Tuesday, October 30, 2018

USAC Southwest Sprints Opening Up Rulebook To Allow 410 c.i. Engines

2018 USAC Southwest Sprint Car point leader Charles Davis, Jr. (Photo Courtesy Ben Thrasher)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

The Sands Chevrolet USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series has announced it will open up their rules package to include 410 cubic-inch engines beginning with the 2019 racing season.

The move now aligns the series with the same rulebook as the USAC AMSOIL National and CRA Sprint Car Series. Although, 360 c.i. engines will remain legal to run with the series, the rule change will give the series a major boost heading into the future.

"The tradition of both USAC and Arizona Sprint Car racing is with 410 c.i. engines," series coordinator Chris Kearns said. "More and more Arizona-based teams have been purchasing 410's of late and this move is going to bring new life to the Southwest Sprint Car Series in 2019 and beyond."

The Southwest Sprint Cars will also now feature a raised purse for each race, paying a minimum of $2000-to-win and $250 to start. Additionally, the USAC/CRA events at Arizona venues will now be co-sanctioned by the Southwest Sprints and will have an increased payout of $3000-to-win and $400 to start.

Furthermore, beginning with the 52nd running of the "Western World Championships" at Arizona Speedway in November of 2019, the main event will now have the Southwest Sprints competing with the National Sprint series.

The Southwest Sprints will now venture into California's Perris Auto Speedway for a pair of events in 2019 that will be co-sanctioned by the USAC/CRA Sprints, paying $2500-to-win and $300 to start. Throughout its history, the Southwest Sprints have been a primarily Arizona-based series, with a handful of races this year at locales such as Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

The Southwest Sprint Car Series is currently in its eighth season under USAC sanction, all run under the previous 360 c.i. engine rules.

The Southwest Sprints made their debut in 2003 with Rick Ziehl as the champion with Beau Binder grabbing the title in 2004. After nearly a decade, the USAC Southwest Sprints returned in 2013 with R.J. Johnson taking five consecutive titles between then and 2017. Charles Davis, Jr. currently leads the standings with two races remaining this season, this Friday and Saturday, November 2-3 at Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley for the 51st running of the "Western World Championships."