2022 USAC Championship Saturday at Indianapolis Raceway Park

This Is It: IRP's USAC Silver Crown Season Finale To Decide Champion

This Is It: IRP's USAC Silver Crown Season Finale To Decide Champion

One race. Two title contenders. Three points of separation. That’s what the 2022 USAC Silver Crown championship race comes down to this Saturday in Indiana.

Oct 20, 2022 by FloRacing Staff
This Is It: IRP's USAC Silver Crown Season Finale To Decide Champion

Figuring out the arithmetic for the 2022 USAC Silver Crown finale is as easy as one-two-three.

One race. Two title contenders. Three points of separation.

That's what the 2022 USAC Silver Crown championship race comes down to Saturday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Brownsburg, Indiana.

Logan Seavey and Kody Swanson are engrossed in one of the tightest point battles in USAC Silver Crown history, with Seavey holding a three-point edge entering 100-lap, 68.6-mile Howard Companies Championship Saturday event on the .686-mile paved oval.

The race to the crown has been practically even throughout the first 10 events of the season. To demonstrate how close the championship fight is going into this weekend's race, consider this stat line and tell us whose resume you think it came from.

This Californian owns three wins, one runner-up finish, a third-place result and two fourth-place runs, in addition to nine top-10 finishes in 10 starts. This driver also has a worst finish of eighth when still running at the finish of the race.

Is it Seavey? Could it be Swanson? Nope. Actually, it's both. Seavey and Swanson carry the exact same statistics at this point in the year.

So, who holds the edge? 

Well, it's certainly no secret that Swanson (Kingsburg, California) holds the upper hand at IRP. In fact, he holds the upper hand over everybody who's ever sat in the seat of a champ car at IRP. 

His seven victories and nine poles in Silver Crown competition at the track both are records. He has finished inside the top 2 in 15 of his 21-career series starts at IRP. Furthermore, he's been victorious in the last four pavement races on the schedule, including the non-points, 10-car, 25-lap special event in June.

Seavey (Sutter, California) has been stellar on the dirt all year long, picking up all three of his 2022 victories on Earth's soil. However, he's upped his game on the asphalt this year, finishing as high as second at Winchester (Indiana) Speedway, while also grabbing a stellar fifth at IRP in May's Carb Night Classic. At IRP in 2021, he collected seventh- and eighth-place finishes. 

Every point is crucial from the word "go," from qualifying to laps led to where a driver crosses the stripe when the checkered flag is waved one last time. 

Three bonus points are up for grabs for the pole winner. Three more are available to the driver who leads the most laps.

However, the bulk of the points are made at the finish line, with the winner receiving 70 points. Each position's point total decreases by three throughout the top 10, with 10th place earning 43 points. 

From 10th to 20th in the final running order, the points decrease by two for each position, with 20th collecting 23 points. 

Beyond 20th, the points situation decreases by one for each spot through the balance of the field. The least amount any driver can gain is 13 for the event. Ten points are awarded to any driver not starting the event.

In addition to the championship battle between the drivers are their teams. The entrant title battle is separated by the same three-point margin, with Seavey's Rice Motorsports No. 222 standing atop the pylon ahead of the combined team effort of Doran-Dyson Motorsports for Swanson's No. 1. 

For Rice, it would be his second consecutive entrant title. For Doran-Dyson, it would be the first for either department.

With all that said, there's a big score still yet to be settled between an array of talent throughout the field. They possess 12 IRP Silver Crown victories between them. 

Bobby Santos (Franklin, Massachusetts) captured the most recent Silver Crown points race in May, which was his fifth win overall with the series at the track, after earlier winning the pole position for the race, his third.

Tanner Swanson (Kingsburg, California) owns six IRP Silver Crown wins in his career, second only to his brother, Kody. Tanner also has set quick time on another five occasions, and like Santos and Kody, he is one of the few and the proud who can lay claim to victories in a sprint car, midget and Silver Crown car at IRP.

Brian Tyler (Parma, Michigan) made his IRP Silver Crown debut in 1996 for master mechanic and car owner Jack Steck. His lone IRP Silver Crown win came in the "New Generation" machine during the 2006 season. 

In the traditional champ car, Tyler won the pole for the 2001 IRP race and went on to finish second. The two-time USAC National Sprint Car driving champion also can boast IRP Silver Crown finishes of third in 1999 and 2003 and fifth in 2000.

Two-time Little 500 winner Tyler Roahrig (Plymouth, Indiana) returns to Silver Crown competition for the first time this year after finishing as the runner-up last August at IRP. 

He'll pilot a new Legacy chassis built by Legacy Autosport, which is making its first foray into Silver Crown racing. Both have winning experience at IRP in other divisions. 

Roahrig captured a 500 Sprint Car Tour win this past August, while Legacy Autosport scored an Indy Pro 2000 win in 2020 with driver Kody Swanson.

Taylor Ferns (Shelby Township, Michigan) made history at IRP in May when she became the first woman to finish on the podium of a Silver Crown race, taking a career-best third with her effort. She also finished inside the top 5 with a fifth-place effort in early 2021.

Two past USAC National champions have previously risen to the occasion at IRP. 

Justin Grant (Ione, California), the 2020 Silver Crown champ, has recorded three top-5 results in his Silver Crown career at IRP, finishing fourth in both 2019 and 2021, then fifth in 2021. 

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Indiana), the 2019 USAC National Sprint Car titlist, tallied a best pavement run of fourth in May. His father, Chuck Leary, won the Silver Crown pole at IRP in 1999.

Mario Clouser (Auburn, Illinois) made the biggest position advancement of any driver this season, when he charged from 24th to seventh at IRP in May in what was his first Silver Crown start. 

Patrick Lawson (Edwardsville, Illinois) has a been a traveling man of late at IRP, moving from 21st to a career-best seventh in 2020 and from 17th to ninth in 2021. 

Davey Hamilton Jr. nearly was a first-time winner in his last Silver Crown outing in Madison, Illinois, where he finished a career-best second. At IRP, he's completed the task eighth in 2022 and ninth in 2017.

Kyle Robbins, Travis Welpott and Gregg Cory all have been top-10 finishers in their Silver Crown careers at IRP. 

Robbins (New Castle, Indiana) snagged a 10th in 2019, with Welpott (Pendleton, Indiana) grabbing 10th in 2021 and Cory (Shelbyville, Indiana) earning his best career result of 10th in 2022. Cory is well on his way to collecting series rookie-of-the-year honors for 2022.

Returning to IRP action this Saturday are Silver Crown combatants looking to up their performances from years past in Silver Crown competition at the track.

The list includes Goodyear, Arizona's Nathan Byrd (12th in 2022), 2020 Rookie of the Year Bryan Gossel from Fort Collins, Colorado (13th in 2021), 2019 Rookie of the Year Derek Bischak from Angola, Indiana (15th in 2019), plus Danville, Indiana's Nick Hamilton (15th in 2022), Abilene, Texas' Jake Day (18th in 2021), Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania's Dave Berkheimer (22nd in 2021) and Grafton, Ohio's Mike McVetta (22nd in 2022), who pulled off a Midwest Supermodified feature victory at IRP in 2018.

Two drivers will be making their IRP Silver Crown debuts. 

Kaylee Bryson (Muskogee, Oklahoma) turned the world on its collective ear with her performance during last Saturday's event on the one-mile dirt oval at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, where she led 72 of the 100 laps and finished a career-best fifth. 

Her car, the Sam Pierce Racing No. 26, won the pole for a Silver Crown round at IRP in 2015 with driver Aaron Pierce.

Series rookie Tom Paterson (Argos, Indiana), the 2021 Auto Value Super Sprint Series champion driver, will make his first go with the big cars at IRP in his familiar yellow No. 111.

Race Details

Howard Companies Championship Saturday consists of a tripleheader, featuring the USAC Silver Crown National Championship, 500 Sprint Car Tour and Pavement Midgets.

Spectator gates open at noon Eastern. Practice for the 500 Sprint Car Tour begins at 12:30 p.m., with Pavement Midget practice at 12:55 p.m. and USAC Silver Crown practice at 1:20 p.m., followed by a second round of practice for the sprint cars at 1:50 p.m., midgets at 2:15 p.m. and Silver Crown at 2:40 p.m.

Sprint Car qualifying commences at 3:10 p.m., midgets at 3:40 p.m. and Silver Crown at 4:10 p.m.

The opening ceremony is slated for 4:45 p.m. EDT, with the sprint car feature rolling off at 5:05 p.m., midgets at 6:05 p.m. and Silver Crown at 7:05 p.m.

Advance tickets are on sale now at raceIRP.com. Tickets will be on sale at the gate on race day.

Saturday's event will be aired live on FloRacing. Click here to watch.