By Richie Murray – USAC Media
BRANDON, SD-When C.J. Leary gets on a roll, he’s routinely displayed his ability to ride that hot streak as long as he possibly can.
He showed that in droves during the inaugural Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals in 2021 as he turned the Brandon, South Dakota 1/3-mile dirt oval into his personal ATM, winning Saturday’s preliminary and followed it up with a major score in Sunday’s finale.
Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) became the third different race leader on lap 19 amid the sixth different lead change before the halfway point before riding off to a lucrative victory.
After becoming the event’s first winner, the 2019 USAC National Sprint Car champion would sure like to become the first two-time final night winner and the first repeat winner of the main event when the time arrives this weekend during the second annual USAC Nationals, which features three-straight nights of USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship racing at Huset’s on Friday-Saturday-Sunday, July 8-9-10, alongside the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship.
Nights one and two will feature 30-lap USAC Sprint Car main events for the USAC Sprint Cars, paying $5,000-to-win. Meanwhile, Sunday night’s 40-lap finale will pay $12,000 to the winner. Throughout the weekend, points will continuously be accumulated, and the top point gainer for all three events combined will earn a $10,000 prize.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday night’s events will award 50 appearance points only to all USAC nationally-licensed drivers and entrants. No qualifying, heat race, preliminary or feature points will be issued.
On hand for the event will be many of the finest performers with USAC at Huset’s, including current USAC National Sprint Car point leader and the series’ most recent winner, Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.), who finished 3rd and 2nd on each night back in 2016 and, last year, garnered a 7th on night one and a 6th on night two.
Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) captured a USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship feature win on opening night at Huset’s in 2021. His sprint car performances have been up to snuff as well, finishing as the runner-up on night one a year ago followed by a pair of 9th place performances, and was 4th back in 2016. Meseraull will be wheeling a sprint car for Yeley-Petty Racing in the event.
Four-time USAC National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) notched three consecutive top-six finishes at Huset’s in 2021, highlighted by a runner-up result on the final evening. He was also buoyed by a 3rd in the opener and a 6th on night two.
Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) collected his best result of the bunch with a 4th on the first night of 2021. The 2015 USAC National Sprint Car titlist was the hard charger in his Huset’s debut during the 2016 campaign, racing from his 18th starting position to finish 8th and, a night later, earned a 10th.
Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) owns the one-lap USAC Sprint Car track record at Huset’s, with the 2018 USAC National Midget champ punctuating his trip around the high-banked dirt oval in a time of 12.576 seconds before finishing a best of 8th on each of the first two night.
Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) was a primetime performer in his first visit to Huset’s in 2021. The 2017 USAC West Coast Sprint Car champ etched results of 6th on night one and upped it to a 4th on night two.
Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Ind.), USAC’s 2020 National Most Improved Driver, bagged a quality 10th place result on night two of Huset’s in 2021. During the event, he set the mark to beat with a USAC Sprint Car 8-lap track record time of 2:00.15.
Ryan Bernal (Hollister, Calif.), likewise, is a Huset’s USAC Sprint Car track record holder himself, ripping around the joint during a 10-lap heat race in a time of 2:09.61. The USAC West Coast Sprint Car division’s all-time winningest driver as well as the 2013-14 USAC Western Classic Sprint Car champ finished 10th on the third and final night of the 2021 event.
Looking to bump into the top-ten for the first time in their return visits to Huset’s after appearances in 2021 are NAMARS Midget champ, BOSS Sprint king and Eldora Speedway late model titlist Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) who took 14th on night three of 2021. Alex Schriever (Hartford, S.D.) made his last USAC showing at Huset’s in 2016 with a 14th place result. Chad Frewaldt (Kansas City, Kan.) was 18th on night two in 2021 and was trailed by Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series champ Cam Schafer (Little Canada, Minn.) in 19th and USAC National Sprint Car Rookie Alex Banales (Lafayette, Ind.) in 20th.
First-time Huset’s USAC Sprint Car competitors include two-time 2022 USAC National Sprint Car feature winner and leading Rookie of the Year candidate Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.), a 10th place finisher in a midget at Huset’s in 2021, as well as 2020 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Ind.). Axsom resides fifth in USAC Sprint points entering the weekend while Rogers stands 10th.
Additional first-time entries come from USAC Sprint Car Rookie and Huset’s midget track record holder Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.), past POWRi Midget champion Zach Daum (Pocahontas, Ill.), 2020 USAC Midwest Wingless Racing Association Sprint Car champion and current point leader Wyatt Burks (Topeka, Kan.), recent Angell Park 8th place finisher Braydon Cromwell (Lone Jack, Mo.), 2019 USAC CRA Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, Calif.), one-time USAC Midwest Wingless winner Xavier Doney (Odessa, Mo.), Eric Schulz (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and more.
For the first two nights of racing at Huset’s on Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9, pit gates open at Noon Central. The front gates will open at 3pm with the drivers meeting at 4pm, an autograph session from 5-5:30 behind the grandstands, engine heat at 6:30pm and hot laps at 7pm followed by qualifying and racing action.
On the final night, championship night, Sunday, July 10, pit gates open at Noon Central. The front gates will open at 3pm with the drivers meeting at 4:15pm, cars on track for engine heat at 5pm and hot laps at 6pm.
Tickets, multi-day packages, and limited camping spots are going fast. Visit www.usacnationals.com and get yours today. Follow @USACnationals on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for event news, updates, and information.
If you can’t make it to the event in person, all three nights of racing action at the Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals will be aired live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3u7ID2N.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-1095, 2-Brady Bacon-1049, 3-Robert Ballou-1029, 4-Logan Seavey-1020, 5-Emerson Axsom-995, 6-C.J. Leary-989, 7-Chase Stockon-895, 8-Matt Westfall-778, 9-Jake Swanson-720, 10-Jadon Rogers-678.
PAST HUSET’S SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINNERS:
2016: Chad Boespflug (8/20) & Chad Boespflug (8/21) – Both races were non-points special events
2021: Tanner Thorson (9/10), C.J. Leary (9/11) & C.J. Leary (9/12)
TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CARS AT HUSET’S SPEEDWAY:
1 Lap – 9/10/2021 – Logan Seavey – 12.576
8 Laps – 9/11/2021 – Brandon Mattox – 2:00.15
10 Laps – 9/12/2021 – Ryan Bernal – 2:09.61
PAST HUSET’S SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RESULTS:
2016 NIGHT #1 FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Thomas Meseraull, 5. Brady Short, 6. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 7. Ryan Bernal, 8. Robert Ballou, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Chris Windom, 11. Bud Kaeding, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Dustin Smith, 14. Mark Dobmeier, 15. Rob Caho, Jr., 16. Tim Kaeding, 17. Mike Martin, 18. Matt Goodnight, 19. Alex Schriever, 20. Scotty Weir, 21. Bret Mellenberndt, 22. Brady Bacon, 23. Dylan Peterson, 24. Landon Simon. NT
2016 NIGHT #2 FEATURE: (35 laps) 1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Bud Kaeding, 4. Ryan Bernal, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Dustin Smith, 7. Kevin Thomas Jr., 8. Brady Short, 9. Scotty Weir, 10. Robert Ballou, 11. Dave Darland, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Mark Dobmeier, 14. Alex Schriever, 15. Landon Simon, 16. Thomas Meseraull, 17. Chris Windom, 18. Matt Goodnight, 19. Rob Caho Jr., 20. Mike Martin, 21. Bret Mellenberndt, 22. Dylan Peterson, 23. Tim Kaeding, 24. Aaron Reutzel. NT
2021 NIGHT #1 FEATURE: (25 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Thorson (1), 2. Thomas Meseraull (2), 3. Brady Bacon (10), 4. Robert Ballou (3), 5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (9), 6. Jake Swanson (4), 7. Justin Grant (8), 8. Logan Seavey (11), 9. Jason McDougal (5), 10. Chris Windom (6), 11. C.J. Leary (12), 12. Brandon Mattox (14), 13. Chase Stockon (7), 14. Ryan Bernal (17), 15. Mario Clouser (13), 16. Charles Davis Jr. (19), 17. Matt Westfall (16), 18. Isaac Chapple (15), 19. Glen Saville (24), 20. Jeff Pellersels (18), 21. Alex Banales (22), 22. Robert Bell (23), 23. Cam Schafer (20), 24. Chad Frewaldt (21). NT
2021 NIGHT #2 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. C.J. Leary (6), 2. Tanner Thorson (7), 3. Charles Davis Jr. (1), 4. Jake Swanson (9), 5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (8), 6. Brady Bacon (2), 7. Chris Windom (10), 8. Logan Seavey (11), 9. Thomas Meseraull (12), 10. Brandon Mattox (18), 11. Mario Clouser (4), 12. Chase Stockon (24), 13. Terry Richards (21), 14. Justin Grant (13), 15. Isaac Chapple (19), 16. Ryan Bernal (3), 17. Robert Ballou (14), 18. Chad Frewaldt (16), 19. Cam Schafer (22), 20. Alex Banales (20), 21. Robert Bell (23), 22. Jason McDougal (5), 23. Matt Westfall (15), 24. Glen Saville (17). NT
2021 NIGHT #3 FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. C.J. Leary (9), 2. Brady Bacon (8), 3. Chris Windom (4), 4. Tanner Thorson (10), 5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (11), 6. Justin Grant (3), 7. Chase Stockon (6), 8. Jason McDougal (12), 9. Thomas Meseraull (7), 10. Ryan Bernal (14), 11. Robert Ballou (2), 12. Jake Swanson (13), 13. Mario Clouser (15), 14. Matt Westfall (18), 15. Brandon Mattox (17), 16. Charles Davis Jr. (5), 17. Logan Seavey (1), 18. Isaac Chapple (16), 19. Terry Richards (19), 20. Cam Schafer (22), 21. Chad Frewaldt (20), 22. Glen Saville (23), 23. Jeremy Kerzman (24), 24. Alex Banales (21). NT