Bonus for three race sweep announced

$25,000 BONUS FOR MILE-TRACK SILVER CROWN "SWEEP" AT INDIANAPOLIS, SPRINGFIELD & DuQUOIN Race organizer Bob Sargent and long-time car owner and promoter Don Smith of Terre Haute First Financial, have announced a $25,000 cash ...

$25,000 BONUS FOR MILE-TRACK SILVER CROWN "SWEEP" AT INDIANAPOLIS, SPRINGFIELD & DuQUOIN

Race organizer Bob Sargent and long-time car owner and promoter Don Smith of Terre Haute First Financial, have announced a $25,000 cash bonus for any driver who can "sweep" this year's three mile-track USAC K & N Silver Crown Championship dirt-track races. The driver will receive the "First Financial Corporation of Indiana Cup."

Friday's 55th "Hoosier Hundred" kicks off the three-race slate which includes the August 18 "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and the September 2 "Ted Horn 100" at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.

"This bonus is another example of the tremendous support our sport receives from our good friend Don Smith" said USAC President Rollie Helmling. "His contributions on behalf of our participants are sincerely appreciated and we are pleased that he and Bob have arranged for this significant prize. Competition for the championship cup should be fierce."

Only once in USAC's 37-year Silver Crown history has a driver swept all three races. Jack Hewitt did it in 1986. Drivers who have won two of the three include Al Unser (1972), Mario Andretti (1973 & 1974), Tom Bigelow (1975), Bobby Olivero (1979), Gary Bettenhausen (1980 & 1983), Hewitt (1987 & 1993), Chuck Gurney (1989, 1994 & 1996), Paul White (2001), J.J. Yeley (2002) and Tracy Hines (2006).

Friday's 100-mile race could include three former race winners: three-time winner Dave Darland, two-time winner Tony Elliott and 2005 winner Teddy Beach.

Johnny Parsons, who also will return for this year's race, set the official 1-lap track qualifying record of 114.726 mph (31.379 seconds). White actually eclipsed that with a 31.173 seconds-lap in 2005 but that came during an incomplete qualifying session.

Aaron Pierce of Muncie, Ind., Tony Stewart Racing teammates Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Olive Branch, Miss. and Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. and a host of others are also expected to be strong candidates to claim the $25,000 bonus. Stenhouse won this year's series opener on the dirt at Phoenix, Ariz., while Jones narrowly missed winning last year's "Hoosier Hundred," losing to teammate Josh Wise on the final lap. Pierce leads the series standings going into Friday's race.

Tickets for the Hoosier Hundred are available by calling 317-927-1482. Discount coupons are available at all area Kroger Supermarkets. Spectator gates open at 3 pm and racing starts at 7.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Mario Andretti , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Jack Hewitt , Tony Elliott , Teddy Beach , Johnny Parsons , Levi Jones , Aaron Pierce , Josh Wise , Tony Bettenhausen , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , Al Unser