By Dick Jordan
USAC United States Auto Club Silver Crown Series 2012 Logo Tease Top Story

Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Champion Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind. is set to open defense of his 2012 title April 28 when the series returns to the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track, site of its 2012 season finale.

The “Sumar Classic” serves as the first of 10 rounds in this year’s series and continues a tradition dating back to 1995 when Donnie Beechler won the inaugural at the half-mile dirt oval.

East’s wire-to-wire victory in last year’s race contributed to the 12-point margin of victory he enjoyed over Jerry Coons Jr. at season’s end. He is expected to return at the wheel of the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing/Chevrolet Performance – Curb Records/Maxim/Kistler.

East is one of 11 drivers who have won the Terre Haute race. Beechler and Tony Elliott are two-time winners, while Kevin Thomas, Jack Hewitt, J.J. Yeley, Brian Tyler, Josh Wise, Bud Kaeding, Dave Darland and Levi Jones also are former winners.

Terre Haute’s rich history actually includes one other Silver Crown appearance. Gary Bettenhausen won the 1980 running before the race was christened the “Sumar Classic” 15 years later.

The April 28 schedule sees gates opening at noon, followed by the drivers meeting at 2:30 pm. Practice commences at 3, with heats for modified races at 4. Silver Crown qualifying starts at 4:30 and a modified feature is planned at 5. Pre-race begins at 5:45 and the 50-lap “Sumar Classic” feature is slated to get under way at 6 pm.

An interesting sideline will be the ongoing struggle for supremacy between Tony Stewart Racing and Six-6 Motorsports in their battle to become the winningest car owner in series history. Each has 27 victories to their credit.

East will team with Levi Jones in the Tony Stewart Racing/Curb-Agajanian entries while Brian Tyler will pilot the Six-R entry.