USAC Silver Crown Set To Hit The Magic Mile This Saturday Night
DuQuoin, IL- (August 28, 2016)-The deep south of the state of Illinois finds itself well represented heading into the 64th Ted Horn 100 presented by Casey’s USAC Silver Crown event at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Saturday night, September 3rd. The defending race winner lives just minutes from the fairgrounds while a popular former driver now sharing car owner duties with his wife has a history with the “Magic Mile” that dates back to the early 1980s.
Benton’s Shane Cockrum grew up in the shadow of the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds and made numerous trips there with family members. Shane’s father Cliff was a local sprint car and supermodified star who actually raced sprint cars on the Magic Mile in 1971. Cliff managed to see his son drive a variety of race cars including dirt late models, modifieds and midgets before Cliff passed away in 2008. There is no doubt Cliff was watching from above as son Shane slid behind the wheel of a championship dirt car for the first time in 2011.
Decatur’s Dave Hardy along with his two sons formed Hardy Boys racing in 2011 and purchased a Stealth chassis from midget standout Tim Siner. Hardy, who fielded USAC and ARCA stock cars for DuQuoin favorite Butch Garner, saw the potential in young Cockrum and immediately placed him in the seat of his orange number 114. The team finished 18th at Indianapolis, 17th at Springfield and 17th at DuQuoin as Shane gathered laps and experience. In 2013 Hardy upgraded their equipment purchasing a Beast chassis once owned by Galen Fox and affectionately named “Ginger”. Two top 5 finishes at the fair miles showed the potential of the team.
Cockrum and Hardy joined forces with Marion’s Shane Wade and in honor of the late Chuck Amati changed the number to 66 for the 2014 season. Shane set southern Illinois on its ear in 2014, leading 41 laps of the Ted Horn 100 and setting off a wild celebration that saw the crew revive an old tradition by jumping into the infield lake. A new car was purchased for 2015 and the team repeated again, with Cockrum leading the final 33 laps leading to another wild celebration for the driver known as the ‘Chief’. Shane is expected to be among the favorites again Saturday night at DuQuoin.
Murphysboro is the home for one of the true series veterans, Randy Bateman. Bateman campaigned sprint cars and midgets for the better part of four decades across the Midwest and made his USAC Silver Crown debut at Nazareth in March of 1983 driving for Vergennes car owners Roy and Jack Harris. Bateman made his DuQuoin debut in September of that same year finishing 25th before the home crowd. Bateman made 15 additional starts on the Magic Mile with a crowd pleasing front row start in 2008.
The veteran who managed to make trips nearly every year to one or more of the three dirt miles on the schedule stepped aside in 2015 and with wife Patty helping run the operation gave the reigns of his familiar number 55 to second generation driver Casey Shuman, the son of past Hoosier Hundred winner Ron Shuman. Shuman ran a partial schedule last year and finished 5th at DuQuoin. This year Shuman is a contender for the USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year and currently leads the rookie standings while residing 7th in the national point standings. The team recently announced a new corporate sponsor in Hucks convenience stores as well.
Southern Illinois will be well represented by Hardy, Cockrum, Bateman and Shuman in the 64th Ted Horn 100 presented by Casey’s General Stores. In addition, a new tradition begins Labor Day weekend with the first all night time racing program on the mile. The USAC Ted Horn 100 takes place on Saturday night September 3, with the ARCA General Tire Grabber stock car race on Sunday night September 4.
Pit gates are scheduled to open on Saturday, September 3 at 1:00 PM, with the grandstands at 4:00, hotlaps at 5:00, and racing at 7:00 with Modified heats followed by the Ted Horn 100 presented by Casey’s General Store. The ARCA Racing Series, presented by Menards comes to town on the following day for the General Tire Grabber 100 presented by Federated Car Care.
Sunday pits will open at 10:00 AM, with grandstands opening at 1:00 PM. ARCA practice will be on track at 2:30 with Modifieds trackside for hotlaps at 4:30. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell will take place at 5:30 with the Modified feature to follow at 6:30. The green flag is scheduled to drop on the General Tire Grabber 100 presented by Federated Car Care at 8:00 PM.
Advance discount tickets are available, reserved and general, for $25 each day through the DuQuoin State Fair box office or through the Track Enterprises office. Tickets for children 11 and under are $10. Day of race purchases at the gate are $5 more at $30 per person. The DuQuoin State Fairgrounds ticket office can be reached by calling 618-542-1535, while the Track Enterprises number is 217-764-3200.
For full info on the event, visit www.trackenterprises.com.