USAC 2001 schedules announced

USAC's National Driving Champions Tracy Hines, Tony Elliott and Kasey Kahne begin defense of their respective championships in March as 73 races are listed on the preliminary schedules released today. Following the "Thunder in...

USAC's National Driving Champions Tracy Hines, Tony Elliott and Kasey Kahne begin defense of their respective championships in March as 73 races are listed on the preliminary schedules released today.

Following the "Thunder in the Dome XVII" Midget Car Special Event in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. March 10, the Coors Light Silver Bullet and USAC National Midget Car Series debut March 15-18 in the "Copper World Classic" at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway. The Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Series kicks off its campaign March 31 at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and the 2001 USAC racing season is scheduled to conclude with National/Western Midget Car races at Irwindale, Calif. and Las Vegas, Nev. Thanksgiving weekend.

Included among expected highlights of the 2001 USAC racing season are the 250th event in the Coors Light Silver Bullet Series (236 at the end of 2000) and the 2,000th USAC National Midget Car race (1,993 at the end of 2000) and a return of USAC Sprint Car and Midget Car racing to the east coast in an October 13 "doubleheader" at the South Boston (Va.) Speedway.

The Silver Bullet Series makes a debut appearance at the new Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway July 19-20 and returns to the Richmond (Va.) Raceway June 29-30 as part of a 14-race campaign which includes five events in conjunction with the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. In addition to Nashville and Richmond, the Silver Bullet and IRL machines share billing at Phoenix in March, Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. June 16-17 and Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. August 24-25.

The Stoops Freightliner Sprint Cars are currently slated for 35 events at 21 venues and the National Midget Car campaign encompasses 24 races at 17 venues in addition to the RCA Dome non-points special event.

Traditional events abound, including long-standing Silver Bullet events at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the Indiana, DuQuoin and Illinois State Fairgrounds miles and Eldora Speedway. Return engagements for the Silver Crown Cars are also planned at Irwindale, Calif., Nazareth, Pa. and Knoxville, Iowa.

Highlights of the Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car season will include the seven-race Pennzoil Indiana Sprint Week between July 21 and 29, plus traditional events like the Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic, Glen Niebel Classic, Tony Hulman Classic, Joe James/Pat O'Connor Classic and 4-Crown Nationals. Brand-new Sprint Car venues in 2001 will be ngell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wisc. June 10, the Route 66 Speedway in Joliet, Ill. August 31 and South Boston, Va.

Midget Car "classics" include the Copper World opener, the Glen Niebel Classic, the Night Before the 500, the Belleville Midget Nationals, USAC's 50th Hut Hundred, the 4-Crown Nationals and the Turkey Night Grand Prix. Brand-new Midget Car venues are the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. May 11 and August 10, Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa May 18, Route 66 Speedway in Joliet, Ill. August 30, and South Boston, Va.

"Doubleheaders" featuring both the Sprint Cars and Midget Cars are scheduled April 1 at Anderson, Ind., June 23 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, July 6 and 7 at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kans., August 11 at Salem, Ind., August 24-25 at Granite City, Ill., September 15 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, September 21-22 at Rossburg, Ohio and the previously-mentioned October 13 South Boston, Va. program.

A notable return to the USAC calendar of events is the refurbished Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind., a 1/2-mile paved oval which will host Sprint Car races June 13 and August 22 and a Midget Car race July 11.

The 2001 calendar features USAC events either in conjunction with or in close proximity to nine of the 13 scheduled IRL events, including the five previously-mentioned Silver Bullet races at IRL facilities, plus USAC series competing in Indianapolis on the weekend of the Indianapolis 500, the Kansas City "doubleheaders" in July, the August Kentucky Speedway Midget race, the Route 66 Sprint Car race in Joliet the weekend of the IRL's race at the new Chicagoland Speedway, and the Sprint Car/Midget Car doubleheader at Granite City, Ill. the weekend of the IRL race at Gateway.

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Series USAC
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Tracy Hines , Tony Elliott