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AMSOIL Sprints
Thursday, 14 May 2020


Jack Hewitt at home at Eldora Speedway in 1988. Jack Hewitt at home at Eldora Speedway in 1988. John Mahoney Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Speedway, Indiana (May 14, 2020)………Bliss Blisters IRP, Kenyon Gets #99 and Hewitt Banks at Eldora. All happened on this day, May 14, in USAC National Sprint, Midget and Silver Crown history.

Driver Tom Bigelow and team owner Sherman Armstrong teamed up for a historic run during the 1977 USAC National Sprint Car season.  After winning just two of the first 10 races on the schedule, on this date of May 14 of ’77 at Indianapolis Raceway Park is where the combo kicked it up another notch, winning 12 of the next 19 and never going more than two races without winning during that stretch.  All in all, Bigelow and Armstrong racked up a record 14 wins on the season with the series, a record that still stands to this day.

In 1982, it had been five years since Johnny Parsons reached victory lane with the USAC Sprints, but on May 14 of that season, in the series’ only ever visit to Paducah International Raceway, it was the 12-time Indianapolis 500 starter who reigned supreme for car owner Jack French.

That very same night in 1982, Mel Kenyon scored his 99th career USAC National Midget victory at Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Ill.  He’d reach #100 just three races later and would go on to win a record total of 111 in his illustrious career.

No driver has won more USAC National Sprint Car races at Eldora Speedway than Jack Hewitt with 13.  The sixth of his career came on May 14, 1988, the second of a three-race winning streak he garnered at The Big E that year for owner Bob Hampshire.

A May 14, 1994 date saw the USAC Midgets and Sprints teamed up for a doubleheader at IRP, with Mike Bliss winning the sprint car portion, going an undefeated 4-for-4 in Glen Niebel’s V6 sprinter at the .686-mile paved oval in 1994 and becoming the first driver ever to win in all three USAC National series at IRP in a single year.  Tony Stewart, meanwhile, took his second career USAC National Midget feature victory and his first of five at IRP in his career for car owner Ralph Potter.



1977: Tom Bigelow, USAC Sprint at Indianapolis Raceway Park – Clermont, Ind.

1982: Johnny Parsons, USAC Sprint at Paducah International Raceway – Paducah, Ky.

1982: Mel Kenyon, USAC Midget at Santa Fe Speedway – Hinsdale, Ill.

1988: Jack Hewitt, USAC Sprint at Eldora Speedway – Rossburg, Ohio

1994: Tony Stewart, USAC Midget at Indianapolis Raceway Park – Clermont, Ind.

1994: Mike Bliss, USAC Sprint at Indianapolis Raceway Park – Clermont, Ind.