Silver Crown
Thursday, 20 October 2022


Logan Seavey (#222) & Kody Swanson (#1) are separated by three points entering the USAC Silver Crown season finale this Saturday, October 22, at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Logan Seavey (#222) & Kody Swanson (#1) are separated by three points entering the USAC Silver Crown season finale this Saturday, October 22, at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Jack Reitz Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana (October 20, 2022)………Logan Seavey and Kody Swanson are engaged in an ultimate game of high-speed tug-of-war entering this Saturday’s USAC Silver Crown season finale on October 22 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) possesses a mere three-point advantage over Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) entering the event.

While Seavey is seeking his first USAC Silver Crown title, he did previously pick up the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship.  Meanwhile, Swanson is attempting to overtake Seavey to become a seven-time Silver Crown champion.

For Swanson to accomplish that, it will require a change at the top in the final race of the season, a relative rarity in the sport.  There is precedent, though.  In 13 of the 51 years of Silver Crown history, a lead change in the standings has been produced during the season’s final event.

In 1973, Mario Andretti came into the final race of the Championship Dirt division with an unblemished record, having won at both Springfield and Du Quoin. However, he burned a piston during early morning practice and was forced to start the race on only seven cylinders. He dropped back drastically at the start from his seventh starting spot and retired from the race on lap 33. Two laps earlier, Al Unser had lapped him en route to the victory and the championship.

Consistency did the job for Billy Cassella in 1976 while point leader Johnny Parsons fell to 10th at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.  All the while, Cassella did exactly what he had to do – stay out of trouble and finish solidly.  His subsequent fourth-place result dropped Parsons 60 points in arrears, jumbling up the standings and vaulting Cassella to the top of the championship leaderboard.

In the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, which wrapped up the 1979 campaign, Bobby Olivero came all the way from 17th to duck beneath defending race winner Billy Engelhart going down the backstretch with only three-and-a-half laps remaining, then went on to claim the first-place prize and the championship in one fell swoop while point leader Billy Vukovich dropped out early with a mechanical issue.

An accident in the recent Hut Hundred Midget race at Terre Haute took Rich Vogler out of contention late during the 1981 season, paving the way for Larry Rice to become USAC Silver Crown’s first multi-time champion after finishing second in the Eldora finale to elevate him past the injured Vogler.

Ken Schrader’s USAC Silver Crown championship season in 1982 was one of smooth, calm performances.  At least, that was the case until the year’s final event at Pennsylvania’s Nazareth National Motor Speedway.  When Schrader’s own mount suffered engine problems, he borrowed Sheldon Kinser’s regular ride, owned by Ben Leyba, then came from the 29th starting position to finish fourth in just 54 laps of action when the race was called due to darkness.  So thankful was Schrader to Kinser’s gracious offer that he ultimately named his own son, “Sheldon.”

Steve Butler thought his chance at a championship was over in 1992 following his late-race confrontation with a spinning car in the final race at Eldora Speedway.  With nine laps to go, Butler emerged from the wreckage after bouncing off three different cars during the melee, then had the engine stall on him.  Butler, however, managed to keep going, then found daylight as the leader of the race and the title race by a close seven point margin.

Mike Bliss admitted the points race didn’t enter his mind until midseason.  After a pair of pavement wins at IRP and Milwaukee, Bliss turned up the wick on the dirt to come from behind to beat Ron Shuman by two points in the closest title race in series history.  After Shuman was forced to pit during the finale in Sacramento, Calif., Bliss then tried to conserve his tires and finish the best he could.  Not knowing where Shuman finished, Bliss came into the pits still unsure of the outcome until USAC’s Johnny Capels delivered the news that Bliss had won the title by one position.

Of the three USAC National championships he procured in 1995, for Tony Stewart, the Silver Crown title was the most surprising.  Entering the finale at Sacramento, California’s Cal Expo State Fairgrounds, Dave Darland led Jack Hewitt by eight points, and each needed only a top-seven finish to eliminate Stewart from contention.  Stewart needed a second-place finish or better and DNFs by both Darland and Hewitt for any chance at the crown.  Darland was the first out of the race, an oil fire putting him on the sidelines only 11 laps into the contest.  Hewitt slid wide and hit the outside wall on lap 33, ending his night, leaving Stewart to chase winner Donnie Beechler to the checkered flag.  The second-place finish gave Stewart a two-point victory over Darland, equaling the closest finish ever from 1993.

“I didn’t know I’d won the championship until after I pulled into victory lane,” Jimmy Sills said in reflecting on the 1996 USAC Silver Crown finale at California’s Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Sills’ unexpected Silver Crown championship came amid a heartbreaking finish for Kenny Irwin Jr. who led the standings most of the season.  Needing only a sixth-place finish in the finale to clinch the championship, Irwin had the title in the bag, running fourth on the last lap when a tire blew, and he eventually slid into the outside wall in the fourth and final turn.  Irwin dropped to 11th while Sills raced by for the win and the title.

Jason Leffler’s 1998 season began with him coming drastically close to his first series victory at Walt Disney World but could only watch helplessly as he ran out of fuel on the final lap while Brian Tyler stormed by him to take his first series victory.  Trailing Tyler in the points coming into the final event at Gateway International Raceway, Jason knew he would need a solid finish and some help.  He got both.  Leffler finished the Gateway race a solid fourth while Tyler suffered from brake problems all day and came home 16th, losing the championship to Jason by only 16 points.

After several close calls in his career of chasing a USAC national championship, Tracy Hines was part of a fantastic three-way battle in 2000 that also included eventual runner-up Dave Darland and Brian Tyler.  Hines cut deeply into Darland’s lead at the penultimate event in Irwindale.  Hines and his Indiana Underground team went on to finish second to Tyler in the finale at Memphis, but the performance was enough to thrust him past Darland who finished a distant 15th.  It finally put all the close calls behind Hines who ultimately went on to attain USAC Triple Crown status.

Levi Jones needed to finish one position ahead of Bud Kaeding in the final race of the season at Toledo Speedway in 2010.  As it turned out, he did exactly that to win the title by a mere two points, equaling the closest margin between first and second in the history of the Silver Crown series alongside 1993 and 1995.  Jones edged Kaeding by finishing seventh with Kaeding lurking just behind in eighth.  Kaeding had been running ahead of Jones until 27 laps to go when he was involved in a three-car tangle on the backstretch. Kaeding continued but was unable to catch and pass Jones for the title.

At the season-ending 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway, Chris Windom completely dismantled the field, holding a 17-second lead at one point around the half-mile oval as he put all but the top-three finishers a lap down by race end.  By virtue of his convincing win and point leader Kody Swanson’s steering issues following early race contact, Windom leapfrogged Swanson in the standings, pulling five points ahead to claim his first USAC championship, ending Swanson’s two-year reign as champ.



Howard Companies Championship Saturday consists of a tripleheader featuring the USAC Silver Crown National Championship, 500 Sprint Car Tour and Pavement Midgets.

Spectator gates open at Noon Eastern.  500 Sprint Car Tour practice begins at 12:30pm with Pavement Midget practice at 12:55pm and USAC Silver Crown practice at 1:20, followed by a second round of practice for the sprint cars at 1:50, midgets at 2:15 and Silver Crown at 2:40.  Sprint Car qualifying commences at 3:10, midgets at 3:40 and Silver Crown at 4:10.  Opening ceremonies are slated for 4:45 with the sprint car feature rolling off at 5:05, midgets at 6:05 and Silver Crown at 7:05.

Advance tickets are on sale now at Tickets will be on sale at the gate on race day.

Saturday’s event will be aired live on FloRacing at





Entering Finale: Al Unser trailed by 140 to Mario Andretti.

Result: Al Unser wins by 60 over Mario Andretti.



Entering Finale: Billy Cassella trailed by 30 to Johnny Parsons.

Result: Billy Cassella won by 60 over Johnny Parsons.



Entering Finale: Bobby Olivero trailed by 27 to Billy Vukovich.

Result: Bobby Olivero won by 43 over Billy Engelhart. Billy Vukovich finished 4th by 169.



Entering Finale: Larry Rice trailed by 17 to Rich Vogler.

Result: Larry Rice won by 23 over Rich Vogler.



Entering Finale: Ken Schrader trailed by 19 to Ron Shuman.

Result: Ken Schrader won by 74 over Mark Alderson & by 91 over Ron Shuman.



Entering Finale: Steve Butler trailed by 18 to Jeff Swindell.

Result: Steve Butler won by 7 over Jeff Swindell.



Entering Finale: Mike Bliss trailed by 58 to Ron Shuman.

Result: Mike Bliss won by 2 over Ron Shuman.



Entering Finale: Tony Stewart trailed by 155 to Dave Darland.

Result: Tony Stewart won by 2 over Dave Darland.



Entering Finale: Jimmy Sills trailed by 138 to Kenny Irwin Jr.

Result: Jimmy Sills won by 42 over Kenny Irwin Jr.



Entering Finale: Jason Leffler trailed by 14 to Brian Tyler.

Result: Jason Leffler won by 16 over Brian Tyler.



Entering Finale: Tracy Hines trailed by 5 to Dave Darland.

Result: Tracy Hines won by 29 over Dave Darland.



Entering Finale: Levi Jones trailed by 1 to Bud Kaeding.

Result: Levi Jones won by 2 over Bud Kaeding.



Entering Finale: Chris Windom trailed by 10 to Kody Swanson.

Result: Chris Windom won championship by 5 over Kody Swanson.