Full Circle: USAC Sprint’s Final Friday Summer Stop Hits City Circle


The first two rounds of USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship racing at Circle City Raceway in Indianapolis have been all about the escape.

2022 USAC Sprints at Circle City Raceway

Tanner Thorson escaped lapped traffic carnage to slip through for a victory in 2021, while CJ Leary found his escape by making a beeline straight to the top, which propelled him to victory lane during the final laps at the quarter-mile dirt oval in July.

Leary (Greenfield, Indiana) will attempt to repeat at Circle City on Friday night when the series makes its third visit to the Marion County Fairgrounds venue.

In doing so, Leary will try to become the first driver to win back-to-back USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car features on an Indianapolis dirt track since Tom Bigelow did so during his record 14-win season in 1977.

Leary also is one of two drivers to finish inside the top 5 in both of his USAC National Sprint Car starts at Circle City, also scoring a fifth-place finish in 2021.

The other driver who fits the mold is four-time champ Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma), who was fourth in 2021 and third in 2022. In fact, Bacon even finished third in the only USAC National Midget race held at the track. He also claimed victory in the first sprint car race without a wing at the track, with MSCS, in 2021.

Series point leader Justin Grant (Ione, California) has twice placed within the top 10 at Gas City in the USAC National Sprint Car competition. He was ninth in 2021 and had an excellent 12th-to-second charge in July 2022.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) went third in 2021 and eighth in 2022, while Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Indiana) collected a 10th in 2021, then upped his performance to fourth in July. Stockon’s Circle City resume includes possession of the 10-lap track record of 2:06.03, which he pinned down a couple of months ago.

Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow) chimed in with a fifth-place effort earlier this summer, while Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) turned in one of his finest runs of the campaign with a sixth-place finish. Robert Ballou (Rocklin, California), the series champion in 2015, tallied a ninth.

In 2021, Emerson Axsom and Kevin Thomas Jr. both sported top-10s at Circle City, with Axsom (Franklin, Indiana) notching a seventh and Thomas (Cullman, Alabama) an eighth.

Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, California) recorded the fastest lap ever turned by a USAC Sprint Car at Circle City in July 2022, when he stopped the clock with a 12.005, in what was his first career visit to the track. However, he was relegated to a 21st-place finish in the feature.

The Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports Sprint Car made a visit to Circle City in July and finished in the 10th position with driver Ryan Timms at the wheel.

This Friday, Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Oklahoma) gets the nod, planning to make his first series appearance in nearly a full calendar year, since an eight-place result at Tri-State Speedway on this same weekend in 2021. In one career USAC National Midget start at Circle City in 2021, Pursley made a nice charge from 17th to finish ninth.

Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, California) has won on three occasions this year at Circle City in local sprint car competition. He’ll wheel the Epperson Racing No. 2E this weekend and will aim to improve upon his lone USAC start at Circle City, which credited him with an 18th place finish in 2021.

Logan Seavey and Kyle Cummins are shooting for better days ahead at Circle City this time around. Seavey (Sutter, California), who recently scored a Silver Crown win on the mile at the Du Quoin (Illinois) State Fairgrounds, was an 18th place finisher at Circle City in July.

Cummins (Princeton, Indiana), meanwhile, comes riding a streak of six consecutive top-4 finishes in the USAC National Sprint Car competition, including the most recent series race during the Sprint Car Smackdown at Kokomo, where he collected a $35,000 prize.

Also returning to Circle City USAC Sprint Car lineup this Friday night are Brownsburg, Indiana’s Matt McDonald (12th in 2022), Terre Haute, Indiana’s Brandon Mattox (13th in 2022), Norman, Oklahoma’s Koby Barksdale (13th in 2021), Worthington, Indiana’s Jadon Rogers (15th in 2021), Loomis, California’s Max Adams (16th in 2021) and Columbus, Indiana’s JJ Hughes (20th in 2021).

First career Circle City USAC National Sprint Car appearances are on the horizon this weekend for 2022 Bloomington Speedway and Lincoln Park Speedway track champion Geoff Ensign (Sebastopol, California), as well as Anton Hernandez (Arlington, Texas) and Gabriel Gilbert (Greenwood, Indiana ).

Meanwhile, a handful of others have raced locally and successfully at Circle City this season and aim for a first USAC start at the track this Friday night.

Among the group are Yorktown, Indiana’s Zack Pretorius (fourth in May), San Rafael, California’s Frankie Guerrini (fifth in May), Brazil, Indiana’s Harley Burns (ninth in August) and Anderson, Indiana’s Collin Grissom (eighth in August), who will be making his USAC debut.

Friday night’s event features both the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and the USAC Midwest Thunder SpeeD2 Midgets Presented by Mastin & Cain Warehousing Services.

Pits will open at 3 pm Eastern, with the front gates opening at 5:30 pm The drivers’ meeting will be at 6 pm, and hot laps will take place at 6:30 pm, with qualifying and racing to follow.

General admission tickets will be available at the ticket booth on the day of the event. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors, veterans, military, first responders and teachers with ID – presented by the Hoosier Lottery. Kids ages 9-12 will be $10, while children age 8 and under are free.

Friday’s event can be watched LIVE on FloRacing, but clicking here.

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