MEMPHIS SERVES AS SILVER CROWN “TIE-BREAKER” SUNDAY
A rare tie for the USAC Silver Crown Championship point lead exists entering this Sunday afternoon’s “Memphis 100” at Memphis International Raceway in Millington, Tenn.
Drivers Tracy Hines and Kody Swanson each have 228 points and are 27 points ahead of defending two-time series champion Bobby East in the latest tally after four races.
Round five at Memphis includes not only the battle for the series lead but the first USAC appearance in the series in six years of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who hails from nearby Olive Branch, Miss.
Stenhouse has obviously assembled some racing stellar credentials, including the most recent successes in NASCAR competition, but he’ll return to his “roots” for Sunday’s race piloting a car entered by local car owners RE Technologies.
Hines is one of four drivers who have competed in all four previous Memphis USAC Silver Crown outings (1998-1999-2000 and 2004). He was second behind race winner Brian Tyler in 2000. The other three drivers who competed in all four are current series competitor Dave Darland, Russ Gamester and two-time Memphis winner and track record holder Dave Steele. Steele’s one-lap track record up for grabs Sunday is 129.789 mph.
Bobby Santos and Tanner Swanson have each won races this year, but Kody Swanson has a pair of wins, one on pavement and one on dirt.
It’s been eight years since USAC competed in the Volunteer State but East won one of the 2004 events, a Sprint race at Nashville. He’ll try to overtake the point leaders this weekend on his way to what would be a third consecutive title. In four starts this season he has a second, third, fourth and ninth.
East could become the first driver in the 44-year history to win three consecutive Silver Crown championships.
Sunday’s practice begins at 10 am, followed by qualifying at 11:30. The race gets the green flag at 2 pm.