PEORIA, Ariz. – This weekend’s Arizona Motorsports Hall of Fame events at Canyon Speedway Park will be pivotal in the battle for the 2012 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Championship.
Races are planned Friday and Saturday nights at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval and with 148 total points available and only 57 points separating the top-three in the standings, the title will be significantly impacted. The series concludes the 2012 season on Nov. 2-3 with the Budweiser Oval Nationals at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway.
Former series titlist Dave Darland sits atop the standings, trailed by a pair of drivers seeking their initial series championship.
USAC National Drivers Champion Bryan Clauson, heading toward a possible third consecutive crown, hopes to add this year’s National Sprint Car title to his 2011 USAC National Midget Championship.
He trails Darland by just 23 points. Third-ranking Jon Stanbrough, 57 points back of the leader, is aiming at his first-ever USAC National crown.
Clauson swept both ends of last year’s Peoria features, while Stanbrough finished eighth and 11th in the two Arizona races. Darland did not compete at Canyon last year.
So far this year, Darland has racked up victories at Sun Prairie, Wisc., Kokomo, Ind., and Putnamville, Ind., Rossburg, Ohio and Hartford, Mich. Clauson’s six wins have come at Bechtelsville, Pa., New Egypt, N.J., Grain Valley, Mo., Gas City, Ind., and Kokomo, Ind. (two at Kokomo). Stanbrough has scored at Wilmot, Wis., and Haubstadt, Ind.
Arizona’s Charles Davis, Jr. won the AMSOIL USAC-CRA Sprint Car Series feature at Canyon in September.
The only driver in USAC’S AMSOIL National Sprint Car top-10 who won’t be in action this weekend is defending series champion Levi Jones, who is continuing to recover from season-ending neck surgery last month.