INDIANAPOLIS – The highest-paying USAC iRacing event in history will take place Saturday, in an invitation-only race featuring the top stars of the United States Auto Club and broadcast on FloRacing.
The AME Electrical Saturday Night Lightning FALS Invitational will pad the wallets of the frontrunners who can get the job done in the virtual NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series feature held at the quarter-mile Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway.
The total payout includes $2,020 top prize going to the winner courtesy of AME Electrical, $1,000 for second from Rex Reinbold and $500 for third from Hunter Percent’s Hammer Head Garage, while a $100 hard charger prize will be posted by Todd Underwood of Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports.
It’s bound to become a challenge of drivers from different disciplines, yet all the drivers do have real-world midget experience.
Eight USAC national champions are among the top guard in USAC Triple Crown champion J.J. Yeley, 2017 USAC National Midget titlist Spencer Bayston, 2013 USAC National Midget champion and 2017 NASCAR Truck Series titlist Christopher Bell, 2014 and 2016 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car king Brady Bacon, 2018 AMSOIL National Sprint Car and 2019 NOS Energy Drink National Midget champion Tyler Courtney, 2016 USAC national champion Tanner Thorson, 2018 USAC midget king Logan Seavey and 2016 USAC Silver Crown and 2017 USAC National Sprint champion Chris Windom.
In addition to the crowd of USAC champs are midget racing veterans who’ve excelled in other areas of auto racing.
Those drivers include multi-time Indianapolis 500 starter Conor Daly, three-time NASCAR Xfinity Series winner Chase Briscoe, 143-time NASCAR Cup Series starter Landon Cassill, 2019 Knoxville Nationals winner David Gravel and All Star Circuit of Champions winner Cale Thomas, reigning World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year and winner Carson Macedo, as well as longtime veteran Randy Hannagan.
Those top contenders are mixed in with a slew of USAC feature winners in Cannon McIntosh, Justin Grant, Kevin Thomas Jr., Thomas Meseraull, Tanner Carrick, Kevin Swindell, Matt Westfall, Shane Hmiel, Jason McDougal, Zeb Wise and Tyler Thomas.
Reigning USAC Western States Midget champion Robert Dalby and five-time Western States king Ronnie Gardner are also entered.
Event sponsor and 2019 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Champion owner Andy Reinbold got the idea to put together the event for the entertainment value of it and also to give racers a place to race during these trying times.
“Everybody’s stuck at home bored over this coronavirus deal and secondly, and just as important, is the idea that these kids that race to entertain us,” said Reinbold. “We think they live the dream by racing full-time and that’s their full-time gig, which a lot of them survive by. But, suddenly, the work dries up and there’s no paycheck for those guys – the ones that are commission-based like our drivers are. So we’re affording these guys an opportunity to make a little dough and just trying to help them out, that’s all.”
With all the ongoing downtime for racers, teams and race fans alike, Reinbold sees the long-term importance of the event and finding a greater cause for the sport in the long run.
“It’s huge for the exposure of our sport that we all like,” Reinbold said. “Dirt racing, whether it be midgets, sprint cars, wing cars, late models or dirt modifieds, we’re all kind of a family. I’m a sports freak, I don’t care what it is, there nothing much to watch out there. We’re just taking the opportunity while we have the stage to draw interest.
“I would like to think it would never replace live racing,” Reinbold added. “By using this for exposure to get more fans out there while we wait to return to normality, we can grow our sport and put it on the map a little more than it already is.”
AME Electrical Saturday Night Lightning Entry List
3n – Jake Neuman (Jake Neuman Racing)
08 – Cannon McIntosh (Keith Kunz Motorsports)
1 – Carson Macedo (Kyle Larson Racing)
1x – Randy Hannagan (Randy Hannagan Racing)
2 – J.J. Yeley (Triple Crown Racing)
4 – Robert Dalby (Robert Dalby Motorsports)
4A – Justin Grant (RAMS Racing)
5 – Kevin Thomas Jr. (Petry Motorsports)
5A – Anton Hernandez (Baldwin Brothers Racing)
5B – Chase Briscoe (Chase Briscoe Racing)
6 – Mario Clouser (Clouser Motorsports)
7bc – Tyler Courtney (Clauson-Marshall Racing)
7L – Landon Cassill (Team Cassill)
7x – Thomas Meseraull (RMS Racing)
9 – Daison Pursley (Keith Kunz Motorsports)
11 – Ricky Lewis (Lewis Motorsports)
12 – Trey Robb (TUHB eSports)
13 – Dennis Gile (Gene Gile Racing)
14 – Ronnie Gardner (Robert Dalby Motorsports)
15 – Carson Garrett (Carson Garrett Racing)
18 – Tanner Holmes (Factory QRC)
19 – Tanner Thorson (Hayward Motorsports)
19AZ – Logan Seavey (Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports)
19H – Hayden Reinbold (Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports)
20 – Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter Racing)
21 – Christopher Bell (CB Industries)
21K – Karter Sarff (Sarff Motorsports)
25 – Chase Johnson (Tom Malloy Motorsports)
28 – Ace McCarthy (Dave Mac Motorsports)
32 – Trey Marcham (TUHB eSports)
35 – Tanner Carrick (Petry Motorsports)
37 – Aiden Purdue (Aiden Purdue Motorsports)
39 – Matt Goodnight (Goodnight Racing)
39x – Kevin Swindell (Swindell SpeedLab)
52 – Isaac Chapple (Grim Sim)
54 – Matt Westfall (Westfall Racing)
55 – Nick Drake (Sam Hunt Racing)
56 – Shane Hmiel (8x Motorsports)
61 – Stephen Schnapf (Edwards Motorsports)
67 – Buddy Kofoid (Keith Kunz Motorsports)
69 – Brady Bacon (Hoffman Auto Racing)
69x – Jason McDougal (TUHB eSports)
71 – Zeb Wise (Keith Kunz Motorsports)
72 – Sam Johnson (Sam Johnson Racing)
82 – Andrew Layser (Tucker-Boat Motorsports)
87 – Ryan Bernal (Bernal Racing)
88 – Kaidon Brown (CB Industries)
89 – Chris Windom (Tucker-Boat Motorsports)
89G – David Gravel (David Gravel Racing)
91 – Cale Thomas (Brent Marks Racing Sim Team)
91T – Tyler Thomas (Tyler Thomas Motorsports)
97 – Spencer Bayston (Spencer Bayston Racing)
98 – Brandon Morin (Morin Sim Sport)
98x – Clinton Boyles (Tims Sims Racing)