2011 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE USAC MILESTONES
The 2011 USAC racing season has already debuted and the year ahead should include some significant milestones.
The state of Indiana is nearing its 2,500th USAC event and should eclipse that figure sometime late in the campaign.
In terms of single-season events, the 2011 calendar could be USAC’s busiest ever. The 287 races held last year (not including Mopar .25 competition) matched the previous record set in 2007. A total of more than 300 events are already on the 2011 calendar.
The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars are expected to conduct their 250th event late in the year, while the states of Pennsylvania and Nevada are also closing on milestones. Nevada has hosted 98 races to date while Pennsylvania has hosted 246.
Kokomo Speedway is expected to host its 100th USAC race (it has 96 so far), while Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis could eclipse the 300 mark (292 at present).Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WIsc. should host its 50th USAC race this year and Madera (Calif.) Speedway looks to host its 50th USAC Midget race in 2011.
The Bryant Heating & Cooling Indianapolis Speedrome, which has hosted a record 475 USAC events, could become the first track to claim 500 when the 2011 season concludes.
It will be interesting to see if any series can produce more different winners at the start of a season than the 2007 CRA Sprints and 1994 Modifieds (11).
Drivers Tracy Hines and Dave Darland lead in terms of active National Midget and Sprint wins (Hines with 38 Sprint and 28 Midget and Darland with 33 Sprint and 28 Midget). Brian Tyler leads active Silver Crown drivers with 16 wins (tied for second with Dave Steele behind Jack Hewitt’s record 23).
Darland and Hines could both reach the 80 National victory total during 2011. Only A.J. Foyt (154), Rich Vogler (134), Mel Kenyon (111), Gary Bettenhausen (82) and Tom Bigelow (81) have achieved that goal. Darland has 75 and Hines 74.
The record for consecutive USAC National victories in a single series is held by A.J. Foyt (1964 National Championship) and Billy Vukovich III (1987 Supermodifieds) at seven each. The record for National Sprints is six by Larry Dickson in 1968 and the Midget record is five by Rich Vogler in 1978.
Levi Jones will try to tie Steve Butler (1986-88) and Robbie Stanley (1991-93) as the only drivers to claim three consecutive National Sprint titles. Jones will also try to tie four drivers who have won back-to-back Silver Crown titles (Jack Hewitt, Dave Steele, J.J. Yeley and Bud Kaeding). In the National Midgets Shorty Templeman, Jimmy Davies and Jason Leffler won three straight. The National record is Butch Hartman’s four straight in the Stock Cars (1971-1974).