Silver Crown
Tuesday, 25 May 2021


A pair of USAC Silver Crown drivers seeking their first career USAC Silver Crown win Thursday at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track, #16 Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio) and #24 Mike Haggenbottom. A pair of USAC Silver Crown drivers seeking their first career USAC Silver Crown win Thursday at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track, #16 Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio) and #24 Mike Haggenbottom. Kasi Chapman Photo


By: Jay Hardin Track Enterprises Staff

Terre Haute, Indiana (May 25, 2021)………Winning a USAC Silver Crown race at the legendary half mile Action Track in Terre Haute, Indiana has opened the door for many drivers to further their careers in the auto racing world, both in USAC and in other series as well.

Donnie Beechler grew up racing sprint cars on Sunday nights at Joe Shaheen’s Springfield Speedway.  After Springfield closed Donnie picked up various sprint car and midget rides and even gave the big cars a shot at the nearby Springfield Mile.  However, the door to the big time opened for Beechler in July of 1995.  Paired with the Zarounian team out of California, Beechler bested defending series champ Jimmy Sills to win the inaugural Sumar Classic.  He won later in the year at Sacramento and finished fourth in points.

Once the first big car victory was in the books it was like the dam burst for Donnie.  He won the Hut Hundred at Terre Haute later in 1995.  He repeated at Sacramento in 1996 then won the Sumar again in 1997 on his way to a runner up finish in the Silver Crown Series championship.  Success in the big cars helped him secure a ride with Larry Cahill’s fledgling Indy Car team for 1998.  While the car sat in the garage being prepped for the 500, Beechler won the rain shortened Hoosier Hundred.  Beechler started four Indianapolis 500 mile races, the last driving for A.J. Foyt in 2001.

Tony Elliott was a rookie in the May 1987 Hulman 100 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and, while he set fast time in the 1988 Hoosier Hundred, success in the big cars was hard to come by.  Tony finally teamed with long time owner Gene Nolen in 1998 and the combination quickly came together.  Elliott won his first ever Silver Crown event at the 1998 Sumar Classic and, once he got that first win, others followed.  Elliott won at Du Quoin in 1999 then took two straight Hoosier Hundred races in 2000-01.  He followed those wins up with another first at Terre Haute in 2002.

Riverside, California’s Josh Wise broke through in the big cars with a win at the Hut in 2005 leading 53 circuits in Tony Stewart’s machine.  Wise finished second in the title chase and the following year won the Hoosier Hundred in dramatic fashion over Levi Jones.  The wins led Wise to an ARCA ride and eventually to the NASCAR Cup Series.

Fellow Californian Bud Kaeding had three Silver Crown victories under his belt when he won the 2006 Sumar.  The victory, combined with top finishes the rest of the season propelled the third generation driver to his first of three Silver Crown championships.  Fellow Silver Crown champion Levi Jones had one win under his belt when he won the 2010 Sumar at the track not far from his Olney, Illinois home.  The Sumar win added valuable points toward the first of two Silver Crown titles for Jones.

Thirty-two entries are listed for Thursday’s Sumar Classic at Terre Haute with a whole host of top drivers looking for their first win in the big cars and the possibility of launching toward a Silver Crown title in the season opener.

The Sumar is the second event at Terre Haute as part of the Week of Indy.    The Scott’s Custom Colors DIRTcar Modifieds will also be in action on Thursday.  Pits open at 2:00 PM EDT, grandstands at 3:00, while hot laps will begin at 6:30 with racing to follow.

General admission will be $30 for May 27.  Infield admission is $20 for Thursday and pit passes will be $35.  Track Enterprises, the promotion company for the Terre Haute Action Track, has also announced a three-day SUPERTICKET, which includes general admission for all three days for just $75, a $15 savings off the single day prices.

The Sumar Classic will be streamed live on FloRacing at



06 BRYAN GOSSEL/Fort Collins, CO (Gossel)

3 CHASE STOCKON/Fort Branch, IN (Simmons)

6 JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK (Klatt)

7 KYLE ROBBINS/New Castle, IN (KR)

9 TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Dyson)


16 AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko)

17 CHASE JOHNSON/Penngrove, CA (Goodnight)

18 TRAVIS WELPOTT/Pendleton, IN (Welpott)

22 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Rice)

24 MIKE HAGGENBOTTOM/Levittown, PA (Haggenbottom)

26 KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL (Pierce)

30 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Leary)

31 DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA (Berkheimer)

33 RONNIE WUERDEMAN/Cincinnati, OH (Wuerdeman)

39 MATT GOODNIGHT/Winchester, IN (Goodnight)

40 DAVID BYRNE/Shullsburg, WI (Byrne)

53 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Five Three)

54 MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH (Westfall)

55 JERRY COONS JR./Tucson, AZ (Bateman)

66 ROBERT BALLOU/Rocklin, CA (Rose)

69 KYLE CUMMINS/Princeton, IN (Pink 69)


74 CASEY BUCKMAN/Chandler, AZ (C-Buck Racing)

81 SHANE COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Williams)

88 CHRIS FETTER/Troy, MO (Fetter)

91 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn)

97 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Lein)

99 ERIC GORDON/Fortville, IN (Armstrong)

123 JIMMY LIGHT/West Springfield, PA (Two-Three)

177 DAVE PEPERAK/Clinton, IN (Peperak)

188 TERRY BABB/Decatur, IL (Babb)