Nifty: USAC Sprints Take on Tri-State for the 50th Time Saturday

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Haubstadt, Indiana (April 28, 2022)………An extraordinary moment in the history of USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship racing at Haubstadt, Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway arrives this Saturday night, April 30, during the 10th running of the Spring Showdown, co-sanctioned by the Midwest Sprint Car Series.

The venerable southern Indiana 1/4-mile dirt oval hosts its 50th USAC National Sprint Car event, becoming just the 11th racetrack to reach that milestone, joining Ohio’s Eldora Speedway (203); the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track (168); Winchester (Ind.) Speedway (143); Salem (Ind.) Speedway (105); Indianapolis (Ind.) Raceway Park (79); Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway (71); Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway (67); Reading (Pa.) Fairgrounds (60); New Bremen (Ohio) Speedway (59); and Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway (50).

The 2021 Spring Showdown, much like the first, the 47th, the 48th or the 49th USAC Sprint Car events held at Tri-State, had its fair share of memorable moments, all the way down to the last drop. Kyle Cummins, who has long since honed his knack for taking the most extraordinary moments and making them seem almost ordinary at Tri-State, did so once again this time last year.

In his 11th to first charge during the 2021 Spring Showdown, Cummins ran down Jadon Rogers just four laps from the finish to deny the teenager’s first career USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship victory of his own. By doing so, Cummins earned a “first” for himself.

Up to that point, Cummins had won practically every named race at Tri-State, but the first eight editions of the Spring Showdown had eluded him until April of 2021. Cummins’ journey that evening entailed continuous alterations, trials and errors and improvements on the car throughout the course of the night following mag trouble, and even prompted a phone call to his father, Mark, a sprint car hero himself at Tri-State during the 1980s and 1990s, who arrived on the scene and helped pitch in.

Now, this Saturday night, Kyle will attempt to become the first driver to go back-to-back at the Spring Showdown, which enters its 10th edition in what will be the 50th USAC National Sprint Car feature held at the 1/4-mile dirt oval since Rick Hood captured the initial victory in September of 1983.

While no driver owns more Tri-State USAC Sprint Car victories than Cummins, he needs one more to stand alone at the top. He’s currently tied at six with Kevin Thomas Jr. Six of Cummins’ 10 overall USAC Sprint Car victories have come at his home track of Tri-State.

Cummins is among four past Spring Showdown winners in this Saturday’s field. That group includes Stephen Schnapf (Newburgh, Ind.) who stunned the field in 2020 to become the only driver to capture his first career USAC National Sprint Car win during the Spring Showdown.

Just two drivers have started all eight previous Spring Showdown events since the inaugural edition in 2012: Cummins and Chase Stockon from nearby Fort Branch, Ind. Stockon scored in the 2016 Showdown and has yet to finish outside the top-11 in his 10 previous Spring Showdown feature starts. Stockon also possesses the 12-lap track record for the series at TSS, a 2:42.02 set on 9/14/2013.

Brady Short (Bedford, Ind.) is a two-time winner at Tri-State with the USAC National Sprint Cars, earning back-to-back wins in 2015. The first of those two visits to victory lane resulted in a 30-lap track record, a mark of 7:31.50 that was set on 7/18/2015 and still stands to this day. B. Short has never finished outside the top-ten in his seven Spring Showdown starts, with a best of 4th on three occasions in 2013-15-17.

Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) has been solid in his past four Spring Showdown runs, all of which have resulted in top-five finishes: a 3rd in 2017, a 5th in 2018, 5th in 2020 and 4th in 2021. In July of 2021, he became a first-time USAC National Sprint Car winner at Tri-State during Indiana Sprint Week.

Likewise, Carson Short (Marion, Ill.) is also a USAC National Sprint Car feature winner at Tri-State. In fact, he’s the only driver to have both his first career USAC National Sprint Car (2016) and World of Outlaws (2020) wins come at TSS. His best Spring Showdown performance came in 2016 with a 3rd place result.

Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) was victorious with USAC at Tri-State in July of 2014, his lone win at the track under USAC sanction thus far. He’s been the runner-up at the Spring Showdown on three occasions, in 2013, 2015 and again in 2020.

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) has made a start in each of the past eight Spring Showdown features, leading a lap and finishing 5th in 2016, then setting fast time in qualifying and leading a race-high 14 laps en route to a runner-up result in 2018.

Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Ind.) earned his best career USAC National Sprint Car result in the 2021 Spring Showdown, leading 26 of the 30 laps before finishing as the runner-up. Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) finished on the podium in his Spring Showdown debut in 2018.

Spring Showdown top-ten combatants include the likes of Tanner Thorson, Kendall Ruble and Kent Schmidt. Thorson (Minden, Nev.) collected an 8th in 2021 with Ruble (Vincennes, Ind.) finishing one spot behind. Kent Schmidt (Owensville, Ind.), meanwhile, earned himself a 10th in 2016.

Heatseekers bubbling just outside the chart of a top-10 hit performance at the Spring Showdown are Anaheim, California’s Jake Swanson (11th in 2021); Fort Branch, Indiana’s Donny Brackett (11th in 2020); Loomis, California’s Max Adams (12th in 2021); Terre Haute, Indiana’s Brandon Mattox (13th in 2018 & 2020); Pittsboro, Indiana’s Critter Malone (13th in 2021); Newburgh, Indiana’s Chet Williams (14th in 2017) and Robards, Kentucky’s Aric Gentry (17th in 2020).

The Spring Showdown Rookie class is stout. Point leader Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) is among those on the first-timer list. Axsom charged from 23rd to 5th at TSS in USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship competition in 2020. Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) is among the event Rookies as well, having won the 2019 USAC National Midget feature there during the Harvest Classic.

Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) has competed in just about every type of racecar and just about every racetrack in the Midwest. However, the one-time USAC National Sprint Car feature winner has not yet made a feature start at the Spring Showdown.

Fellow Spring Showdown first-timers for Saturday include 2021 MSCS Rookie of the Year Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colo.), Alex Banales (Lafayette, Ind.), Ryan Bond (Haubstadt, Ind.), Sam Scott (Patoka, Ind.), Eddie Vancil (Olney, Ill.), Koby Barksdale (Norman, Okla.), Dylan Moan (Sumner, Ill.), Cindy Chambers (Bloomington, Ind.) and Stan Beadles (Owensville, Ind.).
Saturday’s Spring Showdown features the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship (co-sanctioned by the Midwest Sprint Car Series) and the Midwest Mini Sprint Association.

Pits open Saturday at 3pm (Central), with grandstands opening at 4pm, the drivers meeting at 5pm and hot laps at 6pm.

General admission tickets for Saturday are $25 for ages 19 and up. General admission for students ages 13-18 is $20. Children ages 12 and under are free.

The Spring Showdown can be watched live and on-demand on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3u7ID2N.

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EXPECTED SPRING SHOWDOWN ENTRIES:

2E CARSON SHORT/Marion, IL

3R KYLE CUMMINS/Princeton, IN

4 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA

4B DONNY BRACKETT/Fort Branch, IN

5 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA

5K KENT SCHMIDT/Owensville, IN

5m JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK

5s CHASE STOCKON/Fort Branch, IN

5x ALEX BANALES/Lafayette, IN

7 CRITTER MALONE/Pittsboro, IN

7R RYAN BOND/Haubstadt, IN

7s SAM SCOTT/Patoka, IN

7v EDDIE VANCIL/Olney, IL

10 ARIC GENTRY/Robards, KY

11 STEPHEN SCHNAPF/Newburgh, IN

12 ROBERT BALLOU/Rocklin, CA

14 JADON ROGERS/Worthington, IN

15 CARSON GARRETT/Littleton, CO

16K KOBY BARKSSALE/Norman, OK

17 MAX ADAMS/Loomis, CA

17D DYLAN MOAN/Sumner, IL

17K KENDALL RUBLE/Vincennes, IN

18c CINDY CHAMBERS/Bloomington, IN

19AZ TANNER THORSON/Minden, NV

21AZ JAKE SWANSON/Anaheim, CA

28 BRANDON MATTOX/Terre Haute, IN

33m MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH

38 CHET WILLIAMS/Newburgh, IN

47BC EMERSON AXSOM/Franklin, IN

61m BRADY SHORT/Bedford, IN

69 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK

77m C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN

84 STAN BEADLES/Owensville, IN

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PAST SPRING SHOWDOWN WINNERS:

2012: Hunter Schuerenberg

2013: Kevin Thomas Jr.

2014: Daron Clayton

2015: Brady Bacon

2016: Chase Stockon

2017: Chris Windom

2018: Kevin Thomas Jr.

2019: Rained Out

2020: Stephen Schnapf

2021: Kyle Cummins

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TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS

6-Kyle Cummins & Kevin Thomas Jr.

5-Daron Clayton

4-Cory Kruseman

3-Rick Hood

2-Hunter Schuerenberg, Brady Short, Jon Stanbrough & Chase Stockon

1-Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou, Steve Butler, Dave Darland, Jay Drake, Tony Elliott, Blake Fitzpatrick, Damion Gardner, Justin Grant, Tracy Hines, Kenny Jacobs, Levi Jones, Casey Riggs, Stephen Schnapf, Carson Short, Chris Windom & J.J. Yeley

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TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINNERS

1983: Rick Hood (9/4)

1984: Steve Butler (5/28) & Rick Hood (9/2)

1988: Kenny Jacobs (8/7)

1989: Rick Hood (6/3)

2000: Cory Kruseman (7/30)

2001: Tony Elliott (5/13) & Jay Drake (7/22)

2002: Tracy Hines (5/19) & Cory Kruseman (7/21)

2003: J.J. Yeley (7/20)

2004: Cory Kruseman (7/18)

2005: Cory Kruseman (7/17)

2006: Jon Stanbrough (7/15) & Daron Clayton (9/2)

2007: Daron Clayton (7/21)

2008: Hunter Schuerenberg (7/19)

2009: Levi Jones (7/18)

2010: Blake Fitzpatrick (7/17)

2011: Damion Gardner (7/16) & Casey Riggs (9/17)

2012: Hunter Schuerenberg (5/12), Jon Stanbrough (7/21) & Daron Clayton (9/15)

2013: Kevin Thomas Jr. (5/11) & Kevin Thomas Jr. (9/14)

2014: Daron Clayton (4/26), Robert Ballou (7/19) & Daron Clayton (9/13)

2015: Brady Bacon (4/18), Brady Short (7/18) & Brady Short (9/19)

2016: Chase Stockon (4/16), Carson Short (7/16) & Kyle Cummins (9/17)

2017: Chris Windom (4/15), Kyle Cummins (7/15) & Kevin Thomas Jr. (9/16)

2018: Kevin Thomas Jr. (4/28), Dave Darland (7/28) & Kevin Thomas Jr. (9/15)

2019: Kyle Cummins (7/27) & Kyle Cummins (9/14)

2020: Stephen Schnapf (6/14), Kyle Cummins (8/2) & Chase Stockon (9/19)

2021: Kyle Cummins (4/17), Justin Grant (7/31) & Kevin Thomas Jr. (9/18)

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TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CARS AT TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY

1 Lap – 7/30/2000 – Levi Jones – 12.644 – 71.180 mph

6 Laps – 7/07/2005 – Hud Cone – 1:20.59 – 67.006 mph

8 Laps – 7/15/2006 – Shane Hollingsworth – 1:49.6565.664 mph

10 Laps – 9/2/2006 – Dave Darland – 2:09.026 – 9.757 mph

12 Laps – 9/14/2013 – Chase Stockon – 2:42.02 – 66.658 mph

30 Laps – 7/18/2015 – Brady Short – 7:31.50 – 59.801 mph

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PAST SPRING SHODOWN FEATURE RESULTS:

2012 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2. Levi Jones, 3. Kevin Thomas Jr., 4. Daron Clayton, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Brady Short, 7. Jeff Bland Jr., 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 9. Kyle Cummins, 10. Wes McIntyre, 11. Jon Stanbrough, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Casey Shuman, 14. Casey Riggs, 15. Dave Darland, 16. Jonathan Hendrick, 17. Chase Briscoe, 18. Chet Williams, 19. Dakota Jackson, 20. Tracy Hines, 21. Brandon Mattox, 22. Nic Faas, 23. Bobby East. 9:33.03

2013 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Chase Stockon, 4. Brady Short, 5. Dave Darland, 6. Levi Jones, 7. Wes McIntyre, 8. Landon Simon, 9. Hunter Schuerenberg, 10. Brady Bacon, 11. Casey Shuman, 12. Kyle Cummins, 13. Tracy Hines, 14. Nick Drake, 15. Chase Briscoe, 16. Danny Holtsclaw, 17. Shane Cottle, 18. Dakota Jackson, 19. Josh Burton, 20. Daron Clayton, 21. Seth Parker, 22. C.J. Leary, 23. Tyler Courtney, 24. Bryan Clauson, 25. Jon Stanbrough. NT

2014 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Daron Clayton, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Jon Stanbrough, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 5. Brady Short, 6. Justin Grant, 7. Bryan Clauson, 8. C.J. Leary, 9. Jarett Andretti, 10. Chase Stockon, 11. Carson Short, 12. Kyle Cummins, 13. Robert Ballou, 14. Tracy Hines, 15. Thomas Meseraull, 16. Bradley Sterrett, 17. Dave Darland, 18. Shane Cockrum, 19. Jeff Bland Jr., 20. Brandon Mattox, 21. Kevin Thomas Jr., 22. Chris Windom. NT

2015 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Kyle Cummins, 4. Brady Short, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Tracy Hines, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9. C.J. Leary, 10. Carson Short, 11. Chase Briscoe, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Jon Stanbrough, 14. Logan Jarrett, 15. Ted Hines, 16. Shane Cockrum, 17. Chet Williams, 18. Donnie Brackett, 19. Justin Grant, 20. James Lyerla, 21. Jeff Bland Jr., 22. Travis Hery. NT

2016 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chase Stockon, 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Carson Short, 4. Chad Boespflug, 5. C.J. Leary, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Robert Ballou, 8. Brady Short, 9. Thomas Meseraull, 10. Kent Schmidt, 11. Dakota Jackson, 12. Justin Grant, 13. Landon Simon, 14. Dave Darland, 15. Aaron Farney, 16. James Lyerla, 17. Isaac Chapple, 18. Matt Goodnight, 19. Brandon Morin, 20. Kody Swanson, 21. Nevil Algieo, 22. Max McGhee. NT

2017 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Chad Boespflug, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Brady Short, 5. Carson Short, 6. Jarett Andretti, 7. Aaron Farney, 8. Max McGhee, 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 10. C.J. Leary, 11. Chase Stockon, 12. Stevie Sussex, 13. Tyler Courtney, 14. Chet Williams, 15. Isaac Chapple, 16. Dave Darland, 17. Landon Simon, 18. Brandon Morin, 19. Kyle Cummins, 20. Hunter Schuerenberg, 21. Clinton Boyles, 22. Aric Gentry, 23. Dakota Jackson, 24. Donny Brackett, 25. Josh Hodges. NT

2018 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr. (5), 2. C.J. Leary (6), 3. Logan Seavey (7), 4. Dave Darland (4), 5. Justin Grant (2), 6. Chris Windom (10), 7. Robert Ballou (20), 8. Kody Swanson (1), 9. Carson Short (3), 10. Chase Stockon (14), 11. Joe Stornetta (19), 12. Tyler Courtney (15), 13. Brandon Mattox (21), 14. Brady Bacon (18), 15. Donny Brackett (9), 16. Stephen Schnapf (12), 17. Isaac Chapple (16), 18. Kyle Cummins (8), 19. Collin Ambrose (22), 20. Aric Gentry (13), 21. Brian Karraker (11), 22. Tyler Thomas (23), 23. Stevie Sussex (17). NT

2020 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Stephen Schnapf (1), 2. Robert Ballou (2), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (15), 4. Carson Short (4), 5. Justin Grant (5), 6. Chris Windom (9), 7. Chase Stockon (11), 8. Brady Bacon (10), 9. Jadon Rogers (12), 10. Brady Short (21), 11. Donny Brackett (6), 12. C.J. Leary (7), 13. Brandon Mattox (16), 14. Charles Davis Jr. (14), 15. Kendall Ruble (13), 16. Max Adams (17), 17. Aric Gentry (20), 18. Kent Schmidt (24), 19. Dustin Clark (19), 20. Logan Seavey (23), 21. Dakota Jackson (8), 22. Kyle Cummins (3), 23. Anton Hernandez (22), 24. Jonathan Vennard (18), 25. Dave Darland (25), 26. Chayse Hayhurst (26). NT

2021 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kyle Cummins (11), 2. Jadon Rogers (5), 3. Chase Stockon (1), 4. Justin Grant (7), 5. Brady Bacon (8), 6. Robert Ballou (12), 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. (6), 8. Tanner Thorson (13), 9. Kendall Ruble (19), 10. Chris Windom (4), 11. Jake Swanson (2), 12. Max Adams (15), 13. Critter Malone (14), 14. Kent Schmidt (3), 15. Paul Nienhiser (22), 16. C.J. Leary (16), 17. Cole Bodine (23) (P), 18. Carson Short (21), 19. Shane Cottle (17), 20. Chet Williams (18), 21. Nic Harris (20), 22. Brandon Mattox (10), 23. Aric Gentry (24) (P), 24. Stephen Schnapf (9). NT