Is this the final nail in the NAMARS coffin?


        • #5
          Originally posted by DannyB
          Hate to ask this, but must. Is this the final nail in the NAMARS coffin?
          I'm afraid it is Danny. With USAC forming the Ford Focus Series, that kind of took away from all the newcomers starting out in NAMARS. The only events of their's that I really enjoyed was the Indiana 5-Crown. Most of the races, though, consisted of lower budget teams. But it was where the Fikes, Westfall, etc. all got their start.
          If I were Ed Carpenter and you were a lady...


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