IRP: Hoosier Twin 50s preview

Steele tops IRP's "Hoosier Twin 50s" field Saturday. Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. leads the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series presented by Valvoline into this Saturday night's "Hoosier Twin 50s" at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The race is the...

Steele tops IRP's "Hoosier Twin 50s" field Saturday.

Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. leads the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series presented by Valvoline into this Saturday night's "Hoosier Twin 50s" at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The race is the first of two for the series in Indianapolis this month and a $50,000 cash bonus has been posted for any driver who can win Saturday's race and the May 23 "Hoosier Hundred" at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Steele knows what $50,000 bonuses are all about, having claimed one last September by sweeping back-to-back 25-lap USAC National Midget features at IRP. He won the opening Silver Crown race of 2003 at Phoenix, Ariz. and leads runner-up Tracy Hines by nine points entering Saturday night's event. Steele finished second in last year's Silver Crown standings and is currently trailed in the 2003 points by all three of last year's USAC National Champions. Hines, last year's Sprint Car Champ, is second, with defending Midget Car Champ Dave Darland third and defending Silver Crown titlist J.J. Yeley fourth.

Hines, who won the 2000 USAC Silver Crown Championship, has 10 USAC victories at IRP to his credit, including eight in Sprint Cars and two in Midgets, but is still seeking his initial IRP Silver Crown win. Jason Leffler, the 1998 Silver Crown Champion, who owns two IRP Silver Crown wins including the last May race in 2000, holds the 1-lap track qualifying record of 121.667 mph which will be up for grabs Saturday.

Saturday's race, although a 100-lap encounter for points and payoff purposes, will be split into two 50-lap segments. A red flag will signify the completion of the first "50" and a two-abreast restart will be utilized for the second "50" with up to the first six starters inverted. That number will be determined by a draw between races.

Practice is scheduled to start at 4:30 pm, with qualifying at 5:30 and the 15-lap "qualifying race" at 7:20. The 100-lap feature gets the green flag at 8:30.

USAC WELD RACING SILVER CROWN SERIES STANDINGS
1. Dave Steele 66
2. Tracy Hines 57
3. Dave Darland 54
4. J.J. Yeley 51
5. Chet Fillip 48
6. Jay Drake 45
7. Bentley Warren 42
8. Paul White 39
9. Brian Tyler 36
10. Michael Lewis 33

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Series USAC
Drivers Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Jay Drake , Bentley Warren , Chet Fillip , Paul White