GRANITE CITY, Ill. – official release — Gordon Gill photo — One of America’s most revered short-track motorsports events unfolds for the 62nd time on Friday night at Tri-City Speedway.
It’s the Hut Hundred, a 100-lap Honda USAC National Dirt Midget Series race featuring a scheduled classic three-abreast 33-car starting field on one of the country’s most exciting dirt ovals. It kick-starts a weekend which includes May 10 Belleville Bash for USAC and POWRi midgets at the banked Belle Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill.
Debuting in 1954 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track, the historic Hut Hundred has generated its share of memories in its 60-plus years.
Winners of the prestigious race have included Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, whose 1961 victory from the last starting position is legendary. Other winners include drivers who graduated onto NASCAR stardom, like Tony Stewart, Jason Leffler and Jeff Gordon. USAC Hall of Famers like Rich Vogler, Gary Bettenhausen, Pancho Carter, Mel Kenyon, Don Branson, Tony Bettenhausen have also won the legendary race.
It will mark the debut of the race at Tri-City Speedway, which suffered a rainout last year. The race finds a new home this year after visiting Indiana tracks like Terre Haute, the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Lincoln Park Speedway, Lawrenceburg Speedway and Tri-State Speedway.
Tri-City Speedway, which has been transformed into an exciting three-eighths-mile track in recent years, has hosted 61 USAC races since 1961 when Danny Frye won the inaugural USAC race there. The Gold Crown Midget Nationals has now become a fixture at the track and Rico Abreu, Bryan Clauson and Christopher Bell all found victory lane there last year.
Brady Bacon won the most recent Hut Hundred, in 2012, and the race has featured 11 different winners in the last 11 runnings.