DUQUOIN, Ill. – Four USAC National champions are among the early entries for the fourth annual Shamrock Classic USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget event on March 9 at the Southern Illinois Center.
One-third of the list of USAC Triple Crown title-holders who own championships in Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint Car and National Midget have entered, including Dave Darland in the RMS LLC No. 36 and Jerry Coons Jr. aboard the Petry Motorsports No. 25.
Tanner Thorson, the 2016 USAC National Midget champion, has entered in the Tri-C Motorsports No. 3c while 2014 and 2016 USAC National Sprint Car titlist Brady Bacon will wheel the Kelly Hinck-owned No. 21H.
Among the other standouts and past USAC National feature winners entered for the Shamrock are 2014 USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year Kevin Thomas Jr. in the Petry Motorsports No. 5. He finished in the runner-up spot in both his initial outings in Ocala, Fla., in February.
Thomas Meseraull is the most recent winner of indoor USAC Midget racing in DuQuoin, capturing the victory in last December’s Junior Knepper 55 driving the RMS LLC No. 7R, with whom he returns to for this race.
Last fall, Tyler Thomas became the first driver to win his first USAC National Sprint and Midget races in the same season since Kyle Larson in 2011. He won that first midget race in Wayne City, Ill., last October and returns to DuQuoin in his own No. 91T.
Twenty-eight midgets have entered thus far with many more expected to be rolling in throughout the coming weeks. Fast Lane Racing Apparel is sponsoring free race entry for all USAC NOS Energy Midget National Championship teams competing in the March 9 Shamrock Classic at the Southern Illinois Center.
The fourth annual Shamrock Classic will offer a hefty payday of $50,000 for any driver that successfully completes the Factory Canopies Pot of Gold Challenge. The top driver in passing points will be given the chance to start from the rear of the feature field. Should they win the race, that driver will earn a $50,000.
If the top driver in passing points turns down the challenge, then it will be offered to the next driver in passing points. Only the top-four drivers in passing points will be offered the opportunity to take the Pot of Gold Challenge.
The Shamrock Classic will offer appearance points only to drivers and their teams, no feature points. With a driver’s finishing position not being a part of the series title race, that creates more enticement for a team and driver to take on the challenge.
The base winner’s share is $4,000, meaning if a driver could complete the challenge and win from the tail, he or she would collect $54,000, which would be the richest take-home pay any driver has ever earned for a single race in the history of the USAC NOS Energy Midget National Championship.