KAEDING EYES OPPORTUNITY TO STRETCH LEAD; YELEY GOES FOR ...
KAEDING EYES OPPORTUNITY TO STRETCH LEAD; YELEY GOES FOR #5 FOR A.J. FOYT IN SATURDAY'S "NEW HAMPSHIRE 75"
Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Calif. has quietly ascended to the lead in the 2007 K & N Silver Crown Series standings in quest of a repeat series championship. After missing the "podium" in the season's first seven races, he's finished third in the last two and finds himself with a 53-point lead over runner-up Wayne Reutimann Jr. of Zephyr Hills, Fla.
Saturday, Kaeding leads the series to the "New Hampshire 75" at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., USAC's first appearance in the Granite State in 11 years. A 75-lap feature race is planned and will follow the track's "Super Saturday" NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice, the New Hampshire 100 for the Whelen Modified Tour and the New Hampshire 200 for the Craftsman Truck Series.
Kaeding's seven "top10" finishes in nine starts leads all other drivers. The advent of USAC's new-generation pavement Silver Crown car has helped create a pavement-dirt series which has produced seven different winners, only one of which finds himself in the "top-10" in the series standings!
Brian Tyler of Mount Pleasant, N.C. won at Richmond International Raceway in June and is eighth in the points, but 2007 race winners Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2), Bobby East (2), Tracy Hines, Aaron Pierce, J.J. Yeley and Shane Cottle are nowhere to be found in the "top-10." The victories posted by Stenhouse and Cottle came on the dirt, while the rest were on pavement.
Saturday's entry list contains Pierce, the series' fastest driver in history, Yeley, a former USAC Triple Crown Champion, and Tyler. Pierce set the ultimate series qualifying record of 175.012 mph last year at Homestead, Fla. and his average race speed of 159.211 mph at Kansas Speedway last year is also the series race record.
Yeley will pilot the hottest car in the 2007 series -- the A.J. Foyt Enterprises Greer Special/Foyt Racing C & R Chevy. Hines won the series opener at Homestead in the #14 Foyt entry, East won at Iowa Speedway in May and at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. in July, while Yeley drove it to victory at Chicagoland Speedway in July.
Chilean Pablo Donoso will team with Yeley in the two Foyt entries, while NASCAR's Carl Edwards, a graduate of the USAC series, will field a car for Greenfield, Ind. driver Cameron Dodson. Former Indianapolis 500 winning car owner Ron Hemelgarn is fielding a car for Galesburg, Ill. driver A.J. Fike, while Penske Racing development driver Billy Wease is also among entered drivers, as is former USAC Sprint Car and Midget driving champion Josh Wise and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour vet Rob Summers. Summers, who has competed at NHIS some 15 times in modifieds, earned his first ISMA Supermodified win in July at Stafford Springs, Ct. and will pilot a car owned by Oswego, N.Y. car owner Jim Paternoster.
USAC's last appearance in New Hampshire came in 1996 when Scott Sharp won the Indy Racing League event and Bruno Bianchi won a Formula 2000 feature.