This Week in Ford Racing September 27, 2005 USAC Silver Crown Series Driver Dave Steele and team owner Bob East won the 2005 USAC Silver Crown Championship this past weekend at Eldora Speedway. Steele's win made it back-to-back driver ...
This Week in Ford Racing
September 27, 2005
USAC Silver Crown Series
Driver Dave Steele and team owner Bob East won the 2005 USAC Silver Crown Championship this past weekend at Eldora Speedway. Steele's win made it back-to-back driver championships and four straight team championships for East. This is the first time in USAC history that a team has won four straight Silver Crown titles. Steele and East talked about the season and the championship.
ave Steele, Driver - No. 9 Ford Powestroke Diesel/Ford/Beast - Your thoughts on winning the USAC Silver Crown Championship in USAC's 50th Anniversary? "It's definitely a good feeling because those championships aren't easy to win. And with the Silver Crown series doing some different stuff next year, to win this, with it being two in a row for me and four in a row for Bob East and Ford, it was a good deal."
What's your favorite type of track to run on? "It doesn't matter, I like all the them. I grew up down in Florida running little short bullring tracks so I like them as well as the big fast places, too. The Silver Crown Cars are better suited for the mile tracks. We won four races, four out of the five pavement races, and we had a pretty good year."
What's it like driving for Bob East and Tony Stewart? "Tony brings the high-profile name to things, and Bob, everybody knows how good he is at getting those cars to handle. And Ed Pink with the Ford engine, that just kind of topped it all off."
Not too many Fords Running in Silver Crown right now. "It's just myself and Bobby East, my teammate, and maybe one other. There were a few races this year where all three of the cars were right up front."
Bob East attributes a lot of the success of the team to not dropping out of races. Is that a little bit of luck combined with preparation? "Evan Avart is the crew chief, he works really hard in the shop to make sure that the cars are prepared well and will be around at the end of 100 miles. That's a good team there."
In preparation for the 2005 season, did you guys do a lot of testing? "We haven't really done a lot of testing these past two years. I think Bob and Bobby went and tested at Milwaukee and other than that I think that's the only on-track testing we did. Bob's run enough stuff so he has a pretty good idea of what it is going to take. A few races last year we really didn't have good outings and we kinda looked back on that and figured out what we needed to do. We looked at what we did that didn't work and changed it for this year."
Bob East, Owner - No. 9 Ford Powestroke Diesel/Ford/Beast - Your thoughts on winning the USAC Silver Crown championship four years in a row? "It feels pretty good. The most anyone had won it before was back-to-back, so with four in a row we felt it was a pretty strong feat."
What makes the No. 9 Silver Crown team so good? "We have won it four times with two different drivers (J.J. Yeley and Dave Steele). I think the key is that we have not dropped out of any races. We've completed every lap except for one little collision. In four years we have never had a mechanical failure. I believe that speaks highly of our chief mechanic, Evan Avart, and Justin Kerry. They work very, very hard."
Evan's been with the team for the entire four years. wHere did you find him? "Evan moved here from Springfield, Missouri, and just wanted to learn."
How does the team work on a race weekend? "We get a lot of good feedback from Dave, who is pretty much a pavement specialist. We ran really well on the pavement, but the dirt was a little bit of a struggle. Our team won all of the pavement races this year. Dave won four and Bobby (East) won one."
How was running the two Silver Crown cars this year with Dave Steele and your son Bobby East? "Bobby ran pavement only this year. Running the two cars was a lot of hard work."
Does running two cars help both drivers? "I would say a little bit. For the amount of time it took to prepare, I don't know if it was really a gain. Bobby had a good year also. He did not run any of the dirt races but still won a race and ran in the top five every time he finished. Both cars had a good year."