Sunshine Geared Up for Smackdown Title Defense

Lonnie Wheatley, INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 22, 2018) – Tyler Courtney and the Clauson-Marshall-Newman Racing Priority Aviation No. 7bc Sprint Car team have enjoyed a stellar 2018 season thus far.

Seven of Sunshine’s nine overall victories have come on the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car trail with the team sitting a close third in championship points.

Four nights of intense competition atop the Kokomo Speedway clay oval awaits Courtney and crew with the Kokomo Sprint Car Smackdown this week.  Action begins with Wednesday night’s #GYATK/Fan Appreciation Night before Smackdown VII officially gets under way on Thursday and runs through Saturday night.

Courtney enters the event as the reigning Smackdown champion after topping last year’s Friday finale and then coming away with the $10,000 winner’s share in the Saturday night Smackdown finale.

After a hectic June and July in both Sprint Car and Midget racing action, Courtney has eased into the month of August with just a pair of USAC Midget events logged into the books in Pennsylvania and then last Saturday’s USAC Silver Crown “Bettenhausen 100” at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Following a pair of rainouts to kick off USAC’s Pennsylvania Midget Week, Courtney logged finishes of tenth and 14th at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway and BAPS Motor Speedway aboard the Clauson-Marshall Racing Driven2SaveLives/Indiana Donor Network No. 7bc Midget to hold sixth in series points with just four more rounds of championship chase action remaining.

Climbing aboard the Hans Lein No. 97 USAC Silver Crown entry for Saturday’s 100-miler at Springfield’s Illinois State Fairgrounds, Courtney gunned into the lead at the outset after timing in fourth-quick and paced the field for 50 of the opening 54 rounds and battled among the lead trio much of the way before late problems resulted in a 20th-place finish.

“Sunshine” looks to get his momentum rolling with four nights of Smackdown action at Kokomo, where he has excelled over the past couple of years.

2018 Quick Stats:  51 races, 9 wins, 29 top-fives, 37 top-tens.

Up Next: USAC National Sprint Cars “Kokomo Sprint Car Smackdown VII” at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway on Wednesday through Saturday (August 22-25).

Keep Track:  Keep track of Tyler Courtney’s on-track action including schedule and results at

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Penning the recurring series of “The Wheatley Chronicles” articles on, Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for select tracks, drivers and events.  For more information, Wheatley may be contacted at