By Dick Jordan
Bud Kaeding hopes to continues his drive toward a record fourth USAC Silver Crown championship this week in back-to-back dirt and pavement races in Terre Haute and Indianapolis, Ind. Wednesday night’s race is the “Sumar Classic” at the Terre Haute Action Track and Thursday’s “J.D. Byrider 100” program at O’Reilly Raceway Park also includes the USAC Mopar National Midgets as part of the “Kroger Speed Fest” event.
Two years ago, Dave Darland and Bobby East were the victors in similar back-to-back Silver Crown races at the same two tracks but the scenario has only occurred twice in 40 years! In 2003 J.J. Yeley “swept” races at O’Reilly Raceway Park and the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
It remains to be seen if the trend of brand-new Silver Crown feature winners continues this week. So far in 2010, Levi Jones, A.J. Fike and Shane Hmiel have joined the list.
Kaeding has posted seconds on the dirt at Tucson, Ariz. and the Indiana State Fairgrounds and added a third on the pavement at Iowa Speedway to build an 18-point lead over former series champion Jerry Coons Jr. Coons has had a third, fourth and fifth in the three 2010 races.
Kaeding and Coons have swept the last four Silver Crown championships, Kaeding winning in 2006, 2007 and 2009 and Coons in 2008. A title this year would boost Kaeding to the head of the championship list, ahead of Jimmy Sills, who won the 1990, 1994 and 1996 crowns.
Darland is the defending “Sumar Classic” champ, winning in 2008. The Terre Haute race was not conducted last year. Bobby Santos of Franklin, Mass. stormed to victory in the “J.D. Byrider 100” one year ago.
USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1-Bud Kaeding-171, 2-Jerry Coons Jr.-153, 3-A.J. Fike-150, 4-Kody Swanson-133, 5-Shane Hmiel-131, 6-Levi Jones-122, 7-Brian Tyler-111, 8-Tracy Hines-102, 9-Derek Hagar-91, 10-Bryan Clauson-87.