By Richie Murray
Salem, Indiana (August 7, 2019)………Three past former winners are a part of the lineup for this Saturday’s USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series’ Discover Scott County Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial presented by the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers at Indiana’s Salem Speedway on August 10.
Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) has captured each of the last three runnings of the James/O’Connor and is gunning to join Pancho Carter (1974-77) as the second driver to win the event in four consecutive years. Brian Gerster (Fishers, Ind.) won two-straight in 2014-15 when it was a winged sprint car event, while Eric Gordon (Fortville, Ind.) raced to victory lane in 2000 in USAC National Sprint Car competition.
Swanson and Gordon are among the seven past Silver Crown winners in the field, along with May Lucas Oil Raceway winner Kyle Hamilton (Danville, Ind.), Bobby Santos Franklin, Mass., Aaron Pierce (Muncie, Ind.), David Byrne (Shullsburg, Wisc.) and Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.).
Four series Rookies are set to strap in this Saturday on the .555-mile, high-banked paved oval, including a pair of first-time series starters in Australian James Davison, a five-time Indianapolis 500 starter, as well as five-time USAC Western States Midget champion Ronnie Gardner (Riverside, Calif.). Additionally, leading series Rookie Derek Bischak (Angola, Ind.) and second-time Salem Silver Crown starter Cody Gallogly (Pataskala, Ohio) are entered.
A mix of Silver Crown veterans and Salem-experienced wheelmen dot the lineup, including Patrick Lawson (Edwardsville, Ill.), Kyle Robbins (New Castle, Ind.), Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio), Mike Haggenbottom (Levittown, Pa.), Joe Liguori (Tampa, Fla.) and Matt Goodnight (Winchester, Ind.).
Silver Crown pits open at 1pm Eastern on Saturday. Spectator gates open at 3pm, vintage car warm-ups at 3pm, Silver Crown drivers meeting at 3:15pm, stock car practice from 3:30-3:50pm, first Silver Crown practice from 3:55-4:25pm, stock car practice from 4:30pm-4:45pm, final Silver Crown practice from 4:50-5:20pm, Qualifying at 5:45pm, opening ceremonies at 6:55pm followed by stock car and Silver Crown main events.
Advance adult general admission tickets are $23 for adults/teens and $5 for ages 7-12. Advance reserved tickets are $28.
Saturday’s prestigious event can be watched LIVE and on-demand on FloRacing, listened to via live audio on the USAC app as well as live timing and scoring on both the USAC app and the Race-Monitor app.
JOE JAMES/PAT O’CONNOR MEMORIAL ENTRY LIST
NO. / DRIVER / HOMETOWN / ENTRANT
2 Patrick Lawson/Edwardsville, IL (Patrick Lawson)
6 Kyle Hamilton/Danville, IN (Klatt Enterprises)
7 Kyle Robbins/New Castle, IN (KR Racing)
11 ®James Davison/Melbourne, AU (DHR-Byrd Racing)
16 Austin Nemire/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko Racing)
17 Chris Windom/Canton, IL (Goodnight-Byrd Racing)
20 Kody Swanson/Kingsburg, CA (Gene Nolen Racing)
22 Bobby Santos/Franklin, MA (DJ Racing)
24 Mike Haggenbottom/Levittown, PA (John Haggenbottom)
26 Aaron Pierce/Muncie, IN (Sam Pierce)
31 ®Derek Bischak/Angola, IN (Derek Bischak)
32 Joe Liguori/Tampa, FL (Williams & Wright Racing)
39 Matt Goodnight/Winchester, IN (Goodnight Racing)
40 David Byrne/Shullsburg, WI (Byrne Racing)
43 ®Ronnie Gardner/Riverside, CA (A.J. Felker Racing)
78 Eric Gordon/Fortville, IN (Armstrong-Slinkard Racing)
81 ®Cody Gallogly/Pataskala, OH (Curtis Williams)
91 Justin Grant/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn Racing)
94 Brian Gerster/Fishers, IN (Ram Engineering)
® = USAC Silver Crown Rookie