By Richie Murray
Springfield, Illinois (August 13, 2019)………The field for this Saturday afternoon’s 58thrunning of the Bettenhausen 100 presented by Brandt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is chock full of past winners on the legendary Springfield Mile.
Brian Tyler (Mt. Pleasant, NC) leads all drivers in the lineup with four Bettenhausen 100 victories in 2004-05-08-11. A.J. Fike (Galesburg, Ill.) won back-to-back Bettenhausen 100 races in 2012-13 just as Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) did in 2014-15. Russ Gamester (Peru, Ind.) prepares for his 26th career start in the race, which ranks 3rd all-time and includes a triumph in 1998. Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) captured the first of his two career USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series victories in 2017 at Springfield while Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) was victorious in 2018 at Springfield en route to a sweep of both Illinois dirt mile races on the schedule.
Fike and Windom are among nine Illinois natives in the lineup along with two-time Du Quoin Silver Crown winner Shane Cockrum (Benton, Ill.), plus another pair of past Du Quoin Mile winners in Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) and Chris Urish (Elkhart, Ill.), plus Springfield, Ill. pilots Joey Moughan, a 9th place finisher a year ago, as well as Korey Weyant, who wowed fans with a high-wire ride on the cushion in the qualifying race. Patrick Lawson (Edwardsville, Ill.) finished 29th in 2018 while Terry Babb (Decatur, Ill.) took 31st.
The last time the Silver Crown cars graced a one-mile dirt oval, Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) was the victor in May’s Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. He led a race-high 49 laps last year at Springfield. The most recent occasion the series was on dirt, Brady Bacon took a wild last-lap victory at Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway in June for his first career win in a Crown car.
In fact, 17 drivers in the field have previously won in the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series: Tyler, Fike, Swanson, Gamester, Grant, Windom, Cockrum, Cottle, Urish Courtney and Bacon as well as C.J. Leary Greenfield, Ind., a two-time series winner seeking his first dirt mile victory. Jeff Swindell (Germantown, Tenn.) is a three-time Silver Crown winner on dirt miles, twice at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and once at Du Quoin. Aaron Pierce (Muncie, Ind.) owns three series wins, all on pavement. David Byrne (Shullsburg, Wisc.) finished 10th at Springfield a year ago. John Heydenreich (Bloomsburg, Pa.) and Eric Gordon (Fortville, Ind.) will each return to Springfield after lengthy absences, Heydenreich (2007) and Gordon (2003).
Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) led 42 laps and finished 2nd in 2018 at Springfield. Steve Buckwalter (Royersford, Pa.) finished 5th at Springfield in 2015. Those veterans are joined by returning Bettenhausen 100-experienced wheelmen Jacob Wilson (Crawfordsville, Ind.), Kyle Steffens (St. Louis, Mo.), Kyle Robbins (New Castle, Ind.), Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio), Mike Haggenbottom (Levittown, Pa.), Matt Goodnight (Winchester, Ind.) and Danny Long (Bonne Terre, Mo.).
A Silver Crown Rookie, but a returning Springfield starter, Chris Dyson (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) will be in the field along with a handful of drivers aiming for their first Springfield start, including Austin Mundie (Dallas, Texas), Dave Berkheimer (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Ronnie Wuerdeman (Cincinnati, Ohio), Dallas Hewitt (Troy, Ohio) and Jimmy Light (West Springfield, Pa.).
The Bettenhausen 100 in Springfield gets underway with pits opening and registration starting at 7am (Central), the ticket office and grandstands opening at 9am, the drivers meeting at 9:30am, Silver Crown practice from 10am to 11:10am, Fatheadz Silver Crown Qualifying at 11:30am, Sportsman hot laps at noon, the Silver Crown Qualifying Race at 12:30pm, Sportsman heats at 1pm, pre-race ceremonies at 1:30pm and the Bettenhausen 100-mile race at 2pm.
Tickets will be available on raceday or by calling the State Fair office at 217-782-1979. Info and tickets can also be obtained by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200. Discount tickets for Sunday also available at Menards. Advance Tickets (Presale) are $25 for adults and $10 for children 11 and under. On race day, tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children 11 and under. Infield tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children 11 and under. Pit passes are $35 for adults and $20 for children 11 and under. Infield parking is $5 for those parking in the infield with no infield or pit passes.
This Saturday’s Springfield race 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.
2019 BETTENHAUSEN 100 ENTRY LIST
# / DRIVER / HOMETOWN / TEAM
07 JACOB WILSON/Crawfordsville, IN (Wilson Brothers Racing)
08 KYLE STEFFENS/St. Louis, MO (Kyle Steffens)
2 PATRICK LAWSON/Edwardsville, IL (Patrick Lawson)
6 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Klatt Enterprises)
7 KYLE ROBBINS/New Castle, IN (KR Racing)
9 ®CHRIS DYSON/Pleasant Valley, NY (Chris Dyson Racing)
10 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (DMW Motorsports)
12 BRIAN TYLER/Mt. Pleasant, NC (Galas Motorsports)
14 A.J. FIKE/Galesburg, IL (Dennis & Dave McQuinn)
16 AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko Racing)
17 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Goodnight-Byrd Racing)
20 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Gene Nolen Racing)
21 JEFF SWINDELL/Germantown, TN (Mark Swanson Encore Team)
24 MIKE HAGGENBOTTOM/Levittown, PA (John Haggenbottom)
26 AARON PIERCE/Muncie, IN (Sam Pierce)
29 JOEY MOUGHAN/Springfield, IL (Joey Moughan)
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)
44 DANNY LONG/Bonne Terre, MO (Danny Long)
47 ®AUSTIN MUNDIE/Dallas, TX (Patty Butler)
51 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN (Gamester Racing)
53 STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA (Five Three Motorsports)
56 KEVIN THOMAS, JR./Cullman, AL (Foxco Racing)
57 ®DALLAS HEWITT/Troy, OH (Dallas Hewitt)
71 SHANE COCKRUM/Benton, IL (Hardy Boys Motorsports)
77 CHRIS URISH/Elkhart, IL (Chris Urish)
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)
99 ®KOREY WEYANT/Springfield, IL (Scott Weyant)
123 ®JIMMY LIGHT/West Springfield, PA (Two-Three Motorsports)
® = USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year contender