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There are times race fans may have heard a driver remark “this place owes me one” but the sentiment is often hard to justify.
The young pilot who is arguably the hottest driver in United States Auto Club competition at the present time might just feel that way about the two dirt miles in the state of Illinois given the 2018 results. “Sunshine” Tyler Courtney of Indianapolis looked like a winner during the races at Springfield and Du Quoin last year but could not find victory lane. He returns this year with a shot at victories on both tracks and a chance to be the final driver to register a historic “triple crown.”
Courtney is a threat to win in all three of USAC’s prime divisions, the Midget series, Sprint Car series and the Silver Crown division. Courtney ran his first race in the big cars a few seasons ago taking over a seat occupied by veteran Tom Capie, eventually moving to a car owned by long time midget car owner Hans Lein of Wisconsin.
Courtney and Lein have formed a winning combination, Courtney won his first Silver Crown race in September of 2017 at Eldora and led both at Springfield and Du Quoin in the black machine. The race at Du Quoin may have been the most heartbreaking as Courtney took over the lead from C.J. Leary with 13 miles to go after Leary began to run short on fuel. The same fate befell Courtney within 7 laps as his engine began to sputter and he was forced to the pits on lap 96.
Courtney comes back to the Magic Mile as one of the favorites to win the 71st Ted Horn 100 and a shot at becoming perhaps the last driver on a very exclusive list. Since 1953 just 14 drivers have won 100-mile championship races on the three Midwestern fairground mile racetracks, Indianapolis, Springfield and Du Quoin. With the announcement earlier that the Indiana State Fair was turning the “Track of Champions” into a practice facility for horses, it is possible that no one will be able to claim a victory on all three again. Further, just four men, Jimmy Bryan, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Jack Hewitt won all three (Bettenhausen (Springfield) 100, Ted Horn 100, Hoosier Hundred) in the same year.
Courtney won this year’s Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in the same fashion as Chris Windom did at Springfield and Du Quoin in 2018. Courtney started 3rd and bided his time taking the lead from Kevin Thomas Jr. with less than 10 miles to go. His quest for the USAC Silver Crown “triple crown” continues Sunday night in the 71st Ted Horn 100.
Pits and registration open at 1pm, grandstands open at 4pm, practice at 5pm, qualifying at 6:30 with the Ted Horn 100 scheduled for an 8:15pm start. All times central.
Tickets will be available on raceday or by calling the Du Quoin Fair office at 618-542-1535. Info and tickets can also be obtained by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.
Advance tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children 11 and under. On the day of the race, adults are $30 and children 11 and under are $10. Pit passes are $35 apiece for adults and $20 for children 11 and under.
Sunday’s Ted Horn 100 will have live, flag-to-flag coverage on FloRacing.
TED HORN 100 ENTRY LIST (38 Drivers)
# / DRIVER / HOMETOWN / TEAM
07 JACOB WILSON/Crawfordsville, IN (Wilson Brothers Racing)
08 KYLE STEFFENS/St. Louis, MO (Kyle Steffens)
2 PATRICK LAWSON/Edwardsville, IL (Patrick Lawson)
6 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Klatt Enterprises)
7 KYLE ROBBINS/New Castle, IN (KR Racing)
9 ®TANNER THORSON/Minden, NV (Chris Dyson Racing)
10 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (DMW Motorsports)
12 BRIAN TYLER/Mt. Pleasant, NC (Galas Motorsports)
14 A.J. FIKE/Galesburg, IL (Dennis & Dave McQuinn)
15 ®CHAD KEMENAH/Alvada, OH (Hampshire/Kemenah Racing)
16 AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko Racing)
17 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Goodnight-Byrd Racing)
20 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Gene Nolen Racing)
21 JEFF SWINDELL/Germantown, TN (Mark Swanson Encore Team)
24 MIKE HAGGENBOTTOM/Levittown, PA (John Haggenbottom)
31 ®DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA (Berkheimer Racing)
33 ®RONNIE WUERDEMAN/Cincinnati, OH (Ronnie Wuerdeman)
34 TERRY BABB/Decatur, IL (Ken Morford)
39 MATT GOODNIGHT/Winchester, IN (Goodnight Racing)
40 DAVID BYRNE/Shullsburg, WI (Byrne Racing)
43 JOHN HEYDENREICH/Bloomsburg, PA (A.J. Felker)
44 DANNY LONG/Bonne Terre, MO (Danny Long)
47 ®AUSTIN MUNDIE/Dallas, TX (Patty Butler)
51 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN (Gamester Racing)
53 STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA (Five Three Motorsports)
55 CASEY SHUMAN/Tempe, AZ (Patty Bateman)
56 KEVIN THOMAS, JR./Cullman, AL (Foxco Racing)
57 ®DALLAS HEWITT/Troy, OH (Dallas Hewitt)
66 BILL ROSE/Plainfield, IN (Bill Rose)
71 SHANE COCKRUM/Benton, IL (Hardy Boys Motorsports)
74 ®CASEY BUCKMAN/Chandler, AZ (C-Buck Motorsports)
77 CHRIS URISH/Elkhart, IL (Chris Urish)
78 ERIC GORDON/Fortville, IN (Armstrong/Slinkard Racing)
81 SHANE COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Curtis Williams)
91 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn Racing)
97 TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Hans Lein)
99 ®KOREY WEYANT/Springfield, IL (Scott Weyant)
123 ®JIMMY LIGHT/West Springfield, PA (Two-Three Motorsports)
® = USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year contender