Richmond, VA, June 29 - Dave Steele won his second Silver Crown race of the season, beating Ed Carpenter with a last lap pass after a 30 lap wheel-to-wheel battle. Steele took the lead when he beat Chet Fillip on a lap 28 restart. It looked like...
Richmond, VA, June 29 - Dave Steele won his second Silver Crown race of the season, beating Ed Carpenter with a last lap pass after a 30 lap wheel-to-wheel battle.
Steele took the lead when he beat Chet Fillip on a lap 28 restart. It looked like he would have a clear run to the checkered. But Ed Carpenter was methodically working his way forward from his fourth row start. On lap 68, Carpenter beat Dane Carter for second, and headed after Steele. Once caught, Ed dogged Dave for 15 laps, trying high, low and all points between. He finally wrestled the lead with a long low pass at the end of the backstretch on lap 87.
Now it was Steele's turn to dog Carpenter. Except for the car numbers and paint, you'd think it was the same battle. Finally, on the last lap, with Carpenter's handling tightening, Steele executed an inside pass (including a bit of the apron) through turns 1 and 2 for the victory.
"You don't like to have to work that hard for them," Steele said afterwards. "We had a pretty good car all race - it stayed pretty consistent. I jacked a little weight, and the car might have gotten a little better. Then Ed got by us, and kind of took the wind out of our sails. (Toward the end) I think his tires were coming apart. We drove down there a little bit deeper, and luckily it was 100 laps instead of 99 and we made it work."
Carpenter was disappointed, at the outcome, but was satisfied with his race. "We started out a little further back than we like," he said. "We had a good car the whole time we were down here. I finally got out front. Just about the time I got the lead from Dave, I started using my tires up, and from then on I just tried to hold him off.
"The way I ran him down, I really thought that once I got past him I'd be able to leave him. But my car just got tighter and tighter, and my spotter was telling me he was there. I was trying to hold him off, but I didn't want to block him - I just wanted to race him clean. In the last few laps, my car just kind of faded - my tires were used up.
"I can't complain - Dave raced me clean, and I raced him clean. It was a fun race."
Dane Carter finished a solid third, followed by J.J. Yeley, Tracy Hines (from an 11th place start) and Jason McCord rounding out the top six. Steele retains his lead in the Silver Crown championship standings, extending his margin over J.J. Yeley to 75 points.
The next USAC Silver Crown Series race will be at Indianapolis Raceway Park on August 1.