Silver Crown
Friday, 26 April 2019


#6 Kyle Hamilton #6 Kyle Hamilton Rich Forman Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Toledo, Ohio (April 26, 2019)………The storylines are plentiful heading into the seventh appearance for the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series at Toledo Speedway this Sunday, April 28, in the Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness “Rollie Beale Classic.”

Kingsburg, California’s Kody Swanson is the only driver to have started all six USAC Silver Crown events at Toledo.  He’s yet to finish outside the top-four and has won the “Rollie Beale Classic” on three occasions, in 2011, 2015 and 2019.  He’s also won the pole on three times in 2011, 2015 and 2017 and has led 255 of the 600 laps ever run by Silver Crown cars at Toledo.

Bobby Santos has won at Toledo in a USAC Sprint Car, Midget and Silver Crown car in his career, taking the checkered in 2017.  He’s the most recent driver not named Kody Swanson to win at Toledo and is also the last one other than Kody to win a Silver Crown race, taking the Phoenix opener in 2018.

Swanson has won five-straight races on the pavement dating to 2018, an all-time USAC Silver Crown record, with victories at Toledo, Lucas Oil Raceway, Madison International Raceway, Salem Speedway and this year’s opener at Memphis International Raceway.  The previous record of four-straight was held by Dave Steele, set during the 2005 season.

Interestingly, no driver has ever repeated a Silver Crown victory at Toledo despite only three different winners in six starts: Jerry Coons, Jr. (2010 & 2012), Swanson (2011, 2015 & 2018) and Santos (2017).

Danville, Indiana’s Kyle Hamilton returns to the place where he made his first career Silver Crown start, back in 2011, finishing 8th.  His team, Klatt Enterprises, has won three USAC National Sprint Car races at Toledo, in 2004, 2009 and 2011 with driver Bobby East.

Shullsburg, Wisconsin’s David Byrne has been consistent at Toledo in his three most recent starts, not once finishing outside the top-eight, scoring a best of 3rd last year.  He’s the only driver other than Swanson to finish in the top-eight in each of the last three years.

Last year, Fortville, Indiana’s Eric Gordon returned to Silver Crown racing after a six-year absence.  Toledo is the home of Gordon’s first career USAC Sprint Career win back in 1989.  He was the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger in last year’s Toledo race, moving from 16th to 4th.

Muncie, Indiana’s Aaron Pierce has Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown experience at Toledo and has finished in the top-five in two of his last three Toledo starts.

Pierce, along with Matt Goodnight of Winchester, Ind., showed the most advancement from their 2017 results to their 2018 results at Toledo.  Pierce was 12th in 2017 and 5th in 2018, while Goodnight was 15th in 2017 and 8th in 2018.

Peru, Indiana’s Russ Gamester, the 1989 USAC National Midget champion, will make his return to the Silver Crown lineup at Toledo for the first time since 2011.

Ione, California’s Justin Grant set quick time in qualifying at Toledo a year ago.  His car owner is Toledo native and race sponsor Ron Hemelgarn, who was also the owner for Buddy Lazier’s 1996 Indianapolis 500 victory.  Dennis LaCava turned the wrenches for Lazier on that day and will do so for Grant at Toledo this weekend.

Two Ohioans are in the lineup: Sylvania’s Austin Nemire and Pataskala’s Cody Gallogly.  Nemire made his first career Silver Crown start at Toledo in 2015, finishing 7th, then came back last year with a solid 6th.  Gallogly, meanwhile, has been on track in the last two events at Toledo, but has had mishaps with the turn three wall during practice in consecutive years.  He’s since garnered a pair of starts at Salem and Memphis, and now aims to make his first Toledo Silver Crown start.

An Ohio native hasn’t won a Silver Crown race in the state of Ohio since Jack Hewitt’s “4-Crown” sweep at Eldora Speedway in 1998.  An Ohio native has not won a USAC National race at Toledo since the race’s namesake, Rollie Beale, won in a 40-lap Sprint Car feature in 1976.

Chris Windom of Canton, Ill. has been a contender at Toledo in each of the past two years, qualifying and running in the top-five in each instance.  He took 3rd in 2017 and wound up 15th in 2018 after losing the brakes.  This will be his third start at Toledo with a third different team after driving for Gene Kazmark in 2017, Gene Nolen in 2018 and now Goodnight Racing in 2019.

Annie Breidinger, twin sister of Toni Breidinger, makes her way back to Silver Crown racing for the first time since 2017.  The most recent of the Hillsborough, Calif. native’s two career series starts came at Toledo in 2017, finishing a career-best 9th.  She owns five career USAC Western HPD Midget wins.

Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary will make his first Toledo Silver Crown appearance since 2015 after returning to run the full schedule this year.  The Ocala USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car winner and leading USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Rookie finished 11th in 2015.

Fresno, California’s Cody Gerhardt was the best finisher of drivers making their first Silver Crown appearances at Toledo in 2018, finishing 7th, with fellow first-timers Travis Welpott (Pendleton, Ind.) and 2018 series Rookie of the Year Kyle Robbins (New Castle, Ind.) finishing just behind in 9th and 11th, respectively.

Ten of the 26 drivers in the field are making their first Toledo Silver Crown appearances this weekend: two-time American LeMans Series champ Chris Dyson (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.), USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.), Silver Crown veteran Mike Haggenbottom (Levittown, Pa.), first-time pavement starter Dave Berkheimer (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), leading series Rookie Joey Schmidt (Ellisville, Miss.), series Rookie Jason Conn (Prince George, B.C.), USAC D1 Midget champ Jim Anderson (Joliet, Ill.), nine-time USAC National winner Brian Gerster (Fishers, Ind.), “Rumble in Ft. Wayne” winner Derek Bischak (Angola, Ind.) and Gallogly.

Pit gates for the Sunday, April 28, USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series event at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway open at 11am and front gates open at 2:15pm.  Silver Crown practice runs from 2:30-3:15pm and 3:40-4:05pm with Sprint Car practice set for 3:15-3:40pm and 4:05-4:25pm.  Fatheadz Eyewear Silver Crown qualifying begins at 5pm, followed by Sprint Car qualifying.  Vintage Car laps are set for 5:40pm with invocation/anthems slotted for 5:55pm and racing at 6pm. (All times Eastern)

Adult general admission tickets are $20 advance and $25 on raceday.  Kids age 6-12 are $3, children age 5 and under are FREE!

Toledo Speedway is located at 5639 Benore Rd, Toledo, OH 43612.  You can reach the track via phone at (419) 727-1100 and on their website at

LIVE flag-to-flag coverage of the event will be on  Listen to LIVE audio of all the happenings on the USAC app.  Following along with live updates on and with live timing and scoring available on the Race Monitor app.




6 Kyle Hamilton/Danville, IN (Klatt Enterprises)

7 Kyle Robbins/New Castle, IN (KR Racing)

9 ®Chris Dyson/Pleasant Valley, NY (Chris Dyson Racing)

10 C.J. Leary/Greenfield, IN (DMW Motorsports)

11 Kevin Thomas, Jr./Cullman, AL (DHR-Byrd Racing)

16 Austin Nemire/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko Racing)

17 Chris Windom/Canton, IL (Goodnight-Byrd Racing)

18 Travis Welpott/Pendleton, IN (Travis Welpott-Ernie Gorman Racing)

20 Kody Swanson/Kingsburg, CA (Gene Nolen Racing)

22 Bobby Santos/Franklin, MA (DJ Racing)

24 Mike Haggenbottom/Levittown, PA (John Haggenbottom)

25 ®Joey Schmidt/Ellisville, MS (Sam Pierce)

26 Aaron Pierce/Muncie, IN (Sam Pierce)

31 ®Dave Berkheimer/Mechanicsburg, PA (Berkheimer Racing)

39 Matt Goodnight/Winchester, IN (Goodnight Racing)

40 David Byrne/Shullsburg, WI (Byrne Racing)

51 Russ Gamester/Peru, IN (Gamester Racing)

60 ®Cody Gerhardt/Fresno, CA (Cody Gerhardt)

78 Eric Gordon/Fortville, IN (Armstrong-Slinkard Racing)

80 ®Annie Breidinger/Hillsborough, CA (Breidinger Motorsports)

81 ®Cody Gallogly/Pataskala, OH (Curtis Williams)

88 ®Jason Conn/Prince George, BC (Davey Hamilton Racing)

91 Justin Grant/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn Racing)

92 ®Jim Anderson/Joliet, IL (Kazmark Motorsports)

94 Brian Gerster/Fishers, IN (Ram Engineering)

131 ®Derek Bischak/Angola, IN (Derek Bischak)

® = USAC Silver Crown Rookie