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Osborne Gets New Beginning with USAC Silver Crown Season


After recovering from an injury in a sprint car at Ocala Speedway, Trey Osborne is ready to chase Rookie of the Year honors in the USAC Silver Crown Series. File Photo courtesy: USAC Media - Photographer: Chris Pedersen Photo

Series News Release - USAC Media

Feature Article by: Richie Murray, USAC Media


Speedway, Indiana (April 16, 2024) - At the beginning of 2024, all of Trey Osborne’s plans for the season were seemingly laid out with full-time rides in both the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car and Silver Crown divisions.


However, by mid-February, he practically had to restart much of it all from scratch.


Osborne was injured during a flip over the turn three wall during a USAC Sprint Car feature event at Florida’s Ocala Speedway, which resulted in its share of pain and physical damage. After inventory was taken, it was discovered that Osborne had broken one vertebra in his back, endured a compression fracture in two more vertebrae and knocked the top off a fourth vertebra.


After having his back brace removed shortly thereafter, Osborne was advised to lay low for the next month with his trips mainly consisting of checkups, X-rays and MRIs. In the meantime, Osborne and Baldwin-Fox Racing mutually agreed to part ways with each other and pursue other opportunities. A month later, toward the latter part of March, Osborne was back in the seat of a sprint car in local Indiana competition, splitting time between his own No. 6 and Jerry Burton’s No. 04.


“Luckily, I really didn’t miss that much racing because it was kind of the off month for everyone,” Osborne said of the month of March. “None of my own stuff was really together or ready. On the first lap, first corner, I got about 20 feet in the air and slammed down on the wheels to check my back out, and it checked out okay. I’m pretty thankful to be back in a racecar. I’ve just got to get comfortable again, and it’s definitely a little bit different now. But I’m right on the edge of being right back where I need to be.”


Duane Harris from Industrial Hydraulics, Inc. in Indianapolis, Ind. has sponsored Osborne’s sprint car for the past two seasons, and since February, has offered Osborne both a place to live and work. It’s been a rough-and-tumble, whirlwind couple of months for the 21-year-old Columbus, Ohio racer, but the 2023 Non-Wing Sprint Car Rookie of the Year by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame is cognizant of the up-and-down nature of the sport.


“It’s just the way stuff goes sometimes,” Osborne admitted. “Last year, everything went just about perfectly. This year has started out a little rough.”


Osborne has bounced back before, and in a roundabout way, the injuries he suffered as a child built the foundation for his love of sprint car racing. At 10 years of age, a quarter midget accident at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus produced a broken arm in several places, plus a punctured kidney and spleen. In the aftermath, a required stay in the hospital altered his racing future.


“The way I learned what a sprint car was came about because of (USAC CEO) Kevin Miller,” Osborne revealed. “Kevin sent me a USAC hat that I still have and then he sent me a bunch of DVDs of USAC races, which we played in the hospital. At the time, all I ever really wanted to do was just be like a pavement NASCAR tour modified driver. That was my goal. Then I learned what non-wing sprint cars were while I was lying in a hospital bed, so that was actually what got me interested in this whole deal. I remember that vividly because that whole time sucked except for those videos.”


His USAC Silver Crown plans for 2024 remain unchanged as he pursues Rookie of the Year honors with the series in the BCR Group No. 81. Toward the end of 2023, Osborne got his feet wet with a pair of starts on the dirt at Eldora Speedway and on the pavement of Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.


This weekend, he’ll take on Ohio’s Toledo Speedway for the first time in the USAC Silver Crown season opener. It’s an experience Osborne has been highly anticipating in more ways than one.


“(Car owner) Malcolm (Lovelace) has been awesome through this whole process,” the 6’8” Osborne stated. “He changed a few things around on his racecars so I can fit in them a little better. I should be even better now since being comfortable in the longer races is very important. I like that they’re longer races and it’s a little different. I’m really, really looking forward to it.”


Although Osborne possesses just one previous pavement start in the champ cars, he does own quite a bit with the USSA Kenyon Midget series where he captured its championship in 2018. His lone pavement Silver Crown effort thus far produced hard charger honors last October at IRP where he started 19th and finished 12th. After a somewhat tentative beginning, Osborne is prepared to build upon that foundation this coming weekend.


“At the halfway point of the IRP race, we were really fast for a 25-lap stint,” Osborne recalled. “During qualifying on pavement, I overthought the cold tires thing. Right afterwards, I was like, ‘you know what you used to do when you qualified the midget, you just drove the ---- out of it, and it still stuck, so just do that.’  I feel I’ve got my head in the right place now as far as the pavement stuff goes, which I probably didn’t have at IRP. We’re going to test at Toledo on Friday and get some more notes. I’m going to put everything I have into it and hopefully come away with a really good finish on Saturday.”


RACE DETAILS


An open practice session will be held at Toledo Speedway on Friday, April 19. Pits open at 2pm Eastern with practice on track from 4-8pm. The first hour will consist of USAC Silver Crown practice only. Pit passes are $20 and rigs can stay parked in the pits overnight.


Saturday’s Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic Fueled by Marco’s Pizza race day features the USAC Silver Crown National Championship plus the ARCA Salenbien Excavating Late Model Sportsman & the Safety Kleen ARCA Factory Stocks.


The USAC pit gate opens at 10am Eastern when rigs can begin parking on parking pads 1-30. The track ticket office and spectator gates open at 12:30pm. USAC Silver Crown practice will take place from 12:30-1:15pm. USAC Silver Crown Qualifying begins at 1:45pm. Parade laps for the vintage cars are set for 2:35pm. Pre-race ceremonies will commence at 2:50pm. Racing action starts at 3pm followed by driver introductions and the Rollie Beale Classic 100-lap feature.


General admission tickets are $25 apiece. Kids age 6-12 are $5. Ages 5 & under are free. Add $1 per ticket for advance online ticket purchases at http://www.toledospeedway.com/.

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