GATES OPEN at 9 a.m.
PRACTICE STARTS at 10 a.m.
QUALIFYING at 11:15 a.m.
RACING at 1:30 p.m.
The unpredictable USAC Silver Crown Championship Series returns to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield Sunday for the “Tony Bettenhausen 100,” a race rained out on August 16.
Kody Swanson, Tracy Hines and defending series champion Bobby East are locked in a tight point race entering Sunday’s eighth race of the 2014 campaign. Races remain at Rossburg, Ohio September 20 and Syracuse, N.Y. October 11 after Sunday’s event.
Swanson takes a slim 19-point lead over Hines into the Springfield 100-miler, while East sits just 42 points in arrears with 66 points available Sunday.
Last Sunday’s “Ted Horn 100” at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds produced an epic battle for the ages as numerous drivers engaged in challenges for the lead, resulting in an extremely-popular victory for first-time series winner Shane Cockrum of nearby Benton, Ill.
Cockrum was the last if five race leaders and grabbed the lead 11 circuits from the end when Chris Windom executed an end-over-end flip in turn two on lap 90. He was uninjured, as was Dave Darland, who flipped on lap 65 while battling with Jerry Coons Jr. after having led for 15 laps.
Cockrum actually led 41 of the final 44 laps in his Marion Undergrounds/Shane Wade Enterprises Beast/Chevy. He was trailed at eh checkered flag by Levi Jones, who was making his return to the series after a year’s hiatus and came from 13th starting spot in the 23-car field.
Brady Bacon, Hines and A.J. Fike rounded out the “top-five” at the finish. Other leaders included East, who led 8 of the first 41 laps, Swanson, who led 23 laps, and Windom, who led three laps before his flip.
Swanson stopped on the backstretch on lap 52 but was able to rejoin the race and finished 13th.
Former “Tony Bettenhausen 100” winners expected to compete Sunday at Springfield include two-time and defending winner A.J. Fike, Hines, Darland and Russ Gamester.
2014 USAC Silver Crown Standings:1-Kody Swanson-417, 2-Tracy Hines-398, 3-Bobby East-375, 4-Chris Windom-313, 5-Jerry Coons Jr.-261, 6-Jacob Wilson-240, 7-Caleb Armstrong-215, 8-A.J. Fike-212, 9-Shane Cockrum-201, 10-Dave Darland-194.