USAC season kicks off at Action Track

More than a dozen drivers are scheduled to seek their initial USAC Silver Crown Championship victory April 6 when the “Sumar Classic” unfolds at the Terre Haute Action Track. If one can find victory lane they will become the series’ 100th different race winner in its 44 years! Pre-entries already suggest a “full field” for the 100-lap race.

Former Silver Crown winners Bobby East, A.J. Fike, Tracy Hines, Chris Windom, Dave Darland, Aaron Pierce, Kody Swanson and Jerry Coons Jr. are among entered drivers at Terre Haute. East is the defending series champion and Windom became the 99th different series winner at last year’s “4-Crown Nationals” in Ohio. Pierce holds the ultimate series race record of 159.211 mph, established at Homestead, Fla. in 2006.

Competing for the title of 100th race winner will be drivers from Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma, Michigan and Florida.

Christopher Bell of Norman, Okla. won last year’s Honda USAC National Midget Dirt title and finished eighth in his Silver Crown debut at DuQuoin in 2013. Taylor Ferns of Shelby Township, Mich. is the winningest female driver in USAC history and won the 2011 USAC D1 Midget crown. Ferns was 4th at Rossburg, Ohio and 5th at DuQuoin in 2013.

Joe Liguori of Tampa, Fla., grandson of long-time USAC driver Ralph Liguori, won USAC’s 2009 Midwest and USAC/UMARA Ford Focus titles and finished seventh in last year’s “4-Crown” Silver Crown finale.

Jarett Andretti, son of John Andretti, competed in five events last year and notched an eighth-place at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Caleb Armstrong of New Castle, Ind., winner of USAC’s 2011 “Turkey Night Grand Prix” Midget spectacular, is slated for his initial Silver Crown start at Terre Haute, along with Jake Simmons of Terre Haute, Dakota Jackson of Elizabethtown, Ind., John Hunt of Tulsa, Okla. and Grant Simpson of Avoca, Ill.

Jacob Wilson of Crawfordsville, Ind. is a former “Joe James-Pat O’Connor” Sprint Car winner and has previous series experience, as do Illinois drivers Randy Bateman of Murphysboro and Shane Cockrum of Benton. Cockrum strung together “top-5” finishes in the final three Silver Crown races of last year.

Illinois driver Patrick Lawson of Edwardsville posted a 10th at Rossburg, Ohio last year in his third series start.

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