They breathe fire through methanol-fueled aluminum engines displacing 410 cubic inches. They like to go high, low, three-abreast and especially, as hard sideways as the drivers can crank them. This is primal auto racing, Sprint cars without wings, and when the United States Auto Club runs them, it’s a stellar show. Usually, it involves driving out to Ohio or Indiana to see them. Except for a brief period next month.
This photo by Steve Koletar, taken at Grandview Speedway in Pennsylvania, typifies the sort of action that the USAC Sprints will be packing when they haul in for the Eastern Storm tour, which gets underway on Tuesday, June 11th, with the Jesse Hockett Classic at Grandview, a wild third-mile dirt bowl located about halfway between Allentown and Reading, Pennsylvania. The Eastern Storm stops are part of the Thunder on the Hill series of midweek events presented by tour promoter Bob Miller. Other events in the tour are the following night, Wednesday, June 12th, at Bridgeport Speedway in southern New Jersey; Thursday, June 13th, at BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pennsylvania; Saturday, June 15th, at Port Royal Speedway in the Juniata Mountains of central Pennsylvania; and Sunday, June 16th, at Weedsport Speedway in central New York, west of Syracuse along the New York State Thruway. Success in USAC Sprints used to be a guaranteed ticket to the Indianapolis 500; witness the late champion Bryan Clauson who had multiple starts in the great race. The lineup of drivers coming East includes Chris Windom, who ran this year’s Freedom 100 for Indy Lights; past USAC Sprint champion Robert Ballou, Brady Bacon, Justin Grant and Tyler “Sunshine” Courtney.