Indianpolis (IRP): J.D. Byrider 100 preview

Steele leads Silver Crown into "J.D. Byrider 100" at IRP. Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. heads the list of entries for Thursday night's "J.D. Byrider 100" USAC Silver Crown race which kicks off the Kroger SpeedFest at Indianapolis (Ind.) Raceway ...

Steele leads Silver Crown into "J.D. Byrider 100" at IRP.

Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. heads the list of entries for Thursday night's "J.D. Byrider 100" USAC Silver Crown race which kicks off the Kroger SpeedFest at Indianapolis (Ind.) Raceway Park.

Steele leads J.J. Yeley by 70 points in the series standings, trying to thwart Yeley's efforts to sweep USAC's 2002 "Triple Crown" of championships. Yeley leads the USAC Midget Car points, is second to Tracy Hines in the Sprint Car points and has an opportunity to repeat the feat Tony Stewart achieved in 1995 of winning all three in a single season.

Stewart will be among those trying to win Thursday's "J.D. Byrider 100," as he wheels the familiar #56 Foxco/Jarvis Enterprises Foxco/Beast for long-time USAC car owner Galen Fox.

Practice at the .686-mile paved oval starts at 3:30 pm and qualifying commences at 5. The first of two scheduled "qualifying races" gets the green flag at 7 and the "J.D. Byrider 100" is set for an 8 pm start.

Steele won the IRP race in 1999 but finished 13th last year. He will set his sights on Jason Leffler's 1-lap track record of 121.667 mph when qualifying gets under way. Mike Bliss holds the 100-lap track record of 115.326 mph, set in May of 2001.

Defending race winner Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw, Wash. will return to try for a repeat victory and is joined in the entry list by defending series champion Paul White, former race winners Russ Gamester and Johnny Parsons and 3-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Champion Sammy Swindell.

Infinity Pro Series vets Aaron Fike and Ed Carpenter are also entered, as is 4-time "Little 500" Sprint Car Champion Eric Gordon and Indianapolis 500 vets Jimmy Kite and Chet Fillip.

USAC WELD RACING SILVER CROWN SERIES STANDINGS
1. Dave Steele 278
2. J.J. Yeley 208
3. Jason McCord 197
4. Tracy Hines 192
5. Jason Leffler 179
6. John Heydenreich 176
7. Rich Tobias, Jr. 160
8. Jay Drake 154
9. Tony Elliott 127
10. A.J. Fike 124

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Jimmy Kite , Kasey Kahne , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Tony Elliott , Mike Bliss , Sammy Swindell , Aaron Fike , Jay Drake , John Heydenreich , Chet Fillip , A.J. Fike , Johnny Parsons , Russ Gamester , Eric Gordon , Paul White , Jason McCord , Ed Carpenter