Silver Crown
Monday, 3 September 2018


#22 Bobby Santos and #02 Tanner Swanson battle for position during the 2017 "Rich Vogler Classic." #22 Bobby Santos and #02 Tanner Swanson battle for position during the 2017 "Rich Vogler Classic." David Nearpass Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana………The penultimate USAC Silver Crown Champ Car race on the 2018 calendar brings the series back to the blacktop for the final time this year on the tricky, paved .686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway, located west of Indianapolis Saturday, September 8, for the “Rich Vogler Classic.”

Over the last decade, the three dominant figures at the track in Silver Crown competition at LOR have been namely brothers Tanner Swanson, Kody Swanson and Bobby Santos.

Tanner put on a show back in May’s “Carb Night Classic” at LOR, opting to start from the tail for a chance at a substantial bonus payday, driving from 22nd to 2nd, coming up just short to Kody at the checkered.  Tanner, of Kingsburg, Calif., owns a pair of “Vogler Classic” wins in 2013 and 2015 among his five wins at LOR in the Silver Crown car, tied with Mike Bliss for the most all-time at the track that’s hosted USAC events annually since its 1961 opening.

Kody has collected four wins over that span at LOR, including the 2016 “Vogler Classic.”  Kody, also from Kingsburg , Calif., recently surpassed Jack Hewitt as the winningest Silver Crown driver of all-time with his 24th win in the most recent pavement Silver Crown race at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in August.  Kody holds a commanding 76-point advantage in the standings as he aims to claim an unprecedented fourth career Silver Crown title.

Franklin, Massachusetts’ Bobby Santos is the lone driver not named Kody Swanson to win one on the pavement this season.  While Kody has won the last four, Santos captured the opener at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz. in April.  Santos has triumphed on four occasions at LOR, including last year’s “Vogler Classic.”

The lone active driver outside of that three to have barged into victory line at LOR in that span is Shullsburg, Wisconsin’s David Byrne, who was victorious in one of the most memorable finishes in the long history of the series.  Byrne charged like a madman following the final restart with less than 10 laps to go, then ran down Tanner Swanson on the final corner of the final lap to win the 2014 “Vogler Classic” in what remains his only Silver Crown win to date.  Byrne currently resides in the fourth spot in the standings.

The “Rich Vogler Classic” has a rich history that dates to 1991 and was run for many years at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway.  Expected entrants for Saturday’s round at LOR who also have wins in the “Vogler Classic” there are past Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman of South Bend, Ind. in 2000 and Dave Darland in 2005.

Newman also claimed his first career Silver Crown victory right at LOR in the Spring of 1999 on his way to the series title.

Greenfield, Indiana’s Eric Gordon has made a successful return to competition this season on the pavement.  The nine-time “Little 500” winner collected three USAC National Sprint Car victories at LOR, one each in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

Chris Windom of Canton, Ill. had a solid top-five finish in this past May’s Silver Crown go at LOR.  The 2016 series champ has raced to victory in the Silver Crown series’ two most recent outings on the Illinois dirt miles in Springfield and Du Quoin.  The win was his first for longtime car owner Gene Nolen, who himself possesses a pair of victories at LOR with drivers Johnny Parsons in 1991 and Jim Keeker in 1995.

Windom has the third spot in the points coming into LOR, one position behind Ione, California’s Justin Grant who’s substantially stepped up his game on the pavement with two poles at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway and Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway.

Windom’s teammate Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. has started on the front row in the past two races and is fifth in points.  Kyle Robbins tops the Rookie of the Year race at seventh in the standings, seven ahead of Pendleton, Indiana’s Travis Welpott in eighth.

Peru, Indiana’s Russ Gamester, the 1989 USAC National Midget champ, won the Silver Crown stop at LOR back in the summer of 2000.  Jim Anderson, of Joliet, Illinois, a 4th place finisher at Madison in June, returns to the place where he made his first series start, an 8th, in May.  Past Silver Crown Rookie of the Year Kyle Hamilton of Danville, Ind. is back along with USAC’s all-time winningest female driver Toni Breidinger of Hillsborough, Calif. and two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winner Bill Rose of Plainfield, Ind.

Pits open at noon, with practice set for 3pm, qualifying at 6pm and racing at 7pm.  The race will be live via pay-per-view on and tape-delayed for a later airing on MAVTV.

Advance adult general admission tickets are $25.  Advance tickets for children 11 and under are $10. On the day of race, at the gate, adult general admission tickets are $25 and general admission tickets for children 11 and under are $10.  Pit passes are $35 apiece.