Silver Crown
Saturday, 20 June 2015


Bobby Santos of Franklin, Mass. celebrates in victory lane. Bobby Santos of Franklin, Mass. celebrates in victory lane. Rich Forman Photo




Bobby Santos knows his way around Iowa Speedway; that’s for sure.  The three-time winner at the 7/8 mile speed plant in Honda USAC National Midget competition (2009, 2010 and 2012) added his name to the list of Silver Crown victors at the track by winning Saturday afternoon’s “Casey’s General Stores 100.” 

Kody Swanson and Kyle Hamilton occupied the front row at the start, but it was third-starting Aaron Pierce who got the jump from the inside of the second row to take the lead for the first eight laps.  Meanwhile, pole sitter Kody Swanson fell back at the start, dropping out of the top-five in the first few laps.

On lap nine, Windom, subbing for the injured Tracy Hines, overtook Pierce for the top spot, but a lap 15 caution for wall contact by Hamilton delivered the race’s first caution.

On the ensuing restart, Jacob Wilson and Santos took a full head of steam to the front of the pack as Windom fell to third.  A blanket could’ve covered the top-three of Wilson, Santos, and Windom as they swapped the lead back-and-forth until Windom took charge on the 27th lap. 

A struggling Kody Swanson, who had not finished outside the top-two in any of the three races this season, slowed dramatically on the 37th lap before crawling back to pit lane where his rear axle gave way, resulting in a right rear wheel disconnecting and rolling down the front straightaway bringing a halt to the action.

On the lap 46 restart, Santos roared to the lead past Windom, with Wilson, Byrne, and Jerry Coons, Jr., hot on the trail. 

Santos continued to extend his lead until Wilson’s car came to a stop, suffering from an oil line issue just seven laps from the checkered flag.  As a result, the second, third, and fourth place cars of Windom, Pierce, and Byrne were lined up directly behind leader Santos as the drivers prepared for a green-white-checkered finish.

Santos once again laid the lumber on the cars behind him while a three-car gaggle battled for the runner-up position.  Byrne’s outside move coming to the white flag in turn four white-walled the right side tires.  Coming to the checkered flag, Byrne made a daring outside move to get past Pierce and nipped Windom at the line for a 2nd place finish.

However, at the front of the pack, it was all Bobby Santos.  The Franklin, Mass. native dominated the final 55 laps, wheeling the DJ Racing/Simpson Race Products Beast/Chevy #122 for his sixth career Silver Crown victory and became the all-time winningest driver in USAC competition at Iowa Speedway with his fourth triumph.  Santos was followed by Byrne, Windom, Pierce, rookie Austin Nemire, A.J. Fike, Rex Norris III, Wilson, Tim Barber, and Coons rounding out the top-ten.

“These races are so long.  You have to take care of your car. That’s the beauty of Silver Crown racing,” Santos admitted.  “With the big fuel load, it’s critical not to hurt your tires.  I don’t intend to be the rabbit at the beginning of these races.  I just want to be there at the end.”


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 20, 2015 - Newton, Iowa - Iowa Speedway - "Casey's General Stores 100"

QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-22.407; 2. Kyle Hamilton, 33, Six-R/Hamilton-22.440; 3. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-22.471; 4. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-22.489; 5. Bobby Santos, 122, DJ-22.561; 6. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-22.631; 7. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-22.703; 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-22.798; 9. Billy Wease, 99, RPM/Gormly-23.062; 10. Rex Norris III, 16, Norris-23.163; 11. A.J. Fike, 3, RFMS-23.665; 12. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-23.826; 13. Tim Barber, 28, Finkenbinder-24.055; 14. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-24.153; 15. Tad Roach, 84, Spivey-27.442; 16. Jarett Andretti, 4, Andretti-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Bobby Santos, 2. David Byrne, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Aaron Pierce, 5. Austin Nemire, 6. A.J. Fike, 7. Rex Norris III, 8. Jacob Wilson, 9, Tim Barber, 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 11. Patrick Lawson, 12. Kody Swanson, 13. Kyle Hamilton, 14. Billy Wease, 15. Tad Roach, 16, Jarett Andretti. NT


FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-8 Pierce, Laps 9-22 Windom, Laps 23-24 Wilson, Laps 25-26 Santos, Laps 27-45 Windom, Laps 46-100 Santos.

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-K.Swanson-218, 2-Pierce-204, 3-Fike-198, 4-Byrne-162, 5-Coons-160, 6-Wilson-159, 7-Santos-138, 8-Nemire-134, 9-Norris-127, 10-Lawson-110.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: July 2 - Terre Haute (IN) Action Track - "Sumar Classic"