Young Columbus driver thinks big


Evan Shatto just completed the most successful season of his young racing career, as the 14-year-old Columbus East High School freshman collected 17 feature wins this season.

Shatto split time this year driving for his parents, Eric and Nikki Shatto, and Greg and James “Porkchop” Jones. He captured the Jennings County Outlaw Karting junior 3 track championship, where he was undefeated this season.

Shatto, who started his racing obsession six years ago racing radio-controlled car, has been racing go-karts for the last year and a half mainly in Columbus and North Vernon as he followed in his father and brother’s footsteps.

“That was what interested me to start off racing,” he said. “Once I started to understand everything about racing, I fell in love with it. Hopefully, I don’t have to quit any time soon.”

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Shatto made his first full season a memorable one.

“I primarily ran the junior 3 division this year and later in the year ran some adult classes. I was competitive in that class and learned a lot. It was fun and challenging to race with the adults,” he said.

Shatto has some lofty goals for his future in racing.

“I want to run karts for a few more seasons and then move up to bigger classes, like an open wheel modified or a crate late model. Ultimately, I want to reach my goal to race a super late model and compete in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series,” he said. “I would never back down from a challenge, so I would be willing to race anything that someone wants to put me in. I love racing, and I hope that I am able to compete for a long time in many different series.”

The two karts Shatto raced this year were sponsored by Advanced Auto Care, Green Light Auto, OSOK, Wax That Cat, DK Ground Control, RMK Automotive, Koolaid85, Cain’s Tree Service, Fatheadz Eyewear, Double Deuce Karting Media, TSR Racing, Moon Power, Lucas Oil Products, UltraMax Racing Chassis and Chop Cutz.

USAC announces 2021 Silver Crown schedule

USAC Silver Crown’s 51st season of competition features a schedule that consists of 12 events — six on the dirt, five on the pavement and one event yet to be announced for the 2021 campaign.

One hundred ninety-four previous USAC main events have been contested at Indiana’s Winchester Speedway, but never before has a USAC Silver Crown Champ Car graced the paved half-mile high banks, save for four short distance AAA Big Car events during the 1946 season.

However, the series will make its first appearance on the Silver Crown schedule in 2021, launching the new season May 9. Winchester last hosted a USAC race a decade earlier in 2011, a sprint race won by Tracy Hines.

Once thought to be lost to history just a short while ago, the Hoosier Hundred will return once again in 2021 for its 66th edition on the 1-mile dirt oval at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on May 27, an event that dates to 1953.

The Hoosier Hundred begins a rare back-to-back weekend of dirt and pavement events on consecutive nights with the following evening’s Dave Steele Carb Night Classic hitting the asphalt of Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, just down the road from the Indy Mile, on May 28.

A busy stretch in June with three events in an eight-day span begins at another one of America’s most famed dirt tracks, Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, starting June 18. Next, it’s off to the pavement of Wisconsin’s Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin, on June 25, followed up June 26 with a visit to Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg. Ohio.

An August trifecta of Silver Crown showdowns gets its start Aug. 8 at Pennsylvania’s Selinsgrove Speedway for the second installment of the Bill Holland Classic, one year after the series debuted on the half-mile dirt oval.

It’s the first time multiple Pennsylvania tracks are set to host Silver Crown events in the same season. It has been since 1983 when Nazareth hosted a pair of events that more than one Silver Crown race was held in Pennsylvania in a season.

From there, the series moves westbound to Brownsburg’s Lucas Oil Raceway for the inaugural Hoosier Classic on Aug. 14. The event also consists of Sprint Cars, while Midgets will contest the .686-mile paved oval along with Silver Crown.

Any driver/team winning all three of the Hoosier Classic races that weekend will take home $100,000 as part of the Fatheadz $100K Challenge. If a driver and team can win two of the three events, they will collect $50,000.

Champ Car racing dates back to 1934 at the 1-mile dirt oval at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and the Bettenhausen 100 on the historic Springfield Mile will return to its traditional mid-August slot Aug. 21 for the only daytime dirt race of the 2021 season.

The series hits the scenic and racy Magic Mile of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in southern Illinois for the Ted Horn 100 on Sept. 4 under the lights on the second of the 2 miles in the Land of Lincoln.

The dirt is the word once again for the 39th running of the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway on Sept. 24 and the 50-lap feature Sept. 25.

Twice before, in 2010 and 2011, Ohio’s Toledo Speedway has hosted the USAC Silver Crown series finale. That is once again on the docket in 2021 with the rocket-fast paved half-mile and the Rollie Beale Classic serving as the championship decider.

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