2010 archives

Pit Notes from the Federated Auto Parts Southern Illinois 100 at DuQuoin

(With Springfield notes included)


Labor Day brings out the best fans and competitors to the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds and Monday was no exception as Mother Nature brought out the best temperatures seen in years at DuQuoin with a fall like day at the “Magic Mile”. A strong cold front brought only sprinkles but temps in the 70’s and cloud cover for most of the morning helped keep the mile of dirt relatively moist until the sun came out just before the start. Thirty four machines were on hand with Centralia, Illinois’ Joe Cooksey returning to the ARCA wars and young Sikeston, Missouri driver Austin Retting making his debut.


Texan Chris Buescher did something cousin James could not do, get an ARCA machine to victory lane on the dirt as the eighteen year old unseated 2009 Southern Illinois 100 winner Parker Kllgerman as the youngest major race winner in DuQuoin State Fair history. At 18 years, 10 months and 54 days the Prosper, Texas driver found victory lane after finishing second 5 times in the 2011 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. It looks like Chris is just the sixth rookie to win the Federated Southern Illinois 100 since 1979 and possibly just the seventh since 1960!


Practice began at 9 in the morning with very cool temps, cloud cover and a steady 20 mile an hour win from the north. With a little extra water the track was a little slick and it showed on the stopwatch with lap times in the first half hour or so under the 100 mile an hour mark. Once the groove came in laps dipped under the 36 second barrier.


Ty Dillon swept the poles at both Springfield and DuQuoin. His 33.678 lap was about 8 tenths off the track record of Ricky Stenhouse but was about 8 tenths faster than the second fastest qualifier. Dillon lost some points at Springfield but regained them at DuQuoin with a strong second place finish. He graciously shared the podium during the pole award ceremony with the late Dean roper’s brother Dale. Dillon also expressed how much he enjoyed running the dirt at DuQuoin.


Frank Kimmel seemed to come to life during the race at DuQuoin. After a sub par qualifying effort of twenty-third the five time Southern Illinois 100 winner moved toward the front and at one point was in or near the top 5. He ended the day a fine sixth and can adct another record Kimmel owns on the Illinois dirt, he has the most consecutive starts at DuQuoin of any ARCA pilot with 21, having made every race at DuQuoin since 1991.


Springfield’s Kelly Kovski added to his growing fan base Labor Day as his car was fastest in the one hour practice session and he qualified outside the front row. He looked to have the car to beat early on leading five of the first 17 laps and coming back to the front quickly after an early pitstop. He was able to run second and keep leader Buescher in sight for a while and slipped to fourth at the end. Not bad for a driver who runs just twice a year and is also the crew chief for Gran Enfinger.


Canadian Andrew Ranger raised some eyebrows and gained some fans and respect with a tremendous fifth place Monday. It’s doubtful the former Champ Car World Series driver ever drove on the dirt and certainly had not seen the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds before. He wasn’t one of the fastest early on but kept following veterans like Frank Kimmel and ranger came to life the last half of the practice session looking like a dirt track veteran in practice, qualifying and the race. At one point of the 100-miler he appeared to be the fastest car on the track.


For the past ten years drivers with a significant open wheel background have won the pole at DuQuoin. Not this year. While some qualified near the front none were as fast as Ty Dillon.


It appears the ARCA dirt events are becoming a way for drivers to get some notice that might not otherwise be available to them as they look to advance in motor sports. Josh Richards was a well known late model driver and his fine third at DuQuoin in 2007 for Tony Stewart led to some opportunities that saw him in Atlanta for the NASCAR weekend. Chris Windom was well known in his home of Canton, Illinois and in Indiana sprint car circles but his stunning third at Springfield has the eyes of some stock car folk on the young driver. Missouri’s Will Vaught also caught some attention with very good runs at Springfield and DuQuoin


Three drivers pulled ‘double duty’ over the weekend. Chris Windom, Darren Hagen and A.J. Fike all ran Sunday’s Ted Horn 100 USAC Silver Crown championship dirt car event. Windom opened eyes witrh a strong third in the WinTron Dodge at Springfield and was headed for a top 5 when he got shuffled out of the groove and the freight train went by on the inside but he still managed a thirteenth. Hagen’s maiden voyage in Billy Venturini’s machine started sixth and ended twelfth. Fike had a bad weekend losing the engine in the dirt car in practice and then a battery issue relegated him to twenty eighth on Monday after 14 circuits.


Monday’s race was one of the best and most competitive ever seen in stock cars on the DuQuoin dirt. There were eight lead changes (that ties a 100-mile record at DuQuoin) among five drivers including a stint where the lead changed hands four times in four laps early in the going. 2011 was the ninth ‘overtime’ race in DuQuoin history. The nineteen starters completing the distance and twenty five running at the end is not a record but above the average, the seven cautions for thirty two laps just a bit above the average at DuQuoin.



Pit Notes from Spirngfield


Springfield, IL August 24, 2011-by Jay Hardin-Chad McCumbee may have played Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the ESPN movie “3” a few years ago but he looked a lot like Dale Sr. in winning the 49th Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday. It was clear from the grandstand early on that the Supply, North Carolina driver had a strong mount and he proved it by hunting down two time World of Outlaw Late Model champ Josh Richards and taking the lead on lap 17, then pulling away until the first caution came out just prior to the 40th go around.


Even with the pit stop shuffle it did not take long for McCumbee to reassert himself and once he took the lead there was little anyone could do with him except try to get by him on a restart then hold him back. Not even a late caution on lap 99 derailed the leader and he was able to give long time ARCA participant Andy Belmont his first ARCA win as a car owner. A wild celebration ensued in the Belmont pit area and in victory lane.


This was McCumbee’s third start on the Springfield Mile, the first coming in 2005. Chad has completed all but one lap run in those three races and despite never having dropped out of an Allen Crowe 100, Sunday’s victory was his first top ten finish at Springfield. His 72 laps led now places him 25th on the all-time laps led list in stock cars at the Springfield Mile.


Speaking of laps led, in an unusual occurrence the four lap leaders Sunday, Ty Dillon, McCumbee, Josh Richards and Tim George all were first time lap leaders at Springfield.


Ty Dillon came to Springfield with a huge point lead and left with one despite a flat right rear tire which sent him two laps down in the early going. The 19 year old became one of the youngest pole sitters in Allen Crowe history (19 years, 5 months 25 days) with the seventh fastest pole speed since 1950. Dillon led the first lap before being overtaken by Josh Richards. By the way Justin Allgaier, 19 years 2 months and 15 days remains the youngest pole winner (2005) in Allen Crowe history.


Frank Kimmel continues to climb the Illinois State Fairgrounds statistical ladder with regard to stock car racing. Cemented as the all-time money winner in stock cars at Springfield (we are still working on the exact total) and the all-time lap leader (614) plus having seven Crowe 100 trophies, Kimmel made his start on the Springfield mile which ties him for second in Allen Crowe 100 starts with Bay Darnell. His 20th consecutive start is also tied for second with Darnell behind leader Kenny Rowley who retired with 25. With a seventh Sunday Frank has 16 top ten finishes at Springfield in those 20 starts. That is tied for top 10’s in the Allen Crowe 100 with Don White however White has more overall top 10’s at Springfield with 19. Frank has also completed 1897 miles in the Allen Crowe 100 which is tops among all drivers but still behind all time Springfield stock car mileage leader Don White (2191).


Several dirt late model standouts ran the Crowe 100 Sunday with mixed success. Two ran for Bill and Billy Venturini. Josh Richards led early on and finished ninth in his Springfield debut while fellow rookie Will Vaught of Missouri made quite an impression. The Lucas Oil late model standout got a lucky dog pass to come from one lap down to finish fifth. Current UMP late model point leader Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Illinois was strong early but hit the wall in turn three on lap 62 and significantly shortened Bill Hendren’s new Chevy. Former UMP national champ Rodney Melvin’s car overheated on lap 90 putting him on the sideline.


Open wheeler’s AJ. Fike and Chris Windom also had mixed results Sunday. Fike finished 12th in Saturday’s Bettenhausen 100 champ car event then qualified his Ford fifth for the Crowe 100. The car dropped out on lap 6 after overheating. Windom ran tenth on Saturday and had picked up the ARCA ride in the Win Tron Dodge only a few days before. In his ARCA debut the youngster was impressive qualifying eighth and finishing a very strong third. Open wheeler Tom Hessert had a strong second for owner Ken Schrader and moved to a tie for fifth in ARCA points.


Locals Kelly Kovski (Springfield), Mark Littleton (Arenzville), Joe Mueller (Brighton) and Dale Shearer (Alahambra). Shearer’s car overheated on lap 35, Mueller’s on lap 56. Littleton had his best Springfield finish with a fifteenth. Kovski, the crew chief for ARCA regular Grant Enfinger, turned in yet another top ten at Springfield coming home sixth. It is his fourth top ten finish in seven starts and his third sixth place finish.


Centralia native Joe Cooksey was spotted in the pit area and apparently has a car ready for his return to ARCA racing at DuQuoin.


James Harvey Hylton added to his legacy as the oldest driver ever to start a Springfield stock car race at age 76 years, 11 months and 26 days.


Twelve cars completed the 100 miles with seventeen running at the end. The thirty one starters tied last year’s field for the fewest in an ARCA event at Springfield since 1985 though last year there were cars that were unable to start after practice and qualifying. Such was not the case this year.


This was the seventh time the winner came from the third position and the 18th time in the 58 stock car events at Springfield the pole sitter finished out of the top 10. This was the fourth time a car with the number 1 won a stock car race at Springfield, the last was Ramo Stott in an exciting duel with Butch Hartman in August of 1976! There were 6 lead changes among 4 drivers with 5 cautions for 30 miles. This was the tenth time the event exceeded the 100 mile distance with each of the last four going overtime. Sunday’s purse easily pushed the total stock car payout to participants at Springfield over the 3 million dollar mark. Sunday’s attendance means that well over half a million people have filed through the turn styles over the years to watch stock cars on the Springfield dirt.


The 49th Crowe 100 was on an unofficial record pace for the first 50 miles. On the watch the first lap was run at 34.76 (103.567), the first 25 in 14:17.24 (104.988) and the first 50 in 31:42.63 (89.882). The first caution did not fly until lap 36 and had the remainder of the race been caution free it’s pretty clear that every recognized race record (Marshman’s 1:03:18.11 in 1964, Don White’s 1:06:30.14 in 1966 or Bowsher’s 1:08:00.00 in 1991) at Springfield would have fallen by the wayside.


Schrader Wins Oldani Memorial at DuQuoin

Tony Stewart from 24th to 2nd!!

(Sept 5, DuQuoin, IL) by Jay Hardin-Ken Schrader won his second one mile dirt track UMP Modified event when he led 18 of the 20 laps of the 18th Bill Oldani Memorial at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Labor Day. NASCAR star Tony Stewart flew to DuQuoin after the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta was postponed and started last in the 24 car field and finished second, with Steeleville, Illinois’ Matt Mevert coming home third.

Schrader started second in the 24 car field and took the lead immediately from pole sitter Steve Adams. A lap 5 caution for a minor accident involving former winners Brian Shaw and Curt Rhodes slowed the field. Mevert, who started 8th, began working the top of the one mile dirt oval and surprised many, including Schrader when he took the lead on lap 7. The pass seemed to invigorate the Fenton, Missouri driver as he quickly gained on Mevert and retook the lead on lap 9. Behind Schrader Stewart had the crowd cheering as he made it into the top ten before the halfway mark and then steadily moved toward the front. A lap 13 caution for Adams’ blown engine slowed the field once again and on the restart Stewart and Mevert engaged in a crowd pleasing battle. Schrader won by 20 car lengths over Stewart as Stewart admitted after the race he needed another caution to catch the DuQuoin favorite.

Schrader added another notch to his long list of achievements, he now has two ARCA wins, one crate late model win and now a UMP Modified victory on the DuQuoin ‘Magic Mile”. He joins A.J. Foyt as the only driver in the 65 year history of the “Magic Mile’ to win feature events in three different types of race cars. Making the task more impressive was that Schrader did not participate in the Monday morning practice session.

Defending winner Shelby Miles was fourth, with Jared Kneemiller fifth. Complete results will be posted at www.trackenterprises.com.

From Track Enterprises 217-764-3200 contact Bob Sargent


Tony Stewart Enters DuQuoin UMP Modified Event for Labor Day : 2-Time NASCAR Champ Back After 8 Year Absence


DuQuoin, IL (September 1, 2011)-Tony Stewart likes the race track at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds so much that he took time out of a busy NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule to file an entry today for the 18th Bill Oldani Memorial UMP Modified race on Labor Day at the “Magic Mile”. Barring unforeseen circumstances during the 500-mile event at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night (weather, accident, etc) the two time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion will make the flight to southern Illinois and be on the grounds for UMP Modified practice Monday morning.

Tony’s task of winning the 18th Oldani Memorial will be tough enough with fellow NASCAR driver Ken Schrader in the field. Schrader won the last two Indyana Classic events at the Indiana State Fairgrounds going away and his potent UMP Modified will be one of the cars Stewart will have to pass to take the 20-mile Labor Day race. Schrader has plenty of experience running and winning at DuQuoin. His first USAC stock car start came at DuQuoin in September of 1979 and Schrader finally found victory lane in an ARCA machine and a crate late model in 2006, then repeated the ARCA victory in 2007.

Making Stewarts Labor Day at DuQuoin even more interesting is the possibility that he will have to start near the rear of the 20-mile main event and work his way to the front. Stewart will be unable to run the qualifying heat races on Sunday night so it is possible he will have to start near the back of the starting field.

DuQuoin has been kind to the 1997 Indy Racing champ over the years. He ran six USAC Silver Crown races between 1992 and 1997 with five top six finishes including a sixth in 1995 which helped him become USAC’’s first Triple Crown champion. Stewart completed 590 of a possible 600 laps in the dirt cars, his lone exit was news worthy as he barrel rolled in turn three in 1993 and walked away uninjured.

Tony returned to DuQuoin in 2001, this time in ARCA stock car competition and he set a standard for stock car pilots at DuQuoin that has not been bettered since the stock cars came to the “Magic Mile” in 1950. In three starts from 2001-2003, Stewart won three pole positions, set two new one lap track records, won the 2003 Southern Illinois 100 and led 137 laps while never finishing lower than second! No other stock car driver in DuQuoin history had such a record in their first three events. Stewart returned as an owner in 2007 and his car finished third with 20 year old Josh Richards at the wheel!

Tony will have to deal with a strong UMP Modified field on Labor Day that should include former winners Jeff Parks of Marion, Illinois and Brian Shaw of Robinson, Illinois as wellas defending winner Shelby Miles of Bloomington, Indiana.

The 20-mile UMP Modified event is slated for around noon prior to the ARCA Southern Illinois 100 on Labor Day at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.

DuQuoin, IL-The two state fairs in Illinois continue a tradition of motorsports entertainment that dates back to the earliest part of the twentieth century and part of the reason fans flock to the mile dirt tracks at Springfield and DuQuoin has always been the presence of local drivers trying to race and win against national traveling teams. The 2011 Ted Horn at DuQuoin is no exception as a near record twelve drivers from the home state dot the USAC Silver Crown dirt track driver roster for the 2011 season.


Two drivers from the deep south comprise part of the “Dirt Track Dozen” from the state of Illinois, one a seasoned veteran and the other a Silver Crown newcomer. Murphysboro’s Randy Bateman has been trying to win the Ted Horn 100 since 1983 and has the dubious distinction of missing the Ted Horn 100 a record nine times in the 24 times he’s unloaded the car at DuQuoin. Don’t think that Bateman hasn’t had his share of fine runs in the USAC Silver Crown Series, a ninth at the Hoosier Hundred and starting fifth and second at DuQuoin in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Benton’s Shane Cockrum is a rookie in the mighty uprights making his first mile dirt track championship car start in May at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. However, he’s no stranger to the DuQuoin race track and the last name brings back memories for many seasoned race fans. Cockrum is the son of the late Cliff Cockrum who thrilled many race fans throughout the Midwest during the 60’s and 70’s winning numerous sprint car races.


Two of USAC’s established set are 30 years old and each has a great chance of winning the Ted Horn 100. Olney’s Levi Jones is the defending USAC Silver Crown champ and a former USAC Sprint Car champ in search of his first 100-mile dirt track win. A guard on his East Richiand Olney high school basketball team Jones has a vociferous following and he would love nothing better than to give them his first win on home turf. Jones finished second on Saturday in the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield. Galesburg’s A.J. Fike is one of the rare driver who pilots a champ dirt car and a stock car on the same weekend at DuQuoin. He will be trying to become the first driver ever to win both the Ted Horn 100 and the Southern Illinois 100 on the same weekend.


Canton’s Chris Windom joins Fike as one of the double duty drivers. Just like Fike who is also from west Central Illinois, Windom has an ARCA ride for Labor Day as well. Windom finished tenth at Springfield in the Bettenhausen 100 then finished a surprising third the next day in the Allen Crowe 100 marking his stock car debut.


lndy 500 veteran Donnie Beechler ran second to Rich Tobias in the 2003 Ted Horn 100 and was closing on the leader when the checker fell. He was expected to be at DuQuoin but a frightening crash at Springfield destroyed his mount. Beechler suffered only minor injuries in the crash but the popular Springfield driver’s status is in question for the Ted Horn 100. Fellow Springfield driver Mike Hess qualified a strong fifth at DuQuoin last year but was eliminated in an early race accident. He is slated to return for the 2011 Horn 100.


Other Illinois pilots on the driver roster include Craig Don of Chicago, Chris Urish of Elkhart and Zach Daum of Pocahontas. Ricky Nix of Benton had Sikeston, Missouri’s Hunter Schuerenburg in his championship machine at the Hoosier Hundred in May, then had Pennsylvania’s John Heydenreich in the car at Springfield. Heydenreich backed the car into the turn one wall during qualifications and severely damaged the car. It is unknown if it can be repaired in time for the Ted Horn 100.


Practice for the Ted Horn 100 begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday September 4 with the 100-mile race slated for an 8:00 green flag.

Ted Horn 100 Win Could Propel Illinois Driver to Second USAC Title...Three Former Champs at Top of Title Chase

DuQuoin, IL august 29, 2011-When the crowd filed into the beautiful DuQuoin State Fairgrounds grandstand on September 5, 2010 its doubtful Kody Swanson was one of the favorites picked to win that evening’s Ted Horn 100 USAC Silver Crown race. However, thanks to a new procedure and the Californian keeping his tires under him and his head about him, Swanson walked away with one of the biggest upset wins in DuQuoin championship car history.

Swanson flipped a midget at the Hut Hundred in May and lost several weeks due to injury but returned in time to win the J.D. Byrider 100 at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in July. He will be one of the drivers to watch and one of the former winners on hand as the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series visits the picturesque DuQuoin State Fairgrounds for the 60th Ted Horn 100.

Swanson started the 2010 Ted Horn 100 16th of the 31 cars on the grounds and drove a steady pace until the field was stopped on lap 51 under a new USAC procedure. During the ‘intermission’ teams were allowed to work on the cars and refuel but any team that changed tires had to move to the back of the field for the double file restart. Most of the front runners elected to change with the exception of Swanson and Ohio’s Todd Kane. When the field restarted both Swanson and Kane continued the steady pace and did not abuse their remaining rubber. Indiana’s Jon Stanbrough moved through the field and he attempted a banzai pass of Kody Swanson near the end but the Californian regained the lead in the second corner and led the veteran Stanbrough to the checkered flag.

Ironically Swanson’s younger brother Tanner was locked in a duel with 2008 USAC Silver Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr. for the 2011 crown. Both drivers were tied atop the standings after the Lucas Oil event but Tanner fell victim to an accident in the Tony Bettenhausen 100 and is now fourth in the points. Coons finished third at Springfield after leading early and now has three point lead with three and perhaps four races remaining on the schedule. Tanner is a teammate to Kody and to 2008 Ted Horn 100 winner Brian Tyler while Coons picked up his first 100-mile dirt track win at the Hoosier Hundred in May after over a decade of trying in the big cars. Coons is especially tough at DuQuoin where he has multiple pole positions to his credit and he led the first half of the 2010 event.

At press time just 52 points separated the top 7 drivers with most expected to compete at DuQuoin. Three time USAC Silver Crown champ Bud Kaeding is currently third and on the hunt for an unprecedented fourth title. Kaeding is also in search of his first mile dirt track victory. Indiana’s Bobby East finished seventh in his DuQuoin debut last year and he is currently fourth in the standings with two victories on pavement. 2000 USAC champ Tracy Hines is seventh, followed by Kyle Larson, Bobby Santos and A.J. Fike.

Hines is one of three former winners slated to try for another Horn 100 trophy. Hines won in 2005 and 2006 and is joined by 1997 winner Russ Gamester and 2008 winner Tyler. Tyler may have previewed the Ted Horn 100 for the rest of the field as he started 14th in the Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield . Tyler led by lap 14 and dominated the remainder of the race with the win vaulting him to sixth in points.

The defending USAC Silver Crown champion is one of twelve Illini drivers on USAC’s 2011 dirt track driver roster. Olney’s Levi Jones won the crown last year and returns driving for owner Tony Stewart. He is currently second in the USAC title chase and would like nothing better than to bring home a Ted Horn 100 win before his considerable fan following. Jones finished a strong second in the Bettenhausen 100 moving him within striking distance of point leader Coons. Springfield sends Indy 500 veteran Donnie Beechler and Powri and Badger midget champ Mike Hess to DuQuoin, Elkhart sends Chris Urish, Galesburg sends A.J. Fike, Pocahontas sends Zach Daum and Canton sends Chris Windom.

Two drivers very close to DuQuoin also appear on the entry list as Murphysboro’s Randy Bateman and Benton’s Shane Cockrum suit up for the Ted Horn 100. Bateman qualified on the front row for the 2008 Ted Horn 100 while Cockrum is the son of the late Cliff Cockrum; a standout in Midwest sprint car competition. In 2004 Fike became the first driver in 33 years to drive three different machines on Labor Day weekend at DuQuoin and he should have a stock car ride on Labor Day this year.

Windom is one of the next generation of hungry and fast young pilots currently working their way through the USAC ranks. Windom has numerous sprint car victories in Illinois and Indiana and may join Fike as a stock car driver on Labor Day after his stunning third place finish in the ARCA event at Springfield. The entries of Beechler and Benton, Illinois car owner Ricky Nix are up in the air at press time. Beechler’s car was destroyed in a flip at Springfield. Nix familiar 43 hit the wall at Springfield and the car suffered significant damage.

Indiiana’s Byran Clauson is a TSR teammate to Levi Jones and qualified for the front row at Springfield. He currently leads the USAC National Driver standings and made his Indy Lights debut in May. He is one of USAC’s up an coming young drivers, a group that includes Windom, Larson, Daum and Sikeston, Missouri’s Hunter Schuerenberg.

Veteran Dave Darland of Lincoln, Indiana won the1997 USAC Silver Crown title and has three wins each on the miles at Springfield and Indianapolis but has yet to score a win at DuQuoin, coming close in 2001 when he took the white flag while leading but ran out of fuel. Shane Hollingsworth is a second generation driver from Indianapolis who won the Hoosier Hundred in 2009. Jon Srtanbrough moved from Indiana Underground team to a seat as a teammate to Jerry Coons on the RW Motorsports crew.

This mix of veterans, rookies and former winners all join together on Sunday night September 4 at the DuQuoin State Fair for the Ted Horn 100. Practice for the USAC Silver Crown Series begins at 5 p.m. with qualifications at 6:30 and the Ted Horn 100 taking the green flag at approximately 8:00.

Trackside from the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield


(by Jay Hardin) Springfield, IL August 24, 2011-Mother Nature threw a scare at the USAC and Track Enterprises crews on Saturday with some dark clouds to the north and south of the Illinois State Fairgrounds but unlike last year’s deluge the rains held off and the 50th Bettenhausen 100 went off without a hitch. While the day turned-warm and humid it certainly was not as hot as years past and the morning cloud cover helped hold down the temps.


Brian Tyler was able to add to his livestock collection and join some heady company by taking his fourth Bettenhausen 100 win Saturday. He joined A.J. Foyt and Chuck Gurney as the only drivers with four or more championship wins on the state fair mile. He still needs three more to tie Gurney’s record of seven Bettenhausen 100 victories. Tyler, who moved to North Carolina and became a ‘gentleman farmer’, has been buying cows and naming then after each Silver Crown win. This one is slated to become Springfield the Second.


Tyler started twenty first when he won in 2004 and sixteenth in his 2005 win. Some railbirds correctly predicted he was a threat to win when he timed fourteenth Saturday and he rapidly moved through traffic. Using the high side and low side he zipped into the top five and caught leader Jerry Coons in traffic in turn three of the fifteenth go around. Once he got the lead be began using the Snider or Gurney groove and never looked back. The win marks the fourth in 12 Springfield starts for the Michigan transplant and only twice in those 12 starts has he failed to finish the Bettenhausen 100.


Levi Jones dropped back at the start but came back strong toward the end passing Jerry Coons and Kyle Larson to take second at the end. Coons finally led a race at Springfield taking the lead at the start. Larson ended the day fourth with Tracy Hines a solid fifth. Bryan Clauson had a tire go flat early on and pitted to change the left front and resumed a couple laps down.


Tyler’s win was the eighteenth since 1992 for a Beast chassis, the second for Toyota engines, the thirteenth for McCreary tires and the fifth for a car carrying the number 21.


Brian moved from ninth to third on the all-time laps led list in champ cars at Springfield, He now has 285 in the books just four behind Jack Hewitt but 245 behind the “King” A.. J. Foyt. Tyler moved to fourth on the all-time money won list for champ cars at Springfield but remains over $30,000 behind Chuck Gurney.


Former winners Russ Gamester and Dave Darland are now the ‘graybeards’ (sorry guys) at Springfield, each the active driver with the most starts at 19 apiece. Gamester joined the top ten in money won in championship machinery at Springfield Saturday while Darland tied a record of A.J. Foyt’s that has stood for 37 seasons. Each now has 18 consecutive dirt car starts on the Springfield Mile.


Darland has completed 1665 miles at Springfield and needs a couple more races to catch all-time leader George Snider who completed 1808. Dave is also tied with Snider and Hewitt for most times running at the finish, 13.

Practice sessions at Springfield for the USAC Silver Crown machines can be spectacular and Saturday was no exception. There were clearly two and at times three different grooves being used and drivers were nearly flat footing it all the way around the big dirt mile. The cushion in turns two and four was pushed to nearly the wall by the time practice ended and while not quite like the days of yesteryear when the dirt cars ran Eldora style on the cushion against the wall, it was pleasing none the less.


Two drivers were under the track standard in practice, one being nineteen year old Kyle Larson of California. A Springfield rookie he occupied the seat of 2009 Springfield race winner Cole Whitt for team owner and wrench Keith Kunz and the car was lightning fast in hot laps.


Some sun baked the track and by the time qualifying rolled around the track was two seconds slower than in hot laps. Still, the cushion appeared to be the fast way to go and an early number wasn’t necessarily the best as Hines went out late, used the very thin cushion and set fast time. It was the first pole ever in the series for the Lightfoot Racing Team and the second for Hines who set the one lap track record in 2006.


Hines, TSR teammates Levi Jones and Springfield rookie Bryan Clauson were the only drivers in the 31 second bracket in qualifying.


Twelve Illini drivers were on the USAC dirt track driver roster prior to the Bettenhausen with ten actually making the trip to the Illinois capitol. Olney’s Jones second was the best showing followed by Canton’s Chris Windom in tenth and Galesburg’s A.J. Fike in twelfth. Others weren’t so lucky. Pocahontas Zach Daum suffered through mechanical issues and wound up running at the end 16 laps down. Springfield’s Mike Hess and Benton’s Shane Cockrum were running but three down at the checker. Elkhart’s Chris Urish lost a drive line on lap five and Chicago’s Craig Dori went out on lap 57 with a bad ignition.


Springfield’s Donnie Beechler had the toughest day of the Illini. Beechler was caught up in the melee that ensued when Darren Hagen slowed and was hit by Darland in turn four. Beechler had no where to go and did a couple of end overs and destroyed the Stanton chassis. Beechler says he will be back but his status for DuQuoin is doubtful Unfortunately the same shunt caught up Murphysboro’s Randy Bateman as well but his car appeared to be repairable.


Springfield was the last of the dirt miles to try the lap 51 intermission and it had little effect on the outcome.


Several cars and drivers were in absentia. The Riggs 37 was missing with Jon Stanbrough now in the RW 17. The SC 97 was also missing as was the Depalma 63 assigned to Shane Cottle. Unknown to most was that Cottle had been injured in a nasty flip at Gas City Friday night. Get well soon Shane.


Fourteen cars completed the 100 miles with 20 running at the end. Two cautions for just six laps slowed the field with one regular red flag in addition to the lap 51 intermission. Saturday’s attendance pushed the number of people who have seen championship racing at Springfield near the one million mark and the total purses near $2.2 million.

Open Wheel Showing Stock Cars Fast Way at DuQuoin Last Ten ARCA Poles Captured by Open Wheel Pilots


DuQuoin, IL August 24, 2011-Coming into the 59th Federated Auto Parts-Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, the question being asked in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menard’s garage area is: Can a stock car regular can set quick time on the “Magic Mile? Since 2001 every pole position for the Southern Illinois 100 has been taken by a driver with significant open wheel racing car experience.


Tony Stewart began the trend when the Indy Car Series and USAC Triple Crown champion set track records and captured the Southern Illinois 100 pole position for three consecutive seasons. Stewart set a track record over 104 miles an hour as Frank Kimmel’s teammate in 2001 then finished second to Kimmel, upped the track record by 2 miles an hour in 2002 driving for Andy Petree and again finished second to Kimmel. Stewart brought his own Joe Gibbs Chevy to DuQuoin in 2003 and while his lap of over 103 miles an hour wasn’t a new record, it was good enough for the top slot and he ended up winning the event.


USAC Sprint Car and Silver Crown champion Ken Schrader ran sprint cars and midgets throughout the Midwest before tacking USAC and the World of Outlaws running hundreds of open wheel events prior to becoming NASCAR’s Rookie of the Year. Schrader ran midgets and the Silver Crown machines and had an attempt at the Indy 500 long after becoming a star in NASCAR’s premiere series. He won the pole for the 2004 Southern Illinois 100 leading 14 circuits and finishing eighth in the rain shortened affair. Schrader got his second front slot start at DuQuoin in 2006 and a long sought after 100-mile victory on the “Magic Mile”.


Sandwiched in between Schrader’s top qualifying efforts was a track record set by what could have been a less than obvious favorite to do so by many railbirds. Parma, Michigan’s Brian Tyler had the respect of fellow drivers and fans for his USAC Sprint Car championships and Silver Crown victories yet was something of an unknown in stock cars. Tyler had dabbled in the Indy Car Series and NASCAR Trucks, Nationwide cars and the ARCA series prior to September of 2005 with mixed results. His results on September 5, 2005 were anything but mixed at DuQuoin as he added nearly two miles an hour to Tony Stewart’s three year old qualifying mark, becoming the first driver over 108 miles an hour in a stock car at DuQuoin. His underfunded team ran near the front before losing an engine after the halfway mark.


Galesburg, Illinois shoe A.J. Fike became the seventh consecutive open wheeler to start from the pole when he set fast time in 2007. The USAC and Powri midget regular had been running in the USAC Silver Crown Series and was attempting to follow his older brother into the stock car racing world. Fike has since returned to his Galesburg home picking and choosing which events to run. The limited schedule did not hurt his ability to run fast at DuQuoin as Fike sat on the pole for the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Southern Illinois 100.


Jack Roush development driver, USAC Sprint car, midget and Silver Crown regular, second generation driver were all adjectives that described Mississippi’s Ricky Stenhouse when he rolled onto the “Magic Mile” for qualifications in 2009. Driving for owner Tony Stewart Stenhouse won the 2007 Tony Bettenhausen 100 Silver Crown event at Springfield and had gotten some notice from NASCAR owners. He took the Jack Roush Ford out as the twenty-third scheduled qualifier on September 1, 2008 and promply smashed through the 33 second barrier with a lap at 109.436 miles an hour, a record that stands today.

Arguably the last eleven ARCA pole positions at DuQuoin have gone to open wheel drivers. Centralia’s Joe Cooksey won the pole at DuQuoin in 2000 and his lone DuQuoin victory came in the 1995 Oldani Memorial in an open wheel UMP Modified.


Stock car regulars may have a decided advantage when qualifications open for the Federated-Southern Illinois 100 on Labor Day. Only three drivers with much open wheel experience are expected on the entry list while at least six drivers have significant seat time in outlaw style dirt late models, including former UMP national champion Rodney Melvin of Benton, Illinois, current national point leader Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, World of Outlaw late Model champ Josh Richards and Lucas Oil late Model regular Will Vaught of Crane, Missouri..


The battle for the AnseIl Pole gets underway at 11 a.m. on Labor Day at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds with the 59th Federated Auto Parts-Southern Illinois 100 slated for a 1 p.m. green flag.

Surprise Entrants Cooksey and Rettig for ARCA Event at DuQuoin



DuQuoin, IL August 23-Two surprise entrants, one a seasoned and popular veteran from Illinois, the other a rookie from Southeast Missouri add even more local flavor to the entry list for the ARCA Racing Series 59th Fedrated Auto Parts Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Labor Day.


Forty-five year old Joe Cooksey of Centralia, Illinois has been preparing for his return to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menard’s for several months. A self professed lover of the one mile Illinois fairground dirt tracks Cooksey one remarked ‘as long as I have a nickel in my pocket I will be there”. Unfortunately time constraints with business have limited Cooksey’s appearances in the ARCA series and he missed the 2007, 2008 and 2010 races. However, Cooksey became the first Southern Illinois driver to set on the pole when he set fast time for the 2000 race. He has 11 top 10 finishes in 12 starts at DuQuoin, completed 1207 miles at DuQuoin and been running at the end of each of those 12 starts.


Joining Cooksey and perhaps hoping to learn from the veteran is sixteen year old Austin Rettig of Sikeston, Missouri. Rettig has been racing area short tracks such as Maiden, Missouri, Riverside Speedway in Arkansas, Clarksville, in Tennessee and West Plains in Missouri. His racing resume includes late model stock cars with the MARS series and he won his first ever Comp Cams series event at Riverside this April.


Austin began racing at the age of 13 and is following in the footsteps of his older brother Nathan who was lost in a tragic 4 wheeler accident at the age of 13 while pursuing a promising racing career himself. His victory at Riverside ironically came 7 years to the date after Nathan’s passing.


The 59th Federated Auto Parts-Southern Illinois 100 is slated for 1 p,m, on Labor Day at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.

Dave Crawley Jr. First Time Illinois State Fair Sportsman Winner‏

Springfield, IL August 23, 2011-Decatur’s Dave Crawley, Jr. started seventh and hunted down leader Wes O’Dell on the sixteenth lap to post his first ever one mile dirt track win in the 18th Sportman National event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 21.

Five time winner O’Dell managed to hang on for second barely holding off 12 year old Richard Craven of Joliet who finished a strong third. Ashland’s Shannon Eskew was fourth with Ken Fustin fifth.

O’Dell, of Springfield, got the jump on Craven at the start as fellow five time winner Dennis Vandermeersch dropped out on the second lap. The race was slowed by five caution flags, the most serious at the end when Wade Wiseman and Mike Pickering tangled going into turn one and Pickering hit the wall nearly head on. Neither driver was hurt and the yellow flag and checker were displayed at the same time.

LINEUP AND RESULTS FOR FEATURE EVENT: 18th Sportsman Nationals 8/21/11 Ill State Fair


DISTANCE: 20 miles TIME: No time SPEED: Yellow flag


1 C25 Dave Crawley, Jr/Lawson’s Chevrolet 20 87

2 87 Wes O’Dell/Auto Recyclers Chevrolet 20 12

3 12 Richard Craven/AWG Chevrolet 20 22x

4 11e Shannon Eskew/Modern Paving Chevrolet 20 25

5 8k Ken Fustin/REMAX Chevrolet 20 9

6 11 Rick Roedel/Touchstone Energy Chevrolet 20 11

7 V8 Jim Farley III/Jim’s Towing Chevrolet 20 C25

8 X52 Bob Sidener/Attitude Custom Paint Chevrolet 20 11e

9 33 Bill Berghaus/Berghaus Racing Chevy 19 X52

10 42 Travis Wallbaum/Wallbaum Chevrolet 19 08

11 08 Brian Dasenbrock/A&C Sea Cruises Chevy 19 8k

12 9 Mike Pickering/Dingostand Pontiac 19 07

13 104 Wade Wiseman/K&K Chevrolet 19 8j

14 8j Lance Johnson//Johnson Trucking Chevy 19 15

15 22x Darrell Dick/BSharp-DaBar Chevy 16 V8

16 22 Tim Dick/Illini Overhead Door Chevy 12 33

17 D9 Danny Smith/Boxseat Products Chevrolet 11 D9

18 22j Tony ClintonMeineke Chevrolet 10 1

19 1 Steve Stevenson/El Flanagan Chevy 10 52

20 07 Phil Moreland/Dunn’s-State Farm Chevrolet 5 22

21 7s Ethan Schnapp/O’Connor Drywall Chevy 2 B99

22 52 David Streitmatter/RJ Motorsports Chevy 2 7s

23 B99 Tim Bedinger/Bedinger Racing Chevy 2 5c

24 87s David Shain/Williams Street Rods Chevrolet 1 104

25 25 Dennis Vandermeersch/Jim’s Towing-Midwest Brick Chevrolet 1 87s

26 5c Al Crawley/Donnelly Automotive Machine Chevrolet 0 22j

27 15 Rick Lowe/Patrick Heating & Cooling Chevrolet 0 42


LAP LEADERS: 1-15 O’Dell, 16-20 Crawley

Yellow Lights: Lap 3 52 and 33 spun in tirn 1, 52 caught fire; Lap 5 07 blew engine in turn 3; Lap 10

1 slowed in turn 4; lap 16 22x hit turn 1 wall, lap 20 9 and 104 hit turn 1 wall.

Springfield, IL-August 20-Shelby Miles of Bloomington Indiana bested fellow Hoosier Joey Kramer in the first Illini Dash for UMP Modifieds during the Illinois State Fari on Saturday. Miles led all 20 laps of the race which was slowed for one minor caution flag.

Kramer set a new track record of 32.090 in qualifying but Miles got the jump at the start and led all 20 laps.



DISTANCE: 20 Miles TIME: No time SPEED: None .


1 76 Shelby Miles/K&M Excavating-Kuebler Oil 20 77

2 77 Joey Kramer/Larry’s-Hills 20 76

3 X Jesse Snyder/BVS 20 128

4 128 Jeff Leka/Mark Martin Chevrolet 20 1

5 4uw Bobby Regot/Imo’s Pizza 20 4uw

6 44 Jared Kneemiller/Imo’s Pizza 20 10

7 66 Donnie Sheppard/A&B Lawn Care-Sheppard Trucking 20 500

8 9 Charlie Baker/Roberts Garage 19 X

9 10 Curt Rhodes/First Financial Bank 16 44

10 500 Steve Adams/Steve’s Performance 15 66

11 16 Terry Messenger/Big 5 Bodyworks 14 16

12 89w Rick Winningham/RW Refigeration 10 9

13 1 Brian Shaw/Silverthorne Chevrolet 1 89w


LAP LEADERS: 1-20 Miles

Yellow Lights: Lap 2 Brian Shaw stalled turn 2

Tyler Wins Bettenhausen 100!!!!!

Springfield, IL-(August 20)-Brian Tyler now has to buy another cow for his farm in North Carolina as the transplanted Michigan driver names each animal after a Silver Crown victory. The former USAC Sprint car champion led the last 86 laps of the 50th Tony Bettenhausen 100 to victory coming from the 14th starting position. Jerry Coons finished second with defending USAC Silver Crown champ Levi Jones of Olney, Illinois third.

This is the fourth Springfield dirt car victory for the veteran driver and he had to fight through traffic, two yellow flags and one red flag to take the hecker. Tyler joins A.J. Foyt, Jack Hewitt and Chuch Curney as the only drivers with four or more Springfield championship race wins.

The lone red flag came on lap 80 when a five car tangle in turn four resulted in Springfield favorite Donnie Beechler flipping. After several anxious moments Beechler exited the car unhurt.

Complete results are at www.usacracing.com.

Modified Cars Return After Five Year Absence


It’s been five years since the open wheel UMP Modified Stock Cars raced on the Illinois State Fair oval and excitement looms as the area short track machines return to the World’s Fastest One Mile dirt track August 20 for the first running of the Illini Dash. The Illini Dash is the second leg of the Modified Mile Triple Crown and the first ever appearance of the modified machines during the running of the Illinois State Fair.


NASCAR’s Ken Schrader dominated the Indyana Classic at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in May yet is not expected to compete at Springfield. This could open the door for several area drivers to capture a coveted mile dirt track win including Taylorville’s Curt Rhodes who won the 2005 Illinois Fall Nationals modified feature at Springfield. Other local stars who are possible IlIini Dash entrants include Humboldt’s Steve Adams, Palestine’s Jesse Snyder, Robinson’s Brian Shaw plus Shelby Miles and Joey Kramer of Indiana.


The inaugural llIini Dash takes the track Saturday afternoon August 20. Race time is approximately 12 noon in between qualifications for the USAC Silver Crown Series and the 50th Tony Bettenhausen 100

For additional info contact Bob Sargent at 217 764 3200


Vandermeersch to Seek Sixth Sportsman Crown


Dennis Vandermeersch and Wes O’Dell of Springfield, Jeff Leka of Buffalo, Tim Dick of Monticello and Steve Sheppard Jr. of New Berlin are the Illinois drivers that comprise the former winners list of the seventeen previous Illinois State Fair Sportsman Nationals and most, if not all of the five former winners are expected to return for the eighteenth running on Sunday, August 21 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.


Originally set as a support race for the entire Illinois State Fair weekend in 1994, the Sportsman Nationals quickly evolved into a one day event held in conjunction with the Allen Crowe 100 ARCA race and became the ‘Daytona 500” of Sportsman stock car racing.


Wes O’Dell became the first five time winner with Vandermeersch claiming his fifth win and third consecutive in the 2010 edition leading all 20 circuits along the way. O’Dell challenged but finished second among the 25 starters in 2010 and former winner Tim Dick came home third. By leading all 20 circuits Vandermeersch became the all-time sportsman lap leader at Springfield while O’Dell is the only driver to start all 17 of the Sportsman National events to date.


One qualifying event has been held at Macon Speedway in 2011, Dave Crawley, Jr., Nick MackIm, Vandermeersch and Scott Taylor were the qualifiers for the Sportsman event with others scheduled at press time. A second was held at Fairbury July 16 with Richard Craven, Dustin Mounce, Rod Rusher and Chris Eden taking the top four slots. Other drivers expected to compete include O’Dell, Leka, Mke Pickering of Decatur, Shannon Eskew of Ashland, Jim Farley of Springfield and Phil Moreland of Assumption.


The eighteenth Illinois State Fair Sportsman Nationals is slated to take the green flag at approximately 12 noon on Sunday, August 21 in between ARCA qualifying and the 49th Allen Crowe 100.


Illinois State Fairgrounds

Sportsman National Winners


Year No Driver/Car Dist Time SCN

1994 24 Wes O’Dell/O’Dell Racing Chevrolet Camaro 15MI No time None

1995 24 Wes O’Dell/O’Dell Racing Chevrolet Camaro 15MI No time None

1996 87 Wes O’Dell/O’Dell Racing Chevrolet Camaro 15MI No time None

1997 25 Dennis Vandermeersch/Teamsters 916 Monte Carlo 20MI No time None

1998 25 Dennis Vandermeersch/Teamsters 916 Monte Carlo 20MI No time None

1999 87 Wes O’Dell/O’Dell Racing Chevrolet Camaro 20MI No time None

2000 87 Wes O’Dell/O’Dell Racing Chevrolet Camaro 20MI No time None

2001 31 Jeff Leka/Jungle Jim’s Café Pontiac Grand Prix 20MI No time None

2002 31 Jeff Leka/Jungle Jim’s Café Pontiac Grand Prix 20MI No time None

2003 31 Jeff Leka/Jungle Jim’s Café Pontiac Grand Prix 20MI No time None

2004 31 Steve Sheppard Jr./Jungle Jim’s Café Pontiac Grand Prix20MI No time None

2005 66 Steve Sheppard Jr./Shep’s Bar & Grille Monte Carlo 20MI No time None

2006 66 Steve Sheppard Jr./Shep’s Bar & Grille Monte Carlo 20MI No time None

2007 22 Tim Dick/Davis Farms Chevrolet Monte Carlo 20MI 32:09.38 37.318

2008 25 Dennis Vandermeersch/Midwest Brick Monte Carlo 20MI 27:13.22 44.085

2009 25 Dennis Vandermeersch/B Safe-Lil Fryer Monte Carlo 20MI 26:02.21 46.089

2010 25 Dennis Vandermeersch/B Safe-Lil Fryer Monte Carlo 20MI 36:02.10 33.301

Youth & Skill v. Experience & Treachery In Sunday's Allen Crowe 100 at
Illinois State Fair....Springfield, Galesburg Natives Could Find Winner's Circle
There is a saying that "old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill".
Whether that's a Chinese proverb, Vulcan axiom or simply something an old
guy made up, it doesn't matter. That statement will get a stern test this
Sunday in the 49th Allen Crowe 100 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menard's
stock car race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. A nineteen year old who is
batting over .500 in the ARCA series comes to Springfield as the point
leader while the active driver with the most Allen Crowe 100 victories comes
to Springfield with a 57 race winless streak.
The last time a rookie came to Springfield without any mile dirt track
experience and in contention for the ARCA title was in 2009 when Parker
Kilgerman beat the historic Springfield Mile into submission. The Roger
Penske driver led 18 laps and became the youngest stock car race winner in
Illinois State Fair history. A similar scenario may be unfolding for the
final day of the 2011 Illinois State Fair.
Half the top ten in the current ARCA point standings have never competed on
a one mile dirt track. They are led by the grandson of one of the most
prolific car owners in NASCAR Sprint Cup history. Ty Dillon has won 7 of the
13 races to date on the ARCA schedule including two weeks ago at Pocono.
Dillon doesn't exactly come to Springfield without dirt experience as he has
considerable time in dirt modifieds but this will be his first attempt at
one of the storied mile dirt tracks. His car owner is also his grandfather.
Former NASCAR driver and current owner Richard Childress won six NASCAR
championships with the late Dale Earnhardt. Currently Dillon has a 410 point
edge over his closest pursuer with six races left on the ARCA slate.
The driver chasing him could give the Springfield based Allgaier Motorsports
team its second ARCA crown but it will take sterling runs by driver Grant
Enfinger and considerable misfortune by the point leader. The twenty six
year old Alabama resident is the latest to occupy the seat formerly held by
2008 Allen Crowe 100 winner and current NASCAR Nationwide Series star Justin
Seven time Allen Crowe 100 winner Frank Kimmel of Indiana is looking to
erase a 57 race winless streak and make his twentieth consecutive start at
Springfield. The nine time ARCA champion is third in the ARCA-Menard's title
run on the strength of 12 top ten finishes in 13 starts. Kimmel was in the
midst of a much shorter winless streak in 2008 when the ARCA series made the
dirt swing (Springfield and DuQuoin) and Kimmel dominated the 2008 AlIen
Crowe 100 for a record tying seventh win.
Chad Hackenbracht of Michigan, Chris Buescher and Matt Merrell of Texas,
Chad McCumbee of North Carolina, Sean Corr and Tim George of New York all
occupy top ten positions in the ARCA standings. Hackenbracht, Corr and
Buescher have never run an ARCA race on dirt while Merrell has one start at
Springfield in 2009 and McCumbee started the 2005 & 2010 Allen Crowe 100.
Only George and Merrell have posted ARCA victories in 2011.
The driver currently sixth in ARCA points has a good chance of moving up at
Springfield and his car owner gives him a decided edge. Tom Hessert III of
New Jersey has considerable experience in midgets and USAC Silver Crown
cars. Hessert finished third at Springfield one year ago in his foruth Crowe
100 start. His car owner is popular Ken Schrader, the 1998 AlIen Crowe 100
winner and the only driver in 101 years at the Springfield mile to win
feature races in three different types of machines. Another rookie who
emerges as a strong contender at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is World of
Outlaw and Lucas Oil dirt late model veteran Josh Richards. Nicknamed "Kid
Rocket" the West Virginia pilot has come on board as one of the drivers for
former drivers and Chicago natives Bill and Billy Venturini. Richards has on
ARCA start on dirt coming at DuQuoin in 2007 where he finished third for
very proud car owner Tony Stewart.
Justin Allgaier became the first Springfield winner of the Allen Crowe 00 in
2006 when he turned the fairgrounds upside down with a late pass to take the
win. A second Springfield driver who is one of Allgaier's employees could be
a dark horse for victory Sunday. Kelly Kovski serves as the crew chief for
Grant Enfinger and he is expected to make his seventh start on the big dirt
track. Kovski finished sixth in at Springfield in 2010;
The other central Illinois driver with a chance at victory is the lone
driver pulling 'double duty' for the weekend, driving in Saturday's Tony
Bettenhausen 100 as well. Galesburg's A.J. Fike is attempting to become just
the second driver since 1965 to sweep both major state fair races on the
same weekend joining Al Unser who turned the trick in 1972. Fike has one
pole in his seven Springfield starts and has led 71 laps on the dirt oval
with a fourth place finish in 2009 and a fifth last year.
A late entry for the 49th Crowe 100 has McLean County racing fans excited
and brings back one of the most popular race teams to Springfield. Normal
based Hendren Racing fielded teams for popular Ken Rowley from 1972 until
his retirement and then for Bob Strait. Hendren racing nearly captured the
1993 and 2006 Crowe 100 events only to lose them in the waning stages. They
return with current UMP national late model point leader Ryan Unzicker of El
Paso. Unzicker has one start at Springfield with a strong sixth place finish
in 2003.
Other Illinois drivers on the entry list include Mark Littleton of
Arenzville, former UMP national champion Rodney Melvin of Benton, Joe
Mueller of Brighton and Dale Shearer of Alahambra.
The stock car race at the Illinois State Fair memorializes local driver
Allen Crowe who perished in a 1963 USAC Sprint Car race at New Bremen, Ohio.
Born in the small town of York, Illinois Crowe was a local stock car
champion who competed on the short tracks of Missouri and Illinois winning
numerous championships and races including events at Joe Shaheen's
Springfield Speedway. His talents were recognized by USAC car owners and he
eventually secured a championship division ride where he made 15 starts. He
followed in the tire tracks of fellow capitol city residents Floyd Davis and
Chuck Weyant when he made his first start in the 1962 Indianapolis 500 and
followed that with a second the week before the New Bremen accident.
Though not yet part of the Illinois State Fair the Springfield stock car
race was named in his honor. One week after the 1963 fair ended NASCAR
legend Curtis Turner won the very first Allen Crowe Memorial. Victories have
been posted in the Allen Crowe 100 by Norm Nelson, Don White, Butch Hartman,
Ramo Stott, A.J. Foyt, Jack Bowsher, Bob Keselowski and Bill Baird with
seven coming from grand champion Dean Roper. Roper was felled by a heart
attack during the 2001 event and the pole award has been presented for
several years in his memory.
Stock car racing takes center stage on the world's fastest one mile dirt
track at the Illinois State Fair Sunday. ARCA practice begins at 9 in the
morning followed by Ansell Pole qualifying at 11 and the 49th Allen Crowe
100 pushing off at 1 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster, the
Illinois State Fair Box Office or at Track Enterprises (217-764-3200). The
current entry list can be found at www.arcaracing.com.

50th Tony Bettenhausen 100 at Illinois State Fair May Help Decide USAC Title....Twelve Illinois Drivers Could Dot Entry List
The golden edition of the Tony Bettenhausen 100 has serious implications for
the Traxxas championship in the fortieth anniversary of the USAC Silver
Crown Series. Veteran Jerry Coons, Jr. and second year driver Tanner Swanson
come into the August 20 event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in a dead
heat for the championship. Four former winners and several drivers from
Illinois will be among the field competing for the 50th Bettenhausen trophy.
Coons, from Tucson, Arizona is the 2008 USAC Silver Crown champ and won his
first 100-mile dirt track race after thirteen years of trying when he
captured the prestigious Hoosier Hundred in May. Kingsburg, California's
Swanson has no wins in 2011 but hasn't finished lower than 8th in any of the
2011 events. Swanson is part of a three car Toyota powered effort that
includes three-time Bettenhausen winner Brian Tyler and Swanson's brother
Kody. Kody Swanson recovered from injuries earlier in the year to win at
Lucas Oil Raceway Park in July and he scored an upset victory at DuQuoin
last year.
Former winners Tyler (2004, 05, 08), Dave Darland (1997, 99, 03) of Lincoln,
Indiana, Russ Gamester (1998) of Peru, Indiana and Tracy Hines (2006) of New
Castle, Indiana are among the favorites in the August 20 event. Darland is
sixth in championship car laps led at Springfield, third on the Springfield
list for money won in championship machinery and sixth in the number of
championship car starts at Springfield. He can tie a record that has stood
for thirty seven years Saturday by starting the 50th Tony Bettenhausen 100
which would give him 18 consecutive championship car starts on the
Springfield mile, a record set and currently held by none other than A.J.
Foyt!  Gamester is looking for his nineteenth start at Springfield while
Tyler is sixth on the money won list in just eleven starts.
Other favorites include three time USAC Silver Crown champion Bud Kaeding of
Campbell, California, Jon Stanbrough of Kokomo, Indiana, Todd Kane of
Powell, Ohio, Shane Hollingsworth of Indianapolis and veteran Jeff Swindell
of Memphis, Tennessee. Kaeding is currently fifth in points in search of an
unprecedented fourth USAC Silver Crown and his first 100-mile dirt track
win. Stanbrough has won over 150 sprint car features on Indiana short tracks
and is also looking for a 100-mile dirt track win. Kane ran second at
DuQuoin last year and carries the colors and number made famous by four time
Bettenhausen winner Jack Hewitt. Swindell was the first driver to qualify at
Springfield in under 31 seconds (1987) and has victories at DuQuoin and the
Indy mile. Hollingsworth won the 2009 Hoosier Hundred at Indianapolis.
Cole Whitt became the first rookie winner of an Illinois State Fair
championship race in 56 years when he qualified sixth and led all 100-miles
of the 2009 Tony Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield. There could be a rookie
winner from this year's class as three drivers emerge as dark horses for the
2011 Tony Bettenhausen 100. Indiana natives Bobby East and Bryan Clauson are
set to make their Illinois State Fairgrounds debuts as is California's Kyle
Larson. East is a familiar name in USAC circles having won the 2004 USAC
Midget title and his father is famed car builder Bob East. East has two wins
in 2011, both on pavement and is fourth in the USAC title chase. Clauson
secured an lndy Lights oval ride for 2011 making his debut in that series at
the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. Larson, ninth in
the point standings, has come on strong in USAC Sprint Car competition and
won the Belleville Midget Nationals a few weeks ago. The nineteen year old
Larson drives for the same car owner that took Cole Whitt to victory lane at
Springfield in 2009, Springfield native Keith Kunz.
Twelve Illinois drivers could be present for the 50th Tony Bettenhausen 100
and Olney's Levi Jones leads the home state contingent. The defending USAC
Silver Crown champ is still searching for a 100-mile win on the home dirt
and his Tony Stewart Racing machine has him third in the 2011 point
standings. Galesburg's A.J. Fike is a fellow Illini with a good chance at
becoming the first Central Illinois driver in 45 years to win the
Bettenhausen. Fike will also be driving in Sunday's Allen Crowe 100 ARCA
stock car race.
Springfield driver and fan favorite Donnie Beechler, the lone lndy 500
veteran in the field, looms as the driver with the longest tenure at
Springfield having attempted to make the Tony Bettenhausen 100 as far back
as 1988. Beechler's best start at Springfield came in 1998 when he started
third and his best finish of third came in 1997. He finished nineteenth in
his thirteenth Tony Bettenhausen 100 start last year dropping out on lap 76
when the engine gave way. Fellow Springfield driver Mike Hess is a Powri and
Badger midget champion who qualified fifth at DuQuoin last year and looks
for his second Springfield start. Other drivers and teams with an Illinois
connection include Chris Urish of Elkhart, Chris Windom of Canton, Zach Daum
of Pocahontas, Craig Dori of Chicago, Kellen Conover of Sumne, Terry Babb of
Decatur and Shane Cockrum of Benton. Benton, Illinois car owner Ricky Nix
has rising star Hunter Schuerenberg of Sikeston, Missouri as his pilot for
Saturday's race.
Championship auto racing at the Illinois State Fair dates back to 1934 and
motor sports as part of the fair's entertainment lineup predates the
building of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 100-mile championship race,
traditionally the last Saturday of the fair, was renamed in honor of Tony
Bettenhausen when the two time national champion and Tinley Park, Illinois
native perished in a practice crash for the 1961 Indianapolis 500. Jim
Hurtubise won the memorial event for Springfield's first three time winner
in August of 1961 and since then hall of fame drivers like A.J. Foyt, Mario
Andretti, Al Unser, Pancho Carter, Gary Bettenhausen, Chuck Gurney and Jack
Hewitt have all captured Bettenhausen trophies. Nine lndy 500 winners are
among the Springfield national championship race winners since 1934 and
winning Illinois State Fair championship race has propelled 19 drivers to a
national title.
For the first time in 76 years the 2010 championship race was postponed by
rain and unable to be rescheduled. The 50th running of the Bettenhausen 100
celebrates the hall of fame career of Illinois' own Tony Bettenhausen.
Practice for the Silver Crown machines begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday followed
by qualifications at 10:25 a.m. The 50th Bettenhausen 100 is slated for the
green flag at approximately 2 p.m. Tickets can be obtained at the Illinois
State Fair Box Office, Ticketmaster locations or from Track Enterprises at

May 19, 2011


I have saved the .pdf file of this media fact book. What you see below pales in comparison.
I will gladly email this fact book in .pdf form.... it is so much nicer and easier to read.
For some reason it does not transfer well to this page.
Send me an email with the subject of Hoosier Hundred.... racenutdan@msn.com


Thank you for your interest in the 2011 Hoosier Hundred.  We at Track Enterprises remain humbled by the fact that we keep an auto racing tradition alive of dirt track racing on the one-mile fairground tracks that dates back over 100 years!  The Indiana State Fair Mile stands at the head of the class,with auto racing going back to the first one mile per minute lap of Barney Oldfield in June of 1903.


The Hoosier Hundred remains a prestigious jewel in American motor sports with a stellar ancestry dating back to the first meet organied by Jo Quinn and Roger Wolcott in September of 1953.  Since that time legends have won and been created at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, such as Bob Sweikert, Eddie Sachs, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, AL Unser, Chuck Gurney and Jack Hewitt.  By adding his name to that list in 2010, Shane Hmiel became one of the most emotional winners this race has ever seen.


In addition, the UMP Modifieds join the Silver Crown cars once again for the “Indyana Classic”.  Ken Schrader dominated last year’s race in his first visit to the Indiana State Farigrounds in thirteen years.  


If we can assist you in any way please ask, our historian Jay Hardin is ready to answer any questions regarding the Hoosier Hundred and the grand history of auto racing at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.



Bob Sargent

CEO Track Enterprises

Media Fact Book
May 9, 2011
Dear Media Member:
Thank you for your interest in the 2011 Hoosier Hundred. We at Track Enterprises remain humbled by the fact that we keep an auto racing tradition alive of dirt track racing on the one-mile fairground tracks that dates back over 100 years! The Indiana State Fair Mile stands at the head of the class,with auto racing going back to the first one mile per minute lap of Barney Oldfield in June of 1903.
The Hoosier Hundred remains a prestigious jewel in American motor sports with a stellar ancestry dating back to the first meet organied by Jo Quinn and Roger Wolcott in September of 1953. Since that time legends have won and been created at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, such as Bob Sweikert, Eddie Sachs, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, AL Unser, Chuck Gurney and Jack Hewitt. By adding his name to that list in 2010, Shane Hmiel became one of the most emotional winners this race has ever seen.
In addition, the UMP Modifieds join the Silver Crown cars once again for the “Indyana Classic”. Ken Schrader dominated last year‟s race in his first visit to the Indiana State Farigrounds in thirteen years.
If we can assist you in any way please ask, our historian Jay Hardin is ready to answer any questions regarding the Hoosier Hundred and the grand history of auto racing at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Bob Sargent
CEO Track Enterprises
The Indiana State Fairgrounds
Mention auto racing and Indianapolis and even the most casual observer automatically thinks of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but in the Circle city there exists another tract of hallowed land that also has provided many chapters in auto racing history. Situated nearly in the center of a few hundred acres bordering 38th street on the northeast side of the city, the Indiana State Fairgrounds is host to one of the most famous national championship dirt track races in the world, the Hoosier Hundred.
The Indiana State Fair came into being in 1852, and until 1892 the fair was held in various locations in Indiana, including Indianapolis. The present day fairgrounds on 38th street first opened in September of 1892, and the program of that fair included harness racing on the “Track of Champions”. Like most fairs around the turn of the 20th century, exhibitions of the fledgling automobile became commonplace, and the Indiana State Fair was no exception. By 1903, automobiles began traversing the one mile dirt track and on June 19 Barney Oldfield became the first man to pilot a car one mile per minute on the “Track of Champions”, driving Henry Ford’s famous 999 to a blazing speed in excess of 60 miles an hour.
Since the city of Indianapolis was becoming a major center in the automobile manufacturing industry, and since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was years from being built, it should be no surprise that the Indiana State Fairgrounds race track became a proving ground for automobiles and a venue of automobile races. Records of the American Automobile Association show that in 1905, the Indiana State Fairgrounds hosted automobile races on Labor Day weekend. In the stands that weekend cheering on Oldfield were none other than future Indianapolis Motor Speedway founders James Allison and Carl Fisher, along with Stutz car builder Harry Stutz and National car owner Arthur Newby. They were so taken by the sport that they arranged for the first (and perhaps only) 24 hour auto contest in the city of Indianapolis to take place on the flat dirt mile, later in the year. The success of that event helped convince Fisher and Allison that an automobile proving ground was needed in Indianapolis and helped lead to the construction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Indianapolis became the scene of the “Gold and Glory Sweepstakes”, the automobile race staged by the Colored Speedway Association in 1924 for African-Americans. For most of the next twelve years the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes was an integral part of entertainment on the Indiana State Fair race track and helped make a star of driver Charlie Wiggins.
The demise of the board racing tracks and the great depression moved championship open wheel auto racing from large circuits to state and county fairs at the beginning of the 1930’s. AAA, forced to look for venues outside of Indianapolis for its national championship schedule, turned to the horse tracks located on state fairgrounds for 100-mile race contests. State fairs, seeking affordable entertainment turned to auto racing as a way to draw spectators in the front gate. Drivers honed skills on the fast and sometimes treacherous mile dirt tracks, all the while creating legends and legions of fans that would last for tow or more generations. It was a marriage made in heaven.
Rex Mays in 1946
Big dirt ovals such as Syracuse, Langhorne, Milwaukee, and Springfield joined the AAA National Championship schedule by 1934. The Michigan State Fairgrounds at Detroit would also host one of the 100-mile races, so it seemed logical that at some point the dirt track in the “Racing Capitol of the World” would come on board as well, but World War II may have delayed the process. A 100-mile AAA National Championship race was awarded to the Indiana State Fairgrounds on September 15, 1946, with popular Rex Mays taking the pole and leading all 100 miles for the win. Tragically, Al Putnam was killed in a qualifying accident that day, and the fair board vowed at that time never to host another auto race at the facility again.
Fate stepped in seven years later in the form of Tony Hulman’s right hand man Jo Quinn and Indiana businessman and racing enthusiast Roger Wolcott. Quinn literally ran the Speedway, making sure credentials and tickets were in smooth running order. Wolcott had his own race team and was looking to win the 500 and a national title as a car owner. Both Quinn and Wolcott knew the draw and the lure of auto racing would be profitable for both them and the fairgrounds, so in 1952 they began lobbying for use of the Indiana State Fair dirt track for 1953.
Under pressure from politicians and the business community the fair board relented and Quinn and Wolcott were given the go ahead for a 100-mile national championship event. After applying to AAA they were awarded a September 19, 1953 date. But Quinn and Wolcott were convinced that their event could be bigger and better than any on the trail, next to the 500. Both men traveled to Springfield to see
how the very successful championship event there was run, and they intended on incorporating ideas from Springfield and the Indianapolis 500 into the event they now called the “Hoosier Hundred”.
The winner on that first Hoosier Hundred date in 1953 wasn’t a driver but rather Mother Nature! Rain plagued the event and kicked it back one week, which was a blessing in disguise for two of the more prominent teams on the trail, the Peter Schmidt team of Manny Ayulo and the Dean Van Lines Team of Bob Sweikert. Both cars had crashed at Syracuse and Ayulo and Clint Brawer were thrashing to get both cars ready for the big event. Both cars were ready on the original date, but the added week gave time for both crews to fully check the cars and ensure they were ready to go. Both would figure prominently in the first race.
That late September date dawned cool and sunny, with an overflow entry list awaiting what they anticipated to be a large purse. Big Don Freeland took the pole in Bob Estes machine, while tried to make the 18 car field. Once the green flag dropped, an all out war developed for the top slot. In a duel that is still talked about by old timers, Sweikert gave Al Dean his first win as a car owner when he crossed the line barely ahead of Ayulo, 1950 Indy 500 winner Johnny Parsons and Freeland.
By 1954 the Hoosier Hundred was the second biggest race on the championship trail, and the richest dirt track race in the nation. Jim Bryan replaced Sweikert in the Dean Van Lines Kuzma and took that 1954 race, winning again in 1955 and 1956! For a while it seemed as if no one could stop the Dean team on the Indy dirt.
Big Okie Jud Larson made his debut for John Zink in 1956, winning the pole and setting a new track record. Larson returned in 1957, broke his own record and won the Hoosier Hundred. Eddie Sachs followed with a win for Peter Schmidt in 1958, with Rodger Ward winning the first of two Hoosier Hundreds in 1959. Unfortunately, Roger Wolcott passed away in 1958, leaving Quinn as the sole promoter. He silver cup given to the winner was named the Wolcott Cup, and twenty five were prepared for future races.
The late fifties saw a real boom in popularity for the Hoosier Hundred. Local TV stations carried pre-race and post race shows, while the big AM radio station in Indy, WIBC broadcast the event live with the ‘Voice of the 500” Sid Collins behind the mike. Crowds in excess of 25,000 or even 30,000 were commonplace.
Nineteen hundred and sixty saw the emergence of A.J. Foyt as one of the new stars on the championship trail. Fresh off his first national championship win at DuQuoin on Labor Day, Foyt took the rich Hoosier Hundred on his way to the first of a record seven national driving titles. Foyt repeated again in 1961, however Parnelli Jones ended the string when he beat Jim Hurtubise on a rough and heavy race track in 1962. Ward won in 1963, while Foyt took both the 1964 and 1965 races. Mario Andretti broke
Foyt’s string in 1966 when A.J. had a brake pedal let go with three laps to go, and Andretti repeated again in 1967 before Foyt won the last two races of the decade.
Winds of change appeared on the horizon by the time September of 1970 rolled around. The new Ontario Motor Speedway hosted its first 500 over Labor Day weekend, and the decision had already been made to remove the dirt tracks from the national championship schedule and place them in USAC’s new Dirt Track Dvision. That decision may have helped motivate Al Unser. he won all 5 dirt track races that year, including the Hoosier Hundred in a year old Grant King built dirt car powered by a 255 c.i.d. Ford Indy engine and prepared by George Bignotti. Al’s 1970 win in the beautiful Johnny Lightning special is perhaps best remembered by the driver that finished second that day, as Ralph Ligouri had his finest moment passing Foyt late in the race.
Al Unser Jr. in 1981
Al eclipsed Bryan by winning the next three Hoosier Hundred races as well, dueling with Foyt again in 1972. In 1974, Al and Mario Andretti could not catch the turbocharged car as Jackie Howerton became the first Oklahoman to take a Hoosier Hundred since Larson in 1957. Popular Tom Bigelow won in 1975, while Joe Saldana held off Foyt in a bi-centennial thriller that is best remembered for a huge wreck that derailed the racing career of Jan Opperman. Pancho Carter led wire to wire in 1977, Billy Engeihart beat Rich Vogler in 1978 and Bobby Olivero motored to a victory in 1979.
Thirty Years Ago Rice-A-Roni was the ~ Street Treat!
Foyt returned from a 4 year dirt car layoff in 1980 as a teammate to Gary Bettenhasuen, and his presence helped the front gate immensely. A.J. qualified 4th and had moved to second before the car conked out, on this day there was no stopping the second generation Bettenhausen from winning his first Hoosier Hundred. Gary nearly repeated in spectacular style in 1981, running on three tires the last 70 miles but finishing third as Larry Rice became the first Indiana born driver to win the Hoosier Hundred! Californian Chuck Gurney took titles in 1982 and 1983, also taking the last of the Wolcott Cups as well. Steve Chassey held off Gurney in 1984, while Indiana’s Sheldon Kinser won in 1985. Jack Hewitt won his first of three Hoosier Hundred races in 1986, while Kenny Jacobs grabbed his lone win in 1987. Hewitt won his third race in 1989, the first Hoosier Hundred held at night.
Gary Heiber won a thriller in 1990 after “Indiana” Andy Hillenburg led the first 96 circuits. But the race was facing changes again, Charles “Jug “ Eckert dropped promotion of the event and facing possible extinction, six-time winner Foyt stepped in and took over the promotion at the fairgrounds. Jeff Swindell won the first race under Foyt, and over the next several years the Foyt group moved the race to labor Day weekend, and finally moved the race to the May date in 1996.
But the Hoosier Hundred nor championship cars haven’t always been the only cars nor races at the fairgrounds. The Hulman 100, a May race for the big dirt cars came on board in 1981. Sprint cars and midget cars began racing in the early 1970’s, with the winged warriors of the World of Outlaws taking to the Indiana State Fair mile in 1985. USAC Stock Cars raced twice a year at the Indiana State Farigrounds during the early sixties into the mid seventies. ARCA stock cars have raced three times on the Indiana State fair mile, while even UMP late models and modifieds have run on the historic oval.
Thirty Years Ago Rice-A-Roni was the ~ Street Treat!
2011 Hoosier Hundred Wide Open
A wide open field of championship machinery is prepared to kick off the most important racing weekend of the year as the prestigious Hoosier Hundred is slated for Friday, May 27 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. For the first time in the history of the event and the United States Auto Club Traxxas Silver Crown Championship Series the Hoosier Hundred serves as the season opener for the front-engine upright machines.
After consecutive rain outs promoter Bob Sargent and the Track Enterprises staff treated race fans from all over the world to a revamped Indiana State Fair mile and a new format last year two nights before the 2010 Indianapolis 500. 2009 Hoosier Hundred winner and second generation driver Shane Hollingsworth ran strong for a portion of the evening but a different Shane (also a second generation she) with a far different background stole the show. Shane Hmiel, a former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and son of NASCAR team manager Steve Hmiel left his Pleasant Garden, North Carolina home to test the open wheel waters and pursue an Indy 500 ride.
Hmiel started second alongside polesitter Levi Jones and led until the scheduled lap 51 red flag ‘intermission’. During the stoppage Hmiel’s crew changed three tires on his Toyota powered machine and he restarted the event in l2th and quickly moved toward the front, taking the lead on lap 77 from Russ Gamester and grabbing the checkered flag in one of the most emotional scenes ever on the storied one mile dirt oval.
Unfortunately a late season accident at the Terre Haute Action Track during the Sumar Classic led to injuries which have relegated the defending winner to spectator status. However, a number of drivers are seeking to put their name on the list of racing legends who have won the Hoosier Hundred.
Three time Hoosier Hundred winner and 1997 Silver Crown champ Dave Darland of Lincoln, Indiana reigns as one of the local favorites for the 2011 Hoosier Hundred as does potential entrant Jon Stanbrough of Kokomo. Hollingsworth, of Indianapolis is also expected to return as is Peru, Indiana resident Russ Gamester and 2000 USAC Silver Crown champ Tracy Hines of New Castle.
Noblesville, Indiana’s Bryan Clauson returns to the ‘big cars’ driving for 1995 USAC Silver Crown champ Tony Stewart and may have the unique distinction of becoming the first driver in nearly ten years to run the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indiana State Fairgrounds dirt track on the same Memorial Day weekend! By virtue of his 2010 USAC Driver’s Championship Clauson secured a ride in the Indy Lights Series for the oval tracks and is slated to make his debut in the Freedom 100 on May 27 and then hop over to the fairgrounds on 38th street for the 100-mile dirt track race.
Three time USAC Silver Crown Champion Bud Kaeding of Campbell, California is in search of an unprecedented fourth USAC Silver Crown title and surprisingly his first ever mile dirt track win. Kaeding came close to a Hoosier Hundred win last year, finishing second. Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr. won the 2008 Silver Crown championship and also lacks a victory in one of the 100-mile dirt track races. Parma, Michigan’s Brian Tyler has four 100-mile dirt track wins between Springfield and DuQuoin and could become the 14rh driver to win on all three fairground dirt ovals with a win at the Indiana fairgrounds.
Thirty Years Ago Rice-A-Roni was the ~ Street Treat!
Olney, Illinois pilot Levi Jones is a two-time pole sittter for the Hoosier Hundred and the defending USAC Silver Crown champion. He led 99 and 3/4 laps of the 2006 race before being passed by teammate Josh Wise. He should be joined by fellow Illini Randy Bateman of Murphysboro, Zach Daum of Pocahontas, Elkhart’s Chris Urish and perennial championship contender A.J. Fike of Galesburg. It is unknown at press time if Indy 500 veteran and 1998 Hoosier Hundred winner Donnie Beechier of Springfield will return as an entrant.
The 2011 Hoosier Hundred continues a tradition of championship auto racing at the Indiana State Fairgrounds beginning in 1903 when Barney Oldfield turned the first mile a minute lap. Auto racing competition on the flat oval picked up steam in 1953 when Indianapolis Motor Speedway Safety Director J0 Quinn and local businessman Roger Wolcott promoted the very first Hoosier Hundred in 1953 a race many old timers swear is the best championship race in history. Many winners of the Wolcott Cup also appear on the Borg Warner trophy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including Bob Sweikert, Jimmy Bryan, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Parnelli Jones and Mario Andretti. When the Silver Crown Series became a separate division in 1971, driver such as Pancho Carter, Tom Bigelow, Gary Bettenhausen, Jack Hewitt and Jeff Swindell added their names to the hall of fame winners list of the Hoosier Hundred.
Practice for the 2011 Hoosier Hundred begins at 5 p.m. eastern with qualifications at 6 and racing at 7 p.m. UMP Modifieds join the USAC Silver Crown cars for the second Indyana Classic, Ken Schrader is the defending champion. Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster and by calling Track Enterprises at
Thirty Years Ago Rice-A-Roni was the ~ Street Treat!
Thirty Years Ago Rice-A=Roni was the 38th Street Treat!
On a warm, muggy Septemeber afternoon on of Indiana’s own was able to fulfill one of his boyhood dreams by taking a championship dirt car to victory lane at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Once a school teacher and a former rookie of the year across town at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 1977 USAC Silver Crown champion Lany Rice took home one of the last silver Wolcott Cups before a large and enthusiastic Hoosier Hundred crowd.
September 12, 1981 dawned muggy and slightly overcast in Central Indiana as USAC teams stirred in anticipation of the ~ running of the Hoosier Hundred. USAC’s Dirt Track Division had been renamed “Silver Crown Series” over the winter and the schedule and car counts reflected a new enthusiasm for the upright dirt track championship machines once left for dead. In fact, an attempt had been made by USAC to restore the majestic machines to the national championship trail including events at Springfield and DuQuoin as part of the new “Gold Crown” national championship series. The Hoosier Hundred was part of that Gold Crown Series meaning that for the first time in ten years the 100-mile dirt track classic was part of the ‘national championship’. Yet for the most part fans and drivers seemed to be only concerned with the battle for the Silver Crown title.
The 1981 series opened on the half mile at Eldora and outlaw king Steve Kinser won on the high banks.
Kinser came back for the first ever “Hulman 100” in May at the Indiana State Fairgrounds winning the
60-lap main event. George “Ziggy Snider took a wild Tony Bettenhausen 100 at Springfield (and the
Gold Crown lead) in the LeFevre ride vacated by Rice while Gary Bettenhausen continued his mastery of
Southern Illinois by winning the Ted Horn 100 at DuQuoin.
Bettenhausen’s Delrose-Holt team had two Grant King machines at their disposal for 1981. One carried the number one on the tail, emblematic of Bettenhausen’s 1980 USAC Dirt Car title, while the other carried the number 14 and was reserved for one A.J. Foyt. Foyt served as a teammate to Bettenhausen in 1980 returning to the Indiana State Fairgrounds after missing the show in 1977. He qualified fourth and ran second for a time before dropping out and the 46 year old Texan intended to run again. However, a nasty crash in the Michigan 500 nearly tore off his right arm and left the 1973 Silver Crown champion hospitalized which opened the door for another driver in the Delrose stable, 1979 Hoosier Hundred polesitter Steve Chassey.
Other notables in a massive field included veteran Jim McElreath, Sheldon Kinser, Joe Saldana, Billy Vukovich, Bobby Olivero, 1978 winner Billy Engelhart and Rich Vogler. A baby faced Al Unser, Jr. was also in the pit area, driving for Gary Stanton and getting coaching from his father Big Al, a four time Hoosier Hundred winner. Rice would roll out for practice in a Grant King car wearing the familiar colors of George Middleton’s Pizza Huts and wrenched by Junior Knepper.
One thing was evident race morning, the track crew, in an attempt to get a good cushion and surface, watered the track heavily and it required a number of slow warmup laps by the machines just to get the track in raceable condition. Practice times weren’t very quick and neither were the times in qualifications as Rice’s 35.262 led the way. Bettenhausen believed the 14 machine faster than his normal 1so he swapped rides with Chassey and qualified second. Mark Alderson put a third Grant King chassis in third
with Johnny Parsons in fourth. Bigelow, McElreath, Saldana, Engelhart and Vogler qualified fifth through ninth with Chassey eleventh. Gold Crown title contender George Snider wasn’t fast enough and had to be added to the field as a promoter’s option as was Silver Crown title contender Jack Hewitt. They would start 25th and 26th.
A dry and very click race track awaited the 26 car field for the 29th Hoosier Hundred and the groove was going to be right along the rail the hole way. Passing would be at a premium as would the ability to keep the car straight and not spin the tires. Rice was a master at this type of race and at the green out dragged Gary into the first corner as the field settled in single file.
Engelhart was the first to go out on lap 10, Steve Cannon, Jim McElreath and Larry Dickson all lost engines before lap 20 and Saldana crashed on the 21st circuit. Sometime around lap 30 Bettenhausen got too close the inside rail and blew out the left front tire and knocked a chunk out of the wheel while Vogler moved toward the front.
Chuck Gurney wrecked the ex-Marion Andretti Viceroy machine on lap 40 and slowed the field again giving Bettenhausen a respite from his ill handling car. At speed Gary was able to three wheel the car but in the corners ran the risk of having the left front dig in. The Delrose crew desperately wanted to change the tire but time ran out during the yellow and he waved the crew away.
Lap after lap Rice kept both Bettenhausen and Vogler at bay. Bettenhausen was on the verge of losing control more than once trying to get around Rice and finally lost second to Vogler. In a dash to the checker reminiscent of the 1953 race Rice crossed the line first, with Vogler second and Gary B. a close third. Alderson ended the day fourth with Beglow fifth. Snider came from twenty-fifth to eighth at the end and add to his Gold Crown point total. Hewitt managed to finish thirteenth as the next to last car on the lead lap.
While Bettenhausen got a standing ovation for three wheeling a car for seventy miles it was an emotional Rice who greeted announcer Gary Lee in victory lane that day in Indianapolis. Larry had seen or participated in every Hoosier Hundred and aside from winning the Indianapolis 500 across town, winning the Hoosier Hundred was a lifelong dream. The victory propelled him to become the first ever two-time champion of the USAC Silver Crown Series.
Larry would go on to race in, witness or participate in every Hoosier Hundred for the next 28 years! After he retired from driving he headed for the TV booth and called the first telecast of the Hoosier Hundred in over 20 years in 2003 and served as co-announcer with good friend Gary Lee on a number of occasions. Rice-A-Roni passed away in 2010 losing a brave fight with the cancer that eventually silenced him. You can bet that like Rodger Wolcott, Jø Quinn and many others before him, his spirit is present once again for the annual dirt car festival at the fairgrounds.
Usac Silver Crown Championship Dirt Car
Dist Time Speed Date Driver/Car
1 Lap 31.379 114.726 9/2/1995 Johnny Parsons/Hoffman Racing 65
10MI 5:44.70 104.440 5/27/1994 Page Jones/Jim Goetz Petro Stopping Centers 9
12MI 6:42.01 107.460 9/10/1988 Gene Lee Gibson/Weiland Racing 84
15MI 8:24.80 106.973 5/25/1990 Eric Gordon/Epperson & Lester 81
60MI 34:31.26 104.284 5/22/1987 Jeff Swindell/Terre Haute First National Bank 12
100M 56:05.20 106.977 9/12/1987 Kenny Jacobs/Genesee Beer Wagon 56
UMP Modified Stock Car
Dist Time Speed Date Driver/Car
1 Lap 33.601 106.853 5/28/2010 Ken Schrader/Federated Car Care 9
8MI No record established
20MI 16:45.63 68.858 5/28/2010 Ken Schrader/Federated Car Care 9
WINNERS OF THE Hoosier Hundred
Year No Driver/Car Time Speed
1953 51 Bob Sweikert/Dean Van Lines Special 1:08:48.82 87.192
1954 9 Jimmy Bryan/Dean Van Lines Special 1:10:15.70 85.395
1955 1 Jimmy Bryan/Dean Van Lines Special 1:11:26.85 83.978
1956 2 Jimmy Bryan/Dean Van Lines Special 1:14:19.48 80.727
1957 2 Jud Larson/John Zink Special 1:05:23.65 91.751
1958 44 Eddie Sachs/Peter Schmidt Special 1:05:07.00 91.142
1959 5 Rodger Ward/Leader Card Duo 1:05:54.62 91.032
1960 5 A.J. Foyt/Bowes Seal Fast Special 1:07:11.98 89.286
1961 1 A.J. Foyt/Bowes Seal Fast Special 1:04:57.38 92.369
1962 98 Parnelli Jones/Agajanian‟s Willard Battery Special 1:06:13.33 90.604
1963 1 Rodger Ward/Kaiser Aluminum Special 1:04:08.40 93.545
1964 1 A.J. Foyt/Sheraton-Thompson Special 1:07:22.39 89.056
1965 1 A.J. Foyt/Sheraton-Thompson Special 1:10:42.85 84.849
1966 1 Mario Andretti/Dean Van Lines Special 1:02:07.40 96.582
1967 1 Mario Andretti/Dean Van Lines Special 1:02:47.80 95.567
1968 1 A.J. Foyt/Sheraton-Thompson Special 1:04:18.76 93.296
1969 6 A.J. Foyt/Sheraton-Thompson Special 1:04:05.80 93.609
1970 2 Al Unser/Johnny Lightning “500” Special 1:01:13.70 98.039
1971 1 Al Unser/Johnny Lightning Special 1:01:52.88 96.569
1972 7 Al Unser/Viceroy Special 1:06:07.00 90.749
1973 2 Al Unser/Viceroy Special 1:05:29.07 91.625
1974 42 Jackie Howerton/STP Double Oil Filter Special 1:06:51.00 87.590
1975 2 Tom Bigelow/Leader Card Special No time red flag
1976 22 Joe Saldana/Weaver Construction No time red flag
1977 48 Pancho Carter/Dobbins Chevrolet 1:00:54.10 98.511
1978 28 Billy Engelhart/Weaver Excavating 1:03:57.58 93.809
1979 30 Bobby Olivero/Leader Card-Moran Electic No time red flag
1980 12 Gary Bettenhausen/Terre Haute First National Bank 1:04:26.35 93.111
1981 55 Larry Rice/Pizza Hut of St. Louis 1:09:57.90 85.757
1982 30 Chuck Gurney/The Plastic Express 1:06:30.83 90.207
1983 30 Chuck Gurney/The Plastic Express No time red flag
1984 56 Steve Chassey/Genesee Beer Wagon No time red flag
1985 6 Sheldon Kinser/Ben‟s Tire Clinic-Hoosier 1:01:04.00 98.253
1986 63 Jack Hewitt/J.W. Hunt Produce No time red flag
1987 56 Kenny Jacobs/Genesee Beer Wagon 56:05.20 106.977
1988 63 Jack Hewitt/J.W. Hunt Produce No time red flag
1989 63 Jack Hewitt/J.W. Hunt Produce 58:37.00 102.360
1990 66 Gary Heiber/Bucks County International No time red flag
1991 12 Jeff Swindell/Terre Haute First National Bank No time red flag
1992 1 Ron Shuman/M&L Plumbing No time red flag
1993 12 Jeff Swindell/Terre Haute First National Bank No time red flag
WINNERS OF THE Hoosier Hundred
Year No Driver/Car Time Speed
1994 75 Jimmy Sills/Stanton Racing Engines No time red flag
1995 56 Dave Darland/Franklin Power Products No time red flag
1996 56 Dave Darland/Franklin Power Products No time red flag ab
1997 30 Chuck Leary/Leary Brothers Construction-Comet Kart No time red flag
1998 67 Donnie Beechler/Zarounian Oldsmobile-Cadillac No time red flag c
1999 111 Jimmy Sills/True Value Hardware Stores No time red flag
2000 20 Tony Elliot/Columbus Container-WorldBestBuy.Com No time red flag
2001 20 Tony Elliot/Columbus Container No time yellow flag
2002 11 Jason Leffler/Team Mopar-Beast No time red flag
2003 9 J.J. Yeley-Ford Powerstroke Diesel-Beast No time red flag
2004 56 Dave Darland/Jarvis Enterprises No time red flag
2005 15 Ted Beach/Beach Boys Manufacturing No time red flag
2006 10 Josh Wise/Team Mopar-Bass Pro Shops 1:27:35.484 68.500
2007 No race held due to rain
2008 No race held due to rain
2009 20 Shane Hollingsworth/Nolen Racing No time red flag
2010 17 Shane Hmiel/Rotondo Weirich-Champion Brands No time red flag
a- George Snider crossed finish line first, disqualified for underweight car.
b- Race moved from September to May date.
c- Race red flagged after 39 miles due to rain.
Hoosier Hundred POLE POSITIONS
Year No Driver/Car Time Speed
1953 88 Manny Ayulo/Peter Schmidt Special 37.47 96.077
1954 44 Manny Ayulo/Peter Schmidt Special 37.93 94.912
1955 72 Edgar Elder/Travelon Trailer Special 38.18 94.290a
1956 8 Jud Larson/John Zink Special 37.40 96.257
1957 2 Jud Larson/John Zink Special 36.54 98.522
1958 9 Jud Larson/John Zink Special 35.94 100.167
1959 5 Rodger Ward/Leader Card Duo 36.57 98.442
1960 1 Rodger Ward/Leader Card 500 Special 35.43 101.609
1961 1 A.J. Foyt/Bowes Seal Fast Special 34.96 102.975
1962 98 Parnelli Jones/Agajanian-Willard Batter Special 33.55 107.303
1963 1 Rodger Ward/Kaiser Aluminum 34.62 103.986
1964 1 A.J. Foyt/Sheraton-Thompson Special 34.99 102.887
1965 1 A.J. Foyt/Sheraton-Thompson Special 35.47 104.494
1966 2 A.J. Foyt/Sheraton-Thompson Special 36.31 99.146
1967 27 Bruce Walkup/Jim Robbins Special 34.59 104.076
1968 2 Mario Andretti/Overseas National Airways Special 33.61 107.111
1969 60 Greg Weld/STP Oil Treatment Special 34.60 104.046
1970 39 Johnny Parsons/Seymour Enterprises Special 35.27 102.069
1971 1 Al Unser/Johnny Lightning 500 Special 33.75 106.666
1972 7 Al Unser/Viceroy Special 34.31 104.926
1973 22 Greg Weld/Grant King Racers 35.51 101.370
1974 42 Jackie Howerton/STP Double Oil Filter Special 34.25 105.109
1975 93 Johnny Parsons/Vatis Enterprises 33.314 108.062
1976 93 Johnny Parsons/Vatis Enterprises 34.429 104.563
1977 48 Pancho Carter/Dobbins Chevrolet 35.262 102.093
1978 20 George Snider/Rhoades Aircraft Sales 35.378 101.758
1979 15 Steve Chassey/Kurtz-Digeronimo Brothers 34.769 103.541
1980 33 Joe Saldana/Johnson Sheet Metal 34.569 104.140
1981 55 Larry Rice/Pizza Hut of St. Louis 35.428 101.615
1982 30 Chuck Gurney/The Plastic Express 34.207 105.242
1983 39 Ken Schrader/Rose Brothers Trucking 33.864 106.308
1984 56 Steve Chassey/Genesee Beer Wagon 33.489 107.498
1985 6 Sheldon Kinser/Ben‟s Tire Clinic-Hoosier 33.793 106.531
1986 5 Larry Rice/Richardson Building Rentals 34.736 103.639
1987 84 Dave Blaney/Alan Nott Honda 33.098 108.768
1988 18 Tony Elliot/Conroy Racing 32.916 109.369
1989 16 Rich Vogler/Future Electric-Tru Cut Sanding Discs 31.404 114.635
1990 12 Jeff Swindell/Terre Haute First National Bank 32.883 109.479
1991 4 Jack Hewitt/M&L Plumbing Beast 33.766 106.616
1992 1 Ron Shuman/M&L Plumbing Beast 34.333 104.855
1993 12 Jeff Swindell/Terre Haute First National Bank 32.102 112.143
1994 56 Chuck Gurney/Foxco Engineerng 32.624 110.348
1995 65 Johnny Parsons/Stoops Express 31.379 114.726
Hoosier Hundred POLE POSITIONS
Year No Driver/Car Time Speed
1996 25 Kevin Doty/Boles Chevrolet Drew for position
1997 51 Russ Gamester/Terre Haute First National Bank 31.451 114.464
1998 75 Jimmy Sills/Team Mopar-Stanton 31.911 112.814
1999 111 Jimmy Sills/True Value Beast 31.507 114.260
2000 7 Ed Carpenter/Menard‟s-Conseco Beast 32.490 110.803
2001 85 Michael Lewis/Dellen Automotive-Print Express 31.560 114.068
2002 11 Jason Leffler/Team MoPar Racing Beast 32.345 111.300
2003 9 J.J. Yeley/Ford Powerstroke Diesel Beast 31.966 112.619
2004 9 Dave Steele/Ford Powerstroke Diesel Beast 31.842 113.058
2005 99 Paul White/Seals It 32.193 111.826b
2006 10 Josh Wise/Team Mopar-Bass Pro Shop 32.533 110.657
2007 No race held due to rain
2008 No race held due to rain
2009 20 Shane Hollingsworth/Nolen Racing 31.953 112.665
2010 10 Levi Jones/Chevrolet-Bass Pro Shops 33.090 108.794
a-Edgar Elder set fast time with his first lap and then crashed on the second lap, disabling the car for the day. Bob Sweikert then started from the pole.
b-White earned pole position as a result of special qualifying session for top ten original qualifiers. Actual fast qualifer recognized by USAC was Tracy Hines with a lap of 31.532 or 114.170 mph.
Hoosier Hundred Lap Leaders
1. A.J. Foyt 1960-32;1961-83;1964-94;1965-86;1966-97;1968-82;
1969-46; 1970-53;1972-12:1976-5 10 590
2. Al Unser 1968-16;1970-46;1971-98;1972-88;1973-89 5 338
3. Steve Chassey 1979-69;1980-76;1982-39;1984-100 4 283
4. Rodger Ward 1959-100;1960-68;1963-100 3 268
5. Jack Hewitt 1986-100;1988-100;1989-46;1991-18 4 254
6. Jimmy Sills 1992-36;1994-70;1996-65;1999-66 4 237
7. Chuck Gurney 1982-14;1983-91;1994-3;1995-50;1997-54 5 212
8. Johnny Parsons 1975-57;1976-51;1995-49;2001-31 4 188
9. Jeff Swindell 1991-82;1993-100 2 183
10. Bob Sweikert 1953-95;1954-42;1955-30 3 167
11. J.J. Yeley 2001-48;2003-100 2 148
12. Mario Andretti 1966-3;1967-86;1969-54;1971-2 4 147
13. Rich Vogler 1978-77;1982-45;1989-13 3 135
14. Jimmy Bryan 1954-58;1955-46;1956-29 3 133
15. Dave Darland 1995-50;1996-35;1999-34;2004-10 4 129
16, Jud Larson 1956-71;1957-43;1958-1 3 115
17. Parnelli Jones 1961-16;1962-93 2 109
18. Levi Jones 2006-99;2010-4 2 103
19. Shane Hollingsworth 2009-100;2010-3 2 103
20. Jackie Howerton 1974-100 1 100
21. Pancho Carter 1977-100 1 100
22. Larry Rice 1981-100 1 100
23. Tony Elliot 2000-20;2001-18 2 98
24. Andy Hillenburg 1990-96 1 96
25. Joe Saldana 1976-44;1985-47 2 91
26. Tracy Hines 2002-90 1 90
27. Dave Steele 2004-90 1 90
28. Dave Blaney 1987-85 1 85
29. Josh Wise 2005-83;2006-1 2 84
30. Johnny Thomson 1955-24;1957-57;1958-1 3 82
31. Ed Carpenter 2000-80 1 80
32. Ron Shuman 1989-28;1992-44 2 72
33. Shane Hmiel 2010-71 1 71
34. Billy Engelhart 1975-18;1978-11:1979-28 3 57
35. Sheldon Kinser 1985-53 1 53
36. Eddie Sachs 1958-51 1 51
37. Russ Gamester 1997-26;2010-22 2 48
38. Tony Bettenhausen 1958-47 1 47
39. Tom Bigelow 1975-26 1 26
Hoosier Hundred Lap Leaders
40. George Snider 1965-14;1978-12 2 26
41. Gary Bettenhausen 1980-24 1 24
42. Cary Faas 1994-24 1 24
43. Chuck Leary 1997-20 1 20
44. Bruce Walkup 1967-15 1 15
45. Kenny Jacobs 1987-15 1 15
46. Ted Beach 2005-15 1 15
47. Danny Milburn 1989-13 1 13
48. Leland McSpadden 1992-13 1 13
49. Greg Weld 1973-11 1 11
50. Jason Leffler 2002-10 1 10
51. Ken Schrader 1983-9 1 9
52. Jim Hurtubise 1962-7 1 7
53. Steve Butler 1992-7 1 7
54. Bobby Marshman 1964-6 1 6
55. Manny Ayulo 1953-5 1 5
56. Bobby Olivero 1979-3;1982-2 2 5
57. Gary Hieber 1990-4 1 4
58. Randy Tolsma 1994-3 1 3
59. Jerry Coons Jr. 2001-3 1 3
60. Paul White 2005-2 1 2
61. Sammy Sessions 1970-1 1 1
Hoosier Hundred TRACK FACTS
*The Hoosier Hundred was the creation of the late Jo Quinn, Safety Director at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a prominent Indiana businessman, the late Roger Wolcott. Quinn was a long-time friend and employee of Tony Hulman. Wolcott was a businessman heavily involved in Indiana politics and championship car racing as well, owning championship machinery wrenched by Herb Porter and driven by Rodger Ward. Quinn and Wolcott believed that the Indiana State Fairgrounds was a perfect venue for national championship racing, however they had significant obstacles to overcome. Auto racing had been all but banned at the Indiana State Fairgrounds after Al Putnam was killed in a qualifying accident for a national championship event in 1946. Quinn and Wolcott convinced the fair board in late 1952 that a race at the fairgrounds was a safe and viable event and received the blessing of the Indiana State Fair board. Both men attended the successful Springfield National Championship race in order to study the operation. It wasn‟t long before the Hoosier Hundred became the richest dirt track race in the world and the second biggest race on the National Championship schedule. The Hoosier hundred typically drew crowds in excess of 25,000, and its purse paid over $60,000.
*The first Hoosier Hundred was scheduled for September 19, 1953 but a rain shower forced a postponement until the following week. The 2010 race marked the 58th scheduled running of the Hoosier Hundred and the 56th actual race (2006 & 2007 were lost due to rain). The 2010 race was the 72nd National Championship 100-mile dirt track race staged at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, and the 53rd USAC Silver Crown race staged on the Track of Champions since the dirt cars became a separate entity in 1971.
*The complete cancellation of the 55th running in 2007 marked the first time in history that a Hoosier Hundred was not held, and the second time came in 2008 when rain again forced the cancellation of the 56th Hoosier Hundred.
*The Indiana State Fairgrounds dirt mile has a special place in the history of automobile racing, the mile dirt track was the site of the first 60 mile per hour lap in automobile racing history when on June 21, 1903 Barney Oldfield reached the magic mark in Henry Ford‟s #999. The Indiana State Fairgrounds is one of the oldest operating racetracks in the United States.
*The “Granddaddy” of auto racing at the fairgrounds has always been the Hoosier Hundred, a race usually run in September. In 1981 a second date for the USAC Silver Crown cars called the Hulman 100 was added in May. In 1996, then promoter A.J. Foyt combined the two races into one and scheduled the Hoosier Hundred on the traditional Hulman 100 date two nights before the Indianapolis 500.
*The first Hoosier Hundred saw the closest finish in race history with four cars dueling to the finish line. When the dust settled Bob Sweikert had his first National Championship win beating Manny Ayulo, Johnnie Parsons and Don Freeland in a photo finish. The win was the first of many for famed chief mechanic and car owner Al Dean as well, as a crowd of over 18,000 pushed the first Hoosier Hundred purse over $25,000.
*There have been 36 different winners of the Hoosier Hundred since 1953.
Hoosier Hundred TRACK FACTS
*After Roger Wolcott passed away in 1958, the trophy given to the winner was re-named the Wolcott Cup. In a twist of irony, former Wolcott Racing Team driver Rodger Ward got the first cup for his victory in the 1959 Hoosier Hundred. Twenty-five of the silver cups were made, and it appears that Chuck Gurney may have received the last one in 1983 when the supply ran out.
*Seven drivers who won the Hoosier Hundred also won the Indianapolis 500 during their career. They are Bob Sweikert, Jimmy Bryan, Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti and Al Unser.
*Three of the seven won the 500 and the Hoosier Hundred in the same season. Ward in 1959, Foyt in 1961, 1964 and 1967 and Unser in 1970 and 1971.
*Ten drivers who won the Hoosier Hundred went on to a national title that year accounting for fourteen national titles. Drivers who won AAA or USAC national championship were Jimmy Bryan in 1954 and 1956, Rodger Ward in 1959, A.J. Foyt in 1960, 1961 and 1964, Mario Andretti in 1966 and Al Unser in 1970. Drivers who went on to USAC Silver Crown titles are Al Unser in 1972, Bobby Olivero in 1979, Gary Bettenhausen in 1980, Larry Rice in 1981, Jack Hewitt in 1986, Jimmy Sills in 1994 and J.J. Yeley in 2003.
*A Hoosier Hundred win accounts for thirteen first time national championship race winners. Bob Sweikert won his first race on the national championship trail in 1953. Twelve drivers gained their first national championship race win in the USAC Dirt Track/Silver Crown Series: Jackie Howerton in 1974, Joe Saldana in 1976, Pancho Carter in 1977, Billy Engelhart in 1978, Chuck Gurney in 1982, Steve Chassey in 1984, Kenny Jacobs in 1987, Gary Heiber in 1990, Chuck Leary in 1997, Ted Beach in 2005, Shane Hollingsworth in 2009 and Shane Hmiel in 2010. On a side note, Al Unser gained his first USAC Dirt Track Silver Crown division win in the 1971 Hoosier Hundred, though Al had several championship race wins to his credit already.
*A.J. Foyt has the most Hoosier Hundred wins with six, all coming between 1960 and 1968. Al Unser is second on the win list with four, all coming in succession from 1970-1973.
*Drivers with more than one Hoosier Hundred victory:
6 A.J. Foyt 1960-61-64-65-68-69
4 Al Unser 1970-71-72-73
3 Jimmy Bryan 1954-55-56
3 Jack Hewitt 1986-88-89
3 Jimmy Sills 1992-94-99
3 Dave Darland 1995-96-04
2 Rodger Ward 1959-63
2 Mario Andretti 1966-67
2 Chuck Gurney 1982-83
2 Jeff Swindell 1991-93
2 Tony Elliot 2000-01
Hoosier Hundred TRACK FACTS
*Back to back Hoosier Hundred wins have come nine times by seven different drivers. Foyt turned the trick three times accounting for all six of his victories! Al Unser did even better, winning four consecutive races to start the 1970‟s while Jimmy Bryan won three in a row. Jack Hewitt, Mario Andretti, Chuck Gurney and Tony Elliot also scored back to back wins in the Hoosier Hundred.
*Cars with the number 1 appearing on the nose and tail (carrying the defending National Champion) account for the most Hoosier Hundred wins in history, 11.
1 11 1955-61-63-64-65-66-67-68-71-92
2 5 1956-57-70-73-75
56 5 1984-87-95-96-04
30 4 1979-1982-83-97
12 3 1980-91-93
63 3 1986-88-89
*Car 1 also has the most pole positions for the Hoosier Hundred:
1 7 1960-61-63-64-65-71-92
2 3 1957-66-68
9 3 1958-03-04
39 2 1970-83
93 2 1975-76
56 2 1984-94
12 2 1990-93
7 2 1972-00
20 2 1978-2010
*Johnny Parsons fifth pole in 2001 broke a tie held with A.J. Foyt.
5 Johnny Parsons 1970-75-76-95-01
4 A.J. Foyt 1961-64-65-66
3 Jud Larson 1956-57-58
3 Rodger Ward 1959-60-63
2 Manny Ayulo 1953-54
2 Steve Chassey 1979-84
2 Larry Rice 1981-86
2 Chuck Gurney 1982-94
2 Jeff Swindell 1990-93
2 Jimmy Sills 1998-99
Hoosier Hundred TRACK FACTS
*Most wins by car owner-6, Al Dean (153, 54, 55, 56, 66, 67).
*Most wins by sponsor-6, Dean Van Lines.
*Most wins Chief Mechanic-8, George Bignotti.
*Wins by Engine Manufacturer:
Ford DOHC V8-6
Ford Stock Block-1
*Wins by Tire Manufacturer:
McCreary-American Racer-7
*Wins by Chassis Manufacturer
*Most Poles by Chassis Manufacturer-10, Beast
*Most laps led, one race-100, 10 times. Rodger Ward in 1959 and 1963, Jackie Howerton in 1974, Pancho Carter in 1977, Larry Rice in 1981, Jack Hewitt in 1986 and 1988, Jeff Swindell in 1993, J.J. Yeley in 2003 and Shane Hollingswroth in 2009.
*Most consecutive races led-4, Al Unser 1970-73 & Chuck Gurney 1994-97.
*Most laps led one race without winning-99, Levi Jones 2006.
*Fewest laps led, race winner-1, Josh Wise 2006.
*Unfortunately for Johnny Parsons he holds a record for futility at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. John has led he most total laps of the Hoosier Hundred by a non-winner, 155. In fact, John is the only driver in the top ten of laps led during the Hoosier Hundred who has never won at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Ironically he holds similar records at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
*Al Unser has the best average finishing position of any driver with more than ten Hoosier Hundred starts at 4.6. Mario Andretti and Don Branson have the best average starting position at 4.6. A.J. Foyt has the most top ten finishes at 16, while Ralph Ligouri has the most failed qualification attempts, 8.
Hoosier Hundred TRACK FACTS
*A.J. Foyt has led the most Hoosier Hundred laps, 592. The top ten Hoosier Hundred lap leaders are:
1. A.J. Foyt 1960-61-64-65-66-68-69-70-72-76 10 592
2. Al Unser 1968-70-71-72-73 5 338
3. Steve Chassey 1979-80-82-84 4 284
4. Rodger Ward 1959-60-63 3 268
6. Jack Hewitt 1986-88-89-91 4 264
5. Jimmy Sills 1992-94-96-98-99 5 259
7. Chuck Gurney 1982-83-94-95-96-97 6 219
8. Jeff Swindell 1991-93 2 182
9. Bob Sweikert 1953-54-55 3 167
10. Johnny Parsons 1975-76-95-01 4 155
*A.J. Foyt holds the record for most consecutive Hoosier Hundred starts with 19. Johnny Parsons has the most starts in the Hoosier Hundred with 29.
*Top Ten Hoosier Hundred Starts:
1. Johnny Parsons 1970-71, 73-78, 81, 83-86, 88-90, 92-95, 97-99, 01-06 29
2. George Snider 1965-74, 77-78, 81, 83-86, 88-98 28
3. A.J. Foyt 1958-76, 80, 82 21
4. Jack Hewitt 1978, 81, 83-92, 94-01 20
5. Jim McElreath 1961-63, 66-67, 69-74, 76, 79-81, 84, 89, 91 18
Larry Dickson 1966-68, 71-73, 76-79, 81, 83-86, 91-93 18
Chuck Gurney 1976, 78-79, 81-86, 88-90, 93-98 18
8. Tony Elliot 1987-88, 91-04 09 17
Russ Gamester 91-92,94-10 17
10. Tom Bigelow 1972-75, 77-87, 89 16
Larry Rice 1975-83, 85-91 16
Steve Chassey 1975-88, 91-92 16
Gary Hieber 1983, 85-88, 90-00 16
*Winners from Indiana (born/resident)-10 drivers. Joe Saldana (Brownsburg) 1976, Pancho Carter (Brownsburg) 1977, Gary Bettenhausen (Monrovia) 1980, Larry Rice (Linden) 1981, Steve Chassey (Carmel) 1984, Sheldon Kinser (Bloomington) 1985, Dave Darland (Kokomo/Lincoln) 1995-96-04, Chuck Leary (Greenfield) 1997, Tony Elliot (Warsaw/Kokomo) 2000-01, Shane Hollingsworth (Indianapolis) 2009.
*Youngest Hoosier Hundred winner-21 years, 1 month and 13 days-Teddy Beach, 2005.
*Oldest Hoosier Hundred winner-46 years, and 2 days, Jimmy Sills 1999.
*Oldest Hoosier Hundred starter-63 years, 6 months 25 days. Jim McElreath, 1991.
Hoosier Hundred TRACK FACTS
*The record „regular‟ purse posted for a Hoosier Hundred occurred on September 6, 1969 when $70,856 in prizes and awards were announced. A.J. Foyt won the largest winner‟s share ever from a „regular‟ purse when he pocketed $22,659 on September 7, 1967. When A.J. Foyt took over promotion of the Hoosier Hundred in 1991, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George contributed $20,000 to a point fund split between the Hulman 100 and the Hoosier Hundred. As a result the total purse for the 1991 Hoosier Hundred swelled to a record $81,175, with Jimmy Sills taking the largest winners check from a purse including the IMS point fund at $26,000 in 1994.
*Top ten Hoosier Hundred money winners:
1. A.J. Foyt $161,732.00
2. Al Unser $ 75,538.00
2. Jack Hewit $ 72,829.00
3. J.J. Yeley $ 67,550.00
5. Jimmy Sills $ 67,075.00
6. Jeff Swindell $ 60,154.00
7. Dave Darland $ 58,300.00
8. Mario Andretti $ 54,875.00
9. George Snider $ 53,025.00
10. Chuck Gurney $ 50,813.00
*The championship dirt car races at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in August, the Labor Day weekend event at DuQuoin and the Hoosier Hundred comprise the „Triple Crown” of dirt track championship racing. Since 1953 thirteen drivers have captured wins on the Big 3. Jimmy Bryan was the first, followed by Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Tom Bigelow, Pancho Carter, Gary Bettenhausen, George “Ziggy” Snider, Jack Hewitt, Chuck Gurney, Jimmy Sills and J.J. Yeley. Snider‟s lone win on the Indiana State Fairgrounds came in the now defunct Hulman 100 during a rain shortened affair in May of 1984.
*Of the thirteen who have won on all three dirt miles in the Midwest, just four have won the championship dirt races held on all of the fairground dirt miles in the same season. Jimmy Bryan was the first and he did so twice, in 1955 & 1956. A.J. Foyt turned the „hat trick‟ in 1964, Al Unser in 1970 and Jack Hewitt was the last in 1986.
*Most miles completed-1929, George Snider
*Most times completing distance-14, A.J. Foyt
*Most times running at end of race-16, A.J. Foyt
*Most entries-70, 1983
*Most qualification attempts-53, 1982
*Most cautions-9, 1992, 2002, 2006.
*Most caution laps-44, 2002.
Indianapolis, Indiana– Indiana State Fairgrounds
1-Mile Dirt Track – May 28, 2010 - 100 Miles - Round 3
Total Purse - $47,825
Race Organizer – Bob Sargent
58th Hoosier Hundred
Money Won
Rotondo Weirich/Champion Brands (#17)
Alviso Rock/High Five Pizza (#29)
Rotondo Weirich/Champion Brands (#27)
Toyota/TK Motorsports (#23)
Jarvis Enterprises/Plastic Express (#56)
Liberty Village/McGladrey & Pullen (#3)
Kool Fit Wear.com/Superior Tank (#90)
Lightfoot Racing (#16)
Baldwin Brothers Racing/Hoosier Tire (#5)
Toyota/Team 6R (#21)
Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops (#10)
Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops (#22)
Gulick Motorsports (#114)
Radio Hospital (#63)
Koenig Chevrolet (#55)
Conrad Sand & Gravel/RE Technologies (#91)
Elkhart Fertilizer Services/Pacesetter Solutions (#77)
Case Contracting/Racing Associates (#116)
The Fence Company (#991)
Daum Insurance/Weld (#50)
West Chester Permit Service/Harvest Land Co-Op (#08)
First Financial Bank/G & R Home Sales (#51)
RR Tire
Ray Skillman/KECO (#20)
Chuck’s Auto Salvage (#65)
Rear End
Sam Pierce Chevy – Valvoline (#26)
Red Line Oil (#199)
SC Racing (#97)
Drive Line
Petersburg Dairy Queen (#163)
Guardian Racing (#8)
Switch Rail Systems/BRAL Restoration (#141)
Ricky Nix Goodyear Tire Service (#43)
Club Sport/Ford Racing (#6)
Impact Racing (#153)
McQuinn Auto Service/Cashless Racing (#14)
Indiana Underground Construction (#37)
Toyota/Team 6R (#19)
**Kody Swanson qualified car #19 but replaced Tanner Swanson in car #23 for the feature.
Average Speed: None-Red Flag Time: None-Red Flag Fast Qualifier: Levi Jones (#10) – 33.090 seconds – 108.794 mph.
Feature Lap Leaders: Laps 1-4 Jones, laps 5-51 Hmiel, Laps 52-54 Hollingsworth, Laps 55-76 Gamester, Laps 77-100 Hmiel.
Yellow Flags: Lap 10 RED FLAG, East flipped in turn 3; Laps 12-13, Kuhn slow in turn 3; Laps 15-19 Ray hit wall in turn 2; Laps 34-38, Hess stopped in turn 4; Laps 44-47, Chaney stopped on front stretch; Lap 52 Competition RED FLAG; Laps 52-55 Swindell stopped on back stretch; Laps 66-68 Pierce stopped in turn 3; Lap 95, Gamester stopped in turn 2.
New USAC Silver Crown Series Standings: 1-Kaeding-171; 2-Coons-153; 3-Fike-150; 4-K.Swanson-133; 5-Hmiel-131; 6-Jones-122; 7-Tyler-111; 8-Hines-102; 9-Hagar-91; 10-Clauson-87
Hmiel Captures 2010 Hoosier Hundred!
On a night that featured an emotional tribute to 1981 Hoosier Hundred winner and two time USAC Silver Crown champ Larry Rice, former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel added his name to the list of mile dirt track championship race winners when he captured the 58th Hoosier Hundred.
The Pleasant Garden, North Carolina resident, in just his second start on the tricky Indiana State Fairgrounds track led 71 if the 100 circuits and dominated much of the night. Starting next to fast qualifier Levi Jones Hmiel took the lead on lap 5 and steadily pulled away until the scheduled intermission on lap 51. Under the red flag his crew changed three of the four tires and he rejoined the chase in the twelfth position.
Quickly moving to the front he caught leader Russ Gamester on lap 77 and sailed by to the delight of a large crowd. USAC National champion Bud Kaeding came from nineteenth to second, former Silver Crown champ Jerry Coons came hone third and young Kody Swanson came from thirty-fifth to fourth.
Hmiel was quite emotional during the victory lane ceremonies and acknowledged the legends who had won the prestigious dirt track race before him.
UMP Modifieds Return for Indyana Classic
UMP Modified stock cars return to the largest open when racing weekend in the world for the Indyana Classic 20-mile race on the Indiana State Fair oval on May 27, 2011 in conjunction with the Hoosier Hundred.
NASCAR‟s Ken Schrader made his first appearance on the flat dirt mile since 1997 and promptly set a track record in qualifying, led all 20 circuits for the win and set a new track record for 20 miles to boot!
Indyana Classic May 28, 2010 UMP Modifieds Indiana State Fairgrounds
Distance: 20MI Time: 16:45.63 Speed: 68.858 MPH NTR
P NO Driver-Car Time FinishLaps
1 9 Ken Schrader/Fenton, MO/Federated Auto Parts 33.691 9 20
2 77 Joey Kramer/Hanover, IN/State Farm-Mastersbilt 34.114 77 20
3 3L Jeff Leka/Buffalo, IL/Ealey Transportation X 20
4 X Jesse Snyder/Palestine, IL/BYR 00x 20
5 00d David DaughterylFortville, IN/Knoll Brothers 35.442 500 20
6 76 Shelby Miles/Bloomington, 1N/Kuebla Ultra Oil 15j 20
7 7h Doug Higgerson,Pinckneyville, IL/Vogler Ford-SI Race Parts 10 20
8 1s Brian Shaw/Robinson, IL/Masson Trucking 44 20
9 500 Steve Adams/Humboldt, IL/Steve‟s Peformance 27 19
10 00x Knoll Brothers 21 19
11 10 Curt Rhodes/Taylorville, IL/First Financial Bank 35.555 9 19
12 12 Brian Rieck/Troy, MO/Charlton Trucking 37 19
13 27p Bob Pohiman JrjOakwood, IL/Race Part Liquidators 36.254 00d 18
14 15j Jimmy Hayden/Coatsville, IN/Hayden Racing 1s 14
15 44 Jared Kneemiller/St. Charles, MO/Imo‟s Pizza 36.508 95 12
16 21 Emmett Groves/Sikeston, MO/Focus Bank 37.115 7h 11
17 00c 76 10
18 9 Charlie Baker[Labelle, MO/Roberts Garage 37.496 12 10
19 95 Danny Sissom/Cape Girardeau, MO/Rent To Own 37.546 3L 34
20 37 JD Francis/Noblesville, IN/Noblesville Lawn Care 37.896 77L 33
21 77L Jeff Jones/Alexandria, IN/Jones Racing 00c 3
22 22 Skyler Harry/Indianapolis, IN/Pro Tech Automotive 22 1
Lap Leaders: 1-20 Schrader
Yellow: Lap 4-00c hit turn 3 wall
Group Qualifications Held
Fast time: 9 Ken Schrader Federated Car Care 33.691 (106.853 MPH-NTR)