By RICHIE MURRAY
BRANDON, SD – The inaugural Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals, featuring three consecutive nights of USAC AMSOIL National 410 Sprint Car and USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget doubleheaders paying a purse totaling $200,000, will be held September 10-11-12, 2021 at Brandon, South Dakota’s Huset’s Speedway.
The major event instantly becomes the highest paying event of the 2021 USAC National season, an event which culminates with $20,000-to-win feature races on the final night for both the 410 Sprint Cars and Midgets. Tickets for the event will be available for purchase on February 1 at www.husetsspeedway.com.
The event will utilize a modified Trophy Cup format similar to the one seen at the 2019 Elk Grove Ford Hangtown 100, which used inversions for preliminary events with the fastest qualifying cars in the back having to work their way through the pack. Each time cars are on track, drivers will be earning points via passing and finishing order, and event promoter Matt Wood believes Huset’s 3/8-mile layout is the perfect fit for a show of this caliber.
“Huset’s is tailor-made for non-wing 410 sprint cars and midgets,” Wood said. “It’s going to be crazy, crazy good racing. We want to try to make this the premier event on USAC’s schedule every year. To do that, we have to have a wonderful facility, we need seating for a bunch of people and a bunch of racers, then throw a bunch of money at them, and I think that makes for a pretty good mix for what I think is going to be one of the best races of the year, quite honestly.”
Only twice in USAC’s history have series events been held at Huset’s. Kenny Irwin Jr. won the midget debut there in 1996 while Chad Boespflug swept both nights of a 410 sprint car meet at the track in 2016. USAC Executive Vice President Levi Jones is thrilled for the return of USAC racing to Huset’s and of the venue itself, which had seen an uncertain future in recent years.
“It is truly exciting to witness the reemergence of Huset’s Speedway and to add a new event of this magnitude to the USAC schedule alongside our already established events,” Jones said. “The Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals adds to what is a sensational schedule of events for us in 2021, and we are enthusiastic to have USAC’s brand of Sprint Car and Midget racing showcased for the great racefans of South Dakota.”
Wood, who also promoted and staged the Hangtown 100 midget event at Placerville (Calif.) Speedway in 2019, an event which was canceled in 2020 due to the restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, found much success with his first large scale promotion and is eager to create another “major” in the dirt track racing world at Huset’s.
“I really enjoyed the promoter’s side of it, and I said, let’s find another venue and do something else,” Wood stated. “We used to race at Huset’s, and it’s always been one of my favorite racetracks in the United States. Then, when I heard rumors that Tod (Quiring) was going to buy it – we actually reached out to him before he had it bought. Once he got it bought, he and I got together, and I told him what I’d like to do, and he thought it was a pretty neat idea. They were very excited about it.”
It’s not often that USAC AMSOIL National 410 Sprint Cars and USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets race together on the same event card at the same track, with just four other races sharing that distinction in 2021. However, three straight nights of doubleheader main events at one venue is unprecedented in USAC’s 65-year history.
Couple that with a famed racetrack that had been closed for more than three years before reopening last summer, Wood feels that the anticipation will be tantamount amongst drivers and fans for the event.
“I think there’s a big, pent-up demand for it,” Wood stated. “We’ll have a vendor midway and we’ll have meet and greets with the drivers. We’re going to do everything we can do to make it as fan friendly and as driver/racer friendly as we can. I look at what a promoter can do just to make life easier. That’s really what we’ve done at the Hangtown 100 and what we’re going to do at Huset’s. You’ve got three nights of racing; you don’t have to move your rigs and your travel expenses are minimal. The more nights you can run at one place, the more efficient it becomes. I think there’s going to be a tremendous amount of interest. Non-wing 410 sprint car and midget racing at Huset’s with a $200,000 purse will be amazing.”
Additionally, Wood also hinted that he’s not yet finished with the creation of another monumental event on its way soon at a track yet to be determined.
“The genesis of this deal is eventually I want to do three events a year,” Wood said. “We’ve got the Hangtown 100 and the Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals, which will both be yearly deals, and we’re going to add a third one next year to complete the three. I’m pretty excited about having three big events for people to come and enjoy.”