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  • NOT YOUR AVERAGE RACER; TANNER SWANSON EMBRACES HIS RACING ROLE
    #02 Tanner Swanson leads the field on his way to another USAC Silver Crown victory in 2016 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

    NOT YOUR AVERAGE RACER; TANNER SWANSON EMBRACES HIS RACING ROLE

    By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

    In Major League baseball, a player who steps up to the plate and gets a base hit one out of every three at-bats year-after-year is celebrated as one of the top players in the game and a potential hall-of-famer.

    What would you say, then, about a driver who straps himself into a USAC Silver Crown car maybe three or four times per year and wins more than half of those starts, on average?

    Then again, Tanner Swanson isn’t your average racer.

    The Kingsburg, California veteran driver has found success in his career as a feature winner in all three of USAC’s National divisions: Silver Crown, National Sprint Cars and National Midgets.  And early on in the decade, one would have pegged Tanner as a good bet to become a future USAC national champion.

    Yet, over the past handful of seasons, those ambitions have changed as he has scaled his schedule back to less than a handful of races per year.  In 2016, Tanner was victorious in two of his three Silver Crown starts and finished second to his two-time series champion brother Kody Swanson.  Right now, Tanner’s plans are to compete just three times this year: this Saturday’s “Phoenix Copper Cup” at Phoenix Raceway and the two Silver Crown events at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in May and July.

    To the outside world, it’s difficult to fathom why someone as successful as Tanner would only put his racing talent on display so little.  But at 21-years-old, Tanner came to a crossroads and, now 26, has found that the road he pursued suits him just fine.

    “At the end of the 2012 season, Kody and I were without Silver Crown rides,” Tanner recalls.  “I was graduating college in May and felt like God was calling me to apply my life in a different direction. Things fell into place and I was presented with a great job and my heart wasn’t enjoying racing as much as I had in the past.  I am really enjoying the schedule that I am keeping right now and have been fortunate enough to remain competitive.”

    Tanner once did compete on a regular basis in USAC’s Silver Crown division, albeit briefly from 2010 to 2012, earning the first of his seven career series wins in 2010 at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway and finishing a best of fifth in the standings in 2012 before dialing back to a limited schedule in 2013.

    Since that point four years ago, Tanner has a .600 winning percentage in ten Silver Crown starts with six triumphs (five at Lucas Oil Raceway and once at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.) to go along with a pair of second-place finishes.  The only two finishes outside the top-two in that span have come by virtue of misfortune. 

    In 2014, he led 16 laps in the early-going at Gateway before falling out due to transmission issues and, in 2015, looked poised for victory at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway when he and a lapped car got together on the front straightaway, sending Tanner into a frightening, violent flip that he was, thankfully, able to walk away from.

    All that success in the past four seasons has come with the Bowman Racing team, however.  Although he wishes he could say that after a nine-month layoff, he can simply hop into a racecar and put it up front, he admits it takes an entire team effort from top-to-bottom to get to the level of success he has attained with Bowman.

    This weekend’s Phoenix round takes him into a new setting with car owner Gene Nolen, a stalwart on the Silver Crown circuit for nearly three decades whose level of success and experience is admired by Tanner.  His regular ride was unable to make the trip to the Southwest, so Tanner went on the hunt and found himself one which teams him up with USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson, Arizona and Franklin, Indiana’s Joe Axsom.

    “I actually went back to looking at previous Silver Crown race video and noted the success that Jerry and Gene have had in recent years on the pavement and was hoping that there would be some way that I could join the team,” Tanner explains.  “After a couple of phone calls with Gene, he told me that he was purchasing a backup car for them to use the rest of the year, but that it would be available if I wanted to run Phoenix.  I actually haven’t even gotten to meet or talk to the crew yet, but I have seen their level of preparation and I am excited to be a part of their team.”

    Racing at Phoenix is a dream for Tanner.  It’s something he’s only gotten the chance to do a single time back in 2009, but only in the USAC National Midget portion of the “Copper World Classic.”  It was an experience that Tanner describes as “frightening.”  After all, it’s quite the place for a driver to make his first pavement National Midget start!  But the then 17-year-old adapted quickly, qualifying eighth.  However, the experience didn’t last long as a mechanical failure on the opening lap put him on the sidelines, seeding him an extra sense of motivation with redemption on his mind as he takes his first laps in a Silver Crown car on the one-mile tri-oval this weekend.

    The significance of competing at Phoenix Raceway is not lost on Tanner.  The list of winners alone is one that will make a race fan or driver from any generation stand up and take notice with names like A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Gordon Johncock, Johnny Rutherford, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart among the few that have raced to victory at Phoenix since the track’s inception in 1964.

    History is just one aspect of the equation that has Tanner eager to hit the Phoenix pavement once again.  The meaning is personal.  He watched as his brother Kody finished second in the Silver Crown portion of the “Copper World Classic” in 2009 and was just a little over a week old when his father Mike ran third in a Supermodified at Phoenix in 1991.  Tanner now aims to make a lasting mark of his own to add to the Swanson legacy.

    “Phoenix holds a special place in my heart,” Tanner said.  “It was a family destination every year.  It’s crazy to look at the list of winners during the Copper World’s history and not get goosebumps.  Some of the best USAC races in history have been held there and I think that’s why there has been so much excitement because fans, drivers and teams are expecting another exciting one on Saturday.  I’m just excited to get back to the track that houses so much history, but I’m also curious to see how the new pavement and track configuration effects the racecars.  I have no doubt that there will be a lot of exciting racing all over the track and will be a must-see for USAC fans.”

    Phoenix Raceway was slightly reconfigured and repaved in 2011, which could produce a threat to Dave Steele’s one-lap track record from 2004 that clocked in at over 142mph.  The track will produce the fastest lap times of any circuit on the 2017 USAC Silver Crown calendar.  That doesn’t faze Tanner who admits the higher the speed, the higher the comfort level for himself.

    Though Tanner isn’t behind the wheel much these days, that doesn’t mean he’s absent from the racetrack.  On many weekends, you will find him serving as crew chief and coach to young California micro sprint racer Mason Daniel.  Over the past couple of those weekends, Daniel and Tanner were in victory lane, a place that’s become oh-so-familiar to Tanner regardless of what role he’s a part of at the track.

    Apart from racing, Tanner and his wife Allison stay busy, and that puts it mildly.  They run a graphics business together – Top Shelf Design Company – and serve as youth group leaders.  By day, though, Allison works as a real estate agent while Tanner works with farmers on their finances as a loan officer.

    In fact, Tanner and Kody grew up around the corn fields as much as they did the racetracks back in their hometown of Kingsburg, California.  Tanner still resides there while Kody has made his home 2000 miles away in Indianapolis.  Though separated by half a country, Tanner and Kody have maintained an unbreakable bond.

    “Kody and I are probably as close as two brothers can be who live 2000 miles apart,” Tanner said.  “We usually talk four to five times a week discussing racing, life and work.  We are each other’s biggest fan, critic and competitor.  For instance, last week, Kody drove an hour-and-a-half to the Nolen shop and spent three hours there mounting my seat before driving home on a weeknight.  I wouldn’t be able to race at the level I have been without his and his wife, Jordan’s, help.  That is for sure!”

    Even though his racing schedule is limited, Tanner doesn’t skimp on the preparation.  Each race represents an opportunity and Tanner isn’t going to let one slip by without giving his total focus and concentration.

    “It is tough to take nine months off and then go compete against the best drivers in the country with no practice,” Tanner states.  “A big part of my preparation consists of reviewing previous race film over-and-over and trying to focus on other racers and their tendencies and how to use that to my advantage.  This weekend will be difficult trying to settle into a new team, a new car and at a track that has a new configuration, but I think that if we are close, there is enough practice on Friday to be competitive.”

    And when Tanner is on-track, it’s all business.  It doesn’t matter if it’s his teammate or, more often than not, his brother he has to contend with for the win.  In fact, 17 of the last 31 Silver Crown races have been won by one of the two.  Seven times since 2010, Tanner and Kody have finished first and second in an event.  The first of those six contests went Tanner’s direction until Kody finally got the upper hand last July at Lucas Oil Raceway.

    It’s been a regular occurrence for the Swanson brothers to rule the roost when the Silver Crown series hits the pavement and don’t count it out from happening a few times yet this season.  The two will bounce ideas off each other and compare their driving techniques at certain venues, but are careful not to give too much away when they are preparing to do battle.

    “When we’re working for opposing teams, it’s usually business as usual and we really don’t talk much other than a little smack talk in between sessions,” Tanner said.  “We are both very competitive, intense individuals who like to remain focused on race day.  One routine that we do have is, each time we roll out for the feature, we will find each other on the track and exchange a thumbs up.  After that, all bets are off and Kody just becomes the driver of the 63.”

    See Tanner and Kody Swanson and the rest of the stars of the USAC Silver Crown Championship this Friday and Saturday, April 28-29 as they take on the tricky Phoenix Raceway mile for the first time in eight seasons at the “Phoenix Copper Cup.”

    Friday's schedule includes a pair of practice sessions for the "Phoenix Copper Cup" from 12:30 to 1:30pm and 1:45 to 2:15pm. ProSource Qualifying is slated to begin at 2:40pm.

    Saturday's schedule for the Silver Crown cars starts at 2pm when cars and drivers make their way to pit road. The green flag for the 100-lap, 100-mile race is set for 3pm.

    Get your discount tickets now at http://bit.ly/2p5WGI5 to witness both days of racing action: the "Phoenix Copper Cup" featuring the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series, the Vintage Desert Classic and the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix featuring the Verizon IndyCar Series.

    Can't make it to Phoenix in-person? Watch flag-to-flag coverage of the event a day after, on-demand at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/!



  • PHOENIX COPPER CUP FIELD SHOWCASES VETERANS AND FIRST-TIMERS ALL CAPABLE OF WINNING
    David Byrne of Shullsburg, Wisconsin competed at Phoenix Raceway in a midget in 2007 and 2008, but eyes his first Silver Crown start at the track this Saturday in the

    PHOENIX COPPER CUP FIELD SHOWCASES VETERANS AND FIRST-TIMERS ALL CAPABLE OF WINNING

    By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

    An eight-year gap since the most recent appearance for the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series at Phoenix Raceway provides an intriguing array of experience differential between each of the competitors.

    Among the varying degrees of experience for each of the 18 competitors at the one-mile tri-oval, a past Phoenix Silver Crown winner is not among the lineup.  On one end, there are National champions and Phoenix race winners.  On the other end of the spectrum, there are drivers making their first ever Phoenix start and even a few making their debut in a Silver Crown car for the event this Friday and Saturday, April 28-29

    With that said, there are real threats to win regardless of the category they are pigeonholed into.  When Saturday arrives, it all comes to down to how a driver and team performs in those 100 laps that will tell the final chapter of the 2017 “Phoenix Copper Cup.”

     

    PHOENIX WINNERS

    The first group includes drivers who’ve won at Phoenix, but have yet to do so in a Silver Crown car.  Bobby Santos of Franklin, Massachusetts was victorious in the last USAC National Midget race held at the track in 2009.  Later that same night, the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Modified champ made his Phoenix Silver Crown debut, finishing seventh in his sole series start at the track.

    Davey Hamilton picks up right where he left off in a Silver Crown car, returning to the scene of his most recent start at Phoenix in 2009.  The Boise, Idaho native is the most experienced driver in the field with 10 series starts at Phoenix dating to his first start back in 1990.  The 11-time Indianapolis 500 veteran finished fifth in the Silver Crown race in both 1997 and 1998 and made a third-place run in an IndyCar in 1997, but of most noteworthiness is his role as a Supermodified dominator at the track, garnering five wins in 1989, 1991, 1994, 1995 and 2001.

     

    PHOENIX SILVER CROWN VETERANS

    Right now, Chris Windom is the one everybody’s chasing in the Silver Crown series. The point leader has won three-in-row dating to the final two races of last season at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds and Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.  Earlier this month, the Canton, Illinois driver took the season-opening “Sumar Classic” at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.  If he can win at Phoenix Saturday, that will put him in rarified air alongside Jack Hewitt as one of two drivers to win four consecutive Silver Crown races.  However, Windom has yet to win on the pavement in USAC competition and has yet to hit the Phoenix mile in a Crown car, though he wheeled a midget there in 2008.  Don’t let that fool you, though, as Windom is more than formidable on the pavement evidenced by his two “Little 500” wins and the fact that he has finished in the top-five of every Silver Crown event since August of 2015 on dirt and pavement - a span of 13 races!

    Tucson’s Jerry Coons, Jr. is the lone representative of Arizona in the field and nobody more than him would love to add his name as a homestate USAC hero at Phoenix, a short list that includes just Dan Drinan, Billy Boat and J.J. Yeley.  Coons is one of six USAC Triple Crown champs, but a Phoenix victory has eluded him in his previous eight career Silver Crown starts, though he had a pair of solid top-five performances in 2001 (4th) and 2007 (2nd).

    Muncie, Indiana’s Aaron Pierce is the fastest Silver Crown driver of all-time, recording the fastest ever official qualifying lap of 175.012mph at Homestead (Fla.) Speedway in 2006 and, later that year, won the fastest series race of all-time at a 159.211mph average around Kansas Speedway.  His three career Silver Crown wins are absent Phoenix, a venue in which he’s twice captured fourth in five starts.

    Kingsburg, California’s Kody Swanson may just be the race favorite, and for good reason.  The last Silver Crown race at Phoenix, Kody was the runner-up.  Coming into this Saturday’s race, Kody is the winner of the two most recent pavement outings in the division, winning at both Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and Salem (Ind.) Speedway.  The two-time Silver Crown titlist has accomplished just about everything on the circuit in the past few years.  A win Saturday would move him past Phoenix, Arizona’s J.J. Yeley for sole position of fourth on the all-time series win list.

    Nobody will ever say that Bill Rose lacks experience because the veteran racer’s resume includes it all.  A pair of victories for the Plainfield, Indiana driver on the tough USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car trail shows his ability and his 2002 Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions Rookie of the Year award and 2015 IRA Sprint Car championship show his versatility.  But, experience in a Silver Crown car at Phoenix is another story as, incredibly, Rose is aiming to make his first Phoenix Silver Crown start in a quarter-century, a 24th place finish in 1992!

     

    PHOENIX SILVER CROWN DEBUTS

    As we transition from one Swanson brother to the other, Tanner Swanson, the run of success in the Silver Crown division doesn’t fade.  Tanner competes in less than a handful of races each year, but certainly makes the most of the opportunity each time he takes the wheel.  If you’ve seen the majority of the box scores for each pavement event in the division over the last few seasons, more often than not, the Swanson brothers interchangeably run one-two.

    In three 2016 starts (all on the pavement), Tanner won a pair of races at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in May and Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois in June.  In July’s round at Lucas Oil, Tanner ran second - one spot behind Kody.  Between the two brothers, they have teamed up to corral 17 of the last 31 Silver Crown races overall.  There hasn’t been a pavement Silver Crown race without a Swanson listed as the winner since June of 2015!  Tanner has just a single midget start at Phoenix in 2009, but Saturday marks his Silver Crown debut in the Valley of the Sun.

    Shullsburg, Wisconsin’s David Byrne has twice hustled a midget around Phoenix Raceway, in both 2007 and 2008, earning 15th and 14th place finishes, respectively, but is preparing to make his Phoenix Silver Crown debut this Saturday.  Byrne knows the way to the front, demonstrated by his first and, to date, only Silver Crown victory on an unforgettable last-lap, last-corner pass for the win at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in July of 2014.

    Henry Adams of Villa Park, California returns to USAC after a seven-year absence.  The Villa Park, California native had a 12th place run at Phoenix in a 2009 USAC National Midget race, but Adams, who formerly competed under the surname of Clarke, is eyeing his first career Silver Crown appearance this weekend.  Adams was a regular competitor on the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car and Midget trails in 2009 and 2010 and collected his only career National Sprint triumph in July of 2010 at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway.

     

    PHOENIX FIRST-TIMERS

    Current USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Justin Grant aims to make his first Phoenix Raceway visit this weekend.  Already in 2017, he became the first driver in USAC history to win both the USAC National Sprint and National Midget opening races in the same season.  Just last Friday in Plymouth, Indiana, he picked up his latest National Sprint win.  The Ione, California driver is sans a Silver Crown victory on his impressive 2017 campaign, and aims to become the first driver to win in all three USAC National series before the end of April since Dave Steele in 2002 and the first to win in all three National divisions in a single year since Bryan Clauson in 2012.

    Davey Hamilton, Jr. comes from a lineage that has a whopping seven Phoenix Raceway victories between his grandfather Ken’s two sprint car wins in 1980 and 1984 and his father’s previously-mentioned five Supermodified scores.  Davey Jr. is ready to tackle the course that is synonymous with the Hamilton name and he will do so in the same car defending series champion Chris Windom drove to the title in 2016.  If all goes smoothly on Saturday, Davey Jr. will become just the fifth son to compete against his father in a Silver Crown race, joining his grandpa and dad Ken and Davey Hamilton (Pikes Peak 1998), Jim and James McElreath (7 races between 1975-1977), Mike and David McCreary (Sacramento 1994) and Wayne Reutimann, Sr. and Jr. (Phoenix 2007).

    Simply put, Damion Gardner is one of the finest sprint car drivers the West Coast has ever produced.  His 72 career AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car wins are nearly twice as many as his closest competitor and his five series titles are tied for the most.  However, the Concord, California native known as “The Demon” is a Silver Crown rookie and plans to make his first series start on a pavement track in just his third Silver Crown appearance overall.  The Klatt Enterprises team Gardner is teamed with knows the fast way around the place.  Klatt, with driver Bobby East and Bob East on the wrenches, swept both the Midget and Silver Crown rounds of the 2008 “Copper World Classic.”

    Joe Axsom, the pavement modified ace is a relative newcomer to Silver Crown racing.  The Franklin, Indiana native made the first of his three-career series starts for the Gene Nolen Racing team in 2015 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.  Axsom finished a career-best eighth in May of 2016 at Lucas Oil, but Saturday will mark his first experience at Phoenix Raceway.

    Edwardsville, Illinois driver Patrick Lawson eyes his first Phoenix Raceway rendezvous.  Lawson made his first Silver Crown start in 2013 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.  A veteran of 26 career Silver Crown events, Lawson is competitor on both the dirt and pavement surfaces and finished a high of 10th in the Silver Crown standings back in 2014.  Lawson knocked down a career-best eighth-place run in the 2015 “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

     

    SILVER CROWN FIRST-TIMERS

    Shane Butler of Bushnell, Florida is a past TBARA Sprint Car champ and part of a great lineage of Florida sprint car racers including brother Keith, a Silver Crown veteran, and his father Stan, a TBARA Sprint Car champ himself. 

    Hillsborough, California’s Toni Breidinger is the winningest female driver in the history of the United States Auto Club.  This weekend, the 2016 USAC Western Pavement HPD Midget champion makes the jump to the Silver Crown series where she aims to become just the second female driver to start an event in the series at Phoenix, following Erin Crocker in 2005.

    A member of the Cherokee Nation, A.J. Russell is a veteran of numerous disciplines and has achieved success from coast-to-coast.  Russell, a veteran of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire and Winged Pavement Sprint Car racing, makes his USAC Silver Crown debut this weekend for longtime team owner Ted Finkenbinder.  Born in raised in Clovis, California, Russell traveled to North Carolina’s Concord Speedway in 2007 and beat the best in the nation after capturing the East vs. West Supermodified Championship.

    Friday's schedule includes a pair of practice sessions for the "Phoenix Copper Cup" from 12:30 to 1:30pm and 1:45 to 2:15pm. ProSource Qualifying is slated to begin at 2:40pm.

    Saturday's schedule for the Silver Crown cars starts at 2pm when cars and drivers make their way to pit road. The green flag for the 100-lap, 100-mile race is set for 3pm.

    Get your discount tickets now at http://bit.ly/2p5WGI5 to witness both days of racing action: the "Phoenix Copper Cup" featuring the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series, the Vintage Desert Classic and the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix featuring the Verizon IndyCar Series.

    Can't make it to Phoenix in-person? Watch flag-to-flag coverage of the event a day after, on-demand at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/!

    -----------------------------------

    “PHOENIX COPPER CUP” ENTRY LIST

    CAR #/DRIVER NAME/HOMETOWN/ENTRANT

    2 PATRICK LAWSON/Edwardsville, IL (Patrick Lawson)

    3 A.J. RUSSELL/Clovis, CA (Ted Finkenbinder)

    6 DAMION GARDNER/Concord, CA (Klatt Enterprises)

    15 SHANE BUTLER/Bushnell, FL (Troy Thompson)

    20 JERRY COONS, JR./Tucson, AZ (Gene Nolen Racing)

    22 BOBBY SANTOS/Franklin, MA (DJ Racing)

    26 AARON PIERCE/Muncie, IN (Sam Pierce)

    40 DAVID BYRNE/Shullsburg, WI (Byrne Racing)

    63 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (DePalma Motorsports)

    72 HENRY ADAMS/Villa Park, CA (Bill Rose)

    75 BILL ROSE/Plainfield, IN (Bill Rose)

    80 TONI BREIDINGER/Hillsborough, CA (Breidinger Motorsports)

    91 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn/Carli Racing)

    92 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Gene Kazmark)

    98 DAVEY HAMILTON, JR./Boise, ID (RPM/Fred Gormly)

    99 DAVEY HAMILTON, SR./Boise, ID (RPM/Fred Gormly)

    120 JOE AXSOM/Franklin, IN (Gene Nolen Racing)

    201 TANNER SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Gene Nolen Racing)

     



  • 8 YEARS IN THE MAKING, USAC SILVER CROWN IS BACK AT PHOENIX RACEWAY THIS FRI.-SAT.
    Tucson's Jerry Coons, Jr. is the lone representative of Arizona entered for this Saturday's

    8 YEARS IN THE MAKING, USAC SILVER CROWN IS BACK AT PHOENIX RACEWAY THIS FRI.-SAT.

    By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

    The journey to Phoenix Raceway is a trail that has been taken numerous times throughout USAC’s illustrious history.  A.J. Foyt christened the new mile track back in 1964 and, from there on, visits by USAC’s premier series to Phoenix became an annual can’t-miss-event in which fans and teams from all over annually migrated to the southwest for a weekend of speed.

    From 1987 through 2009, the USAC Silver Crown series put on race after memorable race, many of which are still remembered fondly to this day, in the traditional “Copper World Classic” which provided an open-wheel heaven for race fans and drivers alike to kick off the season.

    In recent years, that trail to Phoenix has fallen silent.  But, this coming Friday and Saturday, April 28th and 29th, the tumbleweeds have vanished into the desert horizon and the trail gets dusted off once again as the stars of USAC Silver Crown racing make their triumphant return to the Valley of the Sun.

    The “Phoenix Copper Cup” begins a revitalization of the Silver Crown division’s pavement side of the schedule.  New teams have emerged, bringing an air of excitement that is more than a welcome sight. 

    Starting off the list is defending series champ Chris Windom.  In April alone, the Canton, Illinois driver has already taken a pair of USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victories and kicked off the month by winning the Silver Crown season-opening “Sumar Classic” at the Terre Haute Action Track.  Prior to this season, Windom had never won a USAC National race this early in the season, but could head into May with four under his belt if he can stake his claim in Phoenix.

    Lately, when you see a pavement Silver Crown race on the schedule, you can almost pencil in one of the Brothers Swanson as the winner.  They’ve been that dominant!  So dominant in fact, it’s been since June of 2015 that either Kody or Tanner Swanson didn’t return home from a pavement Silver Crown event without a trophy.

    Tanner and Kody split won a pair on the asphalt a year ago with Tanner taking the first two at IRP and Gateway Motorsports Park while Kody went two-for-two as the DePalma Motorsports went back-in-black with the 63’s new paint scheme to grab the last two rounds at IRP and Salem Speedway.

    The lone representative of the state of Arizona entered for the event is Tucson’s Jerry Coons, Jr.  One of six USAC Triple Crown champions, Coons has not yet reached the pinnacle at Phoenix, finishing in the runner-up position of the 2007 edition.  This Saturday, Coons plans to add one of the very few items he’s missing from his Hall of Fame resume. 

    USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship point leader Justin Grant will make his first Phoenix appearance as he eyes his first Silver Crown victory.  The winner of National Sprints’ most recent race a week ago in Plymouth, Indiana will take the wheel for the Hemelgarn/Carli Motorsports team.  If you recall, Ron Hemelgarn and crew chief Dennis LaCava have already been to Phoenix Raceway victory lane once before in an Indy Car when their driver, Buddy Lazier, raced from 26th to 1st in the year 2000.

    Eleven-time Indianapolis 500 starter Davey Hamilton and his son, Davey Hamilton, Jr. are aiming to become the first father and son to compete in the same Silver Crown race since Wayne Reutimann, Sr. and Jr. at Phoenix 10 years ago in 2007.  Davey Hamilton himself is a five-time winner of the Supermodified portion of the “Copper World” and is one of nine drivers entered who have previous Phoenix Raceway experience.

    USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car division’s winningest driver, Damion Gardner, is a master on the dirt with 72 series victories to his credit, but this weekend, he makes his pavement Silver Crown debut.  He will face a number of pavement standouts and series race winners who have previous experience at Phoenix including Bobby Santos, Aaron Pierce and David Byrne.

    Friday’s schedule includes a pair of practice sessions for the “Phoenix Copper Cup” from 12:30 to 1:30pm and 1:45 to 2:15pm.  ProSource Qualifying is slated to begin at 2:40pm.

    Saturday’s schedule for the Silver Crown cars starts at 2pm when cars and drivers make their way to pit road.  The green flag for the 100-lap, 100-mile race is set for 3pm.

    Get your discount tickets now at http://bit.ly/2p5WGI5 to witness both days of racing action: the “Phoenix Copper Cup” featuring the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series, the Vintage Desert Classic and the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix featuring the Verizon IndyCar Series.

    Can’t make it to Phoenix in-person?  Watch flag-to-flag coverage of the event a day after, on-demand at Loudpedal.TV!

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    UPCOMING USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP EVENT

    DATE: Friday, April 28 & Saturday, April 29, 2017

    SERIES: USAC Silver Crown Championship

    TRACK: Phoenix Raceway (Phoenix, Arizona) - 1-Mile, Semi-Banked Asphalt Tri-Oval

    EVENT: “Phoenix Copper Cup” featuring the USAC Silver Crown Championship Series

    STARTING TIMES:

    Thursday, April 27

    6:00pm: USAC Paddock Load-In

     

    Friday, April 28

    11-11:30am: USAC to Pit Road

    12:30-1:30pm: USAC Practice #1

    1:45-2:15pm: USAC Practice #2

    2:40-3:10pm: USAC Qualifying

     

    Saturday, April 29

    2:00-2:20pm: USAC to Pit Road

    3:00pm: USAC Silver Crown race

     

    TICKETS:

    Friday, April 28

    General Admission: Adults $20. Military $16. 12 & Under: $5.

     

    Saturday, April 29

    Adults: $40-75. Military: $28-56. 12 & Under: $10.

     

    Discount Tickets for USAC fans only: http://bit.ly/2p5WGI5,

    To purchase tickets, call 866-408-RACE or visit http://www.PhoenixRaceway.com/.

    TRACK ADDRESS: 7602 S. Avondale Blvd, Avondale, AZ 85323

    TRACK PHONE: 866-408-RACE

    TRACK WEBSITE: http://www.PhoenixRaceway.com/

    MEDIA COVERAGE: Watch the race one day later on demand at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/. Live updates on https://www.facebook.com/usacracing/ and https://twitter.com/USACNation, plus available on the Race Monitor app on your phone.

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    2017 USAC SILVER CROWN SCHEDULE & RESULTS

    Apr 2: Terre Haute, IN – Terre Haute Action Track

                    WINNER: Chris Windom

    Apr 29: Avondale, AZ – Phoenix International Raceway

    May 25: Indianapolis, IN – Indiana State Fairgrounds

    May 26: Brownsburg, IN – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis

    Jun 16: Mechanicsburg, PA – Williams Grove Speedway

    Jul 20: Brownsburg, IN – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis

    Jul 28: Toledo, OH – Toledo Speedway

    Aug 12: Salem, IN - Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery

    Aug 19: Springfield, IL – Illinois State Fairgrounds

    Sep 3: Du Quoin, IL – Du Quoin State Fairgrounds

    Sep 23: Rossburg, OH - Eldora Speedway

    ------------------------ KEY DEFINITIONS -------------------------

    (D) represents a dirt event

    (P) represents a pavement event

    # represents a daytime event

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2017 USAC SILVER CROWN DRIVER POINT STANDINGS

    1.   (73) Chris Windom (Canton, IL)

    2.   (67) C.J. Leary (Greenfield, IN)

    3.   (67) Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, CA)

    4.   (61) Hunter Schuerenberg (R) (Sikeston, MO)

    5.   (58) Jerry Coons, Jr. (Tucson, AZ)

    6.   (55) Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK)

    7.   (52) Dave Darland (Lincoln, IN)

    8.   (49) Damion Gardner (R) (Concord, CA)

    9.   (46) Dakota Jackson (R) (Elizabethtown, IN)

    10. (43) Joss Moffatt (R) (Columbus, IN)

    **(R) represents a USAC Silver Crown Rookie Driver

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2017 USAC SILVER CROWN OWNER POINT STANDINGS

    1.   (73) Gene Kazmark #92

    2.   (67) Chuck & Tammi Leary #30

    3.   (67) DePalma Motorsports #63

    4.   (61) Gene Nolen Racing #120

    5.   (58) Gene Nolen Racing #20

    6.   (55) Paul Martens #48

    7.   (52) Carla & Steve Phillips #27

    8.   (49) Klatt Enterprises #6

    9.   (46) Gene Nolen Racing #201

    10. (43) Williams & Wright Racing #32

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2017 USAC SILVER CROWN ROOKIE DRIVER POINT STANDINGS

    1.   (61) Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO)

    2.   (49) Damion Gardner (Concord, CA)

    3.   (46) Dakota Jackson (Elizabethtown, IN)

    4.   (43) Joss Moffatt (Columbus, IN)

    5.   (41)Johnny Petrozelle (Denton, NC)

    6.   (25) Mark Smith (Sunbury, PA)

    7.   (20) J.C. Bland (Springfield, IL)

    8.   (10) Dave Berkheimer (Mechanicsburg, PA), David Shain (Sullivan, IL) & Korey Weyant (Springfield, IL)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    RACE WINS:

    1. (1) Chris Windom (Apr. 2 at the Terre Haute Action Track)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LAPS LED:

    1.   (51) Chris Windom

    2.   (24) Kody Swanson

    3.   (18) Shane Cockrum

    4.   (7) C.J. Leary

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TOP-FIVE FINISHES:

    1. (1) Jerry Coons Jr., C.J. Leary, Hunter Schuerenberg, Kody Swanson & Chris Windom

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TOP-TEN FINISHES:

    1.   (1) Brady Bacon, Jerry Coons Jr., Dave Darland, Damion Gardner, Dakota Jackson, C.J. Leary, Joss Moffatt, Hunter Schuerenberg, Kody Swanson & Chris Windom

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    RACE STARTS:

    1.  (1) Brady Bacon, J.C. Bland, Patrick Bruns, Steve Buckwalter, David Byrne, Shane Cockrum, Jerry Coons Jr., Shane Cottle, Dave Darland, Damion Gardner, Justin Grant, Dakota Jackson, C.J. Leary, Joe Liguori, Joss Moffatt, Austin Nemire, Johnny Petrozelle, Aaron Pierce, Bill Rose, Hunter Schuerenberg, Casey Shuman Mark Smith, Kody Swanson & Chris Windom

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TOP “ROOKIE” FINISHER OF THE RACE:

    Apr. 2: Terre Haute Action Track – Hunter Schuerenberg (4th)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    KSE RACING PRODUCTS “HARD CHARGER” OF THE RACE:

    Apr 2: Terre Haute Action Track – Dave Darland (20th to 7th)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER:

    Apr 2: Terre Haute Action Track – Patrick Bruns

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PROSOURCE FAST QUALIFYING TIMES:

    1. (1) Kody Swanson

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    QUALIFYING RACE WINS:

    1. (1) Mark Smith

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ALL-TIME USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE WINS:

    1. [23 wins] Jack Hewitt

    2. [17 wins] Brian Tyler

    3. [16 wins] Dave Steele

    4. [15 wins] Kody Swanson & J.J. Yeley

    6. [14 wins] Dave Darland & Chuck Gurney

    8. [12 wins] Jimmy Sills

    9. [11 wins] Bobby East

    10. [10 wins] Gary Bettenhausen & Mike Bliss

    12. [9 wins] Tracy Hines

    13. [7 wins] Jerry Coons Jr., Rick Hood, George Snider & Tanner Swanson

    17. [6 wins] Tom Bigelow, Russ Gamester, Kenny Irwin Jr., Jason Leffler, Bobby Santos, Ken Schrader, Al Unser & Chris Windom

    25. [5 wins] Mario Andretti, Donnie Beechler, Pancho Carter, Jay Drake, Tony Elliott, Bud Kaeding, Sheldon Kinser, Larry Rice

    33. [4 wins] Jeff Swindell & Rich Vogler

    35. [3 wins] Steve Butler, Shane Cockrum, Cameron Dodson, A.J. Fike, Levi Jones, Kasey Kahne, Jim Keeker, Steve Kinser, Bobby Olivero, Johnny Parsons, Aaron Pierce, Ron Shuman, Tony Stewart, Tyler Walker, Paul White

    50. [2 wins] Pat Abold, Steve Chassey, Bryan Clauson, Larry Dickson, Bill Engelhart, A.J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman, Joe Saldana, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Cole Whitt, Josh Wise & Doug Wolfgang

    64. [1 win] Teddy Beach, Christopher Bell, Jeff Bloom, David Byrne, Marvin Carman, Shane Carson, Bob Cicconi, Herb Copeland, Shane Cottle, Bruce Field, Aaron Fike, Chet Fillip, Bob Frey, Eric Gordon, John Heydenreich, Gary Hieber, Shane Hmiel, Shane Hollingsworth, Jimmy Horton, Jackie Howerton, Kevin Huntley, Kenny Jacobs, Bubby Jones, Keith Kauffman, Jimmy Kite, Chuck Leary, C.J. Leary, Eddie Leavitt, Jason McCord, Jim McElreath, Lealand McSpadden, Mat Neely, Brad Noffsinger, Stevie Reeves, Wayne Reutimann Jr., Danny Smith, Kevin Thomas, Rich Tobias Jr., Chris Urish & Billy Vukovich

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ALL-TIME USAC SILVER CROWN DRIVER CHAMPIONS:

    1971: George Snider; 1972: A.J. Foyt; 1973: Al Unser; 1974: Mario Andretti; 1975: Jimmy Caruthers; 1976: Billy Cassella; 1977: Larry Rice; 1978: Pancho Carter; 1979: Bobby Olivero; 1980: Gary Bettenhausen; 1981: Larry Rice; 1982: Ken Schrader; 1983: Gary Bettenhausen; 1984: Dave Blaney; 1985: Rick Hood; 1986: Jack Hewitt; 1987: Jack Hewitt; 1988: Steve Butler; 1989: Chuck Gurney; 1990: Jimmy Sills; 1991: Jeff Gordon; 1992: Steve Butler; 1993: Mike Bliss; 1994: Jimmy Sills; 1995: Tony Stewart; 1996: Jimmy Sills; 1997: Dave Darland; 1998: Jason Leffler; 1999: Ryan Newman; 2000: Tracy Hines; 2001: Paul White; 2002: J.J. Yeley; 2003: J.J. Yeley; 2004: Dave Steele; 2005: Dave Steele; 2006: Bud Kaeding; 2007: Bud Kaeding; 2008: Jerry Coons Jr.; 2009: Bud Kaeding; 2010: Levi Jones; 2011: Levi Jones; 2012: Bobby East; 2013: Bobby East; 2014: Kody Swanson; 2015: Kody Swanson; 2016: Chris Windom



  • WE REMEMBER
    WE REMEMBER

     

    WE REMEMBER

    We take this pause to remember those who perished in the USAC aircraft accident on April 23, 1978, returning from the Indy Car race at Trenton, N.J. Lost were USAC Officials Frank DelRoy, Shim Malone, Ray Marquette, Don Peabody, Judy Phillips, Ross Teeguarden, Dr. Bruce White, Stan Worley, and the pilot, Don Mullendore. We will never forget them and their contributions.

     



  • DON SMITH, USAC AND NATIONAL SPRINT CAR HALL OF FAMER, PASSES AWAY
    Don Smith, seen here at the inaugural

    DON SMITH, USAC AND NATIONAL SPRINT CAR HALL OF FAMER, PASSES AWAY

    Don Smith, a longtime racing supporter, car owner, sponsor, director and an inductee of both the USAC Hall of Fame (2014) and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (1995) passed away Sunday morning, April 23, 2017.  He was 90 years old.

    Born in 1926, Smith was involved in a plethora of racing activities.  He served as the Director of Racing with the Indiana State Fairgrounds from 1972-1980, but was most synonymous with Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track where he played an instrumental role in its operation as Director of Racing from its first AAA-sanctioned Sprint Car event in 1952 through the end of the 1980 season.

    During his tenure at the half-mile Action Track, a pair of prestigious events emerged, beginning with the “Hut 100” in 1954 and the “Tony Hulman Classic” in 1971, which attracted live coverage from ABC’s Wide World of Sports each year from 1971-1980.

    Smith was a thinker and he came up with several noteworthy promotional ideas. He kept a notepad by his bed and, whenever he came up with an idea, he’d jot it down. One of his really big ideas was the famed “Hulman Classic” for USAC Sprint Cars.  Sprint racing by USAC’s best, Hollywood celebrities, and the huge “Driver Appreciation Dinner” made for one spectacular weekend. The centerpiece of the “Dinner,” which was discontinued after Hulman’s death in 1977, was the Calcutta-style auction of drivers who had qualified during preliminary races earlier in the day. The money pool was split evenly between the bidders and the “Hulman Classic” feature race purse, swelling it well beyond the USAC average. The city’s merchants wholeheartedly supported the event and the local Terre Haute Tribune-Star even published a 32-page Sunday supplement the weekend before the big race.

    In 1952, Smith and Terre Haute businessman Chapman Root created the Sumar Racing Team, whose famed “Sumar Special” which competed at the Indianapolis 500 from 1952-1960.

    Smith was also prominent in the world of banking, in which he was president of the Terre Haute First Financial Bank.  The bank’s logo with its black and yellow shield and “First” font written in cursive was prominently displayed on many USAC cars in the 1980s, 90s and into the 21st century, most notably the Delrose/Holt Racing Silver Crown cars driven by Gary Bettenhausen as well as the George Snider/A.J. Foyt Racing Silver Crown team and the midgets and Silver Crown cars driven by Russ Gamester, just to name a few.

    Smith was also an avid collector of racing memorabilia and automobiles that span the entirety of his involvement in racing, which he housed in Terre Haute along with his public museum - 500 Museum of Wheels.

    In July of 2015, Smith was honored with a marker by the Indiana Racing Memorial Association for his countless contribution to auto racing.  The marker stands proudly at the main entrance to the covered grandstand at the Terre Haute Action Track.

    USAC extends its deepest condolences to Don Smith’s family and many friends throughout the racing community.



  • CELEBRATE SILVER CROWN'S RETURN TO PHOENIX IN STYLE WITH NEW MERCH
    CELEBRATE SILVER CROWN'S RETURN TO PHOENIX IN STYLE WITH NEW MERCH

    CELEBRATE USAC’S RETURN TO PHOENIX IN STYLE WITH NEW MERCH AT THE USAC ONLINE STORE

    New T-shirts celebrating the return of USAC racing to Phoenix Raceway on April 28th-29th are now available at USAC’s official online store: http://www.usac.myshopify.com/.

    The shirts, which come in both black and sand colors and range in size from Youth Small to 4x and everything in-between, are on sale for just $15 each!  The design showcases the running of the “Phoenix Copper Cup” featuring the USAC Silver Crown Championship as well as the "Mini Phoenix Copper Cup," a USAC .25 Midget event which also takes place that weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

    While there at the USAC online store, make sure to grab even more USAC merch that will let you show off your fandom of the Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint Car and National Midget series.

    A large, talented field of competitors for the “Phoenix Copper Cup” includes several past champions and race winners in the Silver Crown series’ highly-anticipated return to Phoenix after an eight-year absence.  Series champs Chris Windom, Kody Swanson and Jerry Coons, Jr., plus USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Justin Grant, Tanner Swanson, Bobby Santos, Aaron Pierce, David Byrne and others are among the 20+ entries set to go for 100 laps on the tricky one-mile paved track.

    On-track action begins Friday, April 28 with practice sessions from 12:30-1:30pm and 1:45-2:15pm.  ProSource Qualifying is set to begin at 2:40pm.

    The schedule for Saturday, April 29 begins at 2pm when the cars and drivers head to pit road.  The green flag for the 100-lap, 100-mile “Phoenix Copper Cup” Silver Crown main event is slated for 3pm.

    Additionally, USAC fans will receive a $10 discount on each adult ticket with an advanced purchase at http://bit.ly/2p5WGI5.  Each ticket provides you a seat for Saturday’s open wheel feast: the “Phoenix Copper Cup” USAC Silver Crown race, the “Vintage Desert Classic” and the “Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix” featuring the Verizon IndyCar Series.

    Fans who are unable to make the trip to Phoenix for the race can watch flag-to-flag coverage of the event the day after on-demand at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.



  • DISCOUNT TICKETS ON SALE FOR PHOENIX SILVER CROWN RETURN
    DISCOUNT TICKETS ON SALE FOR PHOENIX SILVER CROWN RETURN

    DISCOUNT TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR PHOENIX SILVER CROWN RETURN

    A special discounted offer for the return of Silver Crown racing to Phoenix Raceway on Saturday, April 29, is now available to all USAC fans.

    USAC fans have the opportunity to purchase adult tickets for seats located in the Jimmy Bryan Grandstand near the start/finish line for a fraction of the cost of a regular-priced ticket.

    The special deal, which can be found at http://bit.ly/2p5WGI5, gives USAC fans a $10 discount on each adult ticket.  Each ticket provides you a seat for Saturday’s open wheel feast: the “Phoenix Copper Cup” USAC Silver Crown 100-lap event, the “Vintage Desert Classic” and the “Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix” featuring the Verizon IndyCar Series.

    A large, talented field of competitors for the “Phoenix Copper Cup” includes the only Arizona native entered thus far, Tucson’s Jerry Coons, Jr., plus past Silver Crown champs Chris Windom and Kody Swanson.  USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship point leader Justin Grant of Ione,  will make his first Phoenix appearance eyes his first Silver Crown victory.

    Additionally, the USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car division’s winningest driver, Damion Gardner, will make his pavement Silver Crown debut while pavement standouts and series race winners Tanner Swanson, Bobby Santos, Aaron Pierce and David Byrne will be among the favorites running up front.

    Eleven-time Indianapolis 500 starter Davey Hamilton, Sr. and his son, Davey Hamilton, Jr. are aiming to become the first father/son to compete in the same Silver Crown race since Wayne Reutimann, Sr. and Jr. at Phoenix in 2007.  The Hamiltons will attempt the feat as teammates for the RPM/Fred Gormly team

    Phoenix Raceway, a one-mile venue synonymous with USAC Silver Crown racing for more than two decades, is back on the series’ 2017 schedule after an eight-year absence.  The highly-anticipated return of the big cars to Arizona’s Valley of the Sun begins Friday, April 28 with practice sessions from 12:30-1:30pm and 1:45-2:15pm.  ProSource Qualifying is set to begin at 2:40pm.

    The schedule for Saturday, April 29 begins at 2pm when the cars and drivers head to pit road.  The green flag for the 100-lap, 100-mile “Phoenix Copper Cup” is slated for 3pm.

    Fans who are unable to make the trip to Phoenix for the race can watch flag-to-flag coverage of the event the day after on-demand at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.



  • WINDOM BECOMES 10TH TO WIN THREE-STRAIGHT IN SILVER CROWN WITH SUMAR CLASSIC VICTORY
    Chris Windom captured his first career Sumar Classic victory Sunday at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.

    WINDOM BECOMES 10TH TO WIN THREE-STRAIGHT IN SILVER CROWN WITH SUMAR CLASSIC VICTORY

    By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

    An early start was on the horizon as several drivers loaded up their equipment at Lawrenceburg’s USAC National Sprint Car Midwest opener from the night before, got a couple hours sleep (if they were lucky), before heading across the Hoosier state to the Terre Haute Action Track for the USAC Silver Crown season opener and the 17th running of the “Sumar Classic.”

    Despite owning a Silver Crown title and three career USAC Sprint victories at Terre Haute, including last October’s “Jim Hurtubise Classic,” the “Sumar” was one trophy Chris Windom did not yet possess.

    The night was short, but Chris Windom’s good fortune would not take a rest as he lined up ninth behind a group that included the three most recent “Sumar” winners, ProSource pole sitter Kody Swanson, C.J. Leary and Shane Cockrum, who would sweep his way to the lead on the opening lap from his outside second row starting position.

    On lap 19, Leary reeled in Cockrum, sliding underneath for the lead as Swanson came along to take second at the line.  Leary’s lead would be relatively short-lived, however, as Swanson continued to push his line up to the high side of turns three and four where he rode the rim past Leary and into the lead with a quarter of the race in the books.

    While past “Sumar Classic” winners owned the first half of the 100-lapper, the second half would belong to the defending series champion Chris Windom who had steadily worked his way to the front, utilizing the bottom of the racing surface to march his way through the pack, chomping away at the interval between he and leader Swanson.

    The two series champs worked the inner rail after Swanson moved back to the bottom between turns three and four.  Windom stuck a nose under Swanson entering turn three, inching along the inside guardrail until the exit of turn four where he was able to clear Swanson to take the top spot by a car-length at the start/finish line as flagman Tom Hansing displayed the crossed flags.

    Windom had opened up a near full-straightaway lead over new second-place runner Leary with two-thirds of the race in the books, while Swanson occupied third.  And with 18 to go, Windom’s lead had grown to seven seconds and the insurmountable advantage seemed unattainable for second on back until eighth-running Bill Rose slowed with an apparent driveline issue to bring out the caution.

    With the field bunched up, Windom’s lead was now gone and he would have to contend with defending race winner Leary in the closing laps.  However, Windom was able to get a solid jump with the lapped cars of Johnny Petrozelle and Joe Liguori standing between the front two on the lap 83 restart, thus allowing Windom to break away as Leary fought his way around the two to give chase.

    Windom and Leary worked the bottom lap-after-lap as Leary slowly, but surely chipped away at the gap.  By lap 92, Leary had sliced Windom’s advantage to under a half-second and was still closing.

    If you recall, it was at this juncture one year ago when Leary made the race-winning move for the win, but this year’s lap 93 did not work in his favor as he began to lose valuable ground and Windom started to distance himself from Leary once-and-for-all.  Windom had withstood the challenge, taking the victory by just a tad under two seconds over C.J. Leary and Kody Swanson.

    Windom’s sixth career Silver Crown victory continued a streak of different “Sumar Classic” winners each year going back to 1999 and gave Gene Kazmark his first USAC victory as a car owner in the team’s first Silver Crown start since 2001. The car was the very same one Windom drove to the series championship in 2016, but, amazingly, the first time Windom and much of his crew first met was on race day morning.

    Windom's third-straight Silver Crown victory earned him a spot on an exclusive list that includes just nine others to accomplish the feat: Mario Andretti (1974), Tom Bigelow (1975-76), Rick Hood (1985), Jack Hewitt (1986), J.J. Yeley (2003), Jay Drake (2004), Tyler Walker (2004), Dave Steele (2005) and Kody Swanson (2014-15).

    Furthermore, Windom became just the fifth driver in series history to follow up a win in the previous season’s final race with a victory in the season opener the next year, joining Al Unser in 1974, Tom Bigelow in 1976, Jerry Coons, Jr. in 2011 and Kody Swanson in 2015.

    Windom takes the early Silver Crown point-lead by six markers over C.J. Leary and Kody Swanson, who are knotted up for second while series rookie Hunter Schuerenberg and his Nolen Racing teammate Jerry Coons, Jr. complete the top-five.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2017 USAC SILVER CROWN DRIVER POINT STANDINGS

    1.   (73) Chris Windom (Canton, IL)

    2.   (67) C.J. Leary (Greenfield, IN)

    3.   (67) Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, CA)

    4.   (61) Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO)

    5.   (58) Jerry Coons, Jr. (Tucson, AZ)

    6.   (55) Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK)

    7.   (52) Dave Darland (Lincoln, IN)

    8.   (49) Damion Gardner (Concord, CA)

    9.   (46) Dakota Jackson (Elizabethtown, IN)

    10. (43) Joss Moffatt (Columbus, IN)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2017 USAC SILVER CROWN OWNER POINT STANDINGS

    1.   (73) Gene Kazmark #92

    2.   (67) Chuck & Tammi Leary #30

    3.   (67) DePalma Motorsports #63

    4.   (61) Gene Nolen Racing #120

    5.   (58) Gene Nolen Racing #20

    6.   (55) Paul Martens #48

    7.   (52) Carla & Steve Phillips #27

    8.   (49) Klatt Enterprises #6

    9.   (46) Gene Nolen Racing #201

    10. (43) Williams & Wright Racing #32

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2017 USAC SILVER CROWN SCHEDULE & RESULTS

    Apr 2: Terre Haute, IN – Terre Haute Action Track

                   WINNER: Chris Windom

    Apr 29: Avondale, AZ – Phoenix International Raceway

    May 25: Indianapolis, IN – Indiana State Fairgrounds

    May 26: Brownsburg, IN – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis

    Jun 16: Mechanicsburg, PA – Williams Grove Speedway

    Jul 20: Brownsburg, IN – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis

    Jul 28: Toledo, OH – Toledo Speedway

    Aug 12: Salem, IN - Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery

    Aug 19: Springfield, IL – Illinois State Fairgrounds

    Sep 3: Du Quoin, IL – Du Quoin State Fairgrounds

    Sep 23: Rossburg, OH - Eldora Speedway

    ------------------------ KEY DEFINITIONS -------------------------

    (D) represents a dirt event

    (P) represents a pavement event

    # represents a daytime event

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    RACE WINS:

    1. (1) Chris Windom (Apr. 2 at the Terre Haute Action Track)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LAPS LED:

    1.   (51) Chris Windom

    2.   (24) Kody Swanson

    3.   (18) Shane Cockrum

    4.   (7) C.J. Leary

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TOP-FIVE FINISHES:

    1. (1) Jerry Coons Jr., C.J. Leary, Hunter Schuerenberg, Kody Swanson & Chris Windom

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TOP-TEN FINISHES:

    1.   (1) Brady Bacon, Jerry Coons Jr., Dave Darland, Damion Gardner, Dakota Jackson, C.J. Leary, Joss Moffatt, Hunter Schuerenberg, Kody Swanson & Chris Windom

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    RACE STARTS:

    1.  (1) Brady Bacon, J.C. Bland, Patrick Bruns, Steve Buckwalter, David Byrne, Shane Cockrum, Jerry Coons Jr., Shane Cottle, Dave Darland, Damion Gardner, Justin Grant, Dakota Jackson, C.J. Leary, Joe Liguori, Joss Moffatt, Austin Nemire, Johnny Petrozelle, Aaron Pierce, Bill Rose, Hunter Schuerenberg, Casey Shuman Mark Smith, Kody Swanson & Chris Windom

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TOP “ROOKIE” FINISHER OF THE RACE:

    Apr. 2: Terre Haute Action Track – Hunter Schuerenberg (4th)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    KSE RACING PRODUCTS “HARD CHARGER” OF THE RACE:

    Apr 2: Terre Haute Action Track – Dave Darland (20th to 7th)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER:

    Apr 2: Terre Haute Action Track – Patrick Bruns

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PROSOURCE FAST QUALIFYING TIMES:

    1. (1) Kody Swanson

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    QUALIFYING RACE WINS:

    1. (1) Mark Smith

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ALL-TIME USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE WINS:

    1. [23 wins] Jack Hewitt

    2. [17 wins] Brian Tyler

    3. [16 wins] Dave Steele

    4. [15 wins] Kody Swanson & J.J. Yeley

    6. [14 wins] Dave Darland & Chuck Gurney

    8. [12 wins] Jimmy Sills

    9. [11 wins] Bobby East

    10. [10 wins] Gary Bettenhausen & Mike Bliss

    12. [9 wins] Tracy Hines

    13. [7 wins] Jerry Coons Jr., Rick Hood, George Snider & Tanner Swanson

    17. [6 wins] Tom Bigelow, Russ Gamester, Kenny Irwin Jr., Jason Leffler, Bobby Santos, Ken Schrader, Al Unser & Chris Windom

    25. [5 wins] Mario Andretti, Donnie Beechler, Pancho Carter, Jay Drake, Tony Elliott, Bud Kaeding, Sheldon Kinser, Larry Rice

    33. [4 wins] Jeff Swindell & Rich Vogler

    35. [3 wins] Steve Butler, Shane Cockrum, Cameron Dodson, A.J. Fike, Levi Jones, Kasey Kahne, Jim Keeker, Steve Kinser, Bobby Olivero, Johnny Parsons, Aaron Pierce, Ron Shuman, Tony Stewart, Tyler Walker, Paul White

    50. [2 wins] Pat Abold, Steve Chassey, Bryan Clauson, Larry Dickson, Bill Engelhart, A.J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman, Joe Saldana, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Cole Whitt, Josh Wise & Doug Wolfgang

    64. [1 win] Teddy Beach, Christopher Bell, Jeff Bloom, David Byrne, Marvin Carman, Shane Carson, Bob Cicconi, Herb Copeland, Shane Cottle, Bruce Field, Aaron Fike, Chet Fillip, Bob Frey, Eric Gordon, John Heydenreich, Gary Hieber, Shane Hmiel, Shane Hollingsworth, Jimmy Horton, Jackie Howerton, Kevin Huntley, Kenny Jacobs, Bubby Jones, Keith Kauffman, Jimmy Kite, Chuck Leary, C.J. Leary, Eddie Leavitt, Jason McCord, Jim McElreath, Lealand McSpadden, Mat Neely, Brad Noffsinger, Stevie Reeves, Wayne Reutimann Jr., Danny Smith, Kevin Thomas, Rich Tobias Jr., Chris Urish & Billy Vukovich

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ALL-TIME USAC SILVER CROWN DRIVER CHAMPIONS:

    1971: George Snider; 1972: A.J. Foyt; 1973: Al Unser; 1974: Mario Andretti; 1975: Jimmy Caruthers; 1976: Billy Cassella; 1977: Larry Rice; 1978: Pancho Carter; 1979: Bobby Olivero; 1980: Gary Bettenhausen; 1981: Larry Rice; 1982: Ken Schrader; 1983: Gary Bettenhausen; 1984: Dave Blaney; 1985: Rick Hood; 1986: Jack Hewitt; 1987: Jack Hewitt; 1988: Steve Butler; 1989: Chuck Gurney; 1990: Jimmy Sills; 1991: Jeff Gordon; 1992: Steve Butler; 1993: Mike Bliss; 1994: Jimmy Sills; 1995: Tony Stewart; 1996: Jimmy Sills; 1997: Dave Darland; 1998: Jason Leffler; 1999: Ryan Newman; 2000: Tracy Hines; 2001: Paul White; 2002: J.J. Yeley; 2003: J.J. Yeley; 2004: Dave Steele; 2005: Dave Steele; 2006: Bud Kaeding; 2007: Bud Kaeding; 2008: Jerry Coons Jr.; 2009: Bud Kaeding; 2010: Levi Jones; 2011: Levi Jones; 2012: Bobby East; 2013: Bobby East; 2014: Kody Swanson; 2015: Kody Swanson; 2016: Chris Windom



  • WINDOM WINS THE SUMAR, COMPLETES WEEKEND SWEEP
    2017

    WINDOM WINS THE SUMAR, COMPLETES WEEKEND SWEEP

    Richie Murray – USAC Media

    Terre Haute, Indiana………Chris Windom picked up right where he left off in a number of ways Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track.

    One night after celebrating a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car score at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, Windom was back in the familiar setting of victory lane at the 17th running of the “Sumar Classic.”

    “It’s pretty special getting the win last night and then to come out here with a brand-new team, I really don’t know what to say.  I met a lot of these guys for the first time today.  Gene Kazmark gave me the opportunity and gave me a great racecar to come out here and win tonight.”

    Incredibly, this was Kazmark’s first entry into a Silver Crown event as an owner since the “Hoosier Hundred” in September of 2001 with driver Ricky Shelton.  However, the car itself was a familiar commodity to Windom as it was the same car he drove to victory in his most recent series’ win at Eldora Speedway’s “4-Crown Nationals” for the Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise team in September 2016.  But, a new team means new surroundings, and Windom and the crew quickly adapted to their new environment.

    “I’m pretty familiar with the car,” Windom admits.  “It’s pretty much the same exact car we won Eldora with last year.  That definitely gave us a head start coming in.  The guys working on it busted their tails all winter long to maintain and rebuild it and keep it as good as it was last year.  It’s pretty special to be able to come out here and do this.  I didn’t know exactly what my expectations were coming here since I didn’t know the guys very well, but we jelled right from the first practice session.”

    Windom became just the fifth driver in the history of the USAC Silver Crown series to follow up a win in the previous season’s final race with a victory in the season opener the next year.  The only other drivers to accomplish that feat are Al Unser (1974), Tom Bigelow (1976), Jerry Coons, Jr. (2011) and Kody Swanson (2015).

    In fact, dating to the 2016 “Ted Horn 100” at Illinois’ Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, Windom has been victorious in three-straight Silver Crown events, the 10th driver in the history of the series to do so.

    The Canton, Illinois native also became the fourth defending Silver Crown champ to capture the following season’s opening race, joining Al Unser (1974), Dave Steele (2006) and Kody Swanson (2015).

    The three most recent “Sumar Classic” winners coming into Sunday, Shane Cockrum (2015), C.J. Leary (2016) and Kody Swanson (2014) owned the lead in the first half of the 100-lap event, but by the midway point, Windom had steadily worked his way to the front from his ninth starting position, utilizing the bottom of the racing surface to make his way through the pack.

    By the 50th lap, Windom chomped into Swanson’s lead.  The two series champs worked the bottom after Swanson moved his line between turns three and four from the top to the bottom.  Windom stuck a nose under Swanson entering turn three, inching along the inside guardrail until the exit of turn four where he was able to clear Swanson to take the top spot by a car-length at the start/finish line as flagman Tom Hansing displayed the crossed flags.

    Windom had opened up a near full-straightaway lead over new second-place runner Leary with two-thirds of the race in the bag, while Swanson occupied third.  With 18 to go, though, Windom’s lead had grown to seven seconds and the insurmountable advantage seemed unattainable for second on back until eighth-running Bill Rose slowed with an apparent driveline issue to bring out the caution.

    With the field bunched up, Windom’s lead was now gone and he would have to contend with defending race winner Leary in the closing laps.  However, Windom was able to get a solid jump with the lapped cars of Johnny Petrozelle and Joe Liguori standing between the front two on the lap 83 restart, thus allowing Windom to break away as Leary fought his way around the two to give chase.

    Windom and Leary worked the bottom lap-after-lap as Leary slowly, but surely chipped away at the gap.  By lap 92, Leary had sliced Windom’s advantage to under a half-second and was still closing.

    It was at this juncture one year ago when Leary made the race-winning move for the win, but this year’s lap 93 did not work in his favor as he began to lose valuable ground and Windom started to distance himself from Leary once-and-for-all.

    Windom had withstood the challenge, taking the victory by just a tad under two seconds over Leary, Swanson, top-rookie finisher Hunter Schuerenberg and Jerry Coons, Jr.

    It was Windom’s sixth career Silver Crown victory, which moves him into the top-20 on the series’ career win list.  Meanwhile, he also continued a streak of different “Sumar Classic” winners each year going back to 1999.

    “I knew I found something on the bottom,” Windom recalls.  “I couldn’t hit it twice in a row for a while, but I finally hit my marks on entry to where I could hit it on the exit.  That’s where I’d gain on him off the corner.  I didn’t want to show him a nose.  I wanted to be able to pass him cleanly so he couldn’t take my line away.  We got to traffic and it kind of played in my favor.  A low and slow race takes a lot out of you trying to hit your marks like that every single lap.”

    “I don’t think our momentum could be much better right,” Windom acknowledges.  “It’s awesome to be able start the year like this.  I’ve never had a year quite this good this early.”

    Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary continued his impressive runs at Terre Haute over the past three seasons by scoring his third-straight top-two result with a second-place finish in his Chuck & Tammi Leary/Leary Construction – Gray Auto/DRC/1-Way Toyota.

    “I think it’s this DRC Silver Crown Car,” Leary humbly attributes for his recent run of success at Terre Haute.  “Joe (Devin) and I have been working really well together on this deal.  Terre Haute is really not one of my better tracks, but in the Silver Crown car here, two seconds and a win is pretty awesome.  I think we picked the wrong tire tonight, though.  We went with a 25 instead of a 20 thinking it was going to rubber up early, but it never did.”

    “Chris (Windom) and I were about the same speed,” Leary explains during the final run to the checkered.  “Every time he’d make a mistake, I seemed to make the same mistake.  I figured I could catch him, but I didn’t know if we could pass him.  It felt kind of like déjà vu from last year.  I thought we might able to pull off the upset, but that’s racing.  We’ll load up, go back to the shop and try to make it a little bit faster.”

    Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, California grabbed third in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy. 

    “You really don’t want to get too far back at Terre Haute behind guys like Shane (Cockrum) and C.J. (Leary), both former Sumar winners,” Swanson said.  “I knew I had to figure out how to get around them early on and the top of (turns) three and four seemed to be holding.  If you’re going to get to the lead doing it, you got to be the first one to try it.  You have to stick your neck out and make something happen.  This crew works hard for me and I was going to work hard for them to make sure I got us back to the lead.  I did everything I could do to put us in a position to win.  I chased it higher and higher; there were so many cars on the bottom throwing the marbles out and, when the moisture went away, you just couldn’t keep doing it anymore and I had to come to the bottom.”

    “This team’s a pleasure to race for,” Swanson continued.  “We went in with what we thought was going to happen and it just didn’t tonight.  We never quit.  We gave it everything we had and we’re disappointed because these guys are good and we want to win, but tonight we just missed a little bit. We’ll come back and try again.  There’s no one else I’d rather come back to the races with.”

    Contingency award winners Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Dave Darland (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Patrick Bruns (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

    ---------------------------

    USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 2, 2017 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Terre Haute Action Track – “Sumar Classic”

    PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-23.599; 2. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-23.794; 3. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-23.881; 4. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-23.925; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-23.990; 6. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-24.063; 7. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-24.119; 8. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-24.382; 9. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-24.809; 10. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-24.857; 11. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-24.953; 12. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-25.021; 13. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-25.066; 14. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-25.127; 15. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-25.148; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-25.195; 17. Mark Smith, 54, Lane-25.382; 18. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-25.509; 19. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-25.551; 20. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-25.565; 21. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-25.596; 22. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-25.886; 23. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-25.981; 24. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-26.032; 25. Korey Weyant, 99, Weyant-26.064; 26. Terry Babb, 42, Babb-26.323; 27. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-26.486; 28. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-26.707; 29. Kenny Gentry, 18, Gentry-27.284; 30. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-NT; 31. David Shain, 7, Hardy-NT.

    LAST CHANCE RACE: (15 laps) 1. Smith, 2. Cottle, 3. Gardner, 4. Darland, 5. Rose, 6. Moffatt, 7. Nemire, 8. Bland, 9. Babb, 10. Wilson, 11. Weyant, 12. Berkheimer, 13. Fetter, 14. Gentry. 5:51.67

    FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Kody Swanson, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Damion Gardner, 9. Dakota Jackson, 10. Joss Moffatt, 11. Johnny Petrozelle, 12. Joe Liguori, 13. Patrick Bruns, 14. David Byrne, 15. Austin Nemire, 16. Bill Rose, 17. Steve Buckwalter, 18. Shane Cockrum, 19. Mark Smith, 20. Aaron Pierce, 21. Shane Cottle, 22. Justin Grant, 23. J.C. Bland, 24. Casey Shuman. NT

    ------------------------------

    FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-18 Cockrum, Laps 19-25 Leary, Laps 26-49 Swanson, Laps 50-100 Windom.

    KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Dave Darland (20th to 7th)

    WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Patrick Bruns

    NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Windom-73, 2-Leary-67, 3-Swanson-67, 4-Schuerenberg-61, 5-Coons-58, 6-Bacon-55, 7-Darland-52, 8-Gardner-49, 9-Jackson-46, 10-Moffatt-43.

    NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 29 – Phoenix (AZ) International Raceway – “Phoenix Copper Cup”



  • DONATE YOUR SHOES TO HELP SHELTER DOGS IN MEMORY OF GREG STAAB
    Greg Staab celebrates his USAC National Sprint Car victory in 1988 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

    DONATE YOUR SHOES TO HELP SHELTER DOGS IN MEMORY OF GREG STAAB

    In honor of the late Greg Staab - USAC National Sprint Car winner and five-time Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway sprint car track champion - Susannah Stapp will be collecting used shoes up through the end of April to raise funds for some of Greg's favorite dogs, the ones in shelters.

    Susannah will be collecting used (or new shoes) on behalf of the St. Roch Foundation for Dogs through Funds2Orgs who help shelter dogs that might otherwise be euthanized.  She is asking all of Greg's friends and fans to clean out their closets and donate your used shoes.

    A big goal of 15,000 pairs of shoes has been set to get a $6000 check for the St. Roch Foundation for Dogs.

    You may drop off your shoes at Hoosier Tire Midwest at 4155 N County Road 1000 East # A, Brownsburg, Ind.  Shoes will also be collected at the racetrack through April. Susannah will be at the Terre Haute Action Track on Sunday, April 2nd for the USAC Silver Crown season-opening event, the “Sumar Classic.”

    You may also call Susannah and she will come over and collect your shoe donation, if need be.  She can be reached at (317) 514-6527.

    Betsy & Bernie Stuebgen will also be collecting shoes at Indy Race Parts located at 361 Gasoline Alley, Indianapolis, Ind.  If you attend a race in which Landon Simon is competing, he and his girlfriend Sarah will also collect them and bring them back to Indy.

    The shoes will be refurbished by the organization and redistributed throughout the world to those in need, helping not only the dogs in shelters and rescues, but also helping humans in need as well.



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