USAC Sprints Make Annual Visit To Bloomington Speedway

The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship makes its way to Bloomington, Indiana, for the Larry Rice Classic. (Dave Dellinger photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship makes an annual early season trip to southern Indiana’s Bloomington Speedway on Friday, April 29.

The first edition of the Bloomington race was in 1986, with this year marking the 11th springtime visit of the USAC series at the quarter-mile, red clay oval for round five of the season.

Brady Bacon enters Friday’s event at Bloomington coming off a victory in the series’ most recent race at Ohio’s Atomic Speedway. He’s also the lone Bloomington USAC National Sprint Car feature winner expected in the field, with a 30-lap feature win from 2019 under his belt.

Bacon’s performance stands as the 30-lap track record for the series, at a clip of 6:47.18.

Additionally, the four-time series champ was second in 2021 and has finished his last seven spring Bloomington starts inside the top-eight, along with being a three-time fast qualifier.

Shane Cottle eyes a finish one spot ahead of what he got a decade ago when he finished second behind Bobby East in 2012. Brady Short is looking for two spots better, after the seven-time track champion tallied a third place result in the spring of 2013.

Like Short, the quad of Chase Stockon, Jason McDougal, Logan Seavey and Kyle Cummins are all looking to return to the podium where they’ve stood before.

Stockton holds Bloomington’s 12-lap track record of 2:20.84, which he set in 2017.

Stockon’s KO Motorsports’ teammate McDougal notched a third in his only previous spring Bloomington start in 2019. Seavey made his only Bloomington start a good one in 2018 when he finished third. Cummins scored a third in the most recent edition in 2021.

The Ocala winner from February, Justin Grant, seeks a return to victory lane this Friday after finishing fourth at Bloomington in 2017. Grant was the Fatheadz Fast Qualifier a year ago in 2021.

Robert Ballou, the 2015 USAC National Sprint Car driving champion, collected a top-five run in 2016. CJ Leary, the 2019 series titlist, took fifth in both 2018 and 2019, while also holding the one-lap track record for the series at 10.685 seconds.

Likewise, Tanner Thorson, Carson Short, Brent Beauchamp and Matt Westfall are all previous spring Bloomington top-ten finishers who are planning to edge their way into the top-five this Friday night. Short collected a sixth in 2015 while Thorson, the 2016 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Champion, was sixth in his first and only early-season series start at Bloomington in 2021.

Brent Beauchamp, a one-time USAC National Sprint Car victor at Bloomington in July of 2016, finished ninth there the following spring. Westfall took a 10th place finish back in 2013.

Meanwhile, Jadon Rogers, Jake Swanson and Max Adams are coming off seasons in which they won on the local level at Bloomington in 2021. Rogers captured three victories, Swanson picked up two and Adams took one during the early part of the campaign.

Veteran Brandons—Brandon Morin and Brandon Mattox—will be on the gas to put it in Bloomington’s spring show for the first time in a number of years. Mattox snared a 22nd in 2016 while Morin was 25th in 2015.

Alec Sipes is the lone Bloomington native in Friday’s lineup. Braxton Cummings will attempt to become the first son of a past spring Bloomington USAC National Sprint Car feature starter to race, following in the footsteps of his dad, Bub Cummings.

The Larry Rice Classic on Friday honors the life and career of the three-time USAC National driving champion, 1978 Indianapolis 500 co-Rookie of the Year and ESPN Thunder color analyst.

Rice captured the USAC National Midget title in 1973, plus USAC Silver Crown championships in both 1977 and 1981. This event features the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, as well as IMCA RaceSaver Sprints Cars and Hornets.

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