Richmond, VA, June 28, 2003 - Dave Steele completed his second consecutive sweep at Richmond International Raceway, winning tonight's Dominic's of New York 100 USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series race by a healthy margin of 2.82 seconds over...
Richmond, VA, June 28, 2003 - Dave Steele completed his second consecutive sweep at Richmond International Raceway, winning tonight's Dominic's of New York 100 USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series race by a healthy margin of 2.82 seconds over Aaron Fike.
At the start of the race, Steele fell back from his pole position to third place, behind Jason McCord and J.J. Yeley. McCord's run at the front (and his race) ended against the Turn 4 wall after 13 laps when he lost a wheel. Yeley remained in command on the restart, and Steele was content to stay behind him until just before the halfway point, when he took the lead and checked out.
"I've got a good car to run, and it's just a pleasure to drive that," Steele said. "We just had a good run.
"The first few laps, I was seeing what they had and what I had. I was going as hard as I could. After Jason McCord had some problems, I could tell J.J. started struggling a little bit. He started sliding around a little. My car was working good enough where I could keep it straight. It's good from my vantage point to see the leader starting to struggle. You're just kind of licking your chops, and you just wait. He just slid up out of the groove, and we were able to get by him. After that, I ran as hard as I could run. I saw on the cautions that those two (Fike and Ed Carpenter) were behind me, and Ed gave me a hard time last year. I knew it was going to be tough. I ran as hard as I could, and it worked for us."
Steele led the final fifty two laps of the hundred lap event.
Second place was taken by Aaron Fike, who had quickly moved into contention from his third row start. Fike thought he might have something for Steele toward the end of the race, but he was foiled by Ed Carpenter.
"It killed me on the last restart when Ed got by me," Fike said. "He snuck underneath and it took ten laps to get by him. By that time Dave was a straightway ahead. We were reeling him for a little bit, and I was hoping Dave was going to fade off toward the end. But it is what it is. Dave's been the man to beat the last three or four years. He's actually my mentor, kind of my hero. He's just unbelievable on the pavement. I wish I could be as good as him some day."
Ed Carpenter took third place, moving up from his tenth starting position. He drove a classic Carpenter race, giving the fans a treat as he picked each car off. He made his final pass, into second place, when he dove under Aaron Fike on a late-race restart. The effort did not stick, though, as Fike dogged him and eventually took back the runner-up spot.
"I enjoy coming to Richmond," Carpenter said. "I ran second last year, third this year. I just didn't have enough car for these two. The power steering got hot, and started fading around half way. It didn't get real bad until about thirty to go."
Tracy Hines, who had to run the qualifying race to make the field, had a brilliant run from his 25th starting spot to finish fourth. Tyler Walker worked his way up from thirteenth to finish fifth. J.J. Yeley settled for sixth after his tires faded at mid-race.
Yeley's hopes for four in a row ended tonight, but he still remains solidly at the top of the Silver Crown Championship, leading Dave Steele 285 points to 244. Tracy Hines is in third place, with 223 points.
The next USAC Weld Silver Crown race will be July 3-4, at Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, CO.