Huge Entry List For USAC Silver Crown At Eldora
Huge Entry List For USAC Silver Crown At Eldora
A field of 32 drivers will be competing in the USAC Silver Crown portion of the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway.
Rossburg, OH -- A 32-car pre-entry list for this weekend’s 39th running of the 4-Crown Nationals presented by NKT.TV signifies the largest USAC Silver Crown car count for the event at Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway in two decades.
The lineup is packed full of past 4-Crown winners, series champions and those hungry for a breakthrough on Friday and Saturday, September 24-25.
Silver Crown’s weekend kicks off with practice and qualifying on Friday night followed by a brief practice session and the $8,000-to-win 50-lap race on Saturday night to conclude the 4-Crown festivities.
We’ve already gotten a taste of Silver Crown racing at Eldora Speedway earlier this season. Tyler Courtney’s route to a second career Eldora USAC Silver Crown triumph this past June was in the realm of categorical perfection from start-to-finish after topping the charts in both practice sessions and leading all 50 laps of the night’s feature.
Starting second in the 31-car field was the only “blemish” on an otherwise flawless evening after missing out on the pole on his qualifying run. Courtney more than made up for it, walloping the field with a 7.986 second margin of victory in the Chris Dyson Racing No. 9. He’s previously won in Silver Crown competition at The Big E in 2017 and also started from the pole en route to a 3rd place finish in 2016.
Brian Tyler (Parma, Mich.) made his return to the Silver Crown series a memorable one at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds on Sept. 6, winning in his first series start in two seasons. He’s won at Eldora on multiple occasions, first in a USAC Sprint Car in 1997 and again in 2002 in the 4-Crown Silver Crown 50-lapper.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) won the most recent 4-Crown Silver Crown race at Eldora in 2019 and has, in fact, finished inside the top-eight in all six of his series starts there with a 4th in 2016, 5th in 2015, 5th in 2017, another 5th in June of 2021 and 8th in 2018.
On the pole for this past June’s race was C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) who made a banzai run to the checkered flag in winning the 2018 Silver Crown go at Eldora, in addition to 8th place results there in 2015 and 2019.
Current series point leader and five-time Silver Crown champ Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) has never won a race at Eldora. He’ll make his Silver Crown return with the Mark Swanson Encore Team with whom he finished 3rd for back in June. He’s finished a best of 2nd in 2015 and won the pole in 2017. Swanson’s 4-Crown Silver Crown results run the gamut of the top-10 at Eldora with a 4th in 2019, 5th in 2016, 5th in 2018, 8th in 2013, 9th in 2012 and 9th in 2014.
Taking 6th at Eldora’s Silver Crown go back at the start of summer was Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) who won his only career USAC National Sprint Car feature at Eldora in 2006. Meanwhile, at Eldora in a Silver Crown car, he’s been phenomenal in minimal appearances over the past two decades. He finished a career best 2nd in 2013, was 5th in 2002, 9th in 2004 and 7th in 2019 after charging from the 27th starting position in just 50 laps.
Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) scored a top-10 Silver Crown result with a 10th at Eldora in June of 2021. He won the most recent USAC Sprint Car race held at Eldora in May during the second half of the #LetsRaceTwo USAC National Sprint Car weekend, his 6th overall at the track. He’ll compete for Bill Rose Racing Saturday at Eldora where he earned his best career Silver Crown result of 2nd in 2012. He’s also been 6th in 2011, 8th in 2010 and 9th in 2017.
Reigning USAC Silver Crown champ Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) has been victorious three times in USAC National Sprint Car competition at Eldora and has finished solidly at Eldora throughout his Silver Crown career. Grant took 2nd in 2016, was 3rd in 2019, 6th in 2015, 6th in 2017 and 7th in 2018.
Troy, Ohio’s Dallas Hewitt owns both his best career USAC Silver Crown result and USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car result at Eldora. He finished 7th in the Silver Crown car back in June of this year and was 2nd in a Sprint Car at Eldora in May of 2017. Dallas is the nephew of Jack Hewitt, the winningest Silver Crown driver of all-time at Eldora with eight victories.
Leading series Rookie and squarely in the championship hunt is Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.). His first Eldora USAC Silver Crown experience proved to be solid, finishing 8th after starting 13th. Seavey also finished 3rd twice with the USAC National Midgets at the track in 2018 and 2019.
Finishing 9th in June was Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) who won the pole in 2018 and has finished inside the top-five on six occasions in Silver Crown competition during the 4-Crown at Eldora, including in each of his past three starts, led by 3rd place results in 2017 and 2018; 4th in 2008 and 2015; 5th in 2006 and 2019, the latter of which he started 24th.
Loads of 4-Crown Silver Crown experience is apparent throughout the substantial field, all of whom are striving for a first victory at the half-mile dirt oval.
Shane Cockrum (Benton, Ill.) won the opening Silver Crown round on the dirt in June at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania. At Eldora, he’s turned in impressive results, including a 3rd in 2013, 4th in 2014 and 7th in 2015.
Eric Gordon’s (Fortville, Ind.) USAC Silver Crown experience dates back to 1990 where he finished 7th in his Rookie season, which resulted in a 2nd place finish in the final standings. Gordon also took 2nd in 1991, 3rd in 1997, 5th in 1994, 6th in 1995, 7th in 1993 and 10th in 2019.
Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) set his first career Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifying time at Williams Grove in June, setting a new track record in the process. In the Crown car at Eldora, he finished 4th in his first career series start in 2018 and started on the front row in 2019. His Klatt Enterprises ride won the 4-Crown Silver Crown 50-lapper at Eldora with Bacon as the driver in 2019.
One-time USAC Silver Crown race winner David Byrne (Shullsburg, Wis.) finished a best of 8th at Eldora in 2017 while Kyle Robbins (New Castle, Ind.) was 9th in 2018. Matt Goodnight (Winchester, Ind.) raced from 25th to 9th at Eldora in 2019.
Jerry Nemire made 14 career USAC Silver Crown starts at Eldora between 1981 and 2013, which included 9th place finishes in both 1986 and 1991. His grandson Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio) has carried the Nemire torch into Silver Crown racing at Eldora over the past half-decade where he’s made six starts, finishing a best of 11th in 2018.
Veterans of 4-Crown Eldora Silver Crown action also include Troy, Missouri’s Chris Fetter (11th in 2016); Decatur, Illinois’ Terry Babb (15th in 1998 & 2002); Levittown, Pennsylvania’s Mike Haggenbottom (15th in 2018); Pendleton, Indiana’s Travis Welpott (17th in 2018); Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania’s Dave Berkheimer (19th in 2018).
They’re all joined by top-10 Eldora USAC Sprint Car finishers Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.), a 3rd place Silver Crown finisher at Selinsgrove, Pa. and Du Quoin, Ill. this season, as well as Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.).
Carmen Perigo (Stoystown, Pa.), a three-time top-10 finisher in 2021, will make his second Silver Crown appearance at Eldora, as will Casey Buckman (Chandler, Ariz.), 8th at Springfield. Plainfield, Indiana’s Chris Phillips finished 16th in his first USAC Silver Crown foray on Eldora’s high banks in June, finishing 16th.
Davey Ray (Davenport, Iowa) makes his USAC Silver Crown after a five-year hiatus from the series for the Cornell Racing Stables. Ray’s last 4-Crown Silver Crown appearance came in 2016 while he finished a best of 12th in the event back in 2005.
Recently crowned, two-time Lawrenceburg Speedway track champ Nick Bilbee (Indianapolis, Ind.) has been a consistent finisher at the 4-Crown in a sprint car with an 8th in 2018 and a 10th in both 2016 and 2019. He’ll been in the seat of Tim Simmons’ No. 3 for his third run in the Silver Crown series and first at Eldora.
Chase Johnson (Penngrove, Calif.), twice a winner on the USAC West Coast Sprint Car circuit last weekend, will attempt to make his first Silver Crown main event after two tries earlier this year. Mechanical trouble hit the car at Williams Grove and the postponement of Du Quoin by two days has prevented his long-awaited debut.
Seventy-one-year-old Vietnam War veteran Danny Long (Bonne Terre, Mo.) has been a traditional sight on the one-mile dirt ovals throughout the past couple decades. This weekend, however, will mark the first time he’ll haul his Silver Crown car to compete at Eldora.
First-time Silver Crown entrant Erik Karlsen is a CRSA 305 Sprint Car champion at New York’s Canandaigua Speedway and a veteran of Empire Super Sprints competition.
On Friday, it’s a full program for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship, plus USAC Silver Crown qualifying and a full program for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars. Stands open at 2pm Eastern with the drivers meeting at 5pm and hot laps at 6pm.
On Saturday, it’s full programs for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship, USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, USAC Silver Crown and the All Star Circuit of Champions. Spectator gates open at Noon Eastern with a driver autograph session scheduled from 3-4 pm in the Fan Zone, followed by the drivers meeting at 5pm and hot laps at 6pm.
On both nights at Eldora, general admission tickets are $34 for adults and free for ages 12 and under. Reserved tickets are $39 for adults and $9 for ages 12 and under.
The USAC portions from both nights of the 4-Crown Nationals can be watched LIVE on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3frPoW6.
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