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In the year 2000, the Magic Mile at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds had just been remodeled with a new concrete wall and lighting system. The ARCA stock car race was still held on Sunday afternoon, with the Ted Horn 100 USAC Silver Crown event on Monday afternoon. The UMP Modified Bill Oldani Memorial was in year seven and a fresh-faced teenager from St. Charles, Missouri was in the mix in the Oldani field and an interested spectator for the Ted Horn 100.
That teenager would become the youngest winner ever on the Magic Mile and he returns this weekend in search of Silver Crown success in Sunday’s Ted Horn 100.
It is hard to realize that Kyle Steffens is now in his mid-thirties and a veteran of over 20 years of competition. In 2000, he was 16 years, 1 month and 5 days when he took the lead of the UMP Modified event on Monday afternoon and sailed to victory beating veterans Jeff Leka, Kevin Gundaker and Jeff Parks to the finish line. A joyous victory lane celebration followed which included a bear hug to announcer Jim Childers that nearly lifted him off the ground.
The victory led Steffens to purchase his own Silver Crown car for 2001 but he missed the show in qualifying and the semi. Steffens returned in 2002 and just missed the show again. In 2005 Steffens was able to secure a ride in the seat of the famous orange and while number 12 Silver Crown championship dirt car fielded by O’Fallon, Illinois car owner and crew chief Bob Galas. The seat had been occupied by luminaries such as Jim Hurtubise, Chuck Gurney, Gary Bettenhausen, Jeff Swindell and Kevin Thomas, all winners of 100-mile dirt track championship races at some point in their careers. Steffens finally made the field finishing 26th. He tried again in 2007 for owner Chuck Hartenstein but was unable to qualify.
Since 2001, Kyle Steffens has made sporadic appearances in the Silver Crown series while driving late models and modifieds on area short tracks. He has always had an eye on the Silver Crown series and this year returns to the series and Du Quoin with a new car and a new paint scheme hoping to repeat the success found in 2000 at Du Quoin.
If Steffens were able to win the Ted Horn 100 at Du Quoin he would become the first driver ever to lay claim to victory in the Silver Crown and Modified events on the Magic Mile. It is almost certain a wild victory lane celebration would follow that might include a dip in the infield lake.
Kyle Steffens and 37 other competitors roll into the Magic Mile on Sunday. 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