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4JO: Lawrenceburg Hosts USAC Sprints Midwest Opener


Nick Bilbee, Mitchel Moles, and Carson Garret battle at Lawrenceburg Speedway. The 'Burg will host the USAC National Sprint Car tour's midwest opener Saturday, April 13. Photo courtesy: USAC Media - Photographer: Steve Koletar Photo

Series News Release - USAC Media


Lawrenceburg, Indiana (April 11, 2024)………4JO.


The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway race on in the memory of the 2022 track champion this Saturday night, April 13, with the inaugural running of the Justin Owen Memorial.


As we race on with the thoughts of Justin on our minds, we race on at a place that was a like a second home to him, where he made himself a fan favorite and where we created a lasting legacy that continues on inside the heart and soul of racers, crew members, track workers and fans alike this weekend.



A PERFECT 10!


Ten Spring dates. Ten Spring winners.


That’s the lay of the land for the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship as the series arrives at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway this Saturday night for the series’ Midwest season opener.


In the time Lawrenceburg has greeted USAC with an April date since 2006, the result has seen 10 races and 10 different winning drivers emerge: Jon Stanbrough (2006), Levi Jones (2007), Josh Wise (2009), Jerry Coons Jr. (2010), Kevin Thomas Jr. (2013), Justin Grant (2014), Logan Jarrett (2015), Dave Darland (2016), Chris Windom (2017) and Brady Bacon (2021).


At least three of those drivers will attempt to become the breakthrough artist this Saturday night as they try to chip through the stranglehold that has seen nary a repeat victor throughout all these years: Kevin Thomas Jr., Justin Grant and Brady Bacon.

 


JG FOR THREE!


Plenty of drivers have captured two consecutive USAC National Sprint Car feature wins at Lawrenceburg over the years. Rick Hood was the first to do so in 1985-86, and in the following years, Brian Tyler (1997), Dave Darland (1998), Jon Stanbrough (2003-04), Kevin Thomas Jr. (2013), Brady Bacon (2020-21) and Justin Grant (2018-19 & 2023) have followed suit.


However, no driver has won three-in-a-row at Lawrenceburg. Grant (Ione, Calif.) is gunning to become the first to do so this Saturday night after sweeping a pair of victories at the track in 2023.


Furthermore, one more victory this weekend would equal Grant as the winningest USAC Sprint Car driver in the history of Lawrenceburg Speedway alongside Dave Darland, who accumulated seven between 1998-2016.


To add to that, Grant has already earned three USAC National Sprint Car wins throughout the first six races of the 2024 season. Only five previous drivers have scored at least four wins in their first seven starts, a mark Grant looks to equal on Saturday: Don Branson (1959), Jim Hurtubise (1962), Jud Larson (1965), Larry Dickson (1968 & 70) and Damion Gardner (2010).



SEAVEY’S HISTORICAL PODIUM RUN


Throughout the first six events in 2024, no driver has been as consistent as Logan Seavey with nary a finish outside the top-three! His results of 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 1st, 2nd and 2nd have him squarely positioned in the number one spot of the series point standings.


Tracy Hines (2002) is the only other driver to start off his season with six-straight top-three results in USAC National Sprint Car competition. However, no driver has ever reached seven top threes to start a new season.


Seavey will aim for a brand-new record this Saturday night after having previously scored a USAC Sprint Car victory in July of 2021 at Lawrenceburg. Surprisingly, Saturday’s race will mark Seavey’s debut springtime appearance at the track.



BALLOU A BURG WINNER ALREADY


Robert Ballou is the lone driver in the field who has reached Lawrenceburg Speedway victory lane in 2024. Just last Saturday night, the 2015 USAC National Sprint Car champion captured the track’s season opening sprint car feature event.


Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) won a USAC National Sprint Car feature at Lawrenceburg all the way back in 2011, and he’s eager to grab another one come Saturday night.


The winningest driver/owner in series history with 32 career victories in in his own Ballou Motorsports No. 12 last scored a USAC triumph in November of 2022 at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway.



LEARY’S ON THE BEAT


Of late, no one has been more solid than C.J. Leary who’s already won three sprint car features throughout the early going of the season.


The 2019 USAC Sprint titlist won the most recent series feature earlier this February at Florida’s Ocala Speedway. On the last weekend of March, he reeled off two consecutive “local” Indiana victories in as many nights, first during the No Way Out 40 at Paragon Speedway and again 24 hours later at Brownstown Speedway.


His USAC track record thus far in 2024 has been stellar as well, stringing together results of 2nd, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 9th and 1st in six series starts, which has him second in the standings entering Lawrenceburg.


Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) owns two USAC Sprint wins at Lawrenceburg in 2017 and 2020 as well as the 2013 track title. On three occasions, he’s finished as the runner-up at Lawrenceburg’s spring USAC show in 2015, 2016 and 2021.



BONUSES ABOUND


Saturday’s inaugural Justin Owen Memorial is a special one, honoring the life and memory of the driver who passed away in a qualifying crash during the April 2023 USAC event at Lawrenceburg.


The 26-year-old Owen was the 2022 sprint car track champion at Lawrenceburg, scoring

two feature wins en route to the title at the 3/8-mile dirt oval in southeastern Indiana where he’d long been a regular competitor for the past several seasons.


Among his greatest achievements were a victory in the season-closing Dick Gaines Memorial at Lawrenceburg in 2022. With USAC, Owen made two feature starts, both at Lawrenceburg in 2019 and 2021.


For Saturday, a $400 bonus will be awarded to the driver with the second fastest hot lap time, as well as the second fastest qualifier and the hard charger.


Additionally, a special award for the highest finishing 2023 Lawrenceburg Speedway top-10 points driver will also be up for grabs. This award will be based on Justin Owen Memorial T-Shirt sales, with the prize being a minimum of $2500 and a maximum of $4000. The eligible drivers for this award include Nick Bilbee, Joss Moffatt, Garrett Abrams, Noah Whitehouse, Ryan Barr, Nathan Carle, Sterling Cling, Saban Bibent, Dustin Webber and Braxton Cummings.



RACE DETAILS


No less than eight past USAC National Sprint Car winners at Lawrenceburg are expected to be on hand for Saturday’s event which culminates with a $5,400-to-win 30-lap feature. Past Lawrenceburg USAC National Sprint Car winners in the field include Justin Grant (6), Kevin Thomas Jr. (5), Brady Bacon (3), C.J. Leary (2), Robert Ballou (1), Kyle Cummins (1), Logan Seavey (1) and Chase Stockon (1).


This Saturday, April 13, marks the first Midwest appearance of the season for the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship at new promoter Shane McHenry’s Lawrenceburg Speedway. The event also presents the KFI Modifieds and Impact Sports Pure Stocks.


Pits open at 3pm Eastern, with the front gates opening at 4:30pm and hot laps at 6pm with qualifying and racing to follow. Grandstand admission for ages 13 and up is $25 while kids age 7-12 are $8 and children age 6 & under are free. Pit passes are $35 apiece.


If you’re unable to make it to the track, you may also watch this Saturday’s Lawrenceburg event LIVE on FloRacing.



CURRENT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-462, 2-C.J. Leary-424, 3-Kevin Thomas Jr.-400, 4-Justin Grant-388, 5-Daison Pursley-331, 6-Chase Stockon-322, 7-Briggs Danner-309, 8-Robert Ballou-305, 9-Kyle Cummins-304, 10-Mitchel Moles-295.


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