PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. – In a bygone era, multiple AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series races held in a single day at one track wasn’t all that unusual.
In fact, 64 such events have taken place over the past six decades, and the double dip will occur again Saturday night when two 30-lap A-mains will be showcased at Lincoln Park Speedway.
The twin feature format is more of a rarity in recent years, with Saturday being the first double event for the series in nine years, since the Oval Nationals at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway in 2011. It’s also only the third double dip event in the past quarter century.
Such as it is this Saturday at Lincoln Park, the double feature format was born out of necessity due to an earlier rain out.
This year’s scenario came to fruition due to the rain-suspended event from July 31 at Lincoln Park where precipitation fell with four laps remaining in the semi-feature.
Saturday’s event will begin with qualifying for the “new” event, then pick up with the resumption of the makeup event, beginning with the final four laps of the semi which leads into the 30-lap makeup feature, with lineups based on the heat race results from July 31 and the semi-feature finish from earlier Saturday night.
At the completion of the first feature, the “new” event will resume with heat races, last chance races and another 30-lap feature, as is the standard format.
Twin features for the USAC National Sprint Cars were much more prevalent during the decade of the 1970s. The high-water mark for said events was seven during the 1977 season.
On 17 occasions, a driver has swept both ends of the twin features, but none more often than Pancho Carter, who did it four times – including three times at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway alone as well as at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway in 1976.
Tom Bigelow is the only other driver to achieve twin feature sweeps multiple times, doing so in 1974 on pavement at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and on dirt in 1977 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Other twin feature “sweepers” include Jim Hurtubise at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway in 1961; Roger McCluskey at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track in 1966; Mario Andretti at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway in 1967; Greg Weld at the Reading (Pa.) Fairgrounds in 1968; and Sammy Sessions at the small track at Pocono Raceway in 1969.
A.J. Foyt earned his final two USAC National Sprint Car victories on the same night in 1974 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Marvin Carman, conversely, earned the only two wins of his career with USAC on the same afternoon at Winchester in 1975.
Steve Chassey doubled up at Winchester in 1979, as did Billy Cassella at Eldora that same season. Doug Wolfgang made a rare USAC appearance with a wing, winning twin 15-lappers at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois back in 1991, while Bud Kaeding heated up a cool fall night at Terre Haute with a sweep in 2001.
Over the years, 20 different tracks have hosted twin USAC National Sprint Car Series events on the same calendar day, including the likes of Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, which hosted the most with 14.
Other hosts include Pennsylvania’s Langhorne Speedway, the Arizona State Fairgrounds, Terre Haute, Oswego, New Bremen (Ohio) Speedway, Dayton (Ohio) Speedway, Reading, Pocono, the New York State Fairgrounds, Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway, Eldora, the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Salem (Ind.) Speedway, North Carolina’s 311 Speedway, Tri-City, Perris and two Canadian venues – Cayuga Int’l Speedway (now Jukasa Motor Speedway) and Mosport’s Ascot North in Bowmanville, Ont.
Interestingly, there have even been six “triplet” events, with three USAC National Sprint Car features in one day, truly the test of man and machine as they put their physical endurance and the car’s to the max.
Four triplets were held annually at the Indiana State Fairgrounds between 1976 and 1979. Once, in 1977, Tom Bigelow captured two of the three events at the Indy Mile, winning the first and third features, 33 and 34 laps in length, respectively.
Dayton Speedway hosted a single USAC sprint triplet in 1967, with Sonny Ates taking the first and third feature wins of the trio while Billy Cassella captured the first and third features at Winchester during a 1974 meet.
The next chapter of twin races arrives at Lincoln Park, which is the bookend of a three-race slate this weekend for the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Cars that kicks off Friday, Sept. 11 at Bloomington Speedway and continues Saturday, Sept. 12 with double features at LPS.
Saturday at Lincoln Park, pits open at 3 p.m. ET, grandstands follow at 4 p.m., the drivers meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and hot laps roll off at 6 p.m.
General admission tickets are $25, while children age 10 and under are free. Pit passes are $35, with kids 10 and under free.
Modifieds and Super Stocks will also be in action.