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54 Teams entered in Saturday's USAC race here

Posted on 3/15/2016, 5:04 PM

This Saturday, March 19, the inaugural running of the “Shamrock Classic” at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Illinois pits the top midget drivers and teams in the United States against each other in the USAC Midget National Championship’s first “points-paying” indoor National Midget race since Kenny Irwin, Jr.’s victory at the Toronto SkyDome in January of 1993.

Fifty-four teams have already pre-entered for the event, including USAC champions Dave Darland, Brady Bacon and “Shamrock Classic” race promoter Bryan Clauson. Past USAC National event winners from the state of Illinois Zach Daum (Pocahontas) and Chris Urish (Elkhart), who won a Silver Crown race on the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds’ mile in 2013 will compete this Saturday night. USAC National series feature winners Chad Boat, Justin Grant, Thomas Meseraull, Bill Rose and Tanner Thorson are among those entered as well.

Thorson, USAC’s 2015 “Most Improved Driver,” leads a five-car Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports brigade into Saturday’s race with teammates Spencer Bayston (2015 USAC National Midget “Rookie of the Year”), and series rookies Carson Macedo, Ryan Robinson and Holly Shelton.

USAC’s indoor racing history dates back to the very beginning of the organization 60 years ago. The first ever racing event conducted by USAC was an indoor midget race won by Gene Hartley at the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Memorial Coliseum on January 8, 1956. The most recent and, thus far, only USAC Midget event at the Southern Illinois Center was a non-points-paying "special event" held last December. Mississippi’s Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. chased down teammate Clauson in the final laps to take the victory.

Sleepy Tripp won the most recent points-paying USAC National Midget race held in Du Quoin, Illinois in 1979, taking a 50-lap feature outdoors on the “Magic Mile” located adjacent to the Southern Illinois Center.

A format rewarding position advancement through the preliminary events, just as what was used in last December’s “Junior Knepper 55” and at the Chili Bowl Nationals, will be utilized throughout Saturday night’s program in which passing points from the heats and qualifying races will form the lineups for the 50-lap feature event.

The timetable of events at the Southern Illinois Center for the “Shamrock Classic,” which includes Outlaw Karts presented by Indy Race Parts as part of the program, begins with participant parking on March 18 (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 and hot laps get under way at 4 pm.

Reserved seats are $25.00. 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. Tickets can be purchased online at

For fans who are unable to attend the event, coverage of the race will be LIVE on on Saturday, March 19 and can be purchased for $21.50 ($19.25 for Premium/VIP members).