A total of 86 events comprise the preliminary USAC National Racing schedules released today by the United States Auto Club.
The 2009 National campaign debuts with three late-February events in seven nights, beginning with the "Copper on Dirt" at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. February 20-21. All three National Series, the Silver Crown, Sprint and Mopar National Midgets, are included at Phoenix, while the Sprints and Midgets are involved in "doubleheaders" at the Las Vegas (NV) Motor Speedway dirt track February 25 and Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway February 28. USAC/CRA Sprint Car and Western Midget points will also apply to all three venues.
New to the Silver Crown calendar are a race at Oswego (NY) Speedway August 6 and 100-miler at the Milwaukee (WI) Mile August 29. These mark the first USAC National appearance at Oswego since Bob Cicconi's Midget victory in 1991 and a return to Milwaukee for the Silver Crown cars, where Wayne Reutimann Jr. won in 2006. The Silver Crown Series concludes again with the "Copper World Classic" at Phoenix International Raceway November 12.
Inaugural National Sprint races are on tap at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway dirt track, Mercer (PA) Raceway Park and Kalamazoo (MI) Speedway. The June 6 Mercer race concludes a five-race "Eastern Swing," while the Kalamazoo race is the first for USAC National racing there since Bob Cicconi's Midget win in 1989. Darren Hagen's all-time World Sprint Car qualifying record of 146.145 mph might be in jeopardy when the Sprint cars return to Iowa Speedway July 31. Knoxville (IA) Raceway welcomes the non-wing USAC Sprints back for the first time since Sheldon Kinser's 1982 win with an August 9 date. Seven "Indiana Sprint Week" races also unfold in July.
Dave Darland won USAC's last National Midget race at the Las Vegas dirt track, which hosts a February 25 race, while Perris (CA) Auto Speedway, which actually played host to the 1996 "Turkey Night Grand Prix," welcomes the National Midgets back on February 28. Texas will host back-to-back races March 13 and 14 at Wichita Falls and Kyle. Dave Steele won at Kyle in 2006 but it's been 40 years since Lee Kunzman's victory at Wichita Falls Speedway. Thunder Hill Raceway in Kyle hosts the March 13 race while Red River Speedway in Wichita Falls is the next night's venue. Columbus (OH) Speedway returns to the fold with National Midget races April 4and September 19, while USAC will serve as the sanctioning body for the first time at the September 5 "Firemen's Nationals" at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WI, one of four scheduled appearances there in 2009. Five races comprise the 2009 "Indiana Midget Week" slate in June.
"Special Events" on the 2009 calendars include the May 23 Pay Less "Little 500" Sprint race and the July 25 "Anderson Midget 400," both at the Anderson (IN) Speedway.