BACK-TO-BACK SILVER CROWN RACES AT TERRE HAUTE, ORP
PRESENT CHALLENGE FOR SERIES PARTICIPANTS
USAC K & N Silver Crown Championship Series participants are facing only the third back-to-back events in series history next week as the First Financial Bank “Sumar Classic 100” and the “J.D. Byrider 100” presented by TourHendricksCounty.com unfold at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track and O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, Ind. Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
It’s only the third time in series history for back-to-back races on successive nights and only the second time for dirt and pavement. Ironically, both previous occurrences produced “sweeps.” Mario Andretti grabbed at Sedalia, Mo. and Springfield, Ill. in 1974 and J.J. Yeley won at ORP and the Indiana State Fairgrounds in 2003. Yeley’s wins were on pavement and dirt!
Only five times have drivers won back-to-back pavement/dirt Silver Crown races since the series presented by Optima Batteries began in 1971. They are Tom Bigelow (1975), Rick Hood (1985), Jeff Gordon (1991), Yeley (1998 and 2003) and Tyler Walker (2004), but Yeley’s 2003 victories came on successive nights!
A total of 20 drivers have been able to win Silver Crown races on both pavement and dirt during their careers. They include the above-mentioned plus Jack Hewitt, Jimmy Sills, Brian Tyler, George Snider, Jason Leffler, Ken Schrader, Kenny Irwin Jr., Russ Gamester, Tracy Hines, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Johnny Parsons, Paul White, Bud Kaeding and Jay Drake.
Hines leads the current series standings going into next Wednesday night’s Terre Haute race, 13 ahead of Jerry Coons Jr. Last year’s Terre Haute race was rained out while Bobby East won last year at ORP. Hines did not compete at ORP last year as he was sidelined by a motorcycle injury.
Rick Hood won the first USAC Silver Crown race at ORP, in 1985, while Donnie Beechler was the inaugural Terre Haute winner in 1995.
Brian Tyler, currently 10th in the latest Silver Crown standings, is the only driver besides Yeley to own Silver Crown victories at both tracks, winning at Terre Haute in 2004 and ORP in 2006.
The Mopar USAC National Midgets will join the Silver Crown cars at ORP, competing in the second of three “Toyota Challenge” events at the oval.