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HOOSIER HUNDRED ENTRY LIST NEARS 40 FOR 63RD RUNNING OF GRAND EVENT ON MAY 25

Brady Bacon
Travis Branch photo

By Richie Murray

The entry list for the 63rd running of the “Hoosier Hundred” is shaping up to be one of the most stacked fields in more than a decade. Thus far, 39 drivers have already indicated their intentions to take part in the famed race featuring the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS on Thursday, May 25 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
The biggest storyline to keep an eye on is Kingsburg, California’s Kody Swanson as he goes for his fourth win in a row at the Hoosier Hundred. After capturing the 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions, Swanson has a chance to equal what seemed like an untouchable record set by Al Unser from 1970 to 1973.
Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr. sits second in Silver Crown series points behind Swanson heading into the “Week of Indy.” Coons was victorious in the 2011 and 2012 Hoosier Hundred.
Dave Darland, one of USAC’s all-time greats, has an opportunity to earn his fifth career Silver Crown win on the Indy Mile in 2017. The Lincoln, Indiana native won the “Hulman 100” back in 1995, then took wins in a trio of Hoosier Hundreds in 1995, 1996 and 2004
Jeff Swindell’s first Indy Mile victory came 30 years ago at the 1987 Hulman 100. The Germantown, Tennessee driver duplicated the feat twice in the Hoosier Hundred in 1991 and 1993. He showed flashes of brilliance at the most recent one-mile dirt race held in September of 2016 at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds. He led 55 laps and finished second behind race winner Chris Windom.
Windom leads a list of drivers who’ve yet to pull into victory lane at the Indy Mile. Most would presume Windom to be the biggest threat to interrupt Swanson’s bid for a fourth-straight race victory. The Canton, Illinois native, who now resides in St. Louis, ended Swanson’s bid for a third consecutive series title a year ago. He has proved dominant on the dirt in a Silver Crown car over the past year, winning the last four at Williams Grove, Du Quoin, Eldora and the 2017 season opener at Terre Haute.
Other entered drivers in the group of those who’ve tasted victory, yet are still seeking Hoosier Hundred glory for the first time are A.J. Fike (Galesburg, Ill), Brian Tyler (Pleasant Garden, N.C.) Aaron Pierce (Muncie, Ind.), David Byrne (Shullsburg, Wisc.), Russ Gamester (Peru, Ind.), Shane Cockrum (Benton, Ill.) and Shane Cottle (Kokomo, Ind.).
Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary pulled off his first Silver Crown triumph in the 2016 season opener at Terre Haute to join his father, Chuck, as the only father and son who’ve both won in the series. Chuck Leary’s lone Silver Crown win came in the 1997 Hoosier Hundred. The 21-year-old now hopes to follow in his footsteps 20 years later and become the first son of a former Hoosier Hundred winner to race into victory lane.
Brady Bacon and Justin Grant are two of the most decorated USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car drivers in recent years, but both are eying their initial Silver Crown checkered flag. Oklahoma’s Bacon, a two-time USAC Sprint champ, qualified for the pole in last year’s Hoosier Hundred and led 25 laps before falling out with clutch issues.
California’s Grant is the current USAC Sprint point leader with three victories, but Silver Crown win number one for the fifth-place finisher in the 2015 race still eludes him. Both Grant and Bacon aim to join the list of twelve drivers who have won their first career Champ Car races at the Hoosier Hundred, including Bob Sweikert (1953), Jackie Howerton (1974), Joe Saldana (1976), Billy Engelhart (1978), Chuck Gurney (1982), Steve Chassey (1984), Kenny Jacobs (1987), Gary Hieber (1990), Chuck Leary (1997), Teddy Beach (2005), Shane Hollingsworth (2009) and Shane Hmiel (2010).
A pair of Gardners from the West Coast lead the rookie contingent. Five-time USAC/CRA Sprint Car champion Damion Gardner of Concord, California will make his Indy Mile debut. Corona, California’s Ronnie Gardner, unrelated, plans to make his first career Silver Crown start next Thursday. The four-time USAC Western States Midget champion makes the trek to Indy 50 years after his grandfather, Ronnie Duman, made his final start in the Hoosier Hundred.
USAC and Track Enterprises have teamed up to present a Superticket for admission to three of its upcoming marquee events – the “Tony Hulman Classic,” the “Hoosier Hundred” and the “Carb Night Classic” on May 24-25-26 – leading up to the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.
The three-straight nights of racing in Indiana present open wheel racing at its finest from the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship as well as the USAC Silver Crown Champ Cars Series presented by TRAXXAS on both dirt and pavement.
For just $60, fans will receive a savings of $20 by purchasing their own Week of Indy Superticket that’s good for admission to Terre Haute, the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Lucas Oil Raceway on May 24-25-26. To purchase a Superticket, visit https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2017-week-of-indy or call the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.
As always, individual tickets for each “Week of Indy” event will be available at regular price on raceday at the gate.
The Hoosier Hundred will be available to watch LIVE on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/. Next day, flag-to-flag coverage will be available on-demand at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

2017 HOOSIER HUNDRED ENTRY LIST
07 JACOB WILSON
08 JOHNNY PETROZELLE
2 PATRICK LAWSON
3 A.J. FIKE
4 JOE LIGUORI
5 J.C. BLAND
6 DAMION GARDNER
12 BRIAN TYLER
14 ZACH DAUM
16 AUSTIN NEMIRE
18 KENNY GENTRY
20 JERRY COONS, JR.
21 JEFF SWINDELL
24 KEITH BURCH
26 AARON PIERCE
27 DAVE DARLAND
28 RONNIE GARDNER
30 C.J. LEARY
31 DAVE BERKHEIMER
32 JOSS MOFFATT
39 MATT GOODNIGHT
40 DAVID BYRNE
44 DANNY LONG
48 BRADY BACON
51 RUSS GAMESTER
53 STEVE BUCKWALTER
54 MARK SMITH
55 CASEY SHUMAN
63 KODY SWANSON
71 SHANE COCKRUM
75 BILL ROSE
81 SHANE COTTLE
91 JUSTIN GRANT
92 CHRIS WINDOM
95 PATRICK BRUNS
97 TYLER COURTNEY
99 KOREY WEYANT
120 HUNTER SCHUERENBERG
201 DAKOTA JACKSON