By Dick Jordan
“GREAT LAKES 150” AT BERLIN INCLUDES REGIONAL MIDGETS
The inaugural “Great Lakes 150” August 12 marks the debut of USAC Silver Crown Championship racing in the state of Michigan as Berlin Raceway plays host to a “doubleheader” also featuring the USAC Regional/WOMS Midgets.
Berlin Raceway has a great USAC heritage, dating all the way back to USAC’s first year, 1956, when George Amick won a 50-lap Midget race there. The 40 USAC races at the 7/16-mile paved oval have yielded 32 different winners!
The “Great Lakes 150” will be the longest Silver Crown race in terms of laps since the 1996 race at Richmond, Va. which was 134 laps on a 3/4-mile paved oval. The distance will certainly provide a unique challenge to series participants.
The addition of the USAC Regional/WOMS Midgets to the program will give race fans variety in not only the types of race cars but also the length of the races, since the Midgets will compete in a 30-lapper.
Bud Kaeding, Daniel Bedford and Dalton Armstrong lead their respective racing series as they prepare for the August 12 event. Kaeding, of Campbell, Calif., is seeking a record fourth USAC Silver Crown title in the last five years. Bedford, of Brentwood, Calif., and Armstrong, of New Castle, Ind., are eyeing their initial USAC championships. Bedford leads the USAC/WOMS Midget standings, while Armstrong is atop the Regional Midget points.
Michigan will most likely be represented in both series. Brian Tyler, formerly of Parma and now living in Mount Pleasant, N.C., ranks eighth in the Silver Crown series and has 16 career wins, second on the all-time list. Midget drivers Adam Wilsdon of Howell and Doug Dietsch of Kalamazoo are also possible entrants.
Eric Gordon, who won three USAC Sprint races in a row at Berlin in 1990, 1991 and 1992 and just scored an amazing ninth victory in the prestigious “Little 500” classic at Anderson, Ind. May 29, is also expected to compete in the 150-lap Silver Crown race.