Indiana Fair: Hoosier Hundred report

Darland Claims Third "Hoosier Hundred" Title Terre Haute's "Sumar Classic" Saturday Night Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. scored his third Budweiser "Hoosier Hundred" victory Friday night, leading the final 10 laps of the 100-mile event at the ...

Darland Claims Third "Hoosier Hundred" Title
Terre Haute's "Sumar Classic" Saturday Night

Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. scored his third Budweiser "Hoosier Hundred" victory Friday night, leading the final 10 laps of the 100-mile event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Darland passed runner-up Dave Steele on lap 90 after pole-starter Steele took charge from the onset. Once in the lead, Darland was never challenged in his Foxco, Inc./Jarvis Enterprises Beast/Foxco Chevy.

"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."

Darland will be among favorites when the Weld Racing Silver Crown Series visits the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track this Saturday night for the Terre Haute First National Bank "Sumar Classic" presented by the Terre Haute Convention & Visitors Bureau. The 100-lap feature on the 1/ 2-mile dirt track starts at about 8 pm, following practice at 5:30, qualifying at 6:30 and a 15-lap "qualifying race" at 7:30. J.J. Yeley is the defending champion of the race.

Darland, who started sixth Friday, moved his way to third early and ran behind Aaron Fike for more than half the race. While the two ran in second and third, Steele pulled away, looking for his first dirt victory after starting on the pole for the third straight race.

Steele, who had never led a lap in Weld Racing Silver Crown Series action on dirt, led the first 90 laps, which extended his consecutive laps led count to 290, a new series record. The mark surpassed that of Mario Andretti, who had led 252 straight laps in 1974.

The race was halted on lap 72 when Dane Carter hit the outside wall coming out of turn four, which caused damage to the track's fence. Carter escaped the accident unscathed. During the red flag, Darland made a tire change in hopes of improving his position.

When the race resumed, Darland stayed with Steele, allowed him some breathing room, then caught Steele again in the final 20 laps. As the two drivers entered the third turn, Darland gained an advantage and finally pulled to the inside of Steele on lap 90. From there, he led to the finish.

"Through (turns) one and two, I was really hooked up, but between three and four, I had to be careful getting in not to wash out," Darland said. "That's eventually how I got past Steele. He pushed the front end up just off the bottom groove enough for me to take advantage of it."

John Heydenreich finished third, while 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.

Levi Jones accepted the challenge to start last and try to win the "Big Bud Bonus" of $50,000 if he could win the race. He passed 18 cars and earned $1,800 in bonus money for his efforts.

WELD RACING USAC SILVER CROWN SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Dave Steele-195
2.-Jason McCord-136
3.-Tracy Hines-135
4.-John Heydenreich-101
5.-Boston Reid-100
6.-Russ Gamester-92
7.-Bud Kaeding-91
8.-Aaron pierce-91
9.-Michael Lewis-87
10.-P.J. Jones-76

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Series USAC
Drivers Mario Andretti , Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Bud Kaeding , P.J. Jones , Aaron Fike , Teddy Beach , John Heydenreich , Dane Carter , Russ Gamester , Levi Jones , Jason McCord , Boston Reid , Tom Capie