Pete Smith



Traditional sprints on pavement


Since usac shut down the pavement portion of its sprint car series, those of us who looked for traditional sprints on pavement in the Midwest only really had two choices , Spartan speedway and the Little 500  at Anderson speedway. This year two new series have emerged that give the fan at least a few more opportunities to see once again see this type of action.

For those who don’t know, traditional sprint cars have a storied past on pavement, and not so many years ago this form of racing was thriving with high car counts, multiple sanctioning bodies and a huge fan base. Greats like Tony Stewart , Ryan Newman, and Kenny Irwin cut their teeth driving pavement sprints on ESPN’s Thursday night thunder. As a fan who was lucky enough to have experience that renaissance period I often reminisce about those days and find myself wondering why traditional pavement sprint car racing came to the state it is in today. For those of us who wish to return to that era, there is glimmer of hope with the new series and a wave of renewed interest in pavement sprint car racing as a whole.

I spoke with Dave Muzzillo of the Top Speed Fabrication Modified Tour, who has subsequently started the Icar non-wing sprint series. Dave says the interest generated by the announcement of the sprint series has been overwhelming. Despite having only one date at on the schedule at Angola Motorsport speedway on May 18th , He has been in talk with other tracks who have expressed interest in the newly formed series. He is hoping for two to three more dates with a schedule of 10-12 events in 2014. With the positive response he is confident in the series future as well as car counts for the initial event. When speaking with Dave he pointed out some of the advantages of a non-wing series as opposed to the well established pavement winged sprint series in the area. It allows the mid-pack teams in the winged series to be on more of an equal footing because it is not so engine dependant , as well as keeps tire costs down because non-wing cars are less abusive on tires. His main objective with the series is to keep costs contained while providing an outlet for those who wish to keep the tradition alive of non-wing sprints on pavement.

Likewise the USSA Sprint car challenge series, is another start up providing an option for non wing sprint car racing on pavement.  Competition director Eric Bunn , says there has been an outpouring of support, an even though there is just one show scheduled, the Glen Niebel Classic at Anderson speedway on April 14th, he is in talks with other tracks and is hoping for 2 to three more dates. Eric’s philosophy with the new series was to take things slowly and do them right , “ you got to learn to crawl , then walk before you can run and that’s what we are doing” . Eric was very optimist about the future of the fledgling series, and USSA was very seriously committed to growing the series. Eric went on to say

“Racing on any form is a business and the secret is to get fans in the seats and we are taking that challenge seriously”.

Right now pavement sprint car racing seems to be on the upswing, winged groups Like Must See Extreme Sprint Series , Auto Value Super Sprints and The Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series can not be credited enough for what they have done for fans of pavement sprint car racing. Now hopefully these new organizations will experience similar success and provide even more fans an opportunity to see this exciting form of motor sports. the commitment of grassroots organizations like USSA and ICAR will go along way toward to the preservation of this form of racing but more importantly if you have not set a date aside to give one of these groups a chance by all mean do, you will not be disappointed.
















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Revised: March 15, 2013