Princeton, Indiana driver Kyle Cummins and team owners Chuck Eberhardt and Fred Zirzow (EZR) have partnered up to take on the full 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season.
Previously supplying cars and engines to Chad Boespflug in 2016 and 2017, EZR now offers the same arrangement for Cummins, who will not only handle driving duties but also day-to-day maintenance from the team’s headquarters in Princeton. Their immediate plans involve a full slate of United States Auto Club sprint car contests, plus an assortment of Midwest Sprint Car Series and local Indiana dates when their schedule allows.
Utilizing DRC chassis and Jeff Claxton engines, Kyle’s father Mark, a former Indiana sprint car standout, will serve as crew chief. The EZR equipment will wear number 3c, continuing the team’s history of utilizing its driver’s digits as evidenced by its affiliations with Bryan Clauson (7), Tyler Courtney (23C), and Chad Boespflug (98 and 69). Proud supporters of this effort include Debra Corn Foster Care, Vincennes University, Greenwell Auto Body,
Tim Mason Re/Max Midwest Real Estate Group, AFCO Brakes, Pro Shocks, All Star Performance, Simpson Racing Products, Hoosier Tire, HRP, and Jason Keefer Racing.
As a part-time USAC competitor, Kyle has enjoyed some recent success, tallying three national victories over the past two seasons. Two of those triumphs took place during the hyper-competitive Indiana Sprint Week, also hauling home $10,000 for his win at the 2016 “Haubstadt Hustler.”
A self-employed machinist, recent newlywed, and 15-year veteran of the Indiana sprint car wars, Cummins is a 12-time winner in the Midwest Sprint Car Series, notching four season championships with the southern Indiana sanctioning body.
Entering its fifth full sprint car campaign, EZR’s roots date back to September of 2013 when they won with Bryan Clauson in their initial Gas City, Indiana outing. Claiming a 2014 Kokomo Speedway championship with Clauson on the strength of two feature victories, they teamed with Tyler Courtney for 2015, hitting pay dirt at Plymouth while expanding their reach to USAC sprint car contests.
After partnering with Chad Boespflug for the 2016 season, EZR’s initial USAC feature victory came rather quickly in May at Eldora Speedway. That was soon followed by five additional USAC conquests, two of them occurring in a $60,000 weekend sweep of the Rock and Roll Gold Cup at Badlands Motor Speedway. In 2017, EZR and Boespflug were paired with 11-time USAC sprint car champion Hoffman Auto Racing, taking top honors in a Bloomington USAC round and Brownstown’s No Way Out 40.
Eberhardt and Zirzow first took notice of their new driver’s potential in February of 2016 when Cummins exited Florida with the USAC point lead.
While preparing for their return to the sunshine state, Chuck and Fred are extremely optimistic that their recent run of success will continue. Reflecting on their significant achievements, an appreciative Zirzow acknowledged, “Chuck and I wish to thank Tim and Bryan Clauson for getting us started in this sport. Tyler Courtney played a huge role in guiding us down this path, so we certainly owe him a debt of gratitude. Of course, we must recognize Chad Boespflug for showing us what it took to undertake a full USAC schedule and we were certainly honored to be a part of the Hoffman Auto Racing legacy, so we would like to thank Richard Hoffman. And finally, we are extremely grateful for Jeff Claxton’s assistance as without him, we could not have survived this long.”
Discussing the details of his pairing with EZR, Cummins commented, “It’s going to be a team effort. They are bringing stuff and I’m trying to round up as many sponsors as I can. For me, it’s the best of both worlds. I don’t have to foot the whole bill and I can concentrate on racing. They want to make sure I have the best equipment to be able to go out and win races.”
With an eagerness evident in his voice, Kyle added, “For the first time in my career, I’m going to be in a position where I can possibly run all of the USAC races. We’re going to have spare cars and spare motors. In anything I’ve ever raced, I’ve only had one engine. Now, I won’t have to worry about making it to the next race because of an issue with a car or engine. I work a ton of hours at my own business so during the busy part of the season, it’s definitely going to be a lot harder than anything I’ve done before. But with Chuck and Fred providing the financial resources and giving me the flexibility to make my own calls, I’m willing to take on more work. Once we get a couple of races under our belts and figure out what these cars are going to do, then I think we’ll have a really good year.”
Opening night for this new combination will occur at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida for the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car openers on February 15-16-17, 2018.