Darland wins third Hoosier Hundred

Dave Darland won his third Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown race on the one-mile dirt track at the Indiana State Fairgrounds after passing Dave Steele with ten laps to go. The crowd roared with delight as Darland's No. 56 roared off the fourth ...

Dave Darland won his third Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown race on the one-mile dirt track at the Indiana State Fairgrounds after passing Dave Steele with ten laps to go. The crowd roared with delight as Darland's No. 56 roared off the fourth turn, passing Steele with smoke pouring off his right rear tire. Steele, who started from the pole, had led all ninety laps prior to Darland's bid for the lead.

"This is great," Darland exclaimed. "This is my third Hoosier Hundred and in 1995 I won the Hulman Hundred here too. I beat some pretty tough competitors through the years in this race, and (car owner) Galen Fox always gives me good cars on one-mile dirt tracks, and they're really fast. Tonight was no exception."

Steele pulled away early in the race, while Darland, who started sixth, raced with Aaron Fike. Fike faded later, finishing 18th, two laps down.

Steele, who is generally known as a pavement expert, had never led a lap in the Silver Crown Series on dirt. After leading the first 90 laps tonight, Steele amassed a total of 290 consecutive laps led in Silver Crown Series, breaking a record set by Mario Andretti, who led 252 straight laps in 1974.

With 28 laps remaining, the red flag was shown when Dane Carter hit the outside wall in turn four, damaging the track's fence. During the red flag, Darland opted to change his right rear tire in hopes of beating the dominant Steele.

Despite losing his power steering early in the race, Johnny Heydenreich moved up four spots in the last 25 laps, to finish third, "I almost brought it in at lap 20," said an exhausted Heydenreich. "I was having trouble getting into the corners." To boast his confidence, Heydenreich's crew told the Pennsylvania driver that he was pulling away from his competitors from mid-corner out. Heydenreich's third pace finish gives him sole possession of fourth pace in the championship standings.

Teddy Beach scored a career-best fourth in the series, followed by Kevin Huntley, who finished fifth.

Tom Capie won the 15-mile "qualifying race" in front of a sizeable crowd.

Steele maintained his lead in the point standings and increased his advantage to 59 points over Jason McCord, as the series resumes action June 5 in the "SUMAR Classic" at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.

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Series USAC
Drivers Mario Andretti , Dave Darland , Aaron Fike , Teddy Beach , Dane Carter , Jason McCord , Tom Capie