IN THURSDAY’S “J.D. BYRIDER 100” SILVER CROWN RACE
Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Calif. hopes to take the next step toward a third USAC K & N Silver Crown Series championship Thursday when the “J.D. Byrider 100” opens the “Kroger Speedfest” at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind.
Kaeding is 21 points ahead of Tracy Hines as he tries to become only the second driver ever to win three Silver Crown titles. Jimmy Sills was the first (1990, 1994 and 1996). Kaeding won the 2006 and 2007 titles before slipping to ninth in last year’s points.
Kaeding did not compete at ORP last year but was seventh in 2007, his best finish in five previous ORP starts. The 1999 USAC Western sprint Car Champ has five career Silver Crown victories, including this year series opener at Phoenix, Ariz. He owns pavement victories at Kentucky Speedway and Richmond International Raceway in 2006.
A total of 66 points are available at ORP, which puts nine drivers within reach of the series point lead heading into round four. Brian Tyler, who is third in the standings, 27 behind Kaeding, won the only previous pavement race of 2009, at Richmond, Va. last month. Shane Hollingsworth won the “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in May.
Thursday night’s 100-lap race is the 33rd for USAC Silver Crown cars at ORP. Mike Bliss is the all-time win leader, with five, while Bobby East has three wins at the .686-mile oval. Tyler won at ORP in 2006 and Thursday’s race has also drawn the entry of former series champion Ryan Newman, who won at ORP in 1999.
Thursday night’s program also features the USAC Mopar National Midgets, which will compete in a 30-lap feature.