Lonnie Wheatley, INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March
8, 2018) – Tyler Courtney already got one title chase under way
in strong form with a pair of USAC National Sprint Car wins in
Florida a couple of weeks ago.
Now, “Sunshine” tries to begin another
championship pursuit on the right foot with Saturday night’s
season-opening USAC Midget card at Du Quoin’s Southern Illinois
Center “Shamrock Classic.”
“I’m excited to start the Midget season.
You have to take advantage of every night, every night is
so critical,” Courtney said of the USAC P1 Insurance National
Midget series. “It’s a short but tough season
in terms of number of races, it makes every night critical.
The championship comes down to finishing all the races
and putting up top-tens each night.”
Sandwiched in between the opening Sprint
Car events in Florida and this weekend’s “Shamrock Classic”,
“Sunshine” hit the strip in Las Vegas for a pair of USAC West
Coast vs. Southwest Sprint Car events aboard Mike Phulps’ Metal
Works No. 56. He came away with another pair
of top fives with a fourth place run on Wednesday, February 28,
and then a runner-up finish in last Thursday’s “Las Vegas
Showdown” finale at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas.
“Mike and those guys are a great team to
work with, they make it a lot of fun,” Courtney said of last
week’s pair of events.
The team opened the double with a
fourth-place run on Wednesday night after starting seventh in
the feature. “We struggled a little the first
night, but that’s to be expected when you only run together a
couple of times a year,” Courtney explains.
“It was also a new non-wing car for them so we were happy to
salvage a top five.”
The team gained a pair of positions the
following night, ultimately awarded runner-up honors.
“Thursday we were better, we were still just a tick off,”
Courtney said of the night.
With his fifth top-five of the season in
seven starts in the books, attention turns to Saturday’s
“Shamrock Classic” aboard the Clauson-Marshall Racing
Driven2SaveLives No. 7bc Midget.
“I’m excited to get back in the Midget,
the CMR team has a really good package at Du Quoin,” Courtney
said of his Stanton Racing Engines-powered Elk Grove Ford entry.
“Tim and the CMR team’s track record is really good at
And with nearly 50 cars expected for the
USAC National Midget opener, it’s a big start to the season for
the driver of the CSI Shocks/Schoenfeld Headers machine.
“The Shamrock is already an event with a
lot of prestige about it,” Courtney explains.
“It would be a big one to win and it’s a big one to start the
Courtney has enjoyed past success atop the
tight, indoor oval, with a win in the 2016 edition of the Junior
Knepper Memorial contested annually in December.
But luck wasn’t on the side of the pilot of the Wilwood
Brakes/Walker Filtration entry in last year’s pair of events at
the Southern Illinois Center.
That’s something “Sunshine” looks to turn
around on Saturday night.
“Indoor races can be tough, it takes a lot
of luck,” Courtney explains. “But to be a
championship driver, you’ve got to make your own luck.”
Courtney will be looking for that lucky
Shamrock this weekend.
2018 Quick Stats:
7 races, 2 wins, 5 top-fives, 5 top-tens.
USAC National Midget “Shamrock Classic” at Du Quoin’s Southern
Illinois Center on Saturday. For those unable
to catch the action in person, it is available via PPV on
Keep track of Tyler Courtney’s on-track action including
schedule and results at
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Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for
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