World of Outlaws


Contact: Nick Graziano
World of Outlaws PR
ngraziano@dirtcar.com

Please click here for the original World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series article

Winner Sheldon Haudenschild (Trent Gower Photo)



HIGHLIGHT HAUD: Sheldon Haudenschild Excites With Kokomo Win In His 300th Start
Logan Schuchart closes points gap to Brad Sweet entering the season finale at the World of Outlaws Last Call

KOKOMO, IN — Oct. 24, 2020 — A raise of his NOS Energy Drink can to the crowd and a delighted sip from it was all Sheldon Haudenschild needed to do to acknowledge his career milestone Saturday night at Kokomo Speedway.

The Wooster, OH driver claimed his seventh win of the 2020 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series season in his 300th start. He entered the year with seven wins in total through his three years as a full-time driver.

“I feel like having the crew and the team behind you gets your confidence to a whole nother level,” Haudenschild said. “I feel like I’m just getting a glimpse of what Donny (Schatz) has had for a long time. Just trying to keep the same guys together and keeping the team together and growing as a team. Not just as myself. That’s been my biggest goal this year, just work good with my guys and work on myself as a driver and just try to get the whole package together.”

To claim the win in the Series first time back to Kokomo since 2015, he had to beat the driver he mention – 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz.

The two started on the front row for the 40-lap Feature, and each had a milestone to try and achieve. Haudenschild was looking to win in his 300th career start, while Schatz was on the hunt for his 300th career win.

Haudenschild wasn’t shy about the onslaught he was willing to put on to achieve that milestone either. While mixed in a three-way battle for the lead on the final lap of the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash, Haudenschild threw the slide job of the year on Aaron Reutzel and Schatz to steal the Dash win in the final corner.

That set him up as the early favorite to conquer the quarter-mile speedway for 40 laps. And when the Feature commenced, he didn’t let that theory down. Haudenschild led the opening lap and pulled away from Schatz in the early stage of the race.

However, Haudenschild was already in heavy traffic by Lap 6. That allowed Schatz to reel in the NOS Energy Drink #17. While Haudenschild tried to navigate his way through traffic around the high side of the track, Schatz worked the bottom.

Schatz snuck underneath Haudenschild on Lap 8 and the two raced side by side for about the entire circuit. With a slower car blocking Haudenschild’s lane off Turn 4 and Schatz gifted clean air on the bottom, the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing CARQUEST #15 pulled ahead to officially take the lead on Lap 9.

With Schatz out front, Haudenschild broke out his notebook and pen and went to school. He studied what Schatz was doing; what lines he was running. Haudenschild could make the most speed up top, but at times he overstayed his welcome along the cushion. At times he bounced off of it, allowing Schatz to pull further away.

After three cautions, Haudenschild had gathered enough notes to put his newfound knowledge to the test.

On the restart with 17 laps to go, Haudenschild placed his car up high in Turns 1 and 2 to build a run that would rocket him down the backstretch. He used that momentum to sneak underneath Schatz the next corner and drag race with him down the front stretch. When they found their way back to Turns 1 and 2, Haudenschild and Schatz ran side by side, inches apart, in perfect tandem through the corner.

They remained that way down the back stretch before Haudenschild made better work of the low lane than Schatz could of the top and reclaimed the lead on Lap 25.

“I got the lead there early and Donny got by us,” Haudenschild said. “I just tried to watch Donny there. You can learn a lot from watching him. He is so smooth and makes it look so easy. He was just running a little bit higher and keeping his speed up. I kind of slowed her down in (turns) three and four and just started to hit the bottom a little slower and started to get off the corner. I got under him and ran beside him for a couple laps there and was able to clear him.”

Once Haudenschild reclaimed the lead from Schatz, he never relinquished it. Schatz maintained the runner-up finish – his second podium in a row.

“He was better than we were,” Schatz said about Haudenschild. “He made the top in (turns) one and two work. I wasn’t going to do it. He was up the fence and it just wasn’t me. I tried to make something else work and he got the best of us on that. That’s what got the win.”

While Haudenschild pulled away with the victory in the final five laps, reigning champion and current points leader Brad Sweet captured most of the attention. He was in position to finish fourth, but a cloud of smoke, laced with oil, began to billow from his engine. The smoke blew the entire way around the track and worsened as he went. Sweet slowed and fell to an 11th-place finish.

With two races remaining this season, that helped Schatz, Haudenschild and Logan Schuchart, who finished third after starting ninth, chip away at Sweet’s lead.

“I'd liked to put pressure on him (Sweet),” said Schuchart, who is currently second in points. “He has a good lead right now. Those guys are fast every night. I’m just proud of what this team did this year and if we can put some pressure on him in these last two races and make something happen. We run good at Charlotte and I think the last time we were here at Kokomo we were lap traffic. So, I just want to keep growing with this Drydene performance products team.”

Entering the Nov. 6-7 season ending World of Outlaws Last Call at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Sweet now holds a 46-point lead over Schuchart, a 64-point lead over Schatz and a 128-point lead over Haudenschild. And for the team championship, Kasey Kahne Racing holds a 30-point lead over Jason Johnson Racing.

UP NEXT

The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, on Nov. 6-7, returns to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the season ending World of Outlaws Last Call. Click here for tickets. https://mpv.tickets.com/?agency=WRG_SNG_MPV&orgid=52711&packageId=57675&packageListId=57673#/event/PKG/ticketlist/?view=pricescales&minPrice=80&maxPrice=80&quantity=2&sort=price_desc&ada=false&seatSelection=false&onlyCoupon=true&onlyVoucher=false

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all of the action live on DIRTVision.

Race Results: 10/24/20 – Kokomo Speedway

NOS Energy Drink Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [1][$10,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [2][$5,500]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [9][$3,200]; 4. 9-James McFadden [14][$2,800]; 5. 2-Carson Macedo [16][$2,500]; 6. 1A-Jacob Allen [7][$2,300]; 7. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [10][$2,200]; 8. 11-Ian Madsen [12][$2,100]; 9. 41-David Gravel [22][$2,050]; 10. 87-Aaron Reutzel [3][$2,000]; 11. 49-Brad Sweet [4][$1,500]; 12. 7S-Jason Sides [23][$1,200]; 13. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [18][$1,100]; 14. 16-DJ Foos [24][$1,050]; 15. 14-Tim Kaeding [21][$1,000]; 16. 26-Cory Eliason [6][$900]; 17. 71X-Spencer Bayston [13][$800]; 18. 11K-Kraig Kinser [20][$800]; 19. 83-Dominic Scelzi [8][$800]; 20. 72-Daryn Pittman [25][$]; 21. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [15][$800]; 22. 67-Buddy Kofoid [11][$800]; 23. 5K-Paul Nienhiser [19][$800]; 24. 71-Shane Stewart [5][$800]; 25. 2C-Wayne Johnson [17][$800];
Lap Leaders: Sheldon Haudenschild 1-8, 25-40; Donny Schatz 9-24;
KSE Hard Charger Award: 41-David Gravel[+13]

Qualifying Flight-A – 1. 1A-Jacob Allen, 11.031; 2. 15-Donny Schatz, 11.102; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 11.122; 4. 71-Shane Stewart, 11.138; 5. 14-Tim Kaeding, 11.151; 6. 5R-Ryan Ruhl, 11.291; 7. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 11.298; 8. 67-Buddy Kofoid, 11.342; 9. 2C-Wayne Johnson, 11.353; 10. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 11.412; 11. 71X-Spencer Bayston, 11.417; 12. 5K-Paul Nienhiser, 11.457; 13. 2M-Kerry Madsen, 11.516; 14. 21X-Brinton Marvel, 11.591; 15. 21-Carson Short, 11.608; 16. 33M-Mason Daniel, 11.647; 17. 7S-Jason Sides, 11.701; 18. 27Z-Zane Devault, 11.828; 19. 1-Nate Dussel, 11.893; 20. 6M-Justin Grant, 11.991; 21. 6-Bill Rose, 12.123; 22. 16C-Tyler Rankin, 12.328

Qualifying Flight-B – 1. 49-Brad Sweet, 10.981; 2. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.118; 3. 71P-Parker Price-Miller, 11.128; 4. 83-Dominic Scelzi, 11.178; 5. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 11.187; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 11.198; 7. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 11.225; 8. 11-Ian Madsen, 11.226; 9. 41-David Gravel, 11.227; 10. 72-Daryn Pittman, 11.232; 11. 16-DJ Foos, 11.241; 12. 5X-Justin Peck, 11.279; 13. 9-James McFadden, 11.399; 14. 101-Austin McCarl, 11.411; 15. 18-Gary Taylor, 11.538; 16. 2-Carson Macedo, 11.69; 17. 19-Chris Windom, 11.879; 18. 98-Clinton Boyles, 12.012; 19. 5S-Chase Stockon, 12.126; 20. 22-Koby Barksdale, 12.156; 21. 6X-Frank Rodgers, 12.71; 22. 19P-Paige Polyak, NT

DRYDENE Heat #1 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1. 1A-Jacob Allen [1]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 3. 1S-Logan Schuchart [4]; 4. 71X-Spencer Bayston [6]; 5. 2C-Wayne Johnson [5]; 6. 7S-Jason Sides [9]; 7. 1-Nate Dussel [10]; 8. 21-Carson Short [8]; 9. 6-Bill Rose [11]; 10. 14-Tim Kaeding [3]; 11. 2M-Kerry Madsen [7]

DRYDENE Heat #2 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1. 71-Shane Stewart [2]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [1]; 3. 67-Buddy Kofoid [4]; 4. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [5]; 5. 5K-Paul Nienhiser [6]; 6. 27Z-Zane Devault [9]; 7. 21X-Brinton Marvel [7]; 8. 33M-Mason Daniel [8]; 9. 5R-Ryan Ruhl [3]; 10. 6M-Justin Grant [10]; 11. 16C-Tyler Rankin [11]

DRYDENE Heat #3 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [4]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [1]; 3. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [3]; 4. 9-James McFadden [7]; 5. 71P-Parker Price-Miller [2]; 6. 16-DJ Foos [6]; 7. 19-Chris Windom [9]; 8. 18-Gary Taylor [8]; 9. 5S-Chase Stockon [10]; 10. 6X-Frank Rodgers [11]; 11. 41-David Gravel [5]

DRYDENE Heat #4 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer – 1. 26-Cory Eliason [1]; 2. 83-Dominic Scelzi [2]; 3. 11-Ian Madsen [4]; 4. 2-Carson Macedo [8]; 5. 11K-Kraig Kinser [3]; 6. 72-Daryn Pittman [5]; 7. 5X-Justin Peck [6]; 8. 101-Austin McCarl [7]; 9. 98-Clinton Boyles [9]; 10. 22-Koby Barksdale [10]

DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash (8 Laps) – 1. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [4]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [2]; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel [3]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [8]; 5. 71-Shane Stewart [6]; 6. 26-Cory Eliason [7]; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen [5]; 8. 83-Dominic Scelzi [1]

C-Main (10 Laps) – Top 2 Transfer – 1. 6-Bill Rose [1][-]; 2. 5S-Chase Stockon [2][-]; 3. 5R-Ryan Ruhl [3][$150]; 4. 98-Clinton Boyles [4][$150]; 5. 22-Koby Barksdale [7][$150]; 6. 6M-Justin Grant [5][$125]; 7. 16C-Tyler Rankin [8][$125]; 8. 6X-Frank Rodgers [6][$125]; 9. 2M-Kerry Madsen [9][$125]; 10. 19P-Paige Polyak [10][$125]

Last Chance Showdown (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer – 1. 14-Tim Kaeding [1][-]; 2. 41-David Gravel [2][-]; 3. 7S-Jason Sides [3][-]; 4. 16-DJ Foos [4][-]; 5. 5X-Justin Peck [10][$300]; 6. 19-Chris Windom [8][$250]; 7. 1-Nate Dussel [7][$225]; 8. 21-Carson Short [11][$200]; 9. 21X-Brinton Marvel [9][$200]; 10. 18-Gary Taylor [12][$200]; 11. 6-Bill Rose [15][$200]; 12. 33M-Mason Daniel [13][$200]; 13. 5S-Chase Stockon [16][$200]; 14. 101-Austin McCarl [14][$200]; 15. 72-Daryn Pittman [6][$200]; 16. 27Z-Zane Devault [5][$200]

Comments (0)

The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

David Gravel (Watertown, Conn.) charged from 26th to 2nd in his USAC Silver Crown debut on Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. (Brendon Bauman Photos)



GRAVEL TURNS IN ONE OF USAC SILVER CROWN'S BEST EVER DEBUTS

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Springfield, Illinois (October 18, 2020).........In the week leading up to his USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series debut on Sunday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, David Gravel stated that his goals were to "finish the race first" while claiming that, realistically, a top-ten would be ideal.

While he also said he hoped to be in the mix for the win at the end of 100 miles, even he couldn't have drawn up exactly how it ultimately played out. Having to utilize a push start due to mechanical issues left him, by rule, to start at the tail of the 26-car field.

In the end, Gravel (Watertown, Conn.) finished second to winner Kyle Larson in the Bettenhausen 100 presented by Fatheadz Eyewear at the one-mile dirt oval with a pair of racing veterans in crew chief Kent Wolters and spotter Mike Hess helping to aid him on the path to the best finish by a first-time Silver Crown race starter in more than a quarter century, since P.J. Jones finished as the runner-up at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1994.

"I'm not really sure what happened, but I kind of went where they weren't," Gravel explained. "I got past (Kody) Swanson and (Chris) Windom in the beginning and I thought I was doing really good. Then, I slowed down too much, and they passed me back. I think we got to about 10th or 11th and then I got more aggressive and started to pass guys around their right rear. This Mark Swanson Encore Team car felt really good; I felt comfortable by about lap five or six. I got here at 10:30am, sat in the car for the first time, got the belts changed up, but the pedals were uncomfortable for me. My knees are killing me; I'm getting old."

The 28-year-old, who won the Knoxville Nationals in 2019, was in the midst of a busy weekend that included a World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car start on Friday, a NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start on Saturday and a Silver Crown start on Sunday. Gravel credits his impressive run on Sunday to not only his versatile experiences over the weekend, but everything observed and experienced firsthand leading up to this point.

"I honestly haven't watched that many Silver Crown races," Gravel acknowledged. "I know you have to be patient around the bottom. We race in the rubber sometimes in a winged sprint car, so I just used what I've learned there and translated it to today. I hope I'll be back. I don't know what my schedule is for next year, but I know I'll be in a winged sprint car a lot. Hopefully, I get to do a lot of fun things like this again."

Gravel's Springfield performance ranks as one of the best debuts in Silver Crown history. He's now one of just 12 drivers to finish inside the top-two in his first career series start. Seven drivers won their first Silver Crown start: Jim McElreath (Nazareth 1971), A.J. Foyt (Illinois State Fairgrounds 1971), Danny Smith (Eldora 1982), Rick Hood (Indiana State Fairgrounds 1982), Jimmy Horton (Nazareth 1983), Herb Copeland (Oklahoma City 1983) and Marv Carman (Minnesota State Fairgrounds 1984).

Only four drivers had previously finished 2nd in their first Silver Crown start: Arnie Knepper (Nazareth 1971), Barry Camp (Williams Grove 1981), Jac Haudenschild (Indiana State Fairgrounds 1985) and P.J. Jones (Indianapolis Raceway Park 1994).

Additionally, Gravel's starting spot of 26th at Springfield is the furthest back any top-five finishing debut driver has started, besting Jimmy Caruthers' charge from 20th to 5th in the 1971 race, incidentally, also at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Meanwhile, the previous worst starting spot for a driver finishing 2nd or better in his first Silver Crown start was Arnie Knepper, who began his race from the 14th position in the inaugural series event in 1971 at Nazareth, Pa.

Gravel's run marks the third occasion that a debuting Silver Crown driver has finished inside the top-five this season with both occurring in the opener at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway. Bryan Gossel finished 4th there while Carmen Perigo took 5th.

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

USAC SILVER CROWN DEBUT PERFORMANCES (1971-2020)

1ST PLACE

Jim McElreath (June 20, 1971 at Nazareth National Motor Speedway - started 9th)

A.J. Foyt (Aug 22, 1971 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds - started 10th)

Danny Smith (Apr 25, 1982 at Eldora Speedway - started 8th)

Rick Hood (May 8, 1982 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds - started 4th)

Jimmy Horton (July 3, 1983 at Nazareth National Motor Speedway - started 5th)

Herb Copeland (Jul 24, 1983 at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds - started 6th)

Marv Carman (Aug 24, 1984 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds - started 4th)

2ND PLACE

Arnie Knepper (June 20, 1971 at Nazareth National Motor Speedway - started 14th)

Barry Camp (July 5, 1981 at Williams Grove Speedway - started 5th)

Jac Haudenschild (May 24, 1985 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds - started 6th)

P.J. Jones (Aug 4, 1994 at Indianapolis Raceway Park - started 1st)

David Gravel (Oct 18, 2020 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds - started 26th)

3RD PLACE

Don Hawley (Jun 20, 1971 at Nazareth National Motor Speedway - started 16th)

Jigger Sirois (Sept 4, 1972 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds - started 2nd)

Ken Schrader (Nov 2, 1980 at the Terre Haute Action Track - started 1st)

Bruce Jennings (Jul 24, 1983 at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds - started 18th)

Terry Shepherd (Sep 22, 1991 at Eldora Speedway - started 7th)

Steve Kent (Oct 8, 1994 at the Cal Expo State Fairgrounds - started 3rd)

Aaron Fike (Nov 14, 2000 at Irwindale Speedway - started 8th)

Cameron Dodson (Mar 23, 2007 at Homestead-Miami Speedway - started 3rd)

Brady Bacon (Aug 31, 2014 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds - started 12th)

4TH PLACE

Billy Vukovich (Jun 20, 1971 at Nazareth National Motor Speedway - started 8th)

Pancho Carter (May 28, 1972 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds - started 15th)

Wally Dallenbach (Aug 17, 1974 at the Missouri State Fairgrounds - started 16th)

Randy Tolsma (Aug 1, 1993 at the Milwaukee Mile - started 5th)

Ryan Moore (Mar 23, 2007 at Homestead-Miami Speedway - started 15th)

Robert Stout (May 27, 2016 at Lucas Oil Raceway - started 5th)

Jason McDougal (Sep 22, 2018 at Eldora Speedway - started 7th)

Bryan Gossel (Aug 9, 2020 at Selinsgrove Speedway - started 19th)

5TH PLACE

Gary Bettenhausen (Jun 20, 1971 at Nazareth National Motor Speedway - started 6th)

Jimmy Caruthers (Aug 22, 1971 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds - started 20th)

Mel Cornett (Aug 19, 1973 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds - started 7th)

Rich Leavell (Aug 24, 1980 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds - started 9th)

Jeff Forshee (July 22, 1984 at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds - started 2nd)

Jeff Gordon (Feb 4, 1990 at Phoenix International Raceway - started 4th)

Stewart Friesen (Oct 11, 2014 at the New York State Fairgrounds - started 7th)

Joey Schmidt (Mar 23, 2019 at Memphis International Raceway - started 14th)

Carmen Perigo (Aug 9, 2020 at Selinsgrove Speedway - started 5th)

Categories : News, USAC Silver Crown
Comments (0)

NEWS FROM LEN SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS

2021 INDOOR AUTO RACING CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES FUELED BY VP RACING FUELS

ALLENTOWN, ATLANTIC CITY, TRENTON, NJ AND SYRACUSE

Event Promoter: Len Sammons @609.888.3618

MEDIA INFORMATION: Ernie Saxton Communications – Esaxton144@aol.com -267.934.7286

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

INDOOR AUTO RACING SERIES IS A GO AT ALLENTOWN, PA PPL CENTER ON JANUARY 8-9, 2021

NOVEMBER, 2020 SERIES EVENT IN SYRACUSE, NY HAS BEEN CANCELLED

TRENTON, NJ October 19, 2020 . . . The Indoor Auto Racing Championship Series Fueled by VP Race Fuels has both good and bad news to report for its thousands of fans and loyal racers.

The sixth annual event at Allentown, Pa.’s PPL Center, Friday and Saturday, January 8th and 9th, is a go thanks to recently released state COVD-19 guidelines. The two day event will again be headlined by the TQ (Three Quarter) Midgets. Ticket and entry information will be available in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 make-up date from the previously postponed March, 2020 Syracuse, NY set for November 20th and 21st has been cancelled. It was announced this week that all events planned for the New York State Fairgrounds have been cancelled through January 1, 2021.

“The recent guidelines released by Pennsylvania Governor Wolf have given us the opportunity to begin planning the event at Allentown’s PPL Center,” said promoter Len Sammons. “While gathering numbers are limited, its gives us a starting spot and the opportunity to begin planning the Allentown event. Entries will soon be made available and a limited amount of tickets put on sale. It’s our hope, as the event grows closer, the governor will expand his gathering numbers so we can allow for more fans and racers in the PPL Center.”

Event planning has already begun as well for the next event to be held inside historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The 18th annual NAPA Know How Racing Weekend will be held on Friday and Saturday, January 29th and 30th.

While the series awaits indoor seating guidelines from New Jersey’s governor, both building management and Meet AC Tourism remain very optimistic. Plans are already in place to meet current COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing.

While still four and five months away, dates have been secured for the East Coast Dirt Nationals at The CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ on February 19-20 and the concrete series finale on March 12-13 date at the Expo Center at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY.

Sponsorship at a variety of levels to meet every budget is available for all events. Interested parties should contact Danny Sammons at 609-888-3618 or e-mail danny@aarn.com. Keep up to date of all event information, including upcoming Allentown ticket and entry forms at indoorautoracing.com.

Comments (0)
The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Kyle Larson scored the victory in Sunday's USAC Silver Crown Bettenhausen 100 presented by Fatheadz Eyewear at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. (Lonnie Wheatley Photo)



LARSON WINS BETTENHAUSEN 100; GRANT IS USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Springfield, Illinois (October 18, 2020).........Kyle Larson became the 15th driver to win Champ Car races on the three Midwest dirt miles of Du Quoin, the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Illinois State Fairgrounds, the latter of which he added to his continuously growing checklist on Sunday afternoon in the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series' season finale, the 57th running of the Bettenhausen 100 presented by Fatheadz Eyewear.

Meanwhile, Justin Grant reached the mountaintop of the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series for 2020, winning the series title aboard his Hemelgarn Racing/NOS Energy Drink - Super Fitness - Hemelgarn Enterprises/DRC/Speedway Ford, the first USAC National driving championship for Ione, Calif. native as well as the first series owner title for Ron Hemelgarn.

Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) joined an exclusive list of winners at all three iconic tracks alongside Jimmy Bryan, Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Tom Bigelow, Pancho Carter, Gary Bettenhausen, George Snider, Chuck Gurney, Jack Hewitt, Jimmy Sills, J.J. Yeley and Kody Swanson.

"I've been able to win at all three (of the miles) I've been able to race at," Larson exclaimed. "They're all really historic races with a long history. In USAC, there's already so much history, so to add your name to any sort of list and put it in the record books is really cool."

For Larson, his Silver Crown season consisted of an undefeated record of two starts and two wins, which came following an eight-year hiatus from the series. His series record now includes four total series triumphs, including his win on the Du Quoin Mile in 2011, followed by the Indy Mile this past August and the Springfield Mile on Sunday.

Larson's most recent, and only, Springfield Mile appearance came nine years ago in 2011, a 4th place result. Larson has visited a plethora of racetracks everywhere from coast-to-coast in the near decade since and has won at many of them. For him, Springfield was akin to a new experience all over again.

"Outside of the shape, the banking and the length of the straightaways, I couldn't remember anything about it," Larson recalled. "It was fun to be able to run the top early in the race before it took rubber, and once it did, it kind of turned into a pavement race with more strategy."

Larson started the 100-miler from the outside of the front row as pole sitter Justin Grant raced away to the lead. Fourth-starting Brady Bacon followed suit as he rode the highline around Larson for the 2nd spot. Larson raced back by Bacon around the outside in turn two on the eighth lap, and on lap 11, Larson utilized the same line in the second turn to pull even with Grant, then closed the door by scooting to the inner guardrail to secure the race lead.

Larson was dominant throughout the first 50 laps, holding a 10-car length lead with Grant 1.3 sec. back in second, and Bacon, Jacob Wilson and Shane Cottle running inside the top-five. A 32-lap green flag run allowed Larson to find his rhythm in relative comfort without extensive pressure, helping set up his blueprint for the final sprint to the checkered.

"I like the longer runs just because I feel like you don't go through a transition with your tires heating up and cooling down, so I feel like it's easier on the tires and it helps you get into a rhythm too," Larson explained. "I was happy for the long runs, but happy to get the cautions when we did as well. It was nice to get to the lead early and get there before it took rubber on the bottom. Then, I could kind of ride, save fuel and save my tires and try to get after it there at the end."

The lengthy green flag run ended when championship contender Kyle Robbins wedged his left front wheel in the turn three inside guardrail on lap 64, ending his day and bid for a title after entering the event third in the standings.

When racing resumed, Larson checked out once again to the tune of a nice two-second advantage following the lap 69 restart ahead of Grant, Bacon, Wilson and Shane Cottle. Although, Cottle, another title contender, fell by the wayside with mechanical trouble on the 80th lap, putting him out of contention and elevating David Gravel, making his Silver Crown debut, into the top-five after starting last on the grid, 26th, after a penalty was levied to him for requiring a push start to begin his race.

Gravel was now the man on the move, as he picked his way to fourth on the 83rd lap past Wilson, then to 3rd after ducking under Bacon in turn two. Meanwhile, Grant, in the midst of chasing a title, wasn't content to ride around in the waning stages, and instead, closed the gap on Larson to three car lengths with 10 to go as Gravel began tracking both him and Larson down.

On the 95th lap, Larson was untangle himself from the web of traffic, discarding with the first couple before encountering leading series Rookie Bryan Gossel. Larson shot to the bottom in turn one underneath Gossel, passing him to give himself some breathing room. Grant attempted to get by as well, and nearly got hung up on the rear bumper of Gossel as both cars drifted up the racetrack. Gravel jumped through the open door to get to second while Grant shook loose and resumed his race now in the third position, still plenty good enough for a championship run.

Time ran out on Gravel to make a charge, but the time was just right for Larson who raced to his fourth career Silver Crown victory in just his 11th start. Gravel advanced 24 positions to finish an impressive second to Larson. Grant finished third to capture the 2020 USAC Silver Crown driving championship by 44 points. Bacon took fourth while Jacob Wilson, making his season debut, finished in the fifth position.

With his 3rd place finish Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Justin Grant captured the 2020 USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series driving title while team owner Ron Hemelgarn earned the series entrant title. (Brendon Bauman Photo)

While Larson's celebration commenced on the front straightaway as the race winner, Grant reveled in the reward of totality, one of a season championship, one that was finally his own after finishing 3rd, 4th, 2nd and 2nd in the final standings over the last four Silver Crown seasons, the most recent two of which he finished second to Kody Swanson. In 2020, the roles were reversed with Grant first and Swanson as the runner-up.

"We've finished second to Kody a handful of times, so it feels good to win one, finally, for Ron Hemelgarn and Dennis LaCava and Jason, who helps on the car, and everybody involved. We had a really good car today, and I think we had something for Larson before we got caught up with a lapped car. I'm a little disappointed we didn't win the race, but really happy we won the championship and really happy for my guys; they deserve it. They brought me a great racecar, which was one of the best mile cars I've had in long time. It was a lot of fun today and I'm glad we got it done."
balance

"(Brady) was dogging me for a good portion of the race there, and I was trying to run just hard enough to keep him behind us and not burn our tire up, and save something to have a charge at Kyle there at the end," Grant recalled. "I was starting to work the entry out a little bit into one and into three trying to give myself a lane there with about 35 to go to try and get by him. It just didn't work out in the end. I timed a lapped car wrong, but that's how it goes. Kyle was really, really good, but I feel like we had a really good car too."

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

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: October 18, 2020 - Illinois State Fairgrounds - Springfield, Illinois - 1-Mile Dirt Oval - 57th Bettenhausen 100 presented by Fatheadz Eyewear

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn-30.457; 2. Kyle Larson, 19, Michael-30.609; 3. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9, Dyson-30.621; 4. Brady Bacon, 6, Klatt-30.750; 5. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-30.847; 6. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-30.887; 7. David Gravel, 21, Swanson-30.904; 8. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-31.001; 9. Chad Kemenah, 15, Hampshire/Kemenah-31.021; 10. Logan Seavey, 22, Prestige Worldwide-31.080; 11. Jimmy Light, 123, Two-Three-31.104; 12. Kyle Steffens, 08, Steffens-31.303; 13. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-31.352; 14. Kody Swanson, 20, Nolen-31.534; 15. Shane Cockrum, 53, Five Three-31.670; 16. Jake Swanson, 10, DMW-31.879; 17. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-32.292; 18. Travis Welpott, 18, Welpott-32.817; 19. Terry Babb, 88, Babb-32.933; 20. Bryan Gossel, 06, Gossel-33.221; 21. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-34.087; 22. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-34.536; 23. Danny Long, 44, Long-35.354; 24. Terry James, 23, Satterthwaite-35.959; 25. Chris Windom, 17, Goodnight-NT; 26. Kyle Robbins, 7, KR-NT; 27. Ronnie Wuerdeman, 33, Wuerdeman-NT; 28. Steven Russell, 14, McQuinn-NT; 29. Kyle Cummins, 69, Pink 69-NT; 30. Chris Urish, 77, Urish-NT; 31. Mike Haggenbottom, 24, Haggenbottom-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kyle Larson (2), 2. David Gravel (26), 3. Justin Grant (1), 4. Brady Bacon (4), 5. Jacob Wilson (6), 6. Casey Shuman (12), 7. Shane Cockrum (14), 8. Logan Seavey (9), 9. Chris Windom (24), 10. Kody Swanson (13), 11. Kevin Thomas Jr. (3), 12. Chad Kemenah (8), 13. Jake Swanson (15), 14. Kyle Steffens (11), 15. Jimmy Light (10), 16. Terry Babb (18), 17. Travis Welpott (17), 18. Patrick Lawson (20), 19. Bryan Gossel (19), 20. Danny Long (22), 21. Matt Goodnight (16), 22. Shane Cottle (5), 23. Dave Berkheimer (21), 24. Kyle Robbins (25), 25. Terry James (23), 26. Aaron Pierce (7). 1:03:50.977

**Steven Russell flipped during practice.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Justin Grant, Laps 11-100 Kyle Larson.

FINAL USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-266, 2-Kody Swanson-220, 3-Chris Windom-212, 4-Matt Goodnight-189, 5-Kyle Robbins-186, 6-Shane Cottle-184, 7-Aaron Pierce-168, 8-Shane Cockrum-162, 9-Bryan Gossel-161, 10-Mike Haggenbottom-159.

PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-191, 2-Kyle Cummins-108, 3-Tanner Thorson-106, 4-Robert Ballou-101, 5-Shane Cottle-96, 6-Logan Seavey-93, 7-Justin Grant-86, 8-Cannon McIntosh-84, 9-Brady Bacon-79, 10-Chase Stockon-71.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Justin Grant

KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: David Gravel (26th to 2nd)

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Jake Swanson

Categories : News, USAC Silver Crown
Comments (0)

Archives