Justin Grant Adam Mollenkopf Photo

By Richie Murray

Du Quoin, Illinois (August 26, 2019)………The Du Quoin State Fairgrounds have been a staple on the AAA and USAC Championship Car racing trail since 1948. Seven decades later, the spectacular sight of a full field of USAC Silver Crown cars rumbling down the front stretch of the one-mile dirt oval in southern Illinois sends a chill down the spine.

The chill, and the roar, returns this Sunday night, September 1, with the Ted Horn 100, honoring the late, great three-time AAA National Champion, National Sprint Car Hall of Famer and 1947 Indianapolis 500 pole winner who finished in the top-four at the Brickyard in nine consecutive races between 1936 and 1948. He lost his life in the peak of his career in a racing accident at Du Quoin in October of 1948 at the age of 38.
Horn’s legacy remains today as the namesake of the grand event where two-time race winner Chris Windom led only six laps in the 2018 edition, preserving his machinery down the stretch to win and complete the sweep of both Illinois dirt miles after winning at Springfield just weeks before. The Canton, Ill. driver won his first at Du Quoin in 2016 en route to the series title.

Local favorite Shane Cockrum of Benton, Ill. finished 3rd in last year’s Ted Horn 100 to earn his sixth-straight top-five finish at Magic Mile. The race will mark his final appearance for Hardy Boys Motorsports at Du Quoin where, together, they’ve earned two victories in 2014 and 2015, plus a 4th (2013), 5th (2016), 2nd (2017) and a 3rd (2018).

Point leader Kody Swanson has won the Ted Horn 100 twice in his unparalleled Silver Crown career. In 2010, he captured the first of his record 28 career series victories at Du Quoin. In 2017, the Kingsburg, Calif. driver netted his second in the event. The four-time series champion enters his 101st start Sunday night following wins in the two most recent races at Salem, Ind. and Madison, Wisc., two of his series-leading four scores this season. The Nolen Racing No. 20 in which he competes with this year led the first six laps of last year’s contest with driver Jerry Coons, Jr.

The field is expected to possess five additional one-time Du Quoin winners in Jeff Swindell (1990), Russ Gamester (1997), Shane Cottle (2007), Brian Tyler (2008) and Chris Urish (2013).

Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) finished second in last year’s Ted Horn 100 behind Windom and enters Sunday’s race with four-straight top-two finishes on the dirt with the series. Williams Grove winner Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) paced the field for 28 laps in the 2018 100-miler before dropping out with a clutch problem while leading. USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) led a race-high 53 laps in 2018, running out of fuel while leading, but soldiering on to a 9th place finish. Hoosier Hundred winner Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) led seven laps late in the going, but ran out of fuel, settling for a 14th place finish.

No driver owns more Champ Car wins under AAA and USAC sanction at Du Quoin than A.J. Foyt with six. Gary Bettenhausen has been victorious in five while Mario Andretti, Tony Bettenhausen, Tom Bigelow, Chuck Gurney and Jack Hewitt each have three. Those with a pair of Du Quoin wins include Jimmy Bryan, Shane Cockrum, Sam Hanks, Tracy Hines, Johnny Parsons, Kody Swanson, Al Unser and Chris Windom.

1951 Indianapolis 500 winner Lee Wallard won the first appearance of AAA National Championship cars at Du Quoin in 1948. Ted Horn finished third behind Wallard and Myron Fohr.

Nine different Illinois drivers have won at Du Quoin, including Tinley Park’s Tony Bettenhausen (1949 & twice in 1951), Rantoul’s Don Branson (1965), Danville’s Bubby Jones (1976), Tinley Park’s Gary Bettenhausen (twice in 1980, 1982, 1983 & 1988), Chicago’s Rich Vogler (1981), Kansas’ Shane Cottle (2007), Elkhart’s Chris Urish (2013), Benton’s Shane Cockrum (2014 & 2015) and Canton’s Chris Windom (2016 & 2018).

Pits and registration open at 1pm, grandstands open at 4pm, practice at 5pm, qualifying at 6:30 with the Ted Horn 100 scheduled for an 8:15pm start. All times central.

Tickets will be available on raceday or by calling the Du Quoin Fair office at 618-542-1535. Info and tickets can also be obtained by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.

Advance tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children 11 and under. On the day of the race, adults are $30 and children 11 and under are $10. Pit passes are $35 apiece for adults and $20 for children 11 and under.

Sunday’s Ted Horn 100 will have live, flag-to-flag coverage on FloRacing. You can listen to live audio of the broadcast for free on the USAC app or follow along with live updates on https://www.facebook.com/usacracing/ and https://twitter.com/USACNation/ with live timing and scoring available on both the USAC and Race-Monitor apps.

1948: Lee Wallard & Johnnie Parsons
1949: Tony Bettenhausen
1951: Tony Bettenhausen & Tony Bettenhausen
1952: Chuck Stevenson
1953: Sam Hanks
1954: Sam Hanks
1955: Jimmy Bryan
1956: Jimmy Bryan
1957: Jud Larson
1958: Johnny Thomson
1959: Rodger Ward
1960: A.J. Foyt
1961: A.J. Foyt
1963: A.J. Foyt
1964: A.J. Foyt
1965: Don Branson
1966: Bud Tingelstad
1967: A.J. Foyt
1968: Mario Andretti
1969: Al Unser
1970: Al Unser
1971: George Snider
1972: Tom Bigelow & A.J. Foyt
1973: Mario Andretti
1974: Mario Andretti
1975: Tom Bigelow
1976: Bubby Jones
1977: Tom Bigelow
1978: Pancho Carter
1979: Bill Vukovich
1980: Gary Bettenhausen & Gary Bettenhausen
1981: Rich Vogler
1982: Gary Bettenhausen
1983: Gary Bettenhausen
1984: Joe Saldana
1985: Rick Hood
1986: Jack Hewitt
1987: Jack Hewitt
1988: Gary Bettenhausen
1989: Chuck Gurney
1990: Jeff Swindell
1991: Stevie Reeves
1992: Johnny Parsons
1993: Jack Hewitt
1994: Chuck Gurney
1995: Johnny Parsons
1996: Chuck Gurney
1997: Russ Gamester
1998: Jimmy Sills
1999: Tony Elliott
2000: Kasey Kahne
2001: Paul White
2002: J.J. Yeley
2003: Rich Tobias, Jr.
2004: Tyler Walker
2005: Tracy Hines
2006: Tracy Hines
2007: Shane Cottle
2008: Brian Tyler
2010: Kody Swanson
2011: Kyle Larson
2013: Chris Urish
2014: Shane Cockrum
2015: Shane Cockrum
2016: Chris Windom
2017: Kody Swanson
2018: Chris Windom

1. (6) A.J. Foyt

2. (5) Gary Bettenhausen

3. (3) Mario Andretti, Tony Bettenhausen, Tom Bigelow, Chuck Gurney & Jack Hewitt

8. (2) Jimmy Bryan, Shane Cockrum, Sam Hanks, Tracy Hines, Johnny Parsons, Kody Swanson, Al Unser & Chris Windom

16. (1) Don Branson, Pancho Carter, Shane Cottle, Tony Elliott, Russ Gamester, Rick Hood, Bubby Jones, Kasey Kahne, Jud Larson, Kyle Larson, Johnnie Parsons, Stevie Reeves, Joe Saldana, Jimmy Sills, George Snider, Chuck Stevenson, Jeff Swindell, Johnny Thomson, Bud Tingelstad, Rich Tobias, Jr., Brian Tyler, Chris Urish, Rich Vogler, Bill Vukovich, Tyler Walker, Lee Wallard, Rodger Ward, Paul White & J.J. Yeley