By Dick Jordan
Sunday night’s “Ted Horn 100” at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds is pivotal in the battle for USAC’s 2011 Traxxas Silver Crown Championship and two former champions are the primary combatants, although a host of challengers are lurking not far behind in the standings.
Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. and Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. will be seeking their initial “Ted Horn 100” victory but they stand atop the current points, separated by just three with 66 available Sunday. Six others, separated by just 22 points, are also within the 66-point range with three races remaining on the 2011 calendar.
Coons won the pole at DuQuoin last year and Jones started third. Jones was 10th at the checkered flag and Coons 15th.
Bud Kaeding, Tanner Swanson, Bobby East, Brian Tyler, Tracy Hines and Kyle Larson stand ready to advance in the standings if the leaders falter Sunday. Tyler won the August 20 “Tony Bettenhausen 100” at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, but Coons opened the 2011 season with a victory in the “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds mile in Indianapolis.
Sunday’s race continues a tradition of racing at the “Magic Mile” dating back to 1948 and the track’s list of winners reads like a who’s-who of the sport, including Indianapolis 500 winners Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Rodger Ward, Jimmy Bryan, Sam Hanks, Johnnie Parsons and Lee Wallard.
The Traxxas Silver Crown series concludes with the September 24 “4-Crown Nationals” at Rossburg, Ohio and the October 15 “Rollie Beale 150” at the Toledo (Ohio) Speedway.
Kody Swanson is Sunday’s defending race winner at the DuQuoin oval, coming from 16th to win last year’s 100-miler. Tyler Walker continues to hold the 1-lap Silver Crown qualifying record of 123.550 mph set in 2004.
Former DuQuoin winners in Sunday’s field include Russ Gamester (1997), Tray Hines (2005-2006), Shane Cottle (2007), Tyler (2008) and Swanson.
USAC TRAXXAS SILVER CROWN POINT STANDINGS
1-Jerry Coons Jr.-255; 2-Levi Jones-252; 3-Bud Kaeding-213; 4-Tanner Swanson-209; 5-Bobby East-207; 6-Brian Tyler-205; 7-Tracy Hines-203; 8-Kyle Larson-191; 9-Bobby Santos III-156; 10-A.J. Fike-125.