By T.J. Buffenbarger
(September 24, 2022) — With the first night of the 4-Crown Nationals in the books, here are a few leftover notes from the “BeFour the Crowns” program before leaving the hotel for the second night of action at Eldora Speedway.
- Silly season went into overdrive on Friday and was the hottest topic in the pit area during the “BeFour the Crowns” event at Eldora Speedway. I was preparing to leave for Eldora when the announcement Cap Henry and crew chief Zack Myers parted ways with the Lane Racing team this week (Ironically the second time this year I had a trip to Eldora delayed by breaking news.) Henry spent six years with the teams and were currently third in the All Star Circuit of Champions driver point standings and was the face on a lot of the marketing materials Lane used with their sponsor Blake’s Hard Cider.
The rumor mill hit another gear when the Lane Racing car unloaded with Sye Lynch slated to drive at Eldora. Lynch had already loaded his own equipment up to come to Eldora when he got the call from Lane asking him to drive this weekend. Lynch’s current situation if flexible enough that it allowed him to take the offer and indicated on Friday it was for this weekend only with the rest to be determined. Lynch ended up 10th in the last chance showdown on Friday while Henry was finalizing plans to race this weekend mid-day on Friday.
- Ayrton Gennetten’s run on Friday was short lived when a brand-new engine they had just picked up went up in smoke in turn one during its initial laps in competition. Large amounts of fluid and dents in the oil pan were evident when Gennetten’s car was brought back to the pit area. The number of races on his remaining two engines are close to where they need to be rebuilt, so Gennetten opted to scratch Friday and return on Saturday.
- Brady Bacon ended up having to change an engine following his hot lap session on Friday. Bacon indicated the engine “blew up” and sent his crew scurrying to get the engine changed before qualifying. Bacon bounced back from being 17th quick in his qualifying group to securing the final transfer spot in his heat race. Bacon ended up 17th in Friday’s main event.
- Chris Windom and Logan Seavey were the only drivers that were going to attempt all four divisions at the 4-Crown Nationals this year.
Seavey picking up the ride with Sam McGhee Motorsports for the 4-Crown Nationals filling in for the injured Parker-Price Miller. This Seavey’s second relatively new sprint car ride at the 4-Crown as Seavey is in his second week of competition driving for Cheney Motorsports on the USAC National Sprint Car Tour after parting ways with the Baldwin/Fox/Curb-Agajanian team.
Seavey’s first appearance with the World of Outlaws in several years went well after winning his heat race to make the dash. Seavey dropped back in the feature to 15th position.
- Mitchel Moles took to Eldora Speedway quickly putting the CB Industries racing team entry in victory lane in his first Eldora appearance. Both Moles and early feature leader Cannon McIntosh kept fans on the edge of their seats as both had close calls with the walls on both ends of the race track. McIntosh eventually was bitten while leading going into turn one bouncing up into the fence and getting upside down, handing the lead to Moles.
After the red flag stoppage Moles settled in and drove an excellent race with some veteran drivers nipping at his heals. Even a green/white/checkered finish did not derail Moles in route to an impressive victory on Friday.
- Windom’s run in all four classes was short lived after he slid up the track in hot laps, pounded the wall with the right rear in turn one with his Silver Crown ride, and got upside down. Due to the number of scratches and citing that Windom’s entry owned by Bill Rose was not ready to compete, USAC scratched the semi-feature and opted to start 28 cars, which drew some debate online about if the entry had been officially scratched. USAC officials deemed the car was not ready and scrapping the semi-feature was warranted.
Windom bounced back with a run through the field in the USAC National Midget Car feature charging from 14th starting position to fourth, picking up hard charger honors.
- Shark Racing has experienced a run 1-2 finishes recently with the World of Outlaws. Friday the Shark Racing entries qualifying draw resulted in them being on track together during time trials.
The Shark Racing team grew by one this week with Landon Myers in a third entry for the team for Friday at Eldora and Saturday at Sharon Speedway. Myers, who is related to the Allen family, used his hauler with a Shark Racing car as what was described as a “development car” for the team to test out some things in race conditions. Myers served as a crew member earlier in the year at Eldora during the Kings Royal weekend.
Myers put the third Shark Racing entry into the feature event, but was sidelined in wild crash along with Brock Zearfoss, who slammed hard head on into the inside wall. When the incident was replayed on Eldora’s jumbotron the groan from the crowd was clearly audible from the back of the infield. Zearfoss gingerly exited his car after one of the hardest hits I have ever witnessed into the inside wall on the front stretch at Eldora.
Schuchart made an incredible run through turns three and four to win his heat race on the final lap, but during the feature event Jacob Allen took the spotlight with his 21st to 6th run in the main event.