By RICHIE MURRAY
Five past “Bettenhausen 100” winners headline the expected list of entrants for this Saturday’s 81st appearance of champ car racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
Kody Swanson leads the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS standings coming into the Springfield Mile August 19. Swanson arrives as the winner of the two most recent editions of the “Bettenhausen 100” in 2014 and 2015. Swanson picked up his third win of the season last Saturday night on the Salem (Ind.) Speedway high-banked paved oval. His 18th win moved the Kingsburg, Calif. native into sole possession of second on the series’ all-time win list ahead of Brian Tyler.
Four of Tyler’s 17 career Silver Crown victories came at the “Bettenhausen 100” in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2011. The Pleasant Garden, North Carolina resident will wheel a car for Illinois owner Robert Galas.
Three-time “Bettenhausen 100” winner Dave Darland is sixth on USAC’s Silver Crown win list with 14 wins, three of which came at Springfield in 1997, 1999 and 2003 for car owner Galen Fox. This Saturday, he and Phillips Motorsports, who’ve scored 17 USAC National Sprint Car wins together, shoot for their first Silver Crown victory as a team.
Darland’s potential three-race win streak at Springfield was denied in 1998 by Peru, Indiana’s Russ Gamester who, at 190 Silver Crown starts, is second all-time – one behind leader Tyler and one ahead of Darland. The 1989 USAC National Midget champ owns victories in all three USAC national divisions throughout his decorated racing career as he guns for Springfield win number two in the familiar red No. 51.
Among the Illini contingent is two-time “Bettenhausen 100” winner A.J. Fike, who won in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013. The Galesburg driver will be pulling double-duty this weekend at Springfield aboard the RFMS Racing No. 3 Silver Crown car on Saturday and his ARCA Stock Car ride on Sunday.
Fike is among 11 Illinois natives expected to compete Saturday on the Mile, including defending Silver Crown champion Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois and northern Illinois car owner Gene Kazmark, who are both looking for their first triumphs at Springfield. Windom won the last series race held in Illinois on Labor Day Weekend 2016 at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds, but has yet to win at Springfield.
The same story goes for Elkhart’s Chris Urish and Benton’s Shane Cockrum as well. Urish (2013) and Cockrum (2014 & 2015) have both won at the one-mile neighbor to the south in Du Quoin, but seek their firsts at Springfield. Shane Cottle, originally from Illinois, but now residing in Kokomo, Ind., has a Du Quoin win on his resume, but Springfield has eluded him thus far.
Though, not hailing from Illinois, Germantown, Tennessee’s Jeff Swindell has won on both the Indy and Du Quoin one-mile dirt ovals in his career. The third jewel of a Triple Crown of sorts awaits the veteran driver of Mark Swanson’s No. 21.
Additional Illinois entries include series veterans Terry Babb (Decatur), J.C. Bland (Springfield), Patrick Bruns (Champaign), Zach Daum (Pocahontas), Patrick Lawson (Edwardsville), Joey Moughan (Springfield), David Shain (Sullivan) and Korey Weyant (Springfield).
USAC champions taking their shot at a first Springfield win this Saturday are Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr., a 2008 Silver Crown titlist; five-time USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car champ Damion Gardner of Concord, California and two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon.
Ione, California’s Justin Grant very well could follow Bacon as the next USAC National Sprint Car champ this season, but the current points leader still eyes his first Silver Crown win of any kind on Saturday.
The “Bettenhausen 100” schedule begins at 7am when pit gates open. Grandstands open at 9am, drivers meeting at 9:30am, Silver Crown practice at 10am-11:10am, ProSource Qualifying at 11:30am, Silver Crown Qualifying Race at 12:30pm and the 100-lap main event at 2pm.
Advanced adult tickets are $25. Day of Race Adult 12 and older tickets are $30. Children 11 and under are $10. Pit passes are $35. Children pit passes (11 and under) are $20. Infield tickets for adults are $20.00. Children 6-11 are $5. Children under 5 are FREE!
Watch flag-to-flag coverage of the “Bettenhausen 100” beginning a day after the event on http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.
“BETTENHAUSEN 100” EXPECTED DRIVER ENTRANTS
CAR # DRIVER / HOMETOWN / ENTRANT / SPONSOR / CHASSIS / ENGINE
07 JACOB WILSON/Crawfordsville, IN
Wilson Brothers Racing/Wilson’s Towing – D.D. Eyes/Beast/Claxton Toyota
2 PATRICK LAWSON/Edwardsville, IL
Patrick Lawson/Mittler Brothers – Rebel Smokers/DRC/Chevy
3 A.J. FIKE/Galesburg, IL
RFMS Racing/Liberty Village – Office Specialists/Beast/Foxco
4 JOE LIGUORI/Tampa, FL
Liguori Racing/Sunshine Trailer Park – Kercher Engines/DRC/Kercher Chevy
5 ®J.C. BLAND/Springfield, IL
Bland Brothers Enterprises/Sam’s Speed Shop – Bland Brothers Enterprises/Drinan/BBE Chevy
6 ®DAMION GARDNER/Concord, CA
Klatt Enterprises/Beast – Klatt Enterprises/Beast/Ford
7 ®DAVID SHAIN/Sullivan, IL
Hardy Boys Motorsports/Financial Transportation Services – Central Roofing//Maxim/Brown Chevy
12 BRIAN TYLER/Mount Pleasant, NC
Galas Motorsports/Magnum Rotating & Pumps/Beast/Galas Chevy
14 ZACH DAUM/Pocahontas, IL
Dennis & Dave McQuinn/McQuinn Motorsports – Cashless Racing/JR-1/Brown Chevy
16 AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH
Bob Lesko/Wayne Subaru – Bell Helmets/Beast/Chevy
18 KENNY GENTRY/Henderson, KY
Kenny Gentry/Engler Machine & Tool – KVKK Racing/Beast/Chevy
20 JERRY COONS, JR./Tucson, AZ
Gene Nolen/KECO – Indy Race Parts/Maxim/Tranter Chevy
21 JEFF SWINDELL/Germantown, TN
Swanson Racing/Jet Star – Rosewood Machine & Tool/Beast/Chevy
24 ®KEITH BURCH/Farmington, MO
Keith Burch/Drain Buster Plumbing Service – Boen’s Signs/Beast/Kistler
26 AARON PIERCE/Muncie, IN
Sam Pierce/Tom Cherry Mufflers – Midwest Matt/Beast/Chevy
27 DAVE DARLAND/Lincoln, IN
Carla & Steve Phillips/Frank Daigh – Lucas Oil/Phillips/Foxco Chevy
29 JOEY MOUGHAN/Springfield, IL
Joey Moughan/Modern Paving & Scrap – Conaway Handyman Service/Maxim/Claxton Mopar
30 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN
Chuck & Tammi Leary/Leary Construction – Gray Auto/DRC/1-Way Toyota
31 ®DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA
Dave Berkheimer/Subway Auto Body – Macri Concrete/Drinan/Chevy
32 ®JOSS MOFFATT/Columbus, IN
Williams & Wright Racing/E3 Sparkplugs – Lucas Oil/Maxim/Williams
39 ®MATT GOODNIGHT/Winchester, IN
Goodnight Racing/Lumber & Things – Beale Enterprises/Maxim/Claxton
40 DAVID BYRNE/Shullsburg, WI
Byrne Racing/Stoops Freightliner Truck Country- Bytec Resource Management/Maxim/J & D Chevy
42 TERRY BABB/Decatur, IL
Terry Babb/Illini Aerofab – APT Powder Coating/Beast/Babb Chevy
44 DANNY LONG/Bonne Terre, MO
Danny Long/Farmington Auto Plaza – DMR Motorsports/Beast/Chevy
48 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK
Paul Martens/Martens Machine Shop/Maxim/Kistler Chevy
51 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN
Gamester Racing/Gamester Green Gable Village/GRP/Toyota
53 STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA
SET Racing/Heroes West Sports Grill/Beast/Brown Chevy
55 CASEY SHUMAN/Tempe, AZ
Patty Bateman/Chance’s Chassis Repair/Beast/Foxco Chevy
63 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA
DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy
71 SHANE COCKRUM/Benton, IL
Hardy Boys Motorsports/Financial Transportation Services – Infinity Shocks/Maxim/Brown Chevy
75 BILL ROSE/Plainfield, IN
Bill Rose Racing/Reliable Laser Screeding/Beast/Chevy
77 CHRIS URISH/Elkhart, IL
Chris Urish/Elkhart Fertilizer – Pacesetter Solutions/Beast/Foxco Chevy
81 SHANE COTTLE/Kokomo, IN
Curtis Williams/Jack’s Auto Body – Roger Williams Precision Engines/Maxim/Williams Chevy
88 CHRIS FETTER/Troy, MO
Chris Fetter/Fetter Tile – F & S Collision/Beast/Foxco
91 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA
Carli-Hemelgarn Racing/Carli Motorsports – Hemelgarn Enterprises/DRC/Speedway Ford
92 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL
Gene Kazmark/Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing – Remin Kart-A-Bag/Maxim/Wallace Mopar
95 PATRICK BRUNS/Champaign, IL
Full Throttle Racing/Mobil 1 – Cain’s Marine Welding/Beast/Speedway Toyota
97 ®TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN
Hans Lein/Lein Acres/DRC/Stanton Mopar
99 ®KOREY WEYANT/Springfield, IL
Scott Weyant/Weebles Bar & Grill – Ealey Transportation/Beast/Automotive Machine
120 ®HUNTER SCHUERENBERG/Sikeston, MO
Gene Nolen/Roof Bolt Xpress – Wesco Trailers/Maxim/Tranter Chevy
201 ®DAKOTA JACKSON/Elizabethtown, IN
Gene Nolen Racing/The Cure Starts Now Foundation – KECO Coatings/Twister/Tran