Nazareth: Event preview

Defending USAC Silver Crown Champion Paul White of Temple, Texas hopes to get back on track this Sunday at Nazareth, Pa. after flipping during the series opener at Phoenix, Ariz. last month. The accident left him out of the "top-10" in the Weld ...

Defending USAC Silver Crown Champion Paul White of Temple, Texas hopes to get back on track this Sunday at Nazareth, Pa. after flipping during the series opener at Phoenix, Ariz. last month. The accident left him out of the "top-10" in the Weld Racing Silver crown standings entering this weekend's "Firestone Indy 225" weekend activities at the 1-mile paved oval.

White scored wins at Phoenix and at Springfield and DuQuoin, Ill. last year on his way to the series championship but slid on his top down the front straightaway at Phoenix in March, hampering his efforts to repeat in this year's Weld Racing Silver Crown Series.

White is one of four Silver Crown Champions already entered at Nazareth. Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio, Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. and Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. are the others, but only Hines has triumphed at Nazareth, winning the 2000 race. White holds the 15-lap race record at Nazareth, but Russ Gamester of Peru, Ind. holds the 100-mile record, established last year at 98.093 mph.

Hewitt is the winningest driver in series history, with 23 career wins, but his only previous pavement win came at Richmond, Va. in 1995, a race in which he started 25th! He will seek a career record 162nd start at Nazareth and is the only driver entered who raced on the dirt at Nazareth when the Silver Crown Series visited in the 1980s.

In addition to the series regulars, former World of Outlaws Champion Sammy Swindell of Germantown, Pa. will make his first Silver Crown appearance in six years when practice opens on Friday. Silver Crown practice is scheduled Friday at 10:10 am and 1:50 pm and Saturday at 8 am. Silver Crown qualifications are at 10:15 am Saturday, with the 15-lap Silver Crown qualifying race at 4 pm. Sunday's 100-mile Silver Crown feature starts at 10:30 am and will be followed at 1 pm by the Firestone Indy 225 for the Indy Racing League.

The weekend activities also include the USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Cars and USAC National Midget Cars, which compete in separate 25-mile features on Saturday afternoon.

Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. leads the Weld Racing Silver Crown Series standings after his victory in the "Copper World" series opener at Phoenix, Ariz. last month.

USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series Standings

1. Dave Steele 66
2. Jason McCord 57
3. A.J. Fike 54
4. P.J. Jones 51
5. Derek Davidson 48
6. John Heydenreich 45
7. Mike Bliss 42
8. Jay Drake 39
9. Chet Fillip 36
10. J.J. Yeley 33

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Jack Hewitt , Mike Bliss , P.J. Jones , Jay Drake , John Heydenreich , Chet Fillip , A.J. Fike , Russ Gamester , Paul White , Jason McCord