By RICHIE MURRAY
DU QUOIN, IL – The initial entry list for the Saturday, March 10 “Shamrock Classic” features some of the most successful standouts in USAC today.
The third annual event at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin launches the 2018 USAC P1 Insurance National Midget season that features a team that has been at the top of its game in their recent season debuts, namely Clauson/Marshall Racing, which has raced to a pot of gold in each of the past two seasons.
One season ago, it was Justin Grant who won his first career USAC National Midget race on the 1/6-mile indoor dirt oval. By doing so, he became the first driver in the history of USAC to win both the National Midget and National Sprint Car season openers in the same year. This year, the Ione, Calif. native slides over to the 17BC for CMR/Matt Wood Racing that was formerly occupied by Shane Golobic, winner of the first “Shamrock” in 2016.
Indianapolis, Indiana’s Tyler Courtney (CMR No. 7BC) has yet to collect the “Shamrock” hardware, but is a Du Quoin USAC Midget winner himself, taking the non-points “Junior Knepper 55” in 2016, which incidentally, was his first USAC-sanctioned Midget victory as well.
Angola, Indiana’s Zeb Wise (CMR No. 39BC), the 2017 “Turkey Night Grand Prix” Rookie of the Race, but a series rookie with USAC, is the lone driver on CMR’s lineup without a Du Quoin win. Although, like Courtney, Grant and Golobic, he’s in good hands. Both “Shamrock” wins and four of the five USAC Midget races held at the Southern Illinois Center have been wrenched by CMR’s Tim Clauson and Tyler Ransbottom.
Additionally, the Petry/Goff Motorsports team has entered a pair of cars for USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Kevin Thomas, Jr. of Cullman, Ala. (No. 15) and USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. (No. 25).
Mitchell, Indiana’s Chase Briscoe, the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year, is entered to drive his own No. 5 along with standouts Thomas Meseraull of San Jose, Calif. (Dooling-Hayward/RCR No. 63) and Collinsville, Oklahoma’s Tyler Thomas (Tyler Thomas No. 91T).
The $3900-to-win USAC Midget purse honors the memory of Bryan Clauson’s success in car No. 39 at the Southern Illinois Center over the years. The additional $900 added to the winner’s share is courtesy of Stenhouse Jr. Racing. Factory Canopies has also come aboard to pledge their support to the event.
In addition, micro sprints are on the card with a $700-to-win, $3000 total feature purse. The format will utilize passing points to lock 12 drivers into the night’s feature through the heat races, with four more from each B-Main to lock in the 20-car lineup.
The timetable for the “Shamrock Classic” begins with participant parking on Friday, March 9, from 4-7pm. Saturday’s raceday schedule begins with pits opening at 8am. Spectator gates open at 10am, followed by a “pit sweep” at 11am. The micro sprint drivers’ meeting gets underway at 11:30am, with micro sprint hot laps set for noon and their heat races immediately following. A public drivers’ meeting for the midgets is open to all race fans at 3pm in the turn one grandstand. Midget hot laps begin at 4pm with racing for both the micro sprints and midget immediately following. The night concludes with the 50-lap midget feature event.
Entries continue to pour in for the “Shamrock Classic.” Free entry is available for all USAC Midget competitors courtesy of R.E. Griesemer at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2018-shamrock-classic-tickets. Use the coupon code griesemer. The deadline for pre-entry is Monday, March 5. Entries filed after March 5 are $30.
600cc Performance has posted a $500 hard charger award for the micro sprints. Speed Shack Performance and Littleton’s Storm & Timber Services are proud supporters of the micro sprint portion of the event as well. Micro sprint entry is $40 and only the first 40 micro sprint driver entries are eligible to compete by registering at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2018-shamrock-classic-tickets. Entry registration opens 7pm on Thursday, Feb. 8. No micro sprint entries will be taken at the gate on race day.
“Shamrock Classic” tickets are on sale now at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2018-shamrock-classic-tickets. Reserved seats are $25 for the highly-anticipated event that brought over 50 of the top midget drivers in the country in each of the past two seasons, and the highest car count of any USAC National Midget points event during the 2017 season. Fans will receive a free “Shamrock Classic” event t-shirt with their purchase of a reserved ticket.
Adult general admission tickets are $20; kids 6-12 are $10 and kids 5 years-old and under are FREE! Pit passes are $30 for USAC Members/$35 for non-members. Pit passes can be purchased at http://www.tracpass.com/.
Fans who are unable to attend the event in-person can view the race LIVE on http://www.speedshifttv.com/.
For any questions regarding the event, email “Shamrock Classic” promoter Lauren Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIDGET ENTRY LIST
(As of February 27, 2018)
1T TONY RONEY/Herculaneum, MO (Tony Roney)
5 CHASE BRISCOE/Mitchell, IN (Chase Briscoe Racing)
6D DON DAWSON II/Indianola, IA (Don Dawson II)
7BC TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Clauson/Marshall Racing)
15 KEVIN THOMAS, JR./Cullman, AL (Petry/Goff Motorsports)
17BC JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Clauson-Marshall/Matt Wood Racing)
21H SCOTT SAWYER/Bixby, OK (Kelly Hinck)
25 JERRY COONS, JR./Tucson, AZ (Petry/Goff Motorsports)
28 KORY SCHUDY/Springfield, MO (Jon Sawyer)
39 KYLE MAY/New Palestine, IN (Kyle May)
39BC ZEB WISE/Angola, IN (Clauson/Marshall Racing)
44 WESLEY SMITH/Nixa, MO (Wesley Smith)
45 TONY LAWRENCE/Cambria, IL (Tony Lawrence)
50 DANIEL ADLER/St. Louis, MO (Daniel Adler)
63 THOMAS MESERUALL/San Jose, CA (Dooling-Hayward Motorsports/RCR)
91 TYLER NELSON/Kansas City, MO (Jack Harris)
91T TYLER THOMAS/Collinsville, OK (Tyler Thomas)
MICRO SPRINT ENTRY LIST
(As of February 27, 2018)
2 COOPER WELCH/Sheridan, IN (Chris Welch)
2R RYAN MONTGOMERY/Evansville, IN (Ryan Montgomery)
3G GARET WILLIAMSON/Columbia, MO (Garet Williamson)
3J JORDAN HOWELL/Columbia, MO (Jordan Howell)
4 TIMMY BUCKWALTER/Douglassville, PA (Wayne Lesher)
5 ZACH BODEN/Cambridge, WI (Zach Boden)
5 BRYANT PAVER/Columbia, MO (Bryant Paver)
11 ALEX MIDKIFF/Belleville, IL (Alex Midkiff)
14c CHAD ORR/Hartford City, IN (Chad Orr)
16 JAMES MORRIS/Riegelsville, PA (James Morris)
18 MICHAEL BRUMMITT/Mt. Zion, IL (Michael Brummitt)
20 MIKE VALLETTE/Ellery, IL (Mike Vallette)
21H SCOTT SAWYER/Bixby, OK (Kelly Hinck)
21L KAMERON KEY/Warrensburg, MO (Levi Hinck)
21M MATT MORTON/Collinsville, IL (Matt Morton)
33m RYAN MUELLER/Wildwood, MO (Ryan Mueller)
34 K.J. SNOW/Kingsburg, CA (K.J. Snow)
35 TYLER ROBBINS/St. Jacob, IL (Tyler Robbins)
37 AIDEN PURDUE/Clinton, IL (Rodney Purdue)
42 EMERSON AXSOM/Franklin, IN (Joe Axsom)
44 TREVIN LITTLETON/Jacksonville, IL (Greg Littleton)
49K LUKE KILGORE/Steeleville, IL (Luke Kilgore)
51B JOE B. MILLER/Millersville, MO (Joe B. Miller)
53 SEAN ROBBINS/Collinsville, IL (Sean Robbins)
71 JAKE CHEATHAM/Bethalto, IL (Jake Cheatham)
71 TBA (Paul May)
88 B.J. GATEWOOD/Caruthersville, MO (B.J. Gatewood)
88G ABBIE GATEWOOD/Caruthersville, MO (Abbie Gatewood)
88G GARRETT HULSEY/Lone Jack, MO (Garrett Hulsey)
97 AUSTIN NIGH/Greenfield, IN (A.J. Nigh)
99 DANIEL ROBINSON/Mt. Vernon, IL (Dale Greene)
101 TOBIAS MIDKIFF/Belleville, IL (Tobias Midkiff)
711 TBA (Paul May)
880 KAMERON MORRRAL/Smithsburg, MD (Wayne Lesher)