Indy IRP: Race report

Indianapolis, Ind..----.Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif. captured Thursday night's "J.D. Byrider 100" USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown race at Indianapolis Raceway Park, opening the track's "Kroger SpeedFest" activity. Drake won the pole starting ...

Indianapolis, Ind..----.Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif. captured Thursday night's "J.D. Byrider 100" USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown race at Indianapolis Raceway Park, opening the track's "Kroger SpeedFest" activity.

Drake won the pole starting position in his Team Mopar/Vital Express Eagle/Mopar, owned by George Snider and NASCAR star Tony Stewart, then proceeded to lead all 100 laps for the victory.

"I finally got the monkey off my back," commented Drake in victory lane, referring to his past IRP success which has failed to produce a feature win in various types of racing. "I'm pretty happy. If I'd just won the pole and went home I'd probably be happy! I'd only won two of the Silver Crown races before this year and now we've won three in a row! That's pretty good!"

Drake's victories at Fountain, Colo., July 4, Milwaukee, Wisc. July 24 and tonight make him the first driver in series history to win three straight back-to-back-to-back on pavement.

Dave Darland finished three seconds behind at the checkered flag and was followed by Jason McCord, Eric Gordon and NASCAR driver and former Silver Crown Champion Dave Blaney. The race was Blaney's first in the series in six years.

Pre-race favorites Dave Steele, Mike Bliss and J.J. Yeley met with varying degrees of success. Steele finished 11th to retain the series point lead, while Bliss completed 71 laps before losing an engine and Yeley failed to earn a starting berth, finishing seventh in the "qualifying race."

The Weld Racing Silver Crown Series now gears up for the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" August 21 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Dave Steele , Mike Bliss , Jay Drake , Eric Gordon , Jason McCord , Dave Blaney