By RICHIE MURRAY
DU QUOIN, IL – The entry list for the “Shamrock Classic” has soared above 40 for the 2018 USAC P1 Insurance Midget National Championship season opener on Saturday, March 10 at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin.
Among the latest drivers entered are those from the Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian stable who will bring, count them, seven cars for the third annual event.
Lebanon, Indiana’s Spencer Bayston headlines the group as the defending USAC National Midget champion. Californians Ryan Robinson (Foresthill) and Tanner Carrick (Lincoln) return to the lineup once again. Robinson in his third full season while 2017 Rookie of the Year Carrick takes on his sophomore campaign.
Newcomers to the team include reigning POWRi Midget champ Logan Seavey of Sutter, Calif., who is also currently gunning for top Rookie honors in the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car division. Tucker Klaasmeyer of Paola, Kans. moves over to the KKM team after successful seasons in his family-owned ride the past few years. Sam Johnson, of St. Peters, Mo., is the youngest of the group at age 15 in his first season behind the wheel of a midget. Harli White, of Lindsay, Okla., will make her debut for KKM at the “Shamrock,” substituting for Holly Shelton who is recovering from a shoulder injury.
The KKM team is the latest to win in USAC Midget competition at the Southern Illinois Center, capturing last December’s “Junior Knepper 55” with driver Christopher Bell.
Additional new entries were filed by car owner Wayne Lesher for 2017 ARDC Midget champion Ryan Greth of Newport, Pa. Meanwhile, 2016 Bloomington Speedway “Indiana Sprint Week” feature winner Brent Beauchamp has entered his own familiar No. 11.
Previously announced entries include the two past Southern Illinois Center winners, and teammates, Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) and Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) as well as USAC Rookie of the Year candidate Zeb Wise of Angola, Ind. to form a formidable three-car Clauson/Marshall Racing lineup.
Current USAC National Sprint Car point leader Kevin Thomas, Jr. of Cullman, Ala. And USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr. make up a stout two-car team for Petry/Goff Motorsports. 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 No. 63) and Collinsville, Oklahoma’s Tyler Thomas (Tyler Thomas No. 91T).
Two-time USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Champion Brady Bacon and FMR Racing have teamed up for another go at a title run. Chad Boat, winner of six career USAC National Midget races, has entered the event as one of two drivers in the Tucker/Boat Motorsports stable along with series Rookie of the Year contender Zane Hendricks of Stillwater, Okla. Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary intends to make a rare midget start for Gray Auto, for who he made a pair of starts with back in 2015.
Billy Wease of Noblesville, Indiana has found big success in his midget racing career, winning the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway in 2006. Additionally, he’s won a USAC Midget race indoors at the Fort Wayne Memorial Coliseum in 2007. Both experiences bode well for the veteran driver as he pilots the Amanda Wease No. 12.
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 email@example.com.
MIDGET ENTRY LIST
(As of March 3, 2018)
1K BRAYTON LYNCH/Springfield, IL (Rusty Kunz Racing)
1T TONY RONEY/Herculaneum, MO (Tony Roney)
3N JAKE NEUMAN/New Berlin, IL (Jim Neuman)
4 RYAN GRETH/Newport, PA (Wayne Lesher)
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)
11 BRENT BEAUCHAMP/Fairland, IN (Brent Beauchamp)
11A C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Gray Auto)
12 BILLY WEASE/Noblesville, IN (Amanda Wease)
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)
27 TUCKER KLAASMEYER/Paola, KS (Keith Kunz Motorsports – Curb-Agajanian)
27z ZANE HENDRICKS/Stillwater, OK (Tucker/Boat 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)
49 ANDY BRADLEY/Bloomington, IN (Andy Bradley)
50 DANIEL ADLER/St. Louis, MO (Daniel Adler)
51B JOE B. MILLER/Millersville, MO (Jim Neuman)
56x MARK CHISHOLM/Cheyenne, WY (Fifty6x Racing)
63 THOMAS MESERUALL/San Jose, CA (Dooling-Hayward Motorsports)
67 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports – Curb-Agajanian)
67K HARLI WHITE/Lindsay, OK (Keith Kunz Motorsports – Curb-Agajanian)
67x KYLE O’GARA/Beech Grove, IN (SFH Racing Development)
68 RYAN SMITH/Kunkletown, PA (SFH Racing Development)
71 RYAN ROBINSON/Foresthill, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports – Curb-Agajanian)
71½ ROBERT BELL/Colfax, IA (Robert Bell)
71K TANNER CARRICK/Lincoln, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports – Curb-Agajanian)
72 SAM JOHNSON/St. Peters, MO (Keith Kunz Motorsports – Curb-Agajanian)
76m BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)
84 CHAD BOAT/Phoenix, AZ (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
91 TYLER NELSON/Kansas City, MO (Jack Harris)
91T TYLER THOMAS/Collinsville, OK (Tyler Thomas)
95 CHRIS ANDREWS/Tulsa, OK (Jim Miller)
97 SPENCER BAYSTON/Lebanon, IN (Keith Kunz Motorsports – Curb-Agajanian)
MICRO SPRINT ENTRY LIST
(As of March 3, 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 TBA (Kelly Hinck)
21L TBA (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)
37F JACOB JONES/Columbia, MO (Bryant Paver)
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)