Du Quoin, Illinois………Some of the biggest names in midget racing have begun to file their entries for the second running of the “Shamrock Classic” Saturday, March 18 at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin. The $3900-to-win USAC Midget National Championship season opener brings the series indoors to showcase the intense open wheel action on the 1/6-mile indoor dirt track that has routinely provided some of the most memorable races each season.
The two most recent USAC Midget winners at the Southern Illinois Center have signed on to compete for the Clauson/Marshall Racing team at Du Quoin. Fremont, California’s Shane Golobic will attempt to defend his “Shamrock Classic” victory in the CMR/Matt Wood Racing No. 17w. Indianapolis, Indiana’s Tyler Courtney, a Southern Illinois Center winner in last December’s “Junior Knepper 55,” will pilot the CMR No. 7BC. Filling out the CMR stable is current USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Justin Grant who won last Friday’s Sprint season opener in Ocala, Florida. The Ione, California native won his first ever start in the CMR No. 39BC in a Chili Bowl preliminary night feature in January.
In addition, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon is back in the saddle of the FMR No. 76m for the 2017 USAC season. The two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ, won last season’s “Jason Leffler Memorial” in Wayne City, Ill. and finished third in series points.
Further early entries include Collinsville, Oklahoma’s Tyler Thomas who finished in the runner-up spot in last August’s “Tuesday Night Thunder” in Fairbury, Nebraska and is always an exciting one to watch. Herculaneum, Missouri’s Tony Roney finished fifth in the 2016 “Shamrock.” Up-and-coming Fairland, Indiana driver Gage Walker showed much improvement throughout last season and aims to be a contender on March 18.
Last year’s “Shamrock” brought 54 midgets to battle it out for the “Pot of Gold” trophy and many additional entries are expected to be filed within the next couple weeks leading up to raceday.
Free entry is available for all “Shamrock Classic” competitors courtesy of R.E. Griesemer at https://usacracing. ticketspice.com/shamrock- classic-at-du-quoin-entry. Use the code regriesemer. The deadline for pre-entry is Monday, March 13. Entries filed after March 13 are $40.
Reserved seats are $25.00 for the highly-anticipated event while adult general admission tickets are $20.00; kids 6-12 are $10.00 and kids 5 years-old and under are FREE! Pit passes are $35.00. The purchase of a reserved seat provides you a free pit pass! Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.usactickets.com/.
Among the companies offering prizes and bonuses for winning the 50-lap midget feature are Simpson Race Products, who will award a brand-new helmet to the victor. Cold Hard Art has created a “Pot of Gold” trophy that will be presented to the winning driver and team in victory lane.
Drivers on the move will have the opportunity to cash in on the bonuses being served up. The “Wheelman of the Race” will earn a Max Papis Innovations (MPI) steering wheel for his or her efforts. The driver advancing the most positions during the “Shamrock Classic” will earn “Hard Charger” honors courtesy of Elliott’s Custom Trailers.
Furthermore, the third-place finisher in each heat race will receive a prize from FK Shocks. Ben Hodgin has thrown in $100 to the driver who leads lap 39 of the feature.
Additional companies offering prize packs include Competition Suspension, Inc., Allstar Performance, AFCO, Indy Race Parts, DMI, Wilwood, Walker Performance Filters, Keizer Wheels, Speedway Motors, Schoenfeld, Arizona Sport Shirts and EarEVERYTHING, Inc.
The timetable of events at the Southern Illinois Center for the “Shamrock Classic” begins with participant parking on March 17 (Friday) from 4-7 pm. Saturday’s race-day schedule begins with pits opening at 8 am, followed by a “pit sweep” at noon. Spectator gates open at 1 pm. A public drivers’ meeting open to all race fans starts at 3:30 pm. Hot laps get under way at 4 pm with racing set for 5:30pm.
Fans who are unable to attend the event in-person can view the race LIVE on http://www.speedshifttv.com/.
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Sources: Richie Murray/United States Auto Club PR