DARLAND SEEKING 4TH “4-CROWN” SILVER CROWN VICTORY
Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. will try to win the “4-Crown Nationals” K & N Silver Crown Championship race for the fourth time in the last six years Saturday when the 29th running of one of America’s most traditional open-wheel spectaculars unfolds at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Calif. is expected to take another step toward matching Jimmy Sills’ record three career series titles in the series’ penultimate event. Kaeding, who won the 2006 and 2007 championships, leads runner-up A.J. Fike by 59 points and Tracy Hines by 63 with 63 total points available Saturday.
Darland, despite not ranking in the “top-10” in this year’s standings, must rate the favorite’s role at Eldora. His three Silver Crown triumphs at the half-mile dirt oval are part of his “4-Crown repertoire, which also includes two Midget wins and a Sprint win.
Fike, of Galesburg, Ill., posted his best finish of the season, a fourth, in the series’ most recent race, at Springfield, Ill., while Hines’ best finish of 2009, also a fourth, came in the series opener at Phoenix, Ariz. in February. The series concludes in November at Phoenix International Raceway.
Defending USAC Mopar National Midget Champ Cole Whitt of Alpine, Calif. also deserves a watch Saturday after surprising the field with his victory in the “Tony Bettenhausen 100” at Springfield last month.
Former “4-Crown” Silver Crown winners Brian Tyler and Jerry Coons Jr. are also expected to be among top threats for victory in Saturday’s 50-lap race.