Silver Crown
Thursday, 16 April 2015





USAC’s recent social media poll to complete the 2015 list of inductees into the USAC Hall of Fame has resulted in inductions for drivers Jimmy Caruthers, Sheldon Kinser and Larry Rice and car owner Don Kenyon.

The four inductees received the most votes from a select list of 16 candidates and will join eight previously-announced inductees in the ceremony which accompanies the July 25 “Tony Stewart Classic” Midget race at the Lincoln Tech Indianapolis Speedrome in the racing capital.

Previously-announced 2015 inductees include (alphabetically) Clint Brawner, Butch Hartman, Lindsey Hopkins, Jim Hurtubise, Fred Lorenzen, Roger Penske, Shorty Templeman and Sleepy Tripp.

Jimmy Caruthers excelled in USAC’s National Championship, Silver Crown and Midget series. He captured the National Midget title in 1970 and five years later (1975) won the Silver crown title before his untimely death due to cancer near the end of that year. He scored 21 Midget wins and made 43 Indy car starts, including four Indianapolis 500s. His best finish at Indy was a ninth in 1972. He had 21 “top-10” Indy car finishes, including seconds in a 500-mile race in 1974 at Pocono, Pa. and a 100-miler at Ontario, Calif. the same year. His father Doug and brother Jimmy also earned USAC National championships. He was honored for many years with an annual award presented to members of the racing fraternity – the “Jimmy Caruthers Award.” He was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1992.

Sheldon Kinser became one of USAC’s most revered Sprint Car champions. Winning USAC titles in 1977, 1981 and 1982 he compiled 37 feature wins, including the 1981 Tony Hulman Classic in Terre Haute, Ind. The cousin of legendary Sprint driver Steve Kinser, he was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1992. He made a half-dozen starts in the Indianapolis 500 and was sixth in his final start in 1981. One of his keystone victories came in the 1985 Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown race in Indianapolis, Ind. He died of cancer in 1988.

Larry Rice was one of USAC’s finest ambassadors, claiming National Championships in the Silver Crown (1977 and 1981) and Midget series (1973). A 1993 inductee into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, Larry won 15 USAC Midget races in addition to five Silver Crown and three Sprint features. He passed away in 2009 after a bout of cancer. After a stint as a school teacher, he worked his way to the pinnacle of auto racing and in 1978 shared the Indianapolis 500 “Rookie of the Race” honors with Rick Mears after his 11th-place finish. He eventually became the color analyst for ESPN’s Saturday Night Thunder program which featured USAC racing events. He also worked for K & K Insurance, specializing in motorsports insurance. His major victories included wins in the “4-Crown Nationals” at Rossburg, Ohio, the Hut Hundred Midget race at Terre Haute, Ind. and the 1981 Hoosier Hundred Silver Crown race at Indianapolis.

Don Kenyon, the brother of USAC’s winningest National Midget driver of all time, owns nine USAC championships of his own as a championship car owner. His 92 victories as an owner stand third in the all-time USAC record book. The mastermind behind many of his brother Mel’s 111 USAC National Midget wins, Don has somewhat silently built a legendary career of his own and has earned the respect of the entire racing fraternity. His contributions to the sport are legendary and in 1998 he was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. In addition to being his brother’s crew chief for four top-five Indianapolis 500 finishes, he also was Bob Harkey’s crew chief for his eighth place finish in 1974. He also served as a USAC Board Member for many years. Don's brother Mel was inducted into the USAC Hall of Fame in 2012.