Legendary Knoxville and Williams Grove Tracks Return for 2017 USAC Sprint Season

By: USAC Racing

Two of the most storied dirt tracks in the United States return to the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car calendar in 2017.

On June 3, the series invades the legendary half-mile Knoxville Raceway for the first time since 2011. The Saturday night event coincides with National Sprint Car Hall of Fame induction weekend at the Iowa dirt oval.

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway, the only venue on this year’s 47-race slate that was on the Sprint Car schedule in USAC’s inaugural year of 1956, will host its first series race since 1996 as part of the 11th edition of “Eastern Storm” on June 15.

In addition, the USAC Sprints call Tri-City Speedway home once again, where the series hasn’t visited since 2006. The May 19 date at the Granite City, Ill., track will also feature the USAC Midget National Championship. July 30 marks a return visit to Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Mo. USAC’s lone appearance there came in 1989 when the late Rich Vogler won a rare winged race for Hoffman Auto Racing.

Furthermore, the series will make initial appearances at Indiana’s Plymouth Speedway on April 21; Pevely, Missouri’s Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on May 20; and Greenwood, Nebraska’s I-80 Speedway on June 2.

Traditional USAC stops on the 2017 horizon include the season-opening “Winter Dirt Games” for three straight nights at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. Eldora Speedway’s docket features multiple showcase events with back-to-back nights of #LetsRaceTwo on May 12-13 alongside the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars. Fast forward to Sept. 23 when the Rossburg, Ohio half-mile is the showplace for the 36th running of the “4-Crown Nationals” that also features USAC’s Silver Crown and National Midget divisions as well as the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

Western Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track pays homage to a pair of USAC racing heroes from year’s past. The 47th running of the “Tony Hulman Classic” hits the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds half-mile on May 24 while the “Jim Hurtubise Classic” is earmarked for Sept. 15.

The “Eastern Storm” and “Indiana Sprint Week” series have become institutions in their respective regions of the country, annually playing to large crowds and some of the most intense racing seen all year long. It will be no different in the five-race Eastern Storm series that runs from June 13-18 in the Keystone State. The first two nights will be held at a pair of tracks to be announced at a later date. Williams Grove serves up a feast of racing action on June 15, then a one-day break from action before closing out the mini-series at Port Royal Speedway on the 17th and Susquehanna Speedway on the 18th.

The 30th annual “Indiana Sprint Week” series consistently stands as one of the country’s premier events. Its schedule of events remains just as consistent. Once again, ISW launches at Gas City I-69 Speedway on July 7 with Kokomo Speedway and Lawrenceburg Speedway rounding out the first weekend of racing July 8-9, respectively. A two-day sabbatical gives way as the action roars back to life for the final four-race stretch of ISW at Terre Haute, Putnamville’s Lincoln Park Speedway, Bloomington Speedway and Haubstadt’s Tri-State Speedway on July 12-15.

The sole non-points, special event of the USAC Sprint season occurs on Aug. 23 as a prelude to three more consecutive nights at Kokomo and “Sprint Car Smackdown VI” on Aug. 24-26.

Lawrenceburg hosts a pair of events – one in the spring and one in the fall – as does Tri-State. The three-eighths mile Lawrenceburg oval brings the series to town for both the Midwest opener on April 1 as well as the Midwest closer on Sept. 30. Bloomington Speedway’s red clay will fly when USAC makes a visit on April 14, which kicks off a double-header weekend that moves to Tri-State the following night at the “Spring Showdown” on April 15 for the first of two shows at the quarter-mile paperclip co-sanctioned by MSCS. The series makes the trek back to Tri-State for the “Haubstadt Hustler” on Sept. 16.

Additional dates include trips to Indiana’s Montpelier Motor Speedway and Lincoln Park Speedway on April 22 and June 30, respectively, as well as a date at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., on July 29.

The series closes out its campaign with a multitude of events in conjunction with the USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car Championship for a pair of annual events headquartered in the western U.S. First up is the 50th annual “Western World Championships.” The golden anniversary of the famed event that has been a staple of the southwest since 1968 takes place at Queen Creek’s Arizona Speedway on Nov. 3-4.

The season closes with the three-night spectacular known as the Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction on Nov. 9-11. The 22nd running at southern California’s Perris Auto Speedway pits the best from the National and CRA scenes against each other for bragging rights in what is annually the highest-paying purse of the year.

2017 USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Feb. 23: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, Fla.)

Feb. 24: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, Fla.)

Feb. 25: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, Fla.)

April 1: Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, Ind.)

April 14: Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington, Ind.)

April 15: (M) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, Ind.)

April 21: Plymouth Speedway (Plymouth, Ind.)

April 22: Montpelier Motor Speedway (Montpelier, Ind.)

May 6: TBA

May 12: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, Ohio)

May 13: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, Ohio)

May 19: Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, Ill.)

May 20: Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, Mo.)

May 24: Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, Ind.)

June 2: I-80 Speedway (Greenwood, Neb.)

June 3: Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, Iowa)

June 13: (E) TBA

June 14: (E) TBA

June 15: (E) Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, Pa.)

June 17: (E) Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, Pa.)

June 18: (E) Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, Pa.)

June 30: Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, Ind.)

July 7: (I) Gas City I-69 Speedway (Gas City, Ind.)

July 8 (I) Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, Ind.)

July 9: (I) Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, Ind.)

July 12: (I) Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, Ind.)

July 13: (I) Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, Ind.)

July 14: (I) Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington, Ind.)

July 15: (I) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, Ind.)

July 28: TBA

July 29: Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, Kan.)

July 30: Randolph County Raceway (Moberly, Mo.)

Aug. 23: (SE) Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, Ind.)

Aug. 24: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, Ind.)

Aug. 25: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, Ind.)

Aug. 26: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, Ind.)

Sept. 15: Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, Ind.)

Sept. 16: (M) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, Ind.)

Sept. 23: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, Ohio)

Sept. 30: Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, Ind.)

Oct. 6: TBA

Oct. 7: TBA

Nov. 3: (C) Arizona Speedway (Queen Creek, Ariz.)

Nov. 4: (C) Arizona Speedway (Queen Creek, Ariz.)

Nov. 9 (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, Calif.)

Nov. 10 (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, Calif.)

Nov. 11 (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, Calif.)


Source: Amsoil Racing

Triple-header Snocross Headed to Canterbuy Park, Jan. 6-8

By: ISOC Racing

ALBERTVILLE, Minn. (Dec. 6) – Three days and two nights of racing with the world’s greatest snocross racers from AMSOIL Championship Snocross Powered by RAM awaits race fans at Canterbury Park, in Shakopee, Minn., Jan. 6, 7 and 8, 2017.

For tickets, visit http://tickets.canterburypark.com.

When a massive fog bank rolled in off Lake Superior in November, visibility on Duluth, Minnesota’s Spirit Mountain was limited to a few feet, forcing the cancellation of round two of AMSOIL Championship Snocross.canterbury reschedule

Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6 and 7, the Pirtek Snocross National presented by Jimmy Johns will run as scheduled.

The postponed second round of AMSOIL Championship Snocross, presented by Country Cat, will be made up on Sunday, Jan. 8.

Information on the regional event that was scheduled for Sunday Jan. 8, will be released soon.

The Pro Open, Pro Lite, Pro AM Women and 120 Champ Finals postponed will now have their day of racing. The entire weekend will be live-streamed and recorded for later broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

Race Director Carl Schubitkze can’t wait for this great racing weekend. “The triple-header of Snocross is like a belated holiday gift for the racers and fans – three great days of racing are on the way. Canterbury Park is known as the Daytona of Snocross; a big track, indoor seating and great site lines for fans.”

About Canterbury Park:
Canterbury Park Holding Corporation owns and operates Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino, Minnesota’s only thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing facility. Canterbury Park’s Card Casino hosts card games 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering both poker and table games. The company also conducts year-round wagering on simulcast horse racing and hosts a variety of other entertainment, corporate and special events at its facility in Shakopee, Minn. For more information about Canterbury Park, visit www.canterburypark.com.


Source: Amsoil Racing

PRO PROFILE: Wil Hahn Rejoins GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda With a New Role

At just 26 years old, Wil Hahn has seen more surgeries than most people in their 80’s. After nine professional seasons in motocross competition, Hahn announced back in November that it was time to retire. Known as one of the most likeable and friendly racers in the pits (not to mention one of the biggest jokesters), Hahn has garnered more than multiple podiums and a 250SX East Region championship, but also the reputation of being an all-around great guy.

So imagine our excitement when we learned Hahn was reconnecting with his old team, GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda. Only this time he won’t be throwing a leg over a 450. He will return to the team to help with testing and work with the team’s amateur riders in the AMSOIL Factory Connection program. Racer X recently sat down with Hahn to talk to him about his return to his former team. Check out the interview below.

Racer X: The obvious question here is, when did you know? How did you know?
Wil Hahn: It’s weird because I’ve talked to people about this through the years, and the question you always ask is “How do you know?” And they always say, “When you know, you know.” For some reason something clicks and you just know. And it’s a fact. That’s exactly what happened to me. I just knew.

Wow. Just like that?
Yeah, it’s pretty funny that it went the way everyone says. They say that and you don’t really know what to think of it—it doesn’t really make that much sense. But when I woke up from surgery this year, I just sat there and said, “Man, I don’t know how many more times I want to go through this.” It’s not like it was a traumatic situation or anything, but you know, you’re just groggy, you’re feeling like crap, you’re delirious and I just didn’t know how many times I wanted to do that.

This was the crash in Atlanta?
Yeah, and the crash wasn’t even that bad. I walked off myself, I was in some pain, yes, and I was really frustrated. I’ve been in plenty of crashes where it was my fault; you can run through the coulda, shoulda, wouldas. But this one, there wasn’t anything I could have done to prevent it. The only thing that could have changed were the guys around me not crashing, but that’s our sport. I’m OK with it. Another thing is, I’ve had a few concussions, and maybe it wasn’t smart to go out there and risk that anymore. If I were to say the concussions weren’t on my mind and part of this decision, I’d be lying.Wil Hahn GEICO Honda

So, you knew immediately, but did you tell anyone? Did you keep it inside and think about it for a while?
I think I went back and forth for a bit. When I woke up I definitely felt like it was time, but I’ve been through that before; you’re hurt, you’re pissed off, you’re tired of dealing with that. I’ve had that before, but then made a comeback, so I didn’t want to make any decisions right off the bat. I talked to a few people about it. I thought back to when I was younger; when I turned pro, I had told myself that if I ever got to the point where I didn’t want to get hurt anymore, I should probably be done. If you even start thinking about injuries, I think you open yourself up to something even worse.

So did you ever even pursue a deal for 2017?
Honestly, I didn’t. It was weird for me. When I walked off the track in Atlanta, I knew my deal with Kawasaki wasn’t going to be renewed. I didn’t even need to talk to them about it—I just knew it and I didn’t blame them. No animosity there. When you’re on a team and you’ve been hurt a few times, you’re trying your best and you get hurt again, well, you already know you’re not coming back. Again, I don’t blame them. So I didn’t even pursue anything. And I knew I had this opportunity with GEICO Honda, and I’m really excited about it, so I decided to look at that.

But while you knew you were going to retire, you were making an honest effort to come back. We heard you might have come back for the last few nationals.
Yeah, and I really was trying to do that! I wanted to fulfill my contract. I wanted to come back for a couple of Nationals and possibly the USGPs. I didn’t want to end my career walking off the track in Atlanta—regardless of the result. It’s not like I wanted to come back and get any specific result in a race. I just didn’t want the last moment of my professional career being walking off the track injured. It would have felt weird knowing that.

And you achieved that in a way because you did come back to race in Australia. Did you not get rehabbed in time for the Nationals and the USGPs?
I was trying really hard to get back, but then this opportunity in Australia came about, and it was on a Kawi, so that worked out pretty well. We decided to focus on that instead of racing the GPs, and obviously Kawi in the U.S. was very supportive of that. That was huge because I was leaving and they didn’t need to help me at all—my contract was going to be up and they still supported me. They really treated me well and I appreciate that.

So this is not like you retired because you couldn’t get a ride.
Obviously, I wasn’t going to get another factory ride, but I do honestly feel like I could have made something happen, regardless if it was just me putting my own thing together or getting on some other type of team. But it wasn’t something I was really pursuing.

This is a nice smooth transition, however, you still had to be sad or upset about it in some way. You’ve been a racer your entire life.
Oh yeah, I’m not going to sit here and say I wasn’t emotional about it. When I finally put it out there [that I was retiring], I was in Australia. I didn’t have wi-fi, so I didn’t really see how people reacted. Then at the race, Chad [Reed] came up to me and gave me a hug, said he was really proud of me and things like that. It really kind of hit me. It became a really emotional moment for me because the reality of it started to set it. It’s one thing to say it, but it’s another thing to actually experience it.

Which is strange because you had actually raced that whole Australian series knowing it was going to be the end.
Yeah, and it was bittersweet because I had a lot of fun over there. The team was great and the bike was great; I had a good time. That actually made it a little easier, but it didn’t make the last race any less emotional.

So you were able to race again, but where are you physically? Are you actually still working back to 100 percent?
I feel pretty good besides some of the injuries that are more or less permanent. I feel pretty strong—better than I have in a while. I felt pretty competitive; I was able to get some good results over there and the team was happy. We were close to [Justin] Brayton in a few rounds, and he’s riding really well right now. It was good to be over in Australia but still be able to race with someone who I’ve known for a long time. That made it cool and also more special, too.

One strange thing you told me was almost all of these injuries you had took place on your right side, and they’re all in similar spots. It’s not like you did an ankle and then a knee and then a wrist, but instead it just seemed like arm, shoulder and back over and over.wil hahn anaheim2sx2016
That’s frustrating. At one point, I even said, as weird as it sounds, I wouldn’t mind hurting something on my left side. At least I would have been starting fresh. My right side—my humerus, my shoulder, my wrist, then breaking my back multiple times was frustrating. The only good thing was I knew how to rehab it. But you’d rather not know these things.

The final obvious question here is how you look back at your career. You had some great highlights, but I’m sure you also didn’t get the chance to accomplish what you wanted to in the 450 class. So how do you look back at it all? Can you size all that up?
I don’t think you really can. Of course I wish I would have had a better 450 career, especially as far as longevity. But that’s just how life is—things don’t always go to plan. But if you had told me at 12 years old I would be a supercross champion, I probably would have done anything to make that moment happen. So it goes both ways. I’m very pleased and thankful for what I did, but more importantly, for all the people I’ve met. There are relationships I have now that will go well beyond racing, and I would have never met them if it wasn’t for racing. I’m very happy and thankful for that. I think any racer will have those coulda, shoulda, woulda moments. Yeah, I’d love to have a factory 450 ride again and still be racing, but that just didn’t seem to be the plan. I’m looking forward to working with these amateur riders and hopefully they can have long, successful careers and I can help them get there.

So what is the job here? Will there be testing and riding as well as working with amateurs?
Yeah, there will be some testing for the pro team, but the title is really amateur coordinator. I don’t know exactly yet; I don’t start my first day until tomorrow (Monday), but testing for the pros and working with the amateurs will be the majority of the job.

How did this come about?
They had mentioned it to me a few years ago, actually. These teams, they know you and they know when you’re down. They made it sound like an option a few years ago, and this time I called and said, “I think I’m ready to make this happen.” With a deal like this, you don’t know if it’s going to be around forever. Someone else could take the position, or maybe they can’t offer it any longer. So that was in the back of my mind. I can’t even put into words how appreciative I am that they’ve offered this to me and wanted me to come back to the team.

Will you be out there teaching riding technique and coaching?
For sure. I think they’re open to all of that. They know I’m willing to go to the track and help in any way I can—riding, training. So I think it will be a multiple-hat type of job, which is good because these are all things I like to do.

One thing that had to make this a huge struggle: your brother Tommy came out of retirement and now he’s still riding. He’s got the edge on you—he’s still out there. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Yeah, it’s pretty funny. We always have this rivalry going, but at the same time, I’m happy that he’s happy. As long as he is, good for him; as long as you can be happy with it, keep doing it. I’m happy to go watch him race, too. I haven’t been on this side of it for a long time.

Yeah, that’s right—you might have missed some races before, but it has to be different on the sidelines wanting to be out there badly, feeling like you should be racing, compared to where you can actually enjoy it.
Exactly. That’s the thing that’s really cool. I don’t know how it’s going to feel. At Anaheim, I won’t feel that pressure. It’s a good pressure, don’t get me wrong, but it will be so different. Even right now, it’s almost December and I’m not in one of those boot camps training wide open and testing every day. It’s a little bit different for me. I’m OK with it, though. I didn’t want to leave the sport with any kind of bitterness. If you feel like you got forced out, or you maybe didn’t make the money or have the success you thought you should, whatever it is, you can end up almost hating the sport. I didn’t want to get to that point—I wanted to leave loving the sport just as much as when I started racing. That was a big thing to me. No matter what, racing has brought me so much. Whether it’s the money, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been or the things I’ve experienced, it’s hard not to be happy about all of that.


Source: Amsoil Racing