USAC Expands Into Pacific Northwest
INDIANAPOLIS — The USAC Pacific Northwest operations are expanding in 2013, in part thanks to a new association forged between USAC and the Washington Midget Racing Ass’n, which will find the two sanctioning bodies presenting 15 co-sanctioned events.
A 55-race calendar has been established, including the USAC Washington Ignite Midget Dirt Series which increases from four to eight its number of visits at Washington’s Skagit Speedway. Grays Harbor Raceway will host the series nine times, including the annual Grays Harbor County Fair race Aug. 10.
Included in the USAC-WMRA association are eight pavement and seven dirt races as the USAC Northwest Ignite Midgets compete for separate pavement and dirt championships. The dirt races are incorporated in the newly formed USAC-WRMA Oregon Dirt Challenge Series.
“Bringing the WMRA and USAC together for these races makes a great deal of sense,” said Mike McCluney, USAC Manager, Western States Midgets & Ignite Midget Series. “Both organizations have unique strengths and assets that complement each other. Working together will produce a great experience for our competitors and an enhanced product for our fans and promoters.”
After a long absence USAC actively returned to the Northwest in 2012 with a very successful 17 race Ignite Midget Dirt Series that concentrated its races at Steve Beitler’s Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash., and Jerry Schram’s nationally recognized Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma Wash.
Only one USAC midget event occurred in the states of Washington, Oregon or Idaho in the past 35 years until the recent Ignite races. The last midget race in Washington before 2012 was the 1977 race at the Kingdome in Seattle.
“The WMRA is excited to be working with USAC in 2013,” said Tony Seidelman, business manager for the WMRA. “Bringing the two clubs together was the smart thing to do to improve overall car count and the health of midget racing in the northwest on the dirt and the pavement. This is a great accomplishment for the WMRA and USAC and it’s sure to be an exciting year.”
After staging a pair of exhibition USAC Ignite Midget races on the pavement at Evergreen Speedway in 2012, Monroe, Wash., promoter Doug Hobbs has returned to become the anchor for the inaugural USAC Northwest Ignite Pavement Series with four races scheduled, including the Fourth of July, the Aug. 3 Roy Price Memorial and the Sept. 1Washington State Fair race.
The pavement series will also stop three times at Butch Behn’s South Sound Speedway in Rochester, Wash., and venture north of the border twice to visit Agassiz Speedway in Agassiz, British Columbia.
Eight of the nine races will be run as co-sanctioned events with the Washington Midget Racing Ass’n and the ninth will be run in conjunction with the Agassiz Club. USAC members will compete with USAC legal Ignite Midgets for the USAC Championship and will battle the WMRA for race prizes.
WMRA and USAC have also joined forces to co-sanction the brand new for 2013 USAC/WMRA Oregon Dirt Challenge Series. This will be a seven race series for USAC and an eight race series for WMRA and will visit Sunset Speedway in Banks, Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, and make one stop at the completely remodeled Willamette Speedway in Lebanon.
As with the pavement series, USAC legal Ignite cars will compete for their own championship points. All cars will compete on USAC Ignite Hoosier tires and at USAC Ignite Series weight.