National Pavement
Wednesday, 12 June 2013




The Honda USAC National Midget Series joins the TRAXXAS USAC Silver Crown Series for the June 29 “Rocky Mountain Classic” at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. and it could provide an earth-shattering experience.

It’s been eight years since the USAC Midgets competed at the one-mile paved oval and the ultimate qualifying record will be in jeopardy.

Bobby Santos of Franklin, Mass. holds the existing record of 139.553 mph set at Iowa Speedway in 2006, but Ryan Newman’s lap of 139.265 mph at Pikes Peak International Raceway in 1997 isn’t far off the record.

So far in 2013, Santos tops the standings in the Honda USAC National Midgets, scoring a victory in Florida and a second in the recent “Night Before the 500” classic in Indianapolis.

In addition, Dan Drinan’s all-time USAC Midget race record of 128.822 mph back in 1995 at Phoenix International Raceway could also fall June 29.

It’ll all be part of a spectacular “doubleheader” of USAC racing at the track which hosted USAC events from 1997-2005. A 25-lap feature is on tap for the Midgets and a 100-mile feature is slated for the Silver Crown cars.

Sixteen different drivers recorded USAC wins at PPIR in various racing series. Among them are NASCAR stars Newman, Jason Leffler and Kenny Irwin as well as two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon. Current USAC competitors Tracy Hines and Brian Tyler are also previous PPIR winners, Hines winning in Silver Crown in 1999 and Sprints in 2003 and Tyler the Silver Crown winner in 2002. Tony Hunt, who continues to compete in selected USAC events, also won a Sprint race in 1998.

The “Rocky Mountain Classic” joins the prestigious Pikes Peak Hill Climb weekend, the nation’s second-longest motorsports event, which celebrates its 91st running of the “Race to the Clouds” June 30 just west of Colorado Springs.

Jerry Coons Jr. and Levi Jones, a pair of former TRAXXAS USAC Silver Crown Champions, are currently tied for the series point lead entering the June 29 extravaganza.

A media day is set for Friday, June 28, with the racing action unfolding on the one-mile oval on Saturday.