Phoenix: Season finale preview

KAEDING EYES SILVER CROWN TITLE THURSDAY AT PIR Bud Kaeding needs only to start Thursday's 100-mile "Copper World Classic" feature at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway to lock up his second consecutive K & N USAC Silver...

KAEDING EYES SILVER CROWN TITLE THURSDAY AT PIR

Bud Kaeding needs only to start Thursday's 100-mile "Copper World Classic" feature at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway to lock up his second consecutive K & N USAC Silver Crown Championship.

Kaeding has nine "op-10" finishes in 12 starts so far this season in his Kaeding Performance DRC/Shaver, topped by thirds at Springfield and DuQuoin, Ill. His lead over runner-up Wayne Reutimann Jr. stands at 54 points, with 66 available Thursday at the Arizona mile.

Kaeding finished second to Dave Steele in last year's "Copper World Classic." Steele plans to compete in Thursday's 25-mile USAC National/Western Midget race, also part of this y ear's "Copper World" program.

Arizona's own J.J. Yeley is the favorite for Thursday's race, wheeling the A.J. Foyt C & R/Chevy. He's already won pavement races at Joliet, Ill., Loudon, N.H. and Kansas City, Kans. and his #14 car has led a record 265 consecutive series laps!

Aaron Pierce, the series' fastest driver ever, also has a pavement victory this year at Darlington, S.C. Tracy Hines (Homestead, Fla.), Bobby East (Newton, Ia. and Indianapolis, Ind.) and Brian Tyler (Richmond, Va.) are the other pavement winners so far in 2007.

NASCAR star Jason Leffler and USAC Triple Crown Champion Dave Darland also have rides in Thursday's Silver Crown event.

Steele holds the 1-lap qualifying record at P.I.R. at 142.197 set in 2004. He also set the 100-mile race record of 105.760 that year.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Bobby East , Aaron Pierce , Wayne Reutimann , A.J. Foyt