The USAC actually came into existence out of necessity, when the American Automobile Association (AAA) unexpectedly announced in August of 1955, that it would cease auto racing sanctioning activities at the end of the year. Up until then triple-A had been the nations' leading sanctioning body ever since 1902.
Getting its start with the inaugural USAC Midget race on January 8, 1956, at Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USAC events have spanned the globe from Europe to the Orient, from South America to Canada and 43 of the United States. On June 11, 1994 the United States Auto Club's 5,000th event was staged, a National Midget race at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Midget and Sprint car races have made up the majority of USAC's first 54 years of competition, but competition over the years has included Indy cars, Formula One, Silver Crown Championship Dirt cars (in affiliation with K&N), Stock cars, Road races, Formula Ford 2000 and 5000, IROC, Mini-Indy, Pro-Fords, Late Models, Supermodifieds, Russell Pro Championship, Fast Masters, Pikes Peak Hill Climbs and Solar Powered races.
A member of the ACCUS (Automotive Competition Committee of the United States), USAC is affiliated with the World governing council, F.I.A. (Federation Internationale de l'Automovil), located in Paris, France. In addition to motorsport competition, USAC, under its USAC Properties arm, also engages in testing and certification of automotive products and they are the officiator for the land speed records.
As a support group under the auspices of the FIA, USAC has also participated in Red Bull Moto GP Motorcycle events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and annually conducts FIA World Land Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats where official World Records are established.
This year the USAC broadened its racing embrace further with its involvement in Off-Road Truck Racing, launching the TORC Series, or "The Off Road Championship" started by Ricky Johnson. USAC took the reins as the Official Sanctioning Organization to bring a professional and established racing organization to the off-road sport. USAC has also delivered on bringing safety and technical oversight to the series.
"TORC, and short course off-road racing is new to USAC. However, we do have a vast history with rally racing and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, so this isn't too far from our core," commented spokesperson Kevin Miller.
Safety has always been of paramount concern at the USAC. Specifications established by the USAC in its competition rules have become industry standards and the basis for rules governing other sanctioning body activities. "We have thousands of racers across the country licensed with USAC today, keeping them safe always comes first and foremost," adds Miller.
USAC also launched its first youth program this year, targeting young racers starting at age 5 and going through 16. The new USAC quarter-midget series held their first race in March and has already grown to host events throughout the country, including a National event at the "Brickyard", the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where over 200 participants enjoyed racing in Gasoline Alley. This will be an annual event on the racing-calendar.
"We totally value K&N as a partner with the authenticity of its product in racing. Throughout our series we see the K&N brand and product being used by racers. It goes to show the quality of products offered, when so many of our racers depend on K&N's product," says Miller.
"For the future we are working on developing an even stronger marketing platform, we believe that's key. We have several initiatives underway to continue the evolution of our sport and our series'. There's continuingly growing demand, and we want to ensure we grow with it," concludes Miller.
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