WINDOM SECURES USAC SILVER CROWN / SPRINT RIDES FOR 2019
Story By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Photos By: Dan DeMarco & Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com
Speedway, Indiana (December 4, 2018)………It didn’t take long for Chris Windom, one of the most coveted free agents in USAC racing this offseason, to find two new full-time rides for the 2019 season in the Silver Crown and AMSOIL National Sprint Car divisions.
The Canton, Illinois native will compete on the full USAC Silver Crown tour aboard the Goodnight/Byrd Racing No. 17 in the coming season. He will have crew chief Scott Benic on the wrenches along with sponsors Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, The Pallet Builders and NOS Energy Drink on board for the campaign on both the dirt and the pavement as he aims for a second Silver Crown title. Matt Goodnight, who finished eighth in points in 2018, will compete in a second car for the team alongside Windom.
Windom will also compete on the full USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car slate in 2019, piloting the Goacher Racing No. 5G. Following Windom to the team is crew chief Derek Claxton. Together, Windom and Claxton captured the 2017 series title and, just this past year, won both the Eastern Storm and Indiana Sprint Week titles. NOS Energy Drink will serve as the primary sponsor with Joe Brandon/Parallax Power Supply and Jonathan Byrd’s Racing also serving as sponsors.
Windom has consistently been a front runner on the USAC National scene over the past several years. In 2018, he won twice on the Silver Crown tour with Nolen Racing, sweeping both events on the dirt miles in Illinois (Springfield and Du Quoin) and four times in the Sprint Car with Baldwin Brothers Racing at Eldora, Williams Grove, Port Royal and a special event at Kokomo.
Windom was the only driver to finish in the top-three of both the USAC Silver Crown and National Sprint Car standings in 2018. Now he must adapt to a pair of new rides, but the outlook remains the same. His goal is winning a championship in both series and he believes he has the support in place to make that become a reality.
“It’s always somewhat of an uphill battle to climb,” Windom admitted. “I feel very confident about the sprint car deal being able to bring Derek (Claxton) along with me after the success we’ve had together over the last few years. I think, together, we can take that straight to another team and apply it right away.”
“I feel really good about both deals,” Windom continued. “I know Scott (Benic) and Matt (Goodnight) have really nice cars on the Crown side of things. I was a little worried here the last week when my whole deal with the sprint car got dropped on me. I’m looking forward to everything. I’m with two solid, championship-caliber teams.”
The Goodnight and Goacher teams have been mainstays on the USAC trails for several seasons now, and they were eager to jump in with both feet on having Windom in their seats for the coming season. After a few phone calls and a couple meetings, Windom quickly found his homes for the upcoming year.
“It went both ways,” recalled. “I made a few phone calls. I got a few phone calls. Having NOS come in as a primary sponsor on the sprint car deal obviously helps out a ton. I didn’t know a whole lot about the sprint car operation up until just a few days ago. We went and had a meeting with them. Derek and I decided it would be a pretty good deal together with Goacher and Joe Brandon being the owners on the deal.”
“I think both sides are going to be great,” Windom added. “The Goodnight and Benic piece is something we put together with David Byrd and Jonathan Byrd’s Racing. I think we’ve taken a good step for next year. Obviously, we’ve got to put everything together as far as actual racecars, but I think we’ve got all the pieces to do it.”