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National Dirt
Thursday, 17 December 2020


Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) led all drivers with three new track records set during USAC National competition in 2020. Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) led all drivers with three new track records set during USAC National competition in 2020. DB3 Inc. Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Speedway, Indiana (December 17, 2020)………Thirty new track records were set by 21 different drivers across USAC’s three national divisions during the 2020 season.

No driver earned more of them in the past year than Tanner Thorson with three.  The Minden, Nev. native set the 8-lap standard in June at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway, which just so happened to be his first career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car appearance.

The 2016 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champ also set two new one-lap records with the Midgets, first on the opening weekend of the season at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., then once again during Eastern Midget Week at Action Track USA in Kutztown, Pa.

Thorson and C.J. Leary were the lone drivers to snare new track records in multiple divisions during the year.  Leary established the one-lap standard during Fatheadz Eyewear Qualifying in the inaugural USAC Silver Crown run at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway in August.  Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) then snagged another record, for three laps, during the semifinal of the B & W Auto Mart King of the Hill during Sprint Car Smackdown IX in August at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway.

The breakdown of new track records by division went 21 for the Midgets, 7 for Sprint Cars and 2 for Silver Crown.  Of the 30 track records, 27 of them were former records that were broken while three were newly established during first-time appearances for Silver Crown at Selinsgrove, plus the 10-lap Midget mark by Kevin Thomas Jr. at Port City Raceway in Tulsa, Okla. and the 1-lap time at Caney Valley Speedway in Caney, Kan. turned in by Cannon McIntosh.

A handful of the new records set this year overtook the standard that had been imprinted into the history books a long period of time, spanning multiple decades.

Aaron Pierce’s time of 6:36.928 during the qualifying race for the Hoosier Hundred set a brand new 12-lap USAC Silver Crown track record at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, eclipsing the former mark of 6:42.010, which had been held by Gene Lee Gibson since Sept. 10, 1988.

Robert Ballou set two brand new track records for sprint cars without a wing at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway during July’s Corn Belt Nationals.  His 10-lap performance in the third heat race of 3:09.379 lowered the previous record set by Richard Griffin in a 1991 CRA event by more than 10 seconds.  Ballou’s 16-lap time during the semi-feature of 5:25.068 broke the former record at Knoxville set by Eddie Leavitt in 1978 by a whopping 18 seconds.

Jonathan Beason’s time of 2:03.059 in heat race one of the November Classic at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway defeated the former 10-lap Midget track record that had been held by Shane Scully since 1997.

The “King of the Midgets,” Mel Kenyon, had hung onto the one-lap Midget record at Paragon (Ind.) Speedway since 1985.  That event 35 years ago had been the last time series had visited the 3/8-mile dirt track prior to 2020.  Perhaps, unsurprisingly, with the evolution and advancements made in the three-and-a-half decades since, that record was substantially lowered to 14.813 sec. by Kyle Larson during time trials for the Indiana Midget Week opener in June.



3-Tanner Thorson (2 Midget & 1 Sprint)

2-C.J. Leary (1 Silver Crown & 1 Sprint)

2-Robert Ballou (2 Sprint)

2-Logan Seavey (2 Midget)

2-Cannon McIntosh (2 Midget)

2-Sam Johnson (2 Midget)

2-Kyle Larson (2 Midget)

2-Tyler Courtney (2 Midget)

1-Aaron Pierce (1 Silver Crown)

1-Jadon Rogers (1 Sprint)

1-Dave Darland (1 Sprint)

1-Chase Stockon (1 Sprint)

1-Daison Pursley (1 Midget)

1-Jonathan Beason (1 Midget)

1-Zeb Wise (1 Midget)

1-Rico Abreu (1 Midget)

1-Thomas Meseraull (1 Midget)

1-Kevin Thomas Jr. (1 Midget)

1-Ace McCarthy (1 Midget)

1-Justin Grant (1 Midget)

1-Kyle Cummins (1 Midget)





Indiana State Fairgrounds - 1-Mile Dirt Oval - Indianapolis, Indiana

12 Laps         8/23/2020          Aaron Pierce                6:36.928               108.836 mph


Selinsgrove Speedway – 1/2-Mile Dirt Oval – Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

1 Lap             8/9/2020            C.J. Leary                       21.676                   83.041 mph





Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 - 1/3 Mile Dirt Oval - Pevely, Missouri

10 Laps         6/7/2020            Jadon Rogers                       2:29.867           79.991 mph   

12 Laps         6/7/2020            Dave Darland                       2:40.932           89.389 mph


Knoxville Raceway - 1/2 Mile Dirt Oval - Knoxville, Iowa

10 Laps         7/11/2020          Robert Ballou                       3:09.379           95.048 mph

12 Laps         7/10/2020          Chase Stockon                     4:26.089           81.176 mph

16 Laps         7/11/2020          Robert Ballou                       5:25.068           88.597 mph


Kokomo Speedway - 1/4 Mile Dirt Oval - Kokomo, Indiana

3 Laps           8/29/2020          C.J. Leary                               40.950               65.934 mph


Plymouth Speedway - 3/8 Mile Dirt Oval - Plymouth, Indiana

8 Laps           6/26/2020          Tanner Thorson                  1:53.920           94.803 mph





Action Track USA – 1/5-Mile Dirt Oval – Kutztown, Pennsylvania

1 Lap             8/5/2020            Tanner Thorson                    11.146               64.597 mph

10 Laps         8/5/2020            Daison Pursley                      1:58.010           61.012 mph


Arizona Speedway – 1/3-Mile Dirt Oval – San Tan Valley, Arizona

1 Lap             11/13/2020       Logan Seavey                        15.137               79.197 mph

12 Laps         11/14/2020       Logan Seavey                        3:13.982           74.160 mph


Bakersfield Speedway - 1/3-Mile Dirt Oval - Bakersfield, California

10 Laps         11/17/2020       Jonathan Beason                  2:03.059           97.417 mph


Bubba Raceway Park - 3/8-Mile Dirt D-Shaped Track - Ocala, Florida

1 Lap             2/8/2020            Tanner Thorson                    13.724               98.368 mph

8 Laps           2/8/2020            Zeb Wise                                  1:52.636           95.884 mph


Caney Valley Speedway - 1/4-Mile Dirt Oval – Caney, Kansas

1 Lap             7/19/2020          Cannon McIntosh                13.285               67.746 mph


Gas City I-69 Speedway - 1/4-Mile Dirt Oval - Gas City, Indiana

12 Laps         6/17/2020          Rico Abreu                              2:43.872           65.905 mph


Jefferson County Speedway - 1/5-Mile Dirt Oval - Fairbury, Nebraska

12 Laps         7/17/2020          Sam Johnson                         2:24.855           59.646 mph


Merced Speedway - 1/4-Mile Dirt Oval - Merced, California

1 Lap             11/21/2020       Kyle Larson                             11.838               76.026 mph

10 Laps         11/21/2020       Thomas Meseraull               2:06.569           71.108 mph


Paragon Speedway - 3/8-Mile Dirt Oval – Paragon, Indiana

1 Lap             6/16/2020          Kyle Larson                             14.813               91.136 mph


Port City Raceway - 1/8-Mile Dirt Oval – Tulsa, Oklahoma

1 Lap             5/23/2020          Cannon McIntosh                9.398                 47.883 mph

10 Laps         5/22/2020          Kevin Thomas Jr.                   1:38.966           45.470 mph


Red Dirt Raceway - 1/4-Mile Dirt Oval - Meeker, Oklahoma

1 Lap             7/21/2020          Tyler Courtney                      13.108               68.660 mph

8 Laps           7/21/2020          Sam Johnson                         1:49.580           65.705 mph


Southern Illinois Center - 1/6-Mile Dirt Oval - Du Quoin, Illinois

10 Laps         3/7/2020            Ace McCarthy                        1:49.218           54.936 mph 


Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex - 1/6-Mile Dirt Oval - Sweet Springs, Missouri

1 Lap             9/4/2020            Tyler Courtney                      11.863               50.577 mph

10 Laps         9/4/2020            Justin Grant                            2:03.358           48.639 mph


Wayne County Speedway - 1/8-Mile Dirt Oval - Wayne City, Illinois

10 Laps         10/9/2020          Kyle Cummins                        1:51.378           40.403 mph