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USAC Stock Car

 

USAC Stock Car

USAC Stock Car
Roger McCluskey
Category Stock car racing
Country United States
Inaugural season 1956
Folded 1984
Drivers Fred Lorenzen, Norm Nelson, Butch Hartman, Roger McCluskey, A. J. Foyt, Paul Goldsmith! Tom Krill

The USAC Stock Car division was the stock car racing class sanctioned by the United States Auto Club (USAC).[1] The division raced nationally; drivers from USAC's open wheel classes like IndyCars, Silver Crown, sprint cars, and midgets frequently competed in races and won championships. Several NASCAR drivers raced in USAC Stock Cars at various points in their careers.

In the late 1950s, USAC Stock Cars rivaled NASCAR stock cars with races throughout the Midwestern and Northeastern United States.[2] NASCAR owners Holman Moody found racing in USAC Stock Cars to be appealing because of USAC's ties to the Indianapolis 500.[2]

History

The class began as a division in the American Automobile Association (AAA). AAA decided to stop sanctioning all racing classes after Bill Vukovich's death at the 1955 Indianapolis 500 was followed closely by the 1955 Le Mans disaster.[1] USAC took over sanction in all of their classes.

Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) began sanctioning Indy Cars starting in 1979; that series had split championships in 1979 before CART took over exclusive sanction. USAC continued to sanction the Stock Car division until 1984 but the series had lost some luster as the events were frequently co-sanctioned with ARCA.[1] The final championship in 1984 was scheduled for three races but only two were run (Springfield and DuQuoin).[1] The third event, part of the 4 Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway, was rained out and not rescheduled.[1]

After the division ended, the many of the drivers moved to other Midwestern series such as the American Speed Association (ASA), ARCA, and ARTGO.[1]

Tracks

USAC Stock Cars raced on dirt tracks, asphalt ovals and road courses. The Milwaukee Mile was regularly on the schedule.[3] The variety of tracks included the dirt at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Racetrack's oval, Indianapolis Raceway Park's asphalt oval, and the asphalt circle at Langhorne Speedway. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was even a stop on the schedule during some seasons.[4]

Drivers

Champions

AAA

USAC

Rookies of the Year

Several notable drivers won the USAC Stock Car Rookie of the Year award. IndyCar champions Al Unser (1967) and Joe Leonard (1964) were named the Rookie of they Year.[1] Leonard had moved to stock cars after winning several AMA motorcycle championships.[8] Future NASCAR drivers Dick Trickle (1968), Joe Ruttman (1978), Rusty Wallace (1979), and Ken Schrader (1980) plus USAC Stock Car champion Butch Hartman (1967) received the award.[1]

References

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