Brownstown Speedway set for opening night on March 2


Brownstown Speedway, located on the grounds of the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Brownstown, will kick off the Midwest season for racing on March 2.

The program will be highlighted by the return of the Northern Allstars Late Model Dirt Series with a $5,000-to-win feature event. Also competing will be pure stocks, hornets and crown vics.

It will be the third appearance in the past two years at Brownstown for the Northern Allstars.

Late Model Dirt Series had been dormant since 2012. Last year, it was Bobby Pierce and Stormy Scott scoring the late model wins at Brownstown for the series, which first raced at Brownstown in 1998. The series averaged 42 late models on its two visits to the historic quarter-mile track in 2023.

Grant wins third straight at Ocala

Florida’s Ocala Speedway has served all of Justin Grant’s banking needs throughout Winter Dirt Games XV.

After three USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature victories in three starts this year, the ⅜-mile dirt oval has been a figurative ATM for Grant and his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink–Bow Foundation–TOPP Industries/Maxim/Kistler Chevy winning again at Ocala on Feb. 15.

In the process, Grant set a new milestone at Ocala with his 48th career series victory, surpassing USAC Hall of Fame inductee Tracy Hines for sole possession of fourth place all-time.

Furthermore, Grant became the first driver since Damion Gardner in 2010 to win at least three of the first four events to begin a USAC National Sprint Car season. Now, with seven overall scores, Grant has added to his grand total as both the winningest USAC National Sprint Car driver at Ocala Speedway and as the winningest driver in Winter Dirt Games history.

By doing so, Grant gave TOPP Motorsports a share of the top of the list in terms of the winningest teams in Winter Dirt Games history, tied with Dynamics Inc., at six main event victories, turning his No. 4 into something more akin to what you might see on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral, located roughly two hours southeast of where he won Thursday night’s feature.

“Our car is lights out around here,” Grant said. “I feel like we’re about the same speed as everybody else early in the day, but by the time this place gets slick in feature time, this thing has been an absolute rocket ship.”

Grant’s current active streak of three straight wins at a single track began with back-to-back victories at Ocala to open the season last weekend. It’s a familiar scenario for Grant, who is the only driver to achieve three consecutive wins at one track throughout the past four USAC Sprint Car seasons.

Grant has actually accomplished it on two other separate occasions in that span, both coming at Kokomo Speedway, between 2021 and 2022 and across three successive evenings in August 2023.

Leary snaps Grant’s streak at Ocala

The last time C.J. Leary won at Florida’s Ocala Speedway, it wound up being a very good year.

After parlaying a final night Winter Dirt Games victory in 2019 at Ocala on Feb. 16 into a USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship later that season, the Greenfield racer hopes that 2024 will bear a much similar fruit.

During the Winter Dirt Games XV finale at the ⅜-mile dirt track, Leary took the right step in that direction by notching his first feature victory of the season, exactly five years to the day of his only other Ocala triumph, the significance of which wasn’t lost on Leary.

“This is awesome to pick up a win here,” Leary said. “It’s been since 2019 that we’ve been in Victory Lane here. Maybe this is a little sign of what’s to come throughout the whole season.”

Leary’s late-race surge took him from fourth to first during the final five circuits, where he took over the point from series point leader Logan Seavey just three laps from the finish of the 30-lapper en route to victory in his BGE-Dougherty Motorsports/Altoz–Valvoline–Hornbeck Concrete/DRC/1-Way Chevy, the same 2020-built chassis he won with during Indiana Sprint Week at Kokomo Speedway in 2023.

The 23rd main event win of Leary’s USAC National Sprint Car career moved him to 28th on the all-time list, surpassing 22-time winners Rick Hood, Bubby Jones and Sammy Sessions while equaling Roger McCluskey on the 23 line.

Leary’s victory was of the resurgent variety, having collected four top-five finishes in each of his first four starts of the USAC season before tallying a distant ninth the night before at Ocala. What they thought was a possible engine malfunction 24 hours earlier turned out to be the same powerplant that guided the team to victory 24 hours later.

“We’ve been so fast and so good, but we had a little bit of an off night last night,” Leary said. “I thought we were having engine issues yesterday, so we went through the whole thing and diagnosed it and couldn’t find anything wrong, so we just kept running it. This is probably the last night on this rebuild.”

Hulbert new voice for USAC

Bryan Hulbert has been named the full-time lead announcer for USAC national racing in 2024.

His role will encompass full coverage of each and every event on the Silver Crown, AMSOIL Sprint Car and NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship schedule on the track’s public address system as well as on FloRacing’s live stream of every race throughout the 2024 USAC national season.

Originally hailing from New Mexico but now residing in Oklahoma, Hulbert announced the first six races of the USAC season during the recent Winter Dirt Games XV series in February in Florida, having the opportunity to announce for an organization he has long held an affinity for since his youngest days as a race fan.

“It’s very humbling to get the chance to represent USAC, its drivers and sponsors,” Hulbert said. “USAC is a series I’ve followed since I was a kid and have always held in high regard. I’m looking forward to the season and the challenges that come with it. Winter Dirt Games gave me a chance to work with the entire team and get a feel for how the series runs on a night-to-night basis, start making connections with the teams and establishing a routine.”

Hulbert has handled announcing duties at racetracks for 18 seasons. He started as a trackside reporter in 2006 before taking on the role of lead announcer in 2007 at dirt tracks such as Southern New Mexico Speedway and Texas’ El Paso Speedway Park.

A jack of all trades in motorsports, Hulbert has worked extensively in the departments of marketing, public relations, graphic design, ad design, commercial production, voiceovers, hanging banners, production work, you name it.

Hulbert also has been a fixture on the microphone at the Chili Bowl Nationals for more than a decade, a role he will retain during the winter months following the conclusion of the USAC season.

“The fun part about my job is that I still get to be a fan and contribute to the sport I love,” Hulbert said. “Chili Bowl and the Tulsa Shootout are the same way, and fortunately, working for USAC will allow me to keep doing what I’ve been doing in Tulsa with the added benefit of being able to follow teams and drivers I normally only get to see one week a year. It’s definitely going to make studying for the test a lot easier.”

Hulbert’s next gig with USAC will arrive when the National Sprint Car season resumes April 5 for the running of the Jim Hurtubise Classic at Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track.

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