FOCUSES KICK OFF 2010 SEASON AT TUCSON; "ROGER McCLUSKEY WESTERN WINTER NATIONALS" NEW YEAR'S DAY USAC's Ford Focus Series will kick off the 2010 racing calendar New Year's Day with the inaugural "Roger McCluskey USAC Ford Focus Western Winter...
FOCUSES KICK OFF 2010 SEASON AT TUCSON; "ROGER McCLUSKEY WESTERN WINTER NATIONALS" NEW YEAR'S DAY
USAC's Ford Focus Series will kick off the 2010 racing calendar New Year's Day with the inaugural "Roger McCluskey USAC Ford Focus Western Winter Nationals" at Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park.
A $1,500-to-win Ford Focus feature event, accompanied by Modified, Mod-Lite and Hornet races, is on tap at the 3/8-mile paved oval located southeast of Tucson. A practice period is slated on New Year's Eve.
The "special non-points event" marks the 73rd appearance of USAC in Tucson and the 293rd USAC race in the Copper State. McCluskey, USAC's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer who died of cancer in 1993 after a distinguished career in motorsports, actually won USAC's first race in his hometown, a Midget race in 1962 at Tucson Motor Speedway. McCluskey went on to start 18 Indianapolis 500s, finishing third in 1973, and also won the USAC National Championship that year. A two-time USAC Stock Car and Sprint Car Champion as well, his five Championship-car victories included the 1972 California 500 and he added 23 Stock Car, 23 Sprint Car and four Midget wins.
The January 1 race will mark the eighth time the Ford Focuses have competed in Arizona. All seven previous races were held at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City.
Tucson has long been a destination for USAC racers. One Tucson native, Jerry Coons Jr., is among USAC's elite, being one of only five drivers in history to claim the USAC "Triple Crown" of winning all three USAC National titles.
Another Tucson native, Alex Bowman, has his name emblazoned on the prestigious Henry Ford Sweepstakes Trophy emblematic of his 2008 USAC Ford Focus National Championship.
Tucson Raceway Park is not new to USAC competition, with 30 events staged there between 1993 and 2004. Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind. "swept" the last USAC program at TRP, a Sprint-Midget "doubleheader" in November of 2004.
The January 1 race occurs in conjunction with the inaugural American Shorttrack Racing Expo (ASR) being held at the Desert Diamond Casino, located on Interstate 19 in Tucson, December 31, January 1-2. The expo features Sprint Car, Midget, Stock Car, Modified, Drag Car, Off Road, Motorcycle, Kart, Street Rod, and Jalopy technology. Additional info regarding the ASR can be obtained by visiting www.american-shorttrack-racing-expo.com.