By Dick Jordan
The second annual “Hustle on the High Banks” is on tap for the USAC Silver Crown Championship Series Friday night at the famed “Belleville High Banks” in Kansas. Tracy Hines is the defending race champion on the half-mile dirt oval which hosts this week’s “Belleville Midget Nationals.” The Silver Crown cars practice Thursday and race Friday, with a 50-lap main event.
Hines enters the race 39 points behind Kody Swanson after a disappointing finish last Thursday night in the J.D. Byrider “Rich Vogler Classic” at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. Hines was involved in a tangle on lap 17 although his 19th-place finish kept him in the runner-up point slot.
Defending two-time series champion Bobby East now sits third in the standings, just three point behind Hines going into Belleville. East, who was eighth at Indianapolis, is trying to become the first driver to earn three consecutive series titles.
David Byrne of Shullsburg, Wisc. stunned the series with his victory at Indianapolis last Thursday. He passed Ryan Newman for second on lap 91 and caught leader Tanner Swanson (Newman’s teammate) on the last lap for the victory. Bryne, driving the Truck Country Shullsburg/Bytec, Inc. Beast/Chevy, became the 100th different winner in the 44-year history of USAC’s Silver Crown series.
Fast qualifier Tanner Swanson, who had hoped for a third consecutive Indianapolis victory, ended up second ahead of brother Kody Swanson, Newman and Bobby Santos.
Former USAC Silver Crown champion Ken Schrader started 12th and finished 10th in the 100-lap race.
2014 USAC Silver Crown Standings:1-Kody Swanson-282, 2-Tracy Hines-243, 3-Bobby East-240, 4-Chris Windom-204, 5-Tanner Swanson-165, 6-Bobby Santos-159, 7-Jacob Wilson-156, 8-David Byrne-147, 9-Jarett Andretti-139, 10-Jerry Coons Jr.-132.