By Richie Murray
Rossburg, Ohio (September 25, 2019)………Three past winners are among the largest projected car count for a USAC Silver Crown race at Eldora Speedway in over a decade when the series comes to the half-mile high banks for this weekend’s season finale, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, in the 38th running of the 4-Crown Nationals presented by NKT.tv.
The 27 drivers entered would be the largest field for a Silver Crown race since the 2008 4-Crown, which featured 28 entries. This weekend’s heavyweight bout for the Big Cars brings three past event winners in two-time victor, Canton, Ill. native Chris Windom (2013 & 2016), Indianapolis, Indiana’s Tyler Courtney (2017) and Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary (2018).
A tight title race is up for grabs in both the driver and owner categories. All Kody Swanson has to do is present at the start of the night’s 50-lap main event and that’ll clinch himself an unprecedented fifth driving title with the series. Justin Grant is second in the series standings, 63 points back. Grant could gain the maximum 76 points for the night if he were to gain the three bonus points for fast qualifying time, three extra for leading the most laps and 70 points for winning the race to get him to 590 total points for the season.
However, the minimum points that a driver can gain in the feature event is 13. If Kody were to finish last in the feature, he would still gain 13 points to lift him from 577 to 590 points. Though Swanson and Grant would be tied in that scenario, Swanson holds the tiebreaker due to his five feature wins throughout the 2019 Silver Crown season.
For the Silver Crown owner’s title, the Klatt Enterprises No. 6 driven by Brady Bacon is in the driver’s seat of the standings with a 15-point lead entering Saturday’s contest. Of course, everything will be easier to sort out once the field is set following Friday’s qualifying session, but regardless of whether Swanson and Nolen Racing earn maximum points this weekend, if Bacon finishes 3rd or better in Saturday’s race, the Klatt team clinches the owner’s title.
Windom, Courtney, Leary, Swanson and Bacon are among the ten past winners on the Silver Crown trail entered for this weekend’s event along with David Byrne (Shullsburg, Wisc.), John Heydenreich (Bloomsburg, Pa.), Eric Gordon (Fortville, Ind.), Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) and Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.). The latter five, alongside Swanson and Bacon, are all seeking their first Eldora Silver Crown victories.
In addition, five Ohioans are ready for the battle, including six-time All Star Circuit of Champions titlist Chad Kemenah (Alvada), 2014 USAC Midwest HPD Midget champion Austin Nemire (Sylvania), 2006 Eldora USAC Sprint feature winner Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill), Dallas Hewitt (Troy) and Ronnie Wuerdeman (Cincinnati).
The 4-Crown Nationals kicks off with Silver Crown practice and qualifying on Friday night, September 27, along with a complete show for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars. Pits open at 1:30pm Eastern, front gates at 2pm, drivers meeting at 5:30pm and cars on track at 6pm. General admission tickets are $29 for ages 13 & up and free for ages 12 & under. Reserved tickets are $34 for ages 13 & up and $9 for ages 12 & under.
The following day, on Saturday, September 28, the Silver Crown teams will again have a practice session, leading into their 50-lap finale as part of the event which will feature complete events for the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets, USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars and the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions.
On Saturday, pits open at 11am Eastern, spectator gates open at noon, drivers meeting at 4:30pm and cars on track at 6pm. General admission tickets are $34 for ages 13 & up and free for ages 12 & under. Reserved tickets are $39 for ages 13 & up and $9 for ages 12 & under.
The USAC portion of the 4-Crown 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.
4-CROWN NATIONALS USAC SILVER CROWN ENTRY LIST (27 Drivers)
# / DRIVER / HOMETOWN / TEAM
6 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Klatt Enterprises)
7 KYLE ROBBINS/New Castle, IN (KR Racing)
9 KEVIN THOMAS, JR./Cullman, AL (Chris Dyson Racing)
10 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (DMW Motorsports)
15 ®CHAD KEMENAH/Alvada, OH (Hampshire/Kemenah Racing)
16 AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko Racing)
17 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Goodnight-Byrd Racing)
18 TRAVIS WELPOTT/Pendleton, IN (Welpott/Gorman Racing)
20 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Gene Nolen Racing)
24 MIKE HAGGENBOTTOM/Levittown, PA (John Haggenbottom)
31 ®DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA (Berkheimer Racing)
33 ®RONNIE WUERDEMAN/Cincinnati, OH (Ronnie Wuerdeman)
34 TERRY BABB/Decatur, IL (Ken Morford)
39 MATT GOODNIGHT/Winchester, IN (Goodnight Racing)
40 DAVID BYRNE/Shullsburg, WI (Byrne Racing)
43 JOHN HEYDENREICH/Bloomsburg, PA (A.J. Felker)
47 ®AUSTIN MUNDIE/Dallas, TX (Patty Butler)
53 STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA (Five Three Motorsports)
54 MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH (Westfall/Marshall Motorsports)
56 ®JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK (Foxco Racing)
57 ®DALLAS HEWITT/Troy, OH (Dallas Hewitt)
66 BILL ROSE/Plainfield, IN (Bill Rose Racing)
78 ERIC GORDON/Fortville, IN (Armstrong/Slinkard Racing)
81 SHANE COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Curtis Williams)
91 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn Racing)
97 TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Hans Lein)
123 ®JIMMY LIGHT/West Springfield, PA (Two-Three Motorsports)
® = USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year contender