By the URSS
OBERLIN, Kan. -- There hasn't been a lot of seat time this season for Jeff Radcliffe.
But after an accident during the earlier portion of the season, the Hill City Hotshoe is ready to strap back into a United Rebel Sprint Series ride this weekend for a two-day show at Elmwood Park Speedway in Norton.
Radcliffe -- who was in the hunt for a national championship in the URSS for a large portion of last year -- might not fit the prototypical driver who is jumping back into a sprint car seat. In fact, he's not too worried about what the weekend will bring.
That confidence has a lot to do with the big half-mile dirt oval in Norton. Radcliffe grew up only 30 minutes away from the track, and, more importantly, he's had success upon success at the track.
In fact, Radcliffe has two URSS victories at Elmwood Park -- including a sweep of the two-day Labor Day show last year -- and two more wins in the URSS-sanctioned Heartland Sprint Series this year at the track and another runner-up finish in that series.
"All in all, we've had the best luck with Norton and with the cars up there," he said. "Everyone has raced us clean, and we haven't even junked one car up there."
Radcliffe was banged up in an accident at WaKeeney Speedway that totaled out his sprint car. This weekend, he'll be piloting a mid-90's car his father, Larry, used to drive.
Radcliffe piloted that car to the runner-up finish in the HSS feature Aug. 17 at Norton.
"We took the car up and got a feel for it," he said. "We're close on setup. If we didn't get the setup down, I think we would be in trouble for the Labor Day weekend."
Another thing Radcliffe has in his corner this weekend is the distance around the track. The half-mile track suits his driving style well, he said.
"I love the half-miles," he said. "I wish we had more of them. Most of them have went away, for the most part. I love to go fast, and that place has been good to us."
While Radcliffe isn't in the hunt for a national title this year, this weekend's races could showcase some of the top drivers in the nation.
Jake Bubak holds a 10-point lead over Luke Cranston in the national standings, while Brian Herbert -- a two-time national champ -- is third, only 36 points behind Bubak.
Races begin at 7 p.m. Saturday and at 6 p.m. Sunday.
For more information about Elmwood Park Speedway, visit nepra.squarespace.com.
For more information about the United Rebel Sprint Series, visit www.unitedrebelsprintseries.com.
If you are unable to make this weekend's races, be sure to listen live to "The Voice of the URSS" Michael Wilson at www.racinboys.com.