Sunday night, September 2, the lights of the “Magic Mile” are turned on for the 61st running of the Ted Horn 100 for the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series machines. The mighty uprights enter the event honoring the three time AAA National Champion with Galesburg’s A.J. Fike coming off a repeat win in the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield and two-time DuQuoin winner Tracy Hines in the hunt for his second national championship.
Fike led 15 of the 100-miles as Illinois drivers dominated the Bettenhausen while Silver Crown title contenders salvaged finishes to remain in the title hunt. In fact, Illinois pilots finished first, second and fifth at the Illinois State Fairgrounds meaning that one from the home state stands a very good chance of becoming the first Illini to post a victory at DuQuoin in 25 years. The last was Gary Bettenhausen in 1988.
Canton’s Chris Windom led 85 of the 100 miles at Springfield and looked poised to win his first ever championship dirt car event when the tank began to run dry in his RW Motorsports Toyota 12 laps from the end. He was able to salvage a second place finish and position himself fifth in the point standings just 25 markers behind Hines.
Benton’s Shane Cockrum was very fast in the morning practice but lost control of his machine in the first turn and backed it into the wall. Some hasty repair work from the Hardy Boys crew, including two-time Silver Crown champ Levi Jones of Olney, sent him back out for the end of qualifcations and he timed in third and finished a career best fifth!
Murphysboro’s Randy Bateman, Elkhart’s Chris Urish and Edwardsville rookie Patrick Lawson are the other Illini pilots expected at DuQuoin.
2008 Silver Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr. is second in the USAC points just 9 behind Hines. Defending USAC champ Bobby East is third with Kody Swanson fourth and Brian Tyler sixth. All are expected in southern Illinois for the Ted Horn 100. Eighteen year old Chris Bell of Norman, Oklahoma is the current USAC Midget point leader and he joins the entry list for three time Ted Horn 100 winning car owners 6R Racing out of Westfield, Indiana. Bell is a rookie both in the series and at DuQuoin.
1997 USAC Silver Crown champ Dave Darland teamed with rookie Jarrett Andretti for Springfield’s Dennis McQuinn and both are expected at DuQuoin. Jarrett would be the third generation of Andretti’s to run on the “Magic Mile”, grandfather Mario won at DuQuoin three times and father John ran in the Ted Horn 100.
In 2011 Kyle Larson was just 4 days past his 19th birthday when he led the final 78 laps to become the youngest championship race winner at DuQuoin. He also became just the fifth rookie to win the Ted Horn 100 since 1949. The 2011 win plus a clean sweep of the Four Crown at Eldora gained him national acclaim and Larson has been doing some stock car racing as a development driver and he was just announced as the replacement for Juan Montoya at Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Practice for the Silver Crown machines is slated for around 5 p.m. Sunday night with the 61st Ted Horn 100 slated to take the green flag at approximately 8.