Clouser heads into Silver Crown rookie season
Mario Clouser (photo by Tim Sink)
SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Mario Clouser has spent a lot of time driving sprint cars and midgets throughout his career, but next year he will embark on a new adventure as a rookie on the USAC Silver Crown tour in the Kazmark Motorsports’ N ° 92 entry.
Clouser completed a total of 101 USAC domestic starts in sprint cars and midgets, but never competed in a USAC Silver Crown event other than a test with RW Motorsports about a decade ago.
Today the 32-year-old has the opportunity to drive a championship car, which he looks forward to.
“I’ve wanted to perform Silver Crown stuff for a long time,” Clouser said. “We used to run on the pavement dwarfs and watch them a lot when we were racing alongside the Silver Crown cars, so that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It will be a lot of fun.
Clouser knows there will be a learning curve as he gets used to longer runs, bigger tracks and heavy fuel load.
However, he hopes the learning curve will be shortened because of the team he will work with in the Illinois squad.
Team leader Bill Guess has worked with Clouser on the midget team for much of the past decade and the two have teamed up for a sprint car race in recent years at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Kazmark’s story of USAC Silver Crown success includes winning with driver Chris Windom in the 2017 Sumar Classic at the Terre Haute Action Circuit in Indiana. The group’s success dates back to Bob Hoerner No. 92, who scored two wins in the 1990s – first with Jimmy Kite at the Phoenix Int’l Raceway in 1997 and with Dave Steele at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1999.
The majority of driving duties for the Kazmark team in recent years have been held by Jim Anderson on the pavement.
The team, who haven’t lined up on the track with the series since Dave Darland in 2018, expect a full schedule by the end of the season as Clouser progresses next year.
“We look forward to doing all curb races in 2022 with Mario and hope to potentially add a few gravel races later in the season,” said team owner Gene Kazmark.
Clouser has seen success, he has seen the equipment and he’s ready for the opportunity with an experienced crew who will be there to guide him as he learns the ropes of Silver Crown racing.
“They’ve been doing this for a while, so they know what to do and what needs to happen to have a good night out,” Clouser said of Team Kazmark. “I hope this relieves me of a lot of the burden. I’ll be able to drive, and they can teach me a lot in a short time, so I won’t have as steep a learning curve as with someone else. It’s been nice to work with Bill over the past few years and he has a pretty good idea of what the car needs to get around the track really well so I’m looking forward to it.
Outside of the IRP and Toledo, on the causeway side, Clouser is expected to compete on new tracks, including Wisconsin’s Madison Int’l Speedway, Indiana’s Winchester Speedway, and the World Wide Technology Raceway of the Illinois.
Last year Clouser won the POWRi WAR Sprint Car title.
“It will basically be brand new to my mind,” Clouser said. “I don’t have anything I can really rely on in terms of experience other than the midget, which we’ve raced the last couple of years here and there. Otherwise, it will be a bit like starting over.
Clouser plans to start the new year with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship February 17-19 at Bubba Raceway Park in Florida in No.6 Eberhardt-Zirzow Racing.
His first race in the USAC Silver Crown car will be on May 27 during the Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.