4-Crown Nationals Eldora’s Third Oldest Event

(r to l) Bryan Clauson, Tracy Hines, and Keith Kunz in victory lane at the 4-Crown Nationals. - Bill Miller Photo
(r to l) Bryan Clauson, Tracy Hines, and Keith Kunz in victory lane at the 4-Crown Nationals. - Bill Miller Photo
(r to l) Bryan Clauson, Tracy Hines, and Keith Kunz in victory lane at the 4-Crown Nationals. – Bill Miller Photo

From Eldora Speedway


Rossburg, OH — (September 16, 2013) — Already steep in heritage and diversity, Eldora Speedway’s third oldest annual event, the Four Crown Nationals, continues this weekend (September 20 & 21) for rendition number 32.   Twice interrupted by rain, a total of 120 feature events have been contested over the 31 year run, with 57 different drivers sharing victory lane honors.


And, as tradition prevails, the busy menu of complete racing programs each night represents a smorgasbord of open wheel racing.


Friday will see the travelling World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series in a double header with the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, while Saturday’s tripleheader features USAC’s (United States Auto Club) three National divisions – Midgets, Sprints and Silver Crown.


The five divisions offer race fans quite a spectrum of racing from wheelbase size to engine cubic inch displacement to top mounted aerodynamic wings versus no wings.


With wheelbases ranging from 66 to 76 inches, the Midgets are the smallest of the five classes, while a Sprint Car wheelbase measures between 83 and 90 inches and a Silver Crown car has a 96.5 inch minimum wheelbase.   The Modified chassis comes in as the largest with a wheelbase specification of 108 – 112 inches.


Power-wise, the Midget engine measures between 161-174 cubic inches, Sprint Cars max out a 410 cubic inches and Silver Crown cars are limited to 360 cubic inches.   The Modifieds do not have a cubic inch displacement minimum or maximum.


The wings are standard for WoO, while USAC policy prohibits their use.



ROSSBURG, OH (Sept. 16) – It may be fifteen years since his historic Four Crown Nationals ‘sweep’ at Eldora, and an equal number of years since visiting the famed speedway’s hallowed victory lane, but Jack Hewitt’s record of all-time leading winner of 31-year old event is not any imminent danger of being broken.


Of the 57 drivers that have carried the checkered flag at the end of 120 Four Crown Nationals feature events, Hewitt, of nearby Troy, OH has accomplished the fete 19 times.   Broken down, those wins include three in USAC (United States Auto Club) Midget, five in USAC Sprint, eight in USAC Silver Crown and three in UMP DIRTcar Modified competition.


His closest rivals to that total, Dave Darland (7) and Tracy Hines (5) remain active along the USAC trail and are expected to do triple-duty during this weekend’s (September 20 & 21) 32nd annual running of the Four Crown Nationals, in their attempt to inch closer to Hewitt’s (currently inactive) total.


Of that duo, Darland is the most diverse, with Four Crown wins in each of USAC’s National divisions; four Silver Crown, two Midget and one Sprint), while Hines’ five victories have been spread between the Midget (two) and Sprint (three) divisions.


Hines recorded a Sprint conquest during last year’s running to up his total; while Darland has not tasted a Four Crown checkered flag since his 2009 Silver Crown success.



ROSSBURG, OH (Sept. 16) – Daryn Pittman has led the 2013 World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series points chase since the onset of the season, and pretty much has had clear sailing towards his first-ever WoO title; at least until five-time champion Donny Schatz began his current hot streak.   It has turned the championship chase into a roller coaster ride for the duo as they enter Friday’s (September 20) 32nd annual Four Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway.


At one time looking insurmountable, Pittman’s lead was reduced to 19 points by Schatz over the Labor Day weekend, but continued steady runs have moved Pittman back to a 70-point advantage as they enter Eldora.


On the season, Schatz has 20 victories compared to Pittman’s 8, but consistency in preliminary event competition has proven to be Pittman’s key to success.  The wild point race has seen Pittman capture thirteen quick times this season compared to Schatz’s 3.  However, in heat race action Schatz has amassed 19 wins compared to Pittman’s 10.


Pittman returned to Eldora’s victory podium earlier this season during the Outlaw Thunder weekend; while Schatz has not tasted Eldora achievement since wearing the coveted Kings Royal Crown in 2009.


The friendly rivalry being shared by the twosome carries over their car owners; each heavily involved in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.   Kasey Kahne owns Pittman’s team, while Tony Stewart is the pioneer of Schatz’s team.