Silver Crown
Thursday, 13 August 2009



Brian Tyler of Parma, Mich. looks forward to the “Tony Bettenhausen 100” all year. He has good reason to, having won the race three times in the past five years!


Tyler is the defending champion of both USAC K & N Silver Crown Championship races held on the Illinois mile dirt ovals last year. The “Tony Bettenhausen 100” is slated next Saturday, August 22, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, followed by the September 6 “Ted Horn 100” at the DuQuoin State Fair.


Tyler, the only driver with two wins in this year’s Silver Crown series (on the pavement at Richmond, Va. and Oswego, N.Y.), has tied Dave Steele for second on the career list with 16 wins, behind Jack Hewitt’s all-time record of 23 and a Springfield triumph would put him in second place by himself.


A fourth Springfield win would also put Tyler in select company, with four wins, joining A.J. Foyt, Jack Hewitt and the spectacular Chuck Gurney, who won seven times at Springfield!


Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind., will also seek a fourth Springfield win, having won in 1997, 1999 and 2003. Darland finished second to Tyler in last year’s 100-miler and is second to Bud Kaeding in this year’s standings.


Kaeding, of Campbell, Calif., finished fifth in last year’s Springfield race and is still looking for his first mile dirt track win in the series. Kaeding’s last series win came at the Terre Haute (Ind.) dirt track in 2006.


The Springfield tradition is deep, the first 100-mile Championship race having been held in 1934, won by Billy Winn. The ensuing years have produced wins by many of America’s greatest drivers, including Indianapolis 500 champions Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Johnnie Parsons, Rodger Ward, Sam Hanks, Jimmy Bryan, Foyt, Mario Andretti and Al Unser. Even Tony Bettenhausen, got in on the glory, with three Springfield wins of his own. His son Gary also won twice.


Tyler will pilot one of two Team Six-R entries. The other will be driven by Kingsburg, Calif. driver Kody Swanson, both with Lucas Oil and Fatheadz Sunglasses sponsorship and Toyota engines. Swanson has strung together three “top-six” finishes in the last three series outings. The team’s proficiency has put Tyler in third and Swanson in fifth in the point race.


Tyler, despite the 16 career wins, continues to seek his first series championship. The 1996 and 1997 USAC Sprint Car Champion was second in Silver Crown points in 1998 and 2006. He is currently 69 points back of Kaeding, who is trying to secure his third title.


“Springfield Champions”
1934 Billy Winn 
1935 Billy Winn 
1936 Wilbur Shaw
1937 Mauri Rose
1938 Tony Willman
1939 Emil Andres
1940 Rex Mays 
1947 Tony Bettenhausen
1948 Ted Horn 
1948* Myron Fohr
1949 Mel Hansen
1949* Johnnie Parsons
1950 Paul Russo
1950* Tony Bettenhausen
1951 Tony Bettenhausen
1952 Bill Schindler
1953 Rodger Ward
1953* Sam Hanks
1954 Jimmy Davies
1955 Jimmy Bryan
1956 Jimmy Bryan
1957 Rodger Ward
1958 Johnny Thomson
1959 Len Sutton
1960 Jim Packard
1961 Jim Hurtubise
1962 Jim Hurtubise
1963 Rodger Ward
1964 A.J. Foyt
1965 A.J. Foyt
1966 Don Branson
1967 A.J. Foyt
1968 Roger McCluskey
1969 Mario Andretti
1970 Al Unser
1971 A.J. Foyt
1972 Al Unser
1973 Mario Andretti
1974 Mario Andretti
1975 Al Unser
1976 Tom Bigelow
1977 Larry Rice
1978 Gary Bettenhausen
1979 Bobby Olivero
1980 Pancho Carter
1981 George Snider
1982* Larry Dickson
1982 Bobby Olivero
1983 Gary Bettenhausen
1984 Chuck Gurney
1985 Chuck Gurney
1986 Jack Hewitt
1987 Jack Hewitt
1988 Steve Chassey
1989 Chuck Gurney
1990 Chuck Gurney
1991 Chuck Gurney
1992 Jimmy Sills
1993 Jack Hewitt
1994 Chuck Gurney
1995 Kenny Irwin, Jr.
1996 Chuck Gurney
1997 Dave Darland
1998 Russ Gamester
1999 Dave Darland
2000 Jack Hewitt
2001 Paul White
2002 J.J. Yeley
2003 Dave Darland
2004 Brian Tyler
2005 Brian Tyler
2006 Tracy Hines
2007 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2008 Brian Tyler

*Additional Events