Race Weekend Central

Keepin’ It Short: Building Tomorrow’s Stars at the Brickyard

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts some of the biggest events in motorsports. The Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 are the two biggest. The Indianapolis GP for the Moto GP motorcycle world and the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship. In addition to those four major events there are many other support events and experiences unique to the historic track in Speedway, Indiana. This week the track plays host to the very infancy of tomorrow’s racing stars as it host the 2nd Annual Battle at the Brickyard. The event is a four-day extravaganza of USAC quarter midget racing.

USAC is ingrained in the very DNA of the speedway. For years it was the sanctioning body for the 500. Most of the people who competed in the 500 for decades rose to that level of racing through the ranks of USAC. The bottom rung of the USAC ladder is the quarter midget. Similar to most go-kart races, are a multitude of classes designed to provide fair racing for all ages and abilities. This year’s Battle will have feature races for 18 different classes.

This event is round five of the USAC Generation Next National Series. Drivers have already run events in North Carolina, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Tennessee. This developmental series prepares the drivers to move up into the ranks of USAC and other racing series. Some of the drivers have already begun competing in USAC’s Midget series.

There were over 270 entrants in the event in 2010 for the week’s four days of competition. Throughout the week the drivers will be treated to two-seater IndyCar rides. The schedule includes action from Wednesday through Saturday. Heat races will be run on Wednesday and Thursday. Lower Mains will be contested on Friday with the A-mains and a Race of Champions contested on Saturday, ultimately crowning 18 Brickyard Champions.

The top-three drivers in each of the 18 divisions will receive a commemorative brick and a championship flag signed by all of the participants. For fans who would like to watch the action remotely they can view a live video stream on www.usacracing.com. For fans who are interested in watching the races in person, admission is free. The schedule of events can be found here.

Similar to the winners of the major races at the Speedway, the winners in 2013 kissed the yard of bricks after their victory lane celebration. It will most likely happen again this year.

Whelen All-American Series National Championship

The battle at the top of the national points standings is heating up. Anthony Anders ran two races last week but only managed two top-five finishes, failing to increase his points total. Meanwhile, Lee Pulliam raced in four events, scoring two wins and four top fives. As a result he increased his points total by 24, drawing to within three points of Anders. The remainder of the top five in points stayed in the same positions.

Keith Rocco won the only race he contested, adding 13 points to increase his total to 646. Peyton Sellers landed a top five in his one race, adding two points to his total, making it 621. Dillon Bassett snagged a top five in his one race to jump up to 594 points.

In the second half of the top 10, Ryan Preece and Tommy Lemons Jr. managed to jump over Matt Bowling. Preece won the one race he ran, increasing his total by 19 to 567 while Lemons ran three races, scoring two top fives and three top 10s. His points total increased to 562, passing Bowling by two points. Bowling ran one race with a top 10 but didn’t add to his 560 points. Randy Porter didn’t compete this past week, so Kres Vandyke‘s win and increase of 39 points moved him up to the ninth spot.

The Whelen All-American Series features an “inverted” points format. Car count determines the points competitors can receive. Points are awarded in ascending order from last place at a rate of two points per position. Last place receives two points, next-to-last scores four and on up through the field to the winner.

The maximum number of cars awarded points in a single event is 18. The winner of the event receives three bonus points if they start the race in position one through nine. If they start in 10th or further back they will receive five bonus points. Drivers can collect points for their 18 best finishes recorded before Sept. 22, 2014. The maximum number of points a driver can receive is 738.

About the author

What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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