By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
PORT ROYAL, PA-Port Royal Speedway and USAC Silver Crown racing make for a royal union.
Twenty-eight majestic champ cars arrive for their long-awaited series debut at the Pennsylvania half-mile for a 50-lap main event at The Speed Palace this Saturday night, June 18.
Obviously, none in the field of 28 have prior Silver Crown experience at Port Royal, but many have competed on its surface in USAC National Sprint Car competition.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) is the lone driver in the lineup who owns a USAC national feature victory at Port Royal in 2014 and his time of 2:32.57 set in 2019 is the 8-lap USAC National Sprint Car track record at Port Royal. His initial Silver Crown triumph came in the Keystone State at Williams Grove Speedway in 2019.
C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.), the 2015 USAC Silver Crown top Rookie, possesses the one-lap USAC National Sprint Car track record at Port Royal of 18.105 seconds and finished a best of 3rd at the track in 2019.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) has twice been a fast qualifier in a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car at Port Royal in both 2014 and 2017. The 2020 USAC Silver Crown champ finished a best of 2nd in 2017.
Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) was the fastest qualifier at Port Royal with the USAC National Sprint Cars in 2016 and finished as the runner-up in the feature during 2015.
Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) recorded an 8th in his lone USAC National Sprint Car start at Port Royal in 2019 while Pennsylvanian Carmen Perigo (Stoystown, Pa.) scored a 9th in 2016.
Shane Cockrum (Benton, Ill.), meanwhile, took 9th in a USAC Sprint Car during 2014 Eastern Storm at Port Royal and won in June of 2021 during USAC Silver Crown’s visit to Pennsylvania at Williams Grove.
Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) earned a pair of 10th place finishes at Port Royal with the USAC National Sprint Cars in both 2013 and 2015 and won with the Silver Crown series in PA during the 2020 Selinsgrove trip.
USAC Silver Crown point leader and six-time series champion Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) captured a series victory in Pennsylvania at Williams Grove in 2017.
Last year’s series runner-up and Rookie of the Year Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) made a successful last visit with the USAC Silver Crown car to Pennsylvania in 2021, winning at Selinsgrove.
Russ Gamester (Peru, Ind.) made his most recent appearance in USAC Silver Crown victory lane on the pavement in Pennsylvania, at Nazareth Speedway in 2001.
Mark Smith (Sunbury, Pa.) will make a rare Silver Crown appearance after finishing 5th in USAC East Coast Sprint Car action this past April while 2002 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) was earned a best placing of 14th in the sprint car at Port in 2018.
Brian Tyler (Parma, Mich.), the author of a record 202 career USAC Silver Crown starts and 18 victories, will make the trip to Port Royal as will one-time USAC National Sprint Car feature winners Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) and Dave Peperak (Clinton, Ind.) and the woman who owns more USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature starts than any other, Kaylee Bryson (Muskogee, Okla.), who is making her Silver Crown debut for car owner Sam Pierce.
Pennsylvanians make up five positions on the grid with Smith and Perigo joined by Mike Haggenbottom (Levittown, Pa.), Dave Berkheimer (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and Jimmy Light (West Springfield, Pa.), and are joined in the field by full-timers from the Midwest, Kyle Robbins (New Castle, Ind.), Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio) and Travis Welpott (Pendleton, Ind.).
Silver Crown vets Jake Simmons (New Palestine, Ind.) and Dallas Hewitt (Troy, Ohio) are headed to Port Royal alongside top Rookie point leader Gregg Cory (Shelbyville, Ind.), fellow first-year Silver Crown racer Brian Ruhlman (Clarklake, Mich.) and first-time Silver Crown entrant Mark Bitner (Trenton, N.J.).
Saturday night’s Eastern Storm/Open Wheel Madness II “USAC Eastern Blast” featuring the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, the USAC Silver Crown National Championship and 410 Wing Sprint Cars.
Pits open at 4pm Eastern, front gates open at 4pm and hot laps at 6pm, followed by qualifying and racing.
Adult admission tickets are $30, students age 13 to 18 are $15 and children 12 and under will be admitted free. Pit passes are $35 for members and $40 for non-members.
All Eastern Storm events will be streamed live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3u7ID2N.
USAC SILVER CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-122, 2-Logan Seavey-119, 3-Justin Grant-107, 4-C.J. Leary-107, 5-Bobby Santos-76, 6-Brian Tyler-76, 7-Jerry Coons Jr.-67, 8-Taylor Ferns-64, 9-Brady Bacon-64, 10-Travis Welpott-64.
PORT ROYAL USAC SILVER CROWN ENTRY LIST: (28 Entries)
01 MARK SMITH/Sunbury, PA (L & M Motorsports)
1 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Doran-Dyson Racing)
3 JAKE SIMMONS/New Palestine, IN (Tim Simmons)
4 (R) MARK BITNER/Trenton, NJ (Mark Bitner)
6 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Klatt Enterprises)
7 KYLE ROBBINS/New Castle, IN (KR Racing)
10 JAKE SWANSON/Anaheim, CA (DMW Motorsports)
16 AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko Racing)
18 TRAVIS WELPOTT/Pendleton, IN (Welpott Racing)
22 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Rice Motorsports)
24 MIKE HAGGENBOTTOM/Levittown, PA (John Haggenbottom)
26 (R) KAYLEE BRYSON/Muskogee, OK (Sam Pierce)
27 JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK (Daigh-Phillips Motorsports)
31 DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA (Berkheimer Racing)
32 (R) GREGG CORY/Shelbyville, IN (Williams Racing)
49 (R) BRIAN RUHLMAN/Clarklake, MI (Brian Ruhlman)
51 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN (Gamester Racing)
52 CARMEN PERIGO/Stoystown, PA (John Stehman)
53 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Five Three Motorsports)
54 MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH (Westfall Motorsports)
57 DALLAS HEWITT/Troy, OH (Dallas Hewitt)
69 (R) CHASE STOCKON/Fort Branch, IN (Pink 69 Racing)
71 SHANE COCKRUM/Benton, IL (BLS Motorsports)
74 SHANE COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Hodges Motorsports)
77 (R) DAVE PEPERAK/Clinton, IN (Peperak Motorsports)
81 BRIAN TYLER/Parma, MI (BCR Group)
91 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn Racing)
123 JIMMY LIGHT/West Springfield, PA (Two-Three Motorsports)
(R) represents a USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year contender