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General News
Friday, 15 May 2020


Chuck Amati in 1982. Chuck Amati in 1982. John Mahoney Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Speedway, Indiana (May 15, 2020)………Firsts for Caruthers, Amati, McCord and Carpenter while Mahoney scores after Keeker DQ marks this day in USAC National Sprint and Midget history on May 15.

Bob Hogle made his name in sprint cars as a two-time CRA champion in 1963 and 1968, but he was also top-flight behind the wheel of a midget as well, taking two career USAC National Midget wins, both at Ascot Park, first in 1964, then again on the date of May 15, 1965.

Danny Caruthers’ brief, but amazing career lasted just one remarkable season in 1971, winning 12 USAC National Midget races and clinching the title before losing his life in a crash in the third from last race of the year at California’s Corona Raceway.  The first of those 12 victories came on this date, May 15, of that year at Limaland Motor Speedway in Ohio.

That same night, the USAC National Sprints were on the asphalt of Indianapolis Raceway Park, where Sammy Sessions was in the midst of a hot streak in which he won five of the first 11.  The third of that stretch came at IRP that night aboard the Paul Leffler/Ralph Hulsman No. 6.

Pancho Carter was a master of the paved high banks, especially the Winchester Speedway high banks in eastern Indiana where he won 12 of his 42 career USAC National Sprint Car features, including one on May 15, 1977.

Mel Kenyon won his first of two races during the 1981 USAC National Midget season on May 15 at Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Ill. en route to his sixth series driving title.  Six years later, in 1987, it was a somewhat similar scenario for Kevin Olson, who piloted Greg Wilke’s No. 11EC to a win at Santa Fe on May 15 on his way to a second series title that year.

The One-Armed Bandit from Freeman Spur, Ill., Chuck Amati, won his fair share of races throughout his career, but just three with USAC’s Sprint Car division, the first coming on May 15, 1982 at Indiana’s Paragon Speedway.

Jim Mahoney collected the fifth and final victory of his USAC National Sprint Car career on May 15, 1993, when original winner Jim Keeker was disqualified after post-race inspection revealed the 6R Racing No. 26R was just a tick underweight.

On this date in 1998, Jason McCord earned his very first career USAC triumph after so many previous close calls and near-wins.  To top it off, he got the job done at his home track of Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Ind.

Future IndyCar winner and multi-time Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ed Carpenter reached USAC victory lane for the first-time in his career with a National Midget score on the tricky D-shaped pavement track at Kentucky’s Louisville Motor Speedway.

In 2015, Brady Bacon held on in a frenetic 30-lapper Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway, edging past a last-lap Thomas Meseraull slidejob through the final set of corners to take his third USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory of the season.



1965: Bob Hogle, USAC Midget at Ascot Park – Gardena, Calif.

1971: Danny Caruthers, USAC Midget at Limaland Motor Speedway – Lima, Ohio

1971: Sammy Sessions, USAC Sprint at Indianapolis Raceway Park – Clermont, Ind.

1977: Pancho Carter, USAC Sprint at Winchester Speedway – Winchester, Ind.

1981: Mel Kenyon, USAC Midget at Santa Fe Speedway – Hinsdale, Ill.

1982: Chuck Amati, USAC Sprint at Paragon Speedway – Paragon, Ind.

1987: Kevin Olson, USAC Midget at Santa Fe Speedway – Hinsdale, Ill.

1993: Jim Mahoney, USAC Sprint at Indianapolis Raceway Park – Clermont, Ind.

1998: Jason McCord, USAC Sprint at Anderson Speedway – Anderson, Ind.

1999: Ed Carpenter, USAC Midget at Louisville Motor Speedway – Louisville, Ky.

2015: Brady Bacon, USAC Sprint at Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, Ind.