SILVER CROWN TRADITION RETURNS AT RICHMOND IN JUNE 27-28 “JAMES RIVER GROUNDS 100”
The traditional cars which have forrned the backbone of USAC’s K & N Silver Crown Championship Series presented by Optima Batteries will return to Richmond International Raceway in Virginia June 27-28 for the “James River Grounds 100.” The race is part of the track’s exciting weekend which concludes with the “SunTrust Indy Challenge” IndyCar Series race and includes Friday’s USAC National Sprint Car race.
The re-activation of the traditional Silver Crown cars came at the beginning of the 2008 season as the new-generation pavement car which competed at RIR the past two seasons is currently undergoing re-development and re-design.
A 100-lap race is planned on Saturday prior to the IndyCar race and a banner field of cars and drivers are expected to test RIR’s tricky layout.
Silver Crown pavement racing dates back to 1975 when the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul hosted the first pavement race in the series and only one yellow flag waved during the entire 200-lap affair! The series returned to St. Paul nine years later and since then a total of 108 more pavement races in 16 different states have solidified the hard-surface tracks as a staple of the series.
In Silver Crown history, which dates to 1971, 20 different drivers have been able to post wins on both pavement and dirt tracks, led by Jack Hewitt’s 23 total victories. His only pavement win came at Richmond in 1995! Other Richmond Silver Crown winners have included Jimmy Sills, Aaron Fike, Dave Steele, Bobby East, Bud Kaeding and Brian Tyler. Fike became the series’ youngest winner in 2001 at the age of 18. Kaeding is the two-time defending series champion.
Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. will try to become only the sixth driver in series history to win back-to-back Silver Crown races on dirt and pavement ovals, matching the feats of Tyler Walker (2004), J.J. Yeley (2003 and 1998), Jeff Gordon (1991), Rick Hood (1985) and Tom Bigelow (1975). Coons won the 2008 series opener at the 1/2-mile dirt Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz.