ROSSBURG, OH (September 23, 2017) – Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon conquered the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions segment of the 36th Annual 4-Crown Nationals presented by NKT.TV on Saturday night at Eldora Speedway, leading all 25 circuits around the World’s Greatest Dirt Track for a first-ever victory against “America’s Series.” The “Macho Man” started on the pole for the 25-lapper, surviving two cautions and periods of traffic to claim the $5,000 payday.
“This is a big win for my team. We’ve been struggling with this car all year. It has definitely been hit and miss,” Bacon explained, pilot of the Priority Aviation/Fatheadz Eyewear/Tel-Star Communications/No. 99. “To get my first All Star win at Eldora Speedway with all my friends and family here; it’s really special for me.”
Brady Bacon and the “Brownsburg Bullet” Joey Saldana led the 25 starters to green on Saturday night at Eldora Speedway. Bacon earned the early advantage, chased to the line by a three-wide battle for second between Max Stambaugh, Joey Saldana and Bryan Nuckles.
Despite finding the back of the field by lap eight, Bacon held on to the top spot uninterrupted for the first ten circuits, all until the main event’s first caution appeared for a slowing Brandon Wimmer on lap 11. Nuckles, who fell in behind Bacon on lap two, was solidly in second at the time of the caution, followed closely by the Ray Marshall Motorsports entry of Stambaugh.
Bacon led the field back to green and returned to the top edge of the speedway. By lap 13, Stambaugh, the leading Arctic Cat All Star rookie contender, was beginning to apply pressure on Nuckles for second, soon overtaking the runner-up position at the exit of turn four on lap 16. Just as Bacon’s lead started to grow, caution lights reappeared, this time for D.J. Foos who ended up upside-down between turns one and two on lap 19. Foos was unharmed.
Green flag conditions resumed once again allowing Bacon to return to his familiar running lane at the top of the speedway. The lap 19 restart proved to be Bacon’s last obstacle, cruising ahead to earn himself a parking spot on Eldora Speedway’s victory lane platform. Nuckles was able to sneak back by Stambaugh on the restart to reclaim the runner-up position. The Columbus, Ohio, native held on to finish second, followed by “Mad Max” Stambaugh, Dalton, Ohio’s Lee Jacobs and “Hunter Percent” Hunter Schuerenberg.
“If you would have told me that this was the feature I was going to win tonight, I wouldn’t have believe you,” Bacon said, who competed in all four classes during the 36th Annual 4-Crown Nationals. “We’ve been 3,2,1 so far here tonight. Hopefully we can get another one.”
Moving into the month of October, only three events remain on the 2017 Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions campaign trail, one of which a visit to the Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, on Saturday evening, October 7. “America’s Series” visited “Orrville’s Historic Oval” on four prior occasions in 2017, crowning four different winners including Sheldon Haudenschild, Kyle Larson, Joey Saldana, and Caleb Helms. The fifth and final appearance will award a $5,000 top prize, as well as full points toward the 2017 Arctic Cat All Star championship which will be crowned on October 14 at Eldora Speedway.
Those seeking additional news and notes pertaining to the upcoming Wayne County Speedway visit should check out the facility live on the Web at www.waynecountyspeedway.com.
Contingency Awards/Results: Eldora Speedway- Saturday, September 23, 2017:
Event: 36th Annual Four Crown Nationals
EMi Driver’s Meeting: 43 entries
State Water Heaters Warm-Ups: Joey Saldana – 14.765 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Rico Abreu – 14.669 seconds
Ford Performance Heat #1: Joey Saldana
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Chad Kemenah
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Brady Bacon
Daido Engine Bearings Heat #4: Travis Philo
JE Pistons Dash #1: Brady Bacon
Classic Ink USA B-Main: Cap Henry
Daido Engine Bearings Main Event Winner: Bryan Nuckles (2nd)
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Caleb Armstrong (+13)
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 5th Place Finisher: Hunter Schuerenberg
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 10th Place Finisher: John Garvin
Outback Steakhouse A-Main 15th Place Finisher: Caleb Helms
(Lincoln Electric, Daido Engine Bearings, MSD Performance, Outback Steakhouse: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)
1. 24-Rico Abreu, 14.669; 2. 71-Joey Saldana, 14.759; 3. 12N-Cole Duncan, 15.13; 4. 23-DJ Foos, 15.268; 5. 1st-Gary Taylor, 15.279; 6. 18-Ian Madsen, 15.442; 7. 7J-Joe Swanson, 15.629; 8. 78-Todd Kane, 15.791; 9. 35R-Ronnie Blair, 15.911; 10. 71m-Paul May, 15.935; 11. 9C-Roger Campbell, 16.764
1. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 15.131; 2. 17-Caleb Helms, 15.234; 3. 11n-Cap Henry, 15.2786; 4. 59N-Bryan Nuckles, 15.514; 5. 49-Shawn Dancer, 15.717; 6. 1080-Jordan Mackison, 15.999; 7. 51-John Garvin, 16.08; 8. 95-Hunter Mackison, 16.198; 9. 21-Carson Short, 16.285
Group ( C )
1. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg, 15.329; 2. 7C-Caleb Armstrong, 15.495; 3. A67-Brandon Wimmer, 15.528; 4. 99-Brady Bacon, 15.587; 5. 35s-Stuart Brubaker, 15.64; 6. 81-Lee Jacobs, 15.686; 7. 8M-TJ Michael, 15.738; 8. 59-Steve Buckwalter, 16.163; 9. 27-Brad Lamberson, 16.602; 10. 45-Trevor Baker, 16.724; 11. 91-Anthony Fiore, 16.911
1. 83-Rob Chaney, 15.688; 2. 33M-Max Stambaugh, 15.835; 3. 13-Brandon Matus, 15.941; 4. 5T-Travis Philo, 16.096; 5. 22-Brandon Spithaler, 16.243; 6. 22M-Dan McCarron, 16.518; 7. 33-Brent Matus, 16.591; 8. M1-Mark Smith, 16.792; 9. 5QB-Quentin Blonde, 17.156
Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 71-Joey Saldana ; 2. 23-DJ Foos ; 3. 12N-Cole Duncan ; 4. 18-Ian Madsen ; 5. 1ST-Gary Taylor ; 6. 78-Todd Kane ; 7. 35R-Ronnie Blair ; 8. 9C-Roger Campbell ; 9. 7J-Joe Swanson ; 10. 71M-Paul May 
Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 2. 59N-Bryan Nuckles ; 3. 17-Caleb Helms ; 4. 51-John Garvin ; 5. 49-Shawn Dancer ; 6. 11N-Cap Henry ; 7. 95-Hunter Mackison ; 8. 1080-Jordan Mackison ; 9. 21-Carson Short 
Heat #3 – Group ( C ) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 99-Brady Bacon ; 2. A67-Brandon Wimmer ; 3. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 4. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 5. 59-Steve Buckwalter ; 6. 7C-Caleb Armstrong ; 7. 35S-Stuart Brubaker ; 8. 8M-TJ Michael ; 9. 27-Brad Lamberson ; 10. 45-Trevor Baker 
Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 5T-Travis Philo ; 2. 33M-Max Stambaugh ; 3. 22M-Dan McCarron ; 4. 13-Brandon Matus ; 5. 83-Rob Chaney ; 6. 33-Brent Matus ; 7. 22-Brandon Spithaler ; 8. 5QB-Quentin Blonde 
Dash #1 (6 Laps)
1. 99-Brady Bacon ; 2. 71-Joey Saldana ; 3. 59N-Bryan Nuckles ; 4. 33M-Max Stambaugh ; 5. 12N-Cole Duncan ; 6. 23-DJ Foos ; 7. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 8. 5T-Travis Philo ; 9. A67-Brandon Wimmer ; 10. 17-Caleb Helms 
B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 11N-Cap Henry ; 2. 7C-Caleb Armstrong ; 3. 35S-Stuart Brubaker ; 4. 78-Todd Kane ; 5. 95-Hunter Mackison ; 6. 35R-Ronnie Blair ; 7. 71M-Paul May ; 8. 7J-Joe Swanson ; 9. 27-Brad Lamberson ; 10. 45-Trevor Baker ; 11. 21-Carson Short ; 12. 91-Anthony Fiore ; 13. 9C-Roger Campbell ; 14. 5QB-Quentin Blonde ; 15. 22-Brandon Spithaler ; 16. 1080-Jordan Mackison ; 17. 8M-TJ Michael ; 18. 33-Brent Matus 
A-Main (25 Laps)
1. 99-Brady Bacon ; 2. 59N-Bryan Nuckles ; 3. 33M-Max Stambaugh ; 4. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 5. 20N-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 6. 22M-Dan McCarron ; 7. 18-Ian Madsen ; 8. 71-Joey Saldana ; 9. 7C-Caleb Armstrong ; 10. 51-John Garvin ; 11. 11N-Cap Henry ; 12. 1ST-Gary Taylor ; 13. 12N-Cole Duncan ; 14. 78-Todd Kane ; 15. 17-Caleb Helms ; 16. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 17. 83-Rob Chaney ; 18. 35S-Stuart Brubaker ; 19. 59-Steve Buckwalter ; 20. 33-Brent Matus ; 21. 23-DJ Foos ; 22. A67-Brandon Wimmer ; 23. 5T-Travis Philo ; 24. 13-Brandon Matus ; 25. 49-Shawn Dancer  Lap Leaders: Brady Bacon [1-30]
Rossburg, Ohio………Spencer Bayston’s banner year reached a new zenith Saturday night at Eldora Speedway after wiring all 25 laps to win the USAC Midget National Championship portion of the 36th “4-Crown Nationals” presented by NKT.TV.
A day following his 19th birthday, the Lebanon, Indiana resident celebrated in grand style by becoming the first driver to win the “Belleville Midget Nationals” and the Midget feature at the “4-Crown” in the same season since Kasey Kahne in 2000.
After being “high-point man” in his heat race, Bayston earned a spot on the pole position for the main event. On the opening lap, Bayston emerged from a brief four-wide fray in turn one to secure the lead.
Quickly, though, action was halted when fifth-starting Tyler Courtney slowed with an apparent electrical issue to bring out the caution. Courtney attempted to restart, but returned to the pit area moments later just prior to the field taking the green flag with one lap in the books.
On the ensuing restart, Bayston appeared as comfy as could be running the high line that so many had experienced issues without throughout the night. Similar to Belleville, the outside wall served as the cushion and Bayston ran it to within a hair of a whisker distance from the edge.
Bayston’s nearest pursuant just before the midway point was Justin Grant. That is, until he encountered the turn one concrete, climbing up the wall before rotating and landing back on the track’s surface. Grant climbed out of the wreckage uninjured, but finished for the event.
The restart saw Bayston break away from second-running Dave Darland who was overtaken by both Shane Golobic, then Brady Bacon who made a valiant charge on the inner rail, getting past Darland exiting turn four to scale his way into the top-three.
Bacon continued to claw on his low-side crawl while Golobic maintained a higher line. Despite roping in Golobic little-by-little over the last several laps and even taking a glimpse at second in turn two on the final lap, Golobic was able to nail down the second position for good.
Yet, up front, nobody else was game for Bayston’s flawless rim-riding performance for 25 consecutive laps, taking the victory in front of a massive crowd over Golobic, Bacon, Darland and Tanner Thorson.
With the knocking down of a few key pins on his quest to a possible first series title, Bayston swiftly extended his lead in the championship race to 66 over Bacon with just three races remaining in Wayne City, Ill., Bakersfield, Cal. and Ventura, Cal. On Saturday night, it was all a showcase for Bayston as he dominated from start to finish for his third series victory of the year.
“It makes it easy when you have a good group of guys working behind you. They know what they’re doing and it definitely shows,” Bayston praises. “I felt so comfortable. We raced here last night in the wing car and didn’t do that great, but I really think it helped me. Coming here tonight in the midget, it felt like everything was in slow motion for me.”
Contingency award winners Saturday night at Eldora Speedway included Dave Darland (Simpson Race Products/Competition Suspension, Inc. Heat 1 Winner), Shane Golobic (Chalk Stix/Indy Race Parts Heat 2 Winner), Holly Shelton (KSE Racing Products/Larry Rice High Performance Hard Charger) and Adam Pierson (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).
USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 23, 2017 – Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora Speedway – 36th “4-Crown Nationals” – Presented by NKT.TV
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS/COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Dave Darland (#91BT Thomas), 2. Tyler Courtney (#7BC Clauson/Marshall), 3. Justin Grant (#39BC Clauson/Marshall), 4. Brady Bacon (#76m FMR), 5. Tanner Thorson (#67 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 6. Chase Jones (#22 Petry/Goff), 7. Tanner Carrick (#71k Kunz/Clauson/Marshall), 8. Brayton Lynch (#1k RKR), 9. Adam Pierson (#76E Mancini). 2:29.81
CHALK STIX/INDY RACE PARTS SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Shane Golobic (#17w Clauson/Marshall/Wood), 2. Spencer Bayston (#97 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 3. Chad Boat (#84 Tucker/Boat), 4. Tyler Thomas (#91T Thomas), 5. Jerry Coons Jr. (#25 Petry/Goff), 6. Holly Shelton (#67k Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 7. Alex Bright (#77 Bright), 8. Bear Wood (#8jr LW), 9. Rico Abreu (#97k Kunz/Curb-Agajanian).
FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Spencer Bayston, 2. Shane Golobic, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Tanner Thorson, 6. Holly Shelton, 7. Chad Boat, 8. Tanner Carrick, 9. Tyler Thomas, 10. Alex Bright, 11. Jerry Coons Jr., 12. Brayton Lynch, 13. Adam Pierson, 14. Bear Wood, 15. Chase Jones, 16. Justin Grant, 17. Tyler Courtney. NT
**Abreu flipped at the start of the second heat.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-25 Bayston.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/LARRY RICE HIGH PERFORMANCE HARD CHARGER AWARD: Holly Shelton (13th to 6th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Adam Pierson
NEW USAC NATIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-Bayston-1363, 2-Bacon-1297, 3-Golobic-1286, 4-Thorson-1256, 5-Courtney-1200, 6-Grant-1198, 7-Boat-1084, 8-Shelton-988, 9-Carrick-906, 10-Coons-846.
NEXT USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RACE: October 22 – Wayne City, IL – Wayne County Speedway – “Jason Leffler Memorial”
Rossburg, Ohio………On a night when temperatures were more akin to the sweltering summer than a cool, crisp fall September evening, perhaps it came as no surprise that the hottest driver, in terms of USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car wins since the month of July, would feel right his comfort zone.
Yet, he would have to get the job done in circumstances that were all too familiar this season – with Brady Bacon’s black No. 63 draped all over his tail tank during the final laps.
But, for the fourth time this season, Leary stood his ground to capture the victory Saturday night in the 36th “4-Crown Nationals” at Eldora Speedway, a track that had been cruel to him on occasion over the past few years, including being denied on the final lap for the win in May of 2015.
The driver who passed him that very night was Justin Grant, who, on this night, wasted no time getting to the front on the opening lap as he raced from his outside second row position to split between both Robert Ballou and Chase Stockon on the start to snag the lead. One lap later, fellow second row starter Leary made his surge, sliding by Grant for the lead in turn two.
After getting by Stockon for third, Bacon worked on Grant where they swapped the second spot back and forth until Bacon secured the position with a turn two slider on the 11th lap.
At that point, Leary had begun to gap the field, but as soon as Bacon moved into second, that gap routinely shrunk. With ten to go, Bacon searched high and low in turns three and four while Leary stuck to his guns on the top. However, Leary’s lead soon shrunk to a mere car-length in the ensuing laps with a pod of lappers on the not-so-distant horizon.
With two laps remaining, it was gut-check time and thoughts of previous Leary v. Bacon battles from Grandview, Lawrenceburg and Kokomo came rushing back to the mind as both encountered the lapped car of Tyler Thomas in the first turn. Both slid Thomas without hesitation, yet Leary was unrattled in his maneuver and maintained his distance from Bacon as they cleared Thomas, thus preventing the best shot Bacon had at tacking on a second-career “4-Crown” win.
Leary finished strong in the caution-free affair to defeat Bacon by half a second while Ballou, Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Grant rounded out the top-five.
“This place has been escaping me for three years now,” Leary exclaimed. “I’ve run second here it seems like every year. It feels good to finally park this thing down here in victory lane. I can’t thank (crew chief) Donnie Gentry, my dad and everybody whose helped us put this operation together.”
“These races are tough, especially when you don’t really know where the second-place guy is,” Leary continued. “I was on cruise control there and, luckily, I had a little bit left in the tank. I had a really good racecar. This is a new DRC. We just built the car this week and, man, is it fast!”
Contingency award winners Saturday night at Eldora Speedway included Brady Bacon (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Brady Bacon (Simpson Race Products Heat 1 Winner), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. Heat 2 Winner), Thomas Meseraull (Chalk Stix Heat 3 Winner), Chris Windom (Indy Race Parts Heat 4 Winner), Matt Westfall (KSE Racing Products/Larry Rice High Performance Hard Charger) and Nick Bilbee (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 23, 2017 – Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora Speedway – 36th “4-Crown Nationals” – Presented by NKT.TV
PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling/Hayward-16.893; 2. Dave Darland, 40, Hery-16.932; 3. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-17.097; 4. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-17.221; 5. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-17.269; 6. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-17.349; 7. Kyle Cummins, 3c, Cummins-17.440; 8. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-17.554; 9. Scotty Weir, 22s, Simon-17.558; 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9k, KT-17.636; 11. Shane Cottle, 57, Hazen-17.663; 12. Tyler Thomas, 17GP, Dutcher-17,667; 13. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-17.733; 14. Nick Bilbee, 17N, Bilbee-17.754; 15. Dallas Hewitt, 18, Keen-17.767; 16. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-17.779; 17. Aric Gentry, 10, Gentry-17.820; 18. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-17.831; 19. Thomas Meseraull, 9x, SC-17.854; 20. Kody Swanson, 20, Nolen-17.939; 21. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-17.946; 22. Gage Etgen, 99, Etgen-18.002; 23. Matt Westfall, 54, Westfall-18.033; 24. Bill Rose, 320, Kissel-18.118; 25. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-18.250; 26. Cooper Clouse, 14, Clouse-18.361; 27. Chad Wilson, 14x, Wilson-18.535; 28. Jake Scott, 4, Scott-18.569; 29. Kirk Jeffries, 59J, Jeffries-18.601; 30. Austin Nemire, 16, Nemire/Yager-18.618; 31. Riley VanHise, 96, VanHise-18.663; 32. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-18.687; 33. Dustin Smith, 77, Gagliardi-18.699; 34. Michael Fischesser, 44s, Fischesser/Owen-18.742; 35. Ty Tilton, 42, Tilton-18.812; 36. Brandon Moore, 1m, Moore-19.109.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Chapple, 3. Gentry, 4. Stockon, 5. Weir, 6. Hodges, 7. Fischesser, 8. Jeffries, 9. Goodnight. 2:27.46
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. K. Thomas, 3. Ballou, 4. Darland, 5. Bilbee, 6. Nemire, 7. Clouse, 8. Etgen, 9. Tilton. 2:29.78
CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Meseraull, 2. Cottle, 3. Hewitt, 4. Grant, 5. Wilson, 6. Westfall, 7. Cummins, 8. VanHise, 9. Moore. 2:32.78
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Leary, 3. Boespflug, 4. Rose, 5. T. Thomas, 6. Bell, 7. Swanson, 8. Scott. 2:37.20
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Weir, 2. Swanson, 3. Bilbee, 4. Westfall, 5. Cummins, 6. T. Thomas, 7. Hodges, 8. Fischesser, 9. Clouse, 10. VanHise, 11. Jeffries, 12. Tilton, 13. Etgen, 14. Moore, 15. Goodnight, 16. Scott, 17. Nemire, 18. Bell.
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. C.J. Leary, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Robert Ballou, 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5. Justin Grant, 6. Scotty Weir, 7. Chris Windom, 8. Thomas Meseraull, 9. Chase Stockon, 10. Matt Westfall, 11. Shane Cottle, 12. Tyler Courtney, 13. Nick Bilbee, 14. Josh Hodges, 15. Tyler Thomas, 16. Kyle Cummins, 17. Chad Boespflug, 18. Isaac Chapple, 19. Bill Rose, 20. Kody Swanson, 21. Aric Gentry, 22. Dave Darland, 23. Dallas Hewitt. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Grant, Laps 2-30 Leary.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/LARRY RICE HIGH PERFORMANCE HARD CHARGER AWARD: Matt Westfall (21st to 10th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Nick Bilbee
NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-1842, 2-Windom-1765, 3-Courtney-1669, 4-Thomas Jr.-1655; 5-Boespflug-1628, 6-Stockon-1568, 7-Leary-1465, 8-Bacon-1410, 9-Ballou-1337, 10-Darland-1191.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: September 29 – Montpelier (IN) Motor Speedway
Rossburg, Ohio………In a year of firsts for Tyler Courtney, the pickings continue to get sweeter as the Indianapolis, Indiana driver led all 50 laps to win his first career USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS main event in Saturday night’s 36th “4-Crown Nationals” at Eldora Speedway.
Earlier this season, Courtney won his first USAC National Midget feature at Montpelier (Ind.) Motor Speedway. In August, he won his first ever Sprint Car feature at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway and backed it up a night later with a big payday victory at Kokomo again in “Sprint Car Smackdown VI.”
This time around, it was in the Silver Crown car where, by the letter of the law, he was still considered a series rookie this season. But a “4-Crown” Silver Crown rookie he was not. In 2016, he set ProSource quick time and finished 3rd. In 2017, he returned as a true contender despite not having seen the results he and car owner Hans Lein had anticipated when the team made its initial foray into the series this season.
“Hans called me in May and said he’s putting a Crown car together,” Courtney recalls. “We got rained out at the ‘Hoosier Hundred,’ then went to Williams Grove and had some mechanical problems there, then went to Springfield and was going to have a top-three finish and had something else go wrong. We finally had everything go our way tonight. (Crew Chief) Greg Nelson really had this thing on point all night.”
On the start, Courtney ripped the top around pole sitter Kody Swanson to snare the lead as the 50-lap race got underway with the night’s USAC Sprint Car feature winner C.J. Leary and Dave Darland fighting for second just behind.
Courtney led a five-car breakaway that separated itself from the rest of the field by the tenth lap. By lap 20, Courtney himself had created his own separation as he navigated through the lap traffic.
Meanwhile, third-running Leary saw a chance to take second back away from Darland on lap 23 when Darland found himself hung up behind the lapped car of Aaron Pierce entering turn three. Like a bulldog on a porkchop, Leary saw an opportunity and went on the attack. As Leary tried to slide both Darland and Pierce in one fell swoop, contact was made between he and Pierce. The end result was Pierce tagging the outside wall hard while Darland and Leary continued on.
The lineup on the next restart had multiple lapped cars between leader Courtney and second-running Darland, allowing Courtney a clean getaway.
On lap 32, Swanson tagged the turn two wall while running sixth, sending him into a wild series of flips through turn one – a sight not usually seen by the three-time series champion whose feats were celebrated earlier in the night on a front straightaway presentation for clinching the 2017 title.
Once again on the restart, Courtney scooted away from defending race winner and series champ Chris Windom who took second from Darland and now had only Courtney in his sights as Cottle disposed of Darland for third off turn four.
Soon after, with 15 laps remaining, Leary entered turn three running fourth when his right rear tire went flat, sending him hard into the outside wall. Leary was okay, but would not return to action.
Down the stretch, Courtney maintained about an eight car-length lead, but with a couple to go, Windom began to close rapidly to present a challenge for the lead as Cottle blanketed Windom just behind.
On the final lap, Courtney got a bit sideways at the exit of turn two, resulting in Windom’s rapid charge that saw him close to within just a couple car lengths entering turn three and four with Cottle in tow. Courtney gathered it up, put all four wheels back in the groove to finish off a wire-to-wire performance to join Justin Grant as the second driver to win USAC National features in all three divisions in 2017. Windom was second ahead of Cottle, Darland and Brady Bacon, who finished in the top-five of all four “4-Crown” features Saturday night.
Courtney rewarded car owner Hans Lein with his first USAC National win since a 2007 Midget event at Angell Park Speedway, won by Michael Pickens. It was also Lein’s second career “4-Crown” triumph following a 2005 Midget win with Danny Stratton.
“The tires started going away a little bit at the end,” Courtney admits. “I knew if I could gap myself on the starts and restarts and give myself a little cushion to be able to run hard on the start, then save a little bit, we’d have something at the end there. It held together. I could see Chris (Windom) there behind me on the (video board) screen. I’m just trying to hit my marks, but it was pretty tricky down in (turns) one and two to hit the same spot on the wall twice to get you going down the back straight. But, everything went our way tonight.”
Contingency award winners Saturday night at Eldora Speedway included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Brady Bacon (KSE Racing Products/Larry Rice High Performance Hard Charger) and Joe Liguori (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).
USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS Presented by TRAXXAS: September 23, 2017 – Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora Speedway – 36th “4-Crown Nationals” – Presented by NKT.TV
PROSOURCE QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-19.570; 2. Tyler Courtney, 97, Lein-19.611; 3. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-19.816; 4. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-19.876; 5. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-19.903; 6. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-19.955; 7. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-19.985; 8. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-19.985; 9. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-20.109; 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-20.118; 11. Robert Ballou, 6, Klatt-20.257; 12. Mark Smith, 54, Lane-20.283; 13. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-20.302; 14. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-20.434; 15. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-20.495; 16. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-20.678; 17. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-20.712; 18. Brady Bacon, 199, RPM/Gormly-20.891; 19. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-21.116; 20. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-21.452; 21. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams & Wright-NT; 22. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-NT; 23. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-NT.
FEATURE: (50 laps) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Shane Cottle, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Justin Grant, 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 8. David Byrne, 9. Robert Ballou, 10. Jerry Coons, Jr., 11. Matt Goodnight, 12. Steve Buckwalter, 13. Joe Liguori, 14. Dakota Jackson, 15. Joss Moffatt, 16. Austin Nemire, 17. Mark Smith, 18. Chris Fetter, 19. C.J. Leary, 20. Kody Swanson, 21. Aaron Pierce, 22. Johnny Petrozelle. NT
**Bruns flipped during qualifying. Swanson flipped on lap 32 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-50 Courtney.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/LARRY RICE HIGH PERFORMANCE HARD CHARGER AWARD: Brady Bacon (18th to 5th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Joe Liguori
FINAL USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP (Presented by TRAXXAS) POINTS: 1-Swanson-650, 2-Coons-562, 3-Windom-525, 4-Grant-470, 5-Byrne-436, 6-Pierce-402, 7-Bobby Santos-350, 8-Moffatt-302, 9-Liguori-295, 10-Damion Gardner-248.