Clauson, Steele Among 2018 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductees
Story By: RICHIE MURRAY / USAC – KNOXVILLE, IA – Legendary USAC drivers Bryan Clauson and Dave Steele had long cemented their legacies with their statistics and heroics on the racetrack.
Unfortunately, both lost their lives during the past two seasons, but their legacies will now live forever with Tuesday’s announcement of their induction into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, class of 2018.
Clauson, of Noblesville, Indiana, was the USAC National Driver Champion in 2010, 2011 and 2012; the 2012 and 2013 USAC National Sprint Car champion; the 2010 and 2011 USAC National Midget champion; the 2013 and 2014 “Indiana Sprint Week” titlist, the 2009, 2011 and 2016 “Indiana Midget Week” champ; and the 2012, 2013 and 2016 “Eastern Storm” Sprint Car champ.
Clauson became just the sixth driver – and the youngest – to reach 100 USAC feature wins during a career, doing so early in his final season during the “Winter Challenge” at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Arizona. His 112 career USAC wins rank behind only USAC Hall of Famers Rich Vogler, A.J. Foyt, Sleepy Tripp and Mel Kenyon.
Clauson ranks seventh on both the USAC National Sprint Car and USAC National Midget wins list with 41 and 38 wins, respectively, in each division. He also scored two career USAC Silver Crown victories. In May of 2016, he made his third career start in the Indianapolis 500, leading three laps at the midway point of the 100th running of the famed race.
Steele, of Tampa, Florida, is a two-time USAC Silver Crown champion and one of the United States Auto Club’s most accomplished drivers during the 1990s and 2000s. Steele ranks 14th on USAC’s national win list with 60 victories – all on the pavement – between 1996 and 2007. Despite only competing in half the races, or less, on the schedule each year throughout most of his career, Steele’s win totals rank in the upper echelon of USAC’s record book. His 16 Silver Crown wins rank fourth and his 26 Sprint Car victories rank 15th.
In both 2004 and 2005, Steele ran the full USAC Silver Crown schedule and would reach the pinnacle of the sport by capturing back-to-back series titles. Steele stands behind only Jack Hewitt, Kody Swanson and Brian Tyler on the USAC Silver Crown career win list. Yet, no driver has led more laps or owns more pavement wins (16) in the series than does Steele. Incredibly, he captured the Silver Crown portion of the “Copper World Classic” an unprecedented five consecutive years from 2002 to 2006.
Steele won at least one race in all three of USAC’s national divisions in the same season on six occasions (1998, 2001-2005), the most in club history. His last USAC-sanctioned victory came in the 2009 “Little 500” Sprint Car race at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, a grueling 500-lap event that he also won in 1996. Steele was also a three-time Tampa Bay Area Racing Association Sprint Car champ in 2005, 2009 and 2013.
Joining Clauson and Steele in this year’s National Sprint Car Hall of Fame class are Bob Mays, Lance Dewease, Scott Gerkin, Emmett J. Malloy, Steve Beitler and Oscar “Red” Garnant.
This year’s class will be inducted on Saturday, June 2, during the 29th annual ceremonies in Knoxville, Iowa.http://raceproweekly.com/rpw/2018/01/clauson-steele-among-2018-national-sprint-car-hall-of-fame-inductees/http://raceproweekly.com/rpw/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/180111usac_01.jpghttp://raceproweekly.com/rpw/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/180111usac_01-150x150.jpgUSAC