River Town Makeup Ahead For USAC Sprints

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River Town Makeup
Chris Windom (5g) battles Tyler Courtney at Tri-City Speedway in May. (Brad Plant photo)

GRANITE CITY, Ill. – Just a little over three months since the series’ last visit, the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series makes its return to Tri-City Speedway on Aug. 30 for the finale of the Brandt River Town Showdown.

Chris Windom won the first round of the Showdown at Tri-City back in May, leading the final 10 laps to score the victory after starting fifth. The Canton, Ill., native was a force all night, qualifying second overall and winning his heat from the sixth spot.

The 2016 USAC Silver Crown and 2017 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car titlist finished sixth in his first appearance there in 2018.

Tyler Courtney, who was the fast qualifier twice in a USAC sprint car at Tri-City this year, biked and pirouetted against the outside turn four wall while running fourth with seven to go in the feature, putting him out for the rest of the race and ending in a 14th-place finish.

Last Saturday’s Sprint Car Smackdown champ at Kokomo Speedway also won last year’s Labor Day Weekend USAC sprint car show at Tri-City and was victorious in this past May’s USAC midget round at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval.

Carson Short has one career AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car victory back in 2016 at another Tri track in Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind.

He came oh-so-close to picking up his second at Tri-City in May, leading nine laps and finishing second behind Windom after charging from eighth.

Kevin Thomas Jr. finished third behind Short in May after leading six laps early in the going. The Cullman, Ala., driver was the fastest qualifier at Tri-City a year ago and was charging hard at the end before coming up just short to Courtney, finishing second.

Thomas has won once this season on the red clay of Bloomington and is eager to get back to victory lane this Friday.

Chase Stockon started on the outside of the front row and finished eighth in May after leading the first five laps of the feature. Friday could very well be a milestone night for Fort Branch, Indiana’s Stockon if he starts the main event.

He made his 284th consecutive AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series feature start last Saturday at Kokomo, tying the mark set by five-time series champ Levi Jones. One more would set the new standard, making Stockon the ultimate ironman for the series.

Series point leader C.J. Leary won his heat and took fourth in May’s sprint feature at Tri-City after charging forward from ninth. In 2018 at Tri-City, Leary led the first nine laps before encountering trouble and dropping back to a 20th place finish.

There hasn’t been much trouble from Leary this season, with 23 top-ten finishes in 24 series starts, pushing him to a 121-point lead in the standings entering Friday’s race.

Isaac Chapple has one top-five coming into Friday, and it came at Tri-City in May, where he bolted from the 15th starting spot to finish fifth right at the line on the final lap.

The year prior, the Willow Branch, Ind., native captured a heat race triumph and ran 11th in the feature.

Only Courtney has won more often in AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series competition this year than Brady Bacon, a four-time victor on the trail in 2019. Bacon, from Broken Arrow, Okla., was ninth in May in a sprint car at Tri-City, and he also led five laps in that night’s midget feature.

The two-time AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car champion was third in the USAC sprint stop at Tri-City in 2018.

Bacon’s Broken Arrow brethren, Jason McDougal, dropped a driveshaft while hovering around the top-ten in May, ultimately finishing 17th.

A one-time winner in both the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series and NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series this year, McDougal won his heat and finished 18th in his sprint debut at Tri-City in 2018.

Justin Grant was involved in a second lap accident in May’s go at Tri-City that knocked him out of contention after starting third, finishing 19th in the end. He took home an eighth-place result in 2018. In the midget this past spring at Tri-City was a better story, in which Grant finished third after starting on the front row.

The Ione, Calif. driver was victorious in last Wednesday’s #GYATK Night AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series special event.

Those individuals and a whole host of others are ready to give Tri-City another try for the 22nd time in series history.

Jay Drake, Jack Hewitt, Danny Smith, Greg Weld and Doug Wolfgang each have scored two victories at Tri-City, while Steve Butler, Tyler Courtney, Rick Hood, Kelly Kinser, Ralph Liguori, Troy Rutherford (non-points), Randy Standridge, Tony Stewart, Sammy Swindell, Chris Windom and Josh Wise have one each.

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