By RICHIE MURRAY
OCALA, FL – The 2019 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car openers from Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida bring with it a slew of talented drivers in a deep field for “Winter Dirt Games X” on February 14-15-16.
Eight of the expected drivers are previous “Winter Dirt Games” winners, including 2018 opening night winner Chase Stockon of Ft. Branch, Ind. and reigning series champ Tyler Courtney of Indianapolis, Ind., who tallied the final two nights of last year’s event in Ocala.
Ione, California’s Justin Grant captured the opener in 2017 and closed last season on a tear with five victories in a seven-race stretch. Fellow Californian Robert Ballou of Rocklin is back in action, winning three “Winter Dirt Games” features between 2015 and 2016. Cullman, Alabama’s Kevin Thomas, Jr. has a single win in the mini-series when the latter half was held at East Bay Raceway Park in 2015.
Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. picked up an Ocala victory in 2015 while Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon opened the 2014 season with a “w,” then scored again the following year in 2015 in Ocala. The all-time winningest “Winter Dirt Games” driver, Damion Gardner, returns for the first time in seven years as he looks to tack on to his incredible five victories, all of which he earned in the first six races of the series between 2010 and 2012.
Several USAC National Sprint Car feature winners aiming to taste their first victory at Ocala include Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.), Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.), Daron Clayton (Sikeston, Mo.), C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.), Carson Short (Marion, Ill.), Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio), Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Chad Boespflug (Hanford, Calif.).
Past USAC National Sprint Car Rookies of the Year Timmy Buckwalter (Douglassville, Pa.), Jarett Andretti (Mooresville, N.C.) and Isaac Chapple (Willow Branch, Ind) are entered along with 2019 RoY hopeful Zane Hendricks (Stillwater, Okla.). Series veteran Tom Harris of Banbury, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom is the lone representative from outside of the U.S.A. and the only female, Katlynn Leer of Moulton, Iowa.
Indiana representatives Dakota Jackson (Elizabethtown), Kent Schmidt (Owensville), Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute), Matt Goodnight (Winchester), Stephen Schnapf (Newburgh) and Dustin Christie (Washington) are entered along with Oklahoma’s Noah Gass (Mounds), Ohio’s Travis Hery (Piqua) and Paul Dues (Minster), Pennsylvania’s Joey Biasi (Mary D) and Florida’s own Frank Carlsson (Oxford).
Pits open at 3pm Eastern each day at Ocala. Grandstands open at 5pm on Thursday/Friday and 4pm on Saturday. Cars hit the track for engine heat at 6:30pm Eastern on Thursday/Friday and at 5:30pm on Saturday. An open practice session will take place a day before the action starts from 7-10pm.
All nights of racing from Ocala will be live on http://www/FloRacing.com/.
“WINTER DIRT GAMES X” USAC SPRINT TENTATIVE ENTRY LIST
B1 Joey Biasi / Mary D, PA
3 Dakota Jackson / Elizabethtown, IN
3R Kyle Cummins / Princeton, IN
4 Justin Grant / Ione, CA
5 Dave Darland / Lincoln, IN
5G Chris Windom / Canton, IL
5K Kent Schmidt / Owensville, IN
5o Daron Clayton / Sikeston, MO
7 Timmy Buckwalter / Douglassville, PA
7BC Tyler Courtney / Indianapolis, IN
12 Robert Ballou / Rocklin, CA
18 Jarett Andretti / Mooresville, NC
19 Kevin Thomas, Jr. / Cullman, AL
19AZ C.J. Leary / Greenfield, IN
20 Damion Gardner / Concord, CA
20G Noah Gass / Mounds, OK
20x Frank Carlsson / Oxford, FL
21 Carson Short / Marion, IL
21H Travis Hery / Piqua, OH
27 Zane Hendricks / Stillwater, OK
28 Brandon Mattox / Terre Haute, IN
32 Chase Stockon / Ft. Branch, IN
33m Matt Westfall / Pleasant Hill, OH
39 Matt Goodnight / Winchester, IN
52 Isaac Chapple / Willow Branch, IN
61m Stephen Schnapf / Newburgh, IN
69 Brady Bacon / Broken Arrow, OK
71p Jason McDougal / Broken Arrow, OK
75 Dustin Christie / Washington, IN
77K Katlynn Leer / Moulton, IA
84 Tom Harris / Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK
87 Paul Dues / Minster, OH
98e Chad Boespflug / Hanford, CA