By Richie Murray
Oregon, Wisconsin (June 22, 2022)………Jumping on the dirt. Jumping on the pavement. Jumping all around.
That’s the plan for USAC racing this weekend in the Badger state for the CarIQ Wisconsin Jump Around, which begins on the pavement of Madison International Speedway with the 100-lap Bytec Dairyland 100 slated for Friday night, June 24, round four of the USAC Silver Crown National Championship season.
But jumping around could also be the motto for the USAC Silver Crown series, which competes on both dirt and pavement surfaces. Through the first three events, we’ve witnessed three different race winners with Justin Grant taking Terre Haute Action Track’s dirt, Bobby Santos scoring on the pavement of Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and Logan Seavey on Pennsylvania soil last weekend at Port Royal Speedway.
The top name in that bunch who has been absent from victory lane thus far is the all-time series king with a record six championships and 34 career wins, two of which have come at Madison. That’s Kody Swanson, who currently stands second in series points. Incredibly, Swanson hasn’t gone winless through the first three Silver Crown races of the season since 2013.
The Dairyland 100 has been mastered by Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.), who has won both series events at the half-mile paved oval in 2018 and 2019. Swanson possesses the one-lap track record for the series at Madison with a time of 16.852 sec. (106.812 mph), set in 2019. Swanson’s 100-lap time of 36:49.04, set in 2018, is the record for the distance.
Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) enters Madison as the Silver Crown point leader following a last lap pass for the win last Saturday at Port Royal. While his dirt Silver Crown program has been top-flight, the 2018 USAC National Midget champion has made major strides on the asphalt, finishing fifth at IRP back in May.
Similar to Seavey, C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) made his best impression on pavement at IRP as the 2019 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion finished 4th, the best result of his Silver Crown career off the dirt and will be making his Madison debut this Friday night.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) was the first-ever Silver Crown driver to garner quick time honors at Madison in 2018, starting from the pole, leading 42 laps and finishing 3rd. The 2020 USAC Silver Crown driving champion, and current fourth-place driver in points, was running 4th at the halfway mark in 2019 at Madison when his transmission let go.
Bobby Santos (Franklin, Mass.), a recent winner in May at IRP for the first time in Silver Crown action since 2018, has earned two consecutive top-four results in Silver Crown competition at Madison, finishing 2nd in 2018 and 4th in 2019.
Eric Gordon (Fortville, Ind.) earned his one USAC Silver Crown win in the state of Wisconsin via the Milwaukee Mile during his Rookie year of 1990. Gordon started 3rd in the 2018 Madison race and was running 5th when he lost the brakes just 17 laps into the 100-lapper. The nine-time Little 500 winner and National Sprint Car Hall of Famer found a bit of redemption a year later in 2019 when he started 10th and finished 5th.
Travis Welpott (Pendleton, Ind.), the 1993 UMRA TQ Midget titlist and 2000 NAMARS Midget champ, finished 8th in 2018 at Madison and was running 8th again at the halfway point in 2019 when he became entangled in Grant’s transmission fluid and made hard contact with the turn three outside wall, ultimately finishing 18th.
At Madison, Patrick Lawson (Edwardsville, Ill.) was 14th in 2018 and 19th in 2019; Derek Bischak (Angola, Ind.), the 2019 Silver Crown Rookie of the Year, was 18th in 2018 and 8th in 2019; while 2014 USAC Midwest HPD Dirt and Pavement Midget champion Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio) was 16th in 2019.
Two-time USAC National Sprint Car champion and 18-time Silver Crown winner Brian Tyler (Parma, Mich.) has yet to wheel a Silver Crown car at Madison, but he did compete in a USAC National Sprint Car race at the track a quarter-century ago. On that day in 1997, Tyler brought it home 8th.
First-time Madison visitor Taylor Ferns (Shelby Township, Mich.) is coming off the best result of her USAC Silver Crown career in May at IRP where she finished 3rd, which was the best result by a woman in series history.
She’s joined by series veterans who are making their first Madison Silver Crown appearances, including 2020 Rookie of the Year Bryan Gossel (Fort Collins, Colo.) and seven-time series starter Davey Hamilton Jr. (Boise, Idaho).
The field is complimented by series Rookie of the Year candidates, the versatile Nathan Byrd (Goodyear, Ariz.), Paragon Speedway sprint car track champion Gregg Cory (Shelbyville, Ind.), Midwest Supermodified Series champion Mike McVetta (Grafton, Ohio) and the winged pavement sprint car and Little 500 experienced Tom Paterson (Argos, Ind.).
Friday night’s Bytec Dairyland 100 at Madison is Salute to America Night featuring the USAC Silver Crown National Championship, Midwest Dash and will also have double features for NASCAR Late Models, plus the area’s biggest and best aerial and ground fireworks display.
Pits open at 2:30pm Central and the grandstands at 4pm, with the drivers meeting at 4pm and practice starting at 4:45pm, followed by qualifying and racing.
Tickets sold at the gate are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors, $15 for students age 12-17, $5 for kids age 6-11, and free for children age 5 and under. Pit passes are $30 for members and $40 for non-members.
Advance tickets are available at misracing.com/tickets with adult tickets at $20 and seniors $18. A family ticket plan for 2 adults and up to 4 students/children is just $50.
The event will be streamed live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3u7ID2N.
MADISON USAC SILVER CROWN ENTRY LIST:
06 Bryan Gossel/Fort Collins, CO (Bryan Gossel)
1 Kody Swanson/Kingsburg, CA (Doran-Dyson Racing)
2 Patrick Lawson/Edwardsville, IL (Patrick Lawson)
6 C.J. Leary/Greenfield, IN (Klatt Enterprises)
11 Nathan Byrd/Goodyear, AZ (Hamilton-Byrd Racing)
14 Davey Hamilton Jr./Boise, ID (Hamilton-Puglio Racing)
16 Austin Nemire/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko Racing)
18 Travis Welpott/Pendleton, IN (Welpott Racing)
22 Bobby Santos/Franklin, MA (DJ Racing)
31 Derek Bischak/Angola, IN (Derek Bischak)
32 Gregg Cory/Shelbyville, IN (Williams Racing)
55 Taylor Ferns/Shelby Township, MI (Taylor Ferns Racing)
81 Brian Tyler/Parma, MI (BCR Group)
91 Justin Grant/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn Racing)
94 Mike McVetta/Grafton OH (Dick & Deborah Myers)
99 Eric Gordon/Fortville, IN (Brad & Tara Armstrong)
111 Tom Paterson/Argos, IN (Tom Paterson)
222 Logan Seavey/Sutter, CA (Rice Motorsports)
2022 USAC SILVER CROWN POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-189, 2-Kody Swanson-171, 3-C.J. Leary-168, 4-Justin Grant-128, 5-Brady Bacon-128, 6-Brian Tyler-117, 7-Dallas Hewitt-102, 8-Carmen Perigo-92, 9-Austin Nemire-92, 10-Travis Welpott-91.
TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC SILVER CROWN AT MADISON INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY:
1 Lap – 6/28/2019 – Kody Swanson – 16.852 – 106.812 mph
100 Laps – 6/29/2018 – Kody Swanson – 36:49.04 – 81.483 mph
MADISON USAC SILVER CROWN WINS:
MADISON USAC SILVER CROWN WINNERS:
2018: Kody Swanson (6/29)
2019: Kody Swanson (6/28)
USAC SILVER CROWN WINS IN WISCONSIN:
1-Mike Bliss, Jay Drake, Bobby East, Eric Gordon, Wayne Reutimann Jr., George Snider & Dave Steele
PAST USAC SILVER CROWN RESULTS AT MADISON INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY:
2018 FEATURE: (100 laps – starting position in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (2), 2. Bobby Santos (6), 3. Justin Grant (1), 4. Jim Anderson (8), 5. Chris Windom (5), 6. Jerry Coons Jr. (7), 7. David Byrne (19), 8. Travis Welpott (9), 9. Matt Goodnight (11), 10. Kyle Robbins (14), 11. Kyle Hamilton (4), 12. Toni Breidinger (15), 13. Aaron Pierce (18), 14. Patrick Lawson (13), 15. Mike Haggenbottom (17), 16. Dave Darland (10), 17. Austin Blair (16), 18. Derek Bischak (12), 19. Eric Gordon (3). 36:49.04
2019 FEATURE: (100 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Kyle Hamilton (3), 3. David Byrne (2), 4. Bobby Santos (5), 5. Eric Gordon (10), 6. Jim Anderson (11), 7. Cody Gallogly (8), 8. Derek Bischak (6), 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (13), 10. Russ Gamester (14), 11. Toni Breidinger (15), 12. Kyle Robbins (20), 13. Mike Haggenbottom (17), 14. Chris Windom (12), 15. Cody Gerhardt (18), 16. Austin Nemire (9), 17. Justin Grant (4), 18. Travis Welpott (7), 19. Patrick Lawson (21), 20. Matt Goodnight (16), 21. Chris Dyson (19). NT