The United States Auto Club is going to Hawaii!! In the club's initial venture to the islands, the stars of the USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series have been invited to compete in a shootout against stars of a weekly Hawaiian Sprint Car Series for...
The United States Auto Club is going to Hawaii!!
In the club's initial venture to the islands, the stars of the USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series have been invited to compete in a shootout against stars of a weekly Hawaiian Sprint Car Series for $19,000 in prize money on a ¼-mile dirt oval located next to Pearl Harbor!
The "Hawaiian USAC Southwest Sprint Car Classic" presented by Pacific Air Cargo is scheduled November 14 and 15 at Hawaii Motor Speedway, with complete programs of racing each night. A 30-lap feature is slated on Friday and a 40-lapper concludes Saturday's program. Qualifications and preliminary races are also on tap each night at the track located in the Campbell Industrial Park in Honolulu.
Invitations from USAC race director Hal Burns have been accepted by the top drivers in the 2003 USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series and their cars will depart Los Angeles November 1 on a 747 cargo plane.
An open practice for participants is scheduled at Hawaii Motor Speedway on Wednesday, November 12.
Leading the USAC contingent are newly-crowned USAC Southwest Sprint Car Champion Rick Ziehl of Las Cruces, N.M. and 2002 USAC New Mexico/Arizona Sprint Car Champion Mike Boat of Phoenix, Ariz.
Other Hawaiian-bound drivers are Arizona's Brandon Lane (Mesa), Robert Hall, Jr. (Show Low), Ronnie Clark (Tucson), Kaylene Verville (Avondale), Mike Martin (Yuma) and Shon Deskins and Bruce St. James (Phoenix). David Burns of Santa Fe, N.M., Leighton Crouch of Shallowater, Tex. and Beau Binder of El Paso complete the lineup from the United States.
Verville is the only female in the stateside contingent. In 2002 she won a race at Show Low, Ariz., becoming the first female in USAC history to win a Sprint car feature event!
The dozen driver list includes the top nine in the 2003 USAC Southwest Sprint Car standings and represents winners of seven of this year's USAC Southwest feature races. Ziehl leads that contingent with four victories, including a streak of three straight since mid-July.
Hawaii is one of only eight states never to have hosted a USAC event in the club's 48-year history. The others are Alaska, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Wyoming.
"This event will be our biggest Sprint car event ever," said Jerry Apana, owner of the Hawaii Motor Speedway. "The local economic impact with fans and race teams coming from the mainland will help make this an annual event. USAC Sprint Car racing will be a big asset to our schedule this year and for years to come."
Thomas Engram of Pacific Air Cargo echoed the enthusiasm. "Our title sponsorship of this event is our way of contributing back to the Hawaiian Islands community. We feel strongly about keeping the racing on the speedway and off the streets and recognize the popularity of these Sprint car races on the islands. We are excited to help direct the kids to the track, not to mention the promotional side of our business and its service to the islands."