By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Gas City, Indiana (July 21, 2021).........Last year’s introduction to NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week by AMSOIL at Gas City I-69 Speedway produced one of the wildest finishes in the history of the series, punctuated by a memorable duel between Logan Seavey and Kevin Thomas Jr. that truly defined the fine line between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
Competing for nearly the entirety of the second half of the 30-lap feature side-by-side for the lead, Seavey and Thomas tangled in turn three while working their way past a lapped car on the final lap, sending both of the frontrunners over the turn three cushion. Thomas’ car came to a stop while Seavey motored on without stopping, bent draglink and all.
From thereon, Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) finished off the victory in a green-white-checkered battle with Chase Stockon to collect his first career ISW victory and enters this Friday night’s, July 23 Indiana Sprint Week opener undefeated at Gas City in ISW competition, standing one-for-one.
Once again, for the 10th time, Gas City I-69 Speedway will host the Indiana Sprint Week opener. The quarter-mile dirt oval has previously hosted the ISW opener in its debut on the schedule 2002 and each year between 2011-16, then again in 2019-20.
Seavey is among four past Gas City Indiana Sprint Week winners slated to compete this Friday night along with Stockon, C.J. Leary and Shane Cottle.
Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) scored the ISW Gas City victory in 2015 and notched another top-flight result a year ago with a runner-up finish. The reigning Indiana Sprint Week champ has also finished 5th at GC in 2014, 8th in 2013, 9th in 2017 and 10th in 2012.
Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) beat the rain to reign victorious during ISW at Gas City in 2017. The 2019 Indiana Sprint Week champion, Leary snagged a 2nd place finish that same year at GC.
Two-time track champ Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) is always a threat to win at Gas City during Indiana Sprint Week, and finally broke through in 2019, winning the closest finish ever in USAC National Sprint Car history after starting from the 18th position. In fact, over the past two seasons of ISW at Gas City, Cottle has advanced a total of 31 positions in the feature alone. Among his seven top-five Gas City ISW results are a 2nd in 2013, a 4th in 2016 and 5th place finishes in 2007-08-11-12. He also won USAC National Sprint Car features at Gas City in 2006 and 2008.
Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) very nearly pulled off his first Gas City ISW victory in 2020, but the 2017 ISW champ has won twice in USAC National Sprint Car competition at GC in both 2013 and 2018. During Indiana Sprint Week there, he’s finished 5th twice in 2015 and 2019, and was 9th in 2013.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) collected a USAC National Sprint car feature win at Gas City in 2015. The 2016 Indiana Sprint Week champion has been highly consistent over the years at GC, earning four top-five results with a 4th as his best in 2019 and a 5th in 2007, 2016 and 2017. The three-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ owns Gas City’s 10-lap track record of 2:01.65, set in 2015.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) is the most recent USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winner at Gas City, scoring a late September 2020 victory. During ISW’s Gas City rounds, he was 2nd in 2014 and 3rd in 2020 after recording the fastest qualifying time. Also on his ISW Gas City resume are finishes of 8th in 2017 and 10th in 2019.
Two-time (2011 & 2018) Indiana Sprint Week titlist Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) has a USAC National Sprint Car feature triumph in his back pocket, winning in the fall of 2019. At Gas City during ISW, the USAC Triple Crown champion has stood on the “podium” five times with a best of 2nd in 2011, and 3rd place results in 2014-16-17-19.
Scotty Weir (Marion, Ind.) got his lone USAC National Sprint Car feature win at Gas City in the spring of 2016. During ISW at the racetrack located just off I-69, Weir has been 3rd in 2009, 4th in 2007, 5th in 2010, 6th in 2016, 7th in 2007 and 8th in 2012.
Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.), the 2015 Indiana Sprint Week champ, hasn’t yet won a USAC National Sprint Car feature at Gas City, but has come oh-so-close, leading late in 2017 before finishing 2nd and was also 3rd in 2011, 4th in 2015 and 8th in 2016.
Looking for breakthrough performances in the win column at Gas City are Bedford, Indiana’s Brady Short (6th in 2007); one-lap track record holder and 2019 track champ, San Jose, California’s Thomas Meseraull (5th in 2020 & 7th in 2017); Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Jason McDougal (6th in 2019); Princeton, Indiana’s Kyle Cummins (4th in 2020 & 8th in 2019); Marion, Illinois’ Carson Short (6th in 2020) and Pleasant Hill, Ohio’s Matt Westfall (10th in 2020).
Indiana Sprint Week Rookies Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) and Paul Nienhiser (Chapin, Ill.) will be on hand. Thorson won his first career USAC National Midget feature at Gas City in 2015.
They’ll be joined by a number of USAC stalwarts eager for a first career USAC National Sprint Car feature win like 2017 USAC West Coast Sprint Car champion Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.), 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Ind.), 2020 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Ind.), USAC Sprint Car Rookie Cole Bodine (Rossville, Ind.), 2017 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Stevie Sussex (Mesa, Ariz.) and 2018 USAC Southwest Sprint Car champ Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Ariz.), in addition to USAC CRA Sprint Car invaders Eddie Tafoya Jr. (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Chris Gansen (Verdemont Heights, Calif.) and more!
Gas City’s NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week by AMSOIL event features the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship vying for the $6,000 winner’s share along with the 600cc Non-Wing Micro Sprints.
On Friday, pits open at 3pm ET, front gates open at 5pm, drivers meeting at 6pm with cars on track at 6:30pm and qualifying/racing immediately following.
General admission tickets are $30, kids 12 and under are free. Pit passes are $30 for members and $35 for non-members.
Every lap of all seven USAC NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week by AMSOIL races will be aired live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2ZpafUr
2021 USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK INDIANA SPRINT WEEK SCHEDULE:
Friday, July 23: Gas City I-69 Speedway | Gas City, IN
Saturday, July 24: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN
Sunday, July 25: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN
Wednesday, July 28: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN
Thursday, July 29: Lincoln Park Speedway | Putnamville, IN
Friday, July 30: Bloomington Speedway | Bloomington, IN
Saturday, July 31: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN