LAWRENCEBURG FALL NATIONALS PREVIEW
By: Richie Murray - USAC Media
Lawrenceburg, Indiana (September 30, 2019).........This Saturday's 63rd appearance by the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship at Indiana's Lawrenceburg Speedway brings to us the 10th running of the Fall Nationals under USAC sanction on October 5.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) enters as the reigning Fall Nationals winner, leading the first lap and the final 18 laps in a spirited duel with Brady Bacon. He's riding a hot streak at The Burg as the winner of the two most recent series appearances, also capturing the win during July's Indiana Sprint Week round. In fact, four of Grant's 16 career USAC National Sprint wins have come at Lawrenceburg. He was also the fastest qualifier at Lawrenceburg during Indiana Midget Week in June. He has five top-five finishes at the Fall Nationals, including a 5th in 2013, a 4th in 2014, a 5th in 2016 and a 3rd in 2017.
The very first of Chase Stockon's 12 career USAC National Sprint Car victories came at the Fall Nationals in 2012. He's started all nine Fall Nationals under USAC sanction since 2009. The Fort Branch, Ind. native, who holds the ultimate ironman streak of 288 USAC National Sprint Car consecutive starts entering the weekend, also finished as the runner-up at the Fall Nationals in 2013.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) has three career USAC National Sprint Car feature wins at Lawrenceburg, twice in 2013 and again during the 2017 Fall Nationals. He also scored a 4th at the Fall Nationals in 2013, a runner-up finish in 2015 and a 5th place run in last year's event. He took a 4th in July at Lawrenceburg during Indiana Sprint Week.
Josh Hodges (Tijeras, N.M.) picked up his first and, thus far, only career USAC National Sprint Car feature win during the Fall Nationals in 2016. In fact, he's finished in the top-10 in all three of his Fall Nationals starts: 1st in 2016, 8th in 2017 and 10th in 2018. His 2016 run was the fastest 30-lap USAC Sprint Car race in the history of Lawrenceburg Speedway at 7:21.09.
Dave Darland (Lincoln, Ind.) is the winningest USAC National Sprint Car driver of all-time with 62 wins. He also holds the record for most USAC Sprint Car wins at Lawrenceburg with seven dating back to 1998. In Fall Nationals' past, he's been 3rd in both 2013 and 2016 and was 6th a year ago. Additionally, he set quick time during qualifying in both in 2014 and 2017. The USAC Triple Crown champ's most recent victory at the track came on Sept. 14 in a Lawrenceburg Sprint program.
Brady Bacon's lone USAC National Sprint Car win at Lawrenceburg came during the summer of 2015. The two-time USAC National Sprint Car champ from Broken Arrow, Okla. was the fastest qualifier at the 2011 Fall Nationals and has finished in the top-three in the event over the years, including 2nd in 2014, 4th in 2015 and a runner-up finish in 2018 where he led 11 laps.
Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) was the most recent USAC National Sprint Car feature winner last Saturday at Eldora Speedway where he became the first driver in the series this season to record a complete sweep of the night with fast qualifying time, a heat race win and a feature victory within a single night. The defending USAC Sprint champ has one career Lawrenceburg win with the series in 2018. He finished 5th in the Fall Nationals in 2017 and was 3rd in 2018.
USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader and 2013 Lawrenceburg Speedway track champion C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) has finished in the top-three twice at the Fall Nationals in his career. He was 3rd in 2015 and 2nd in 2017. In both 2015 and 2018, he was the fastest qualifier at the Fall Nationals and was so again this past July at Lawrenceburg during Indiana Sprint Week where he raced to a 3rd place finish in the main event. He carries a 58-point lead in the series standings entering the event.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) is the only driver to finish in the top-ten of all nine previous Fall Nationals run under the sanctioning of USAC, but the Spring 2017 winner remains on the hunt for his first Fall Nationals triumph. He was 3rd in 2009, 2nd in 2011, 2nd in 2012, 10th in 2013, 9th in 2014, 5th in 2015, 2nd in 2016, 7th in 2017 and 4th in 2018. He was 2nd in July at Lawrenceburg and was victorious there during Indiana Midget Week this past June.
Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) was 17th during his first Fall Nationals run one year ago in 2018. The Bridgeport, N.J. Eastern Storm winner and Fairbury, Neb. Mid-America Midget week victor was 7th during his Lawrenceburg USAC Sprint Car return in July of this year. His Daigh/Phillips Motorsports team has been the fastest qualifier twice at the Fall Nationals, in 2014 with Darland and in 2016 with Stevie Sussex.
Isaac Chapple (Willow Branch, Ind.) enters the Fall Nationals after reeling off a pair of top-tens last weekend at Gas City and Eldora where he finished 9th in both. The 2016 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year has made three past Fall Nationals starts, finishing a best of 9th one year ago.
Dustin Clark (Washington, Ind.) has taken command of the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year battle. He plans to make his first career Fall Nationals appearance this Saturday at Lawrenceburg where he's made one previous series start, a 14th place finish this past July.
Nick Bilbee (Indianapolis, Ind.) has won three times at Lawrenceburg this season in weekly Sprint Car competition and finished 4th in the track's standings for 2019. He was the fastest qualifier in USAC Sprint Car competition at Lawrenceburg during the summer of 2018. A 14th place finisher last year at the Fall Nationals, his best result in the event was an 11th in 2017.
Saturday is Pretty in Pink Night at the track. Wear a pink shirt to show support of Breast Cancer Awareness and receive a chance to win a $100 Kroger gift card from Lawrenceburg Speedway.
Pits open at 3pm Eastern, spectator gates open at 5pm, drivers meeting at 5:30pm and cars on track at 6pm. General admission tickets are $25 for ages 13 and up, $7 for ages 7-12 and free for children age 6 and under. Pit passes are $30 apiece for all ages.
The Fall Nationals can be watched LIVE and on-demand on FloRacing, listened to via live audio on the USAC app as well as live timing and scoring on both the USAC app and the Race-Monitor app.
USAC SPRINT CAR FALL NATIONALS WINNERS AT LAWRENCEBURG SPEEDWAY:
2009: Damion Gardner
2011: Levi Jones
2012: Chase Stockon
2013: Bryan Clauson
2014: Bryan Clauson
2015: Thomas Meseraull
2016: Josh Hodges
2017: Kevin Thomas, Jr.
2018: Justin Grant
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