Illinois: Race report

Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. scored his third "Tony Bettenhausen 100" triumph in Saturday's 100-mile USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, leading all but one lap in his Foxco/Jarvis Enterprises Beast/Foxco ...

Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. scored his third "Tony Bettenhausen 100" triumph in Saturday's 100-mile USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, leading all but one lap in his Foxco/Jarvis Enterprises Beast/Foxco Chevy.

Darland's victory left him just nine points behind defending series champion J.J. Yeley in the new series standings going into this weekend's events at the Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway. A 100-mile USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown race is among USAC's "tripleheader" activities at the Nazareth mile in conjunction with the Firestone Indy 225 IRL weekend.

The Nazareth USAC slate calls for Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown practice Friday morning and afternoon, followed by Friday afternoon Sprint and Midget qualifying. Saturday's timetable has Silver Crown practice and qualifying in the morning, plus qualifying races for all three series in the afternoon. The 30-mile Midget and Sprint Car feature events are later Saturday afternoon and the 100-mile Weld Racing Silver Crown race gets the green flag at 12:30 pm Sunday.

"This might have been the best car I've ever had," said the jubilant Darland in the Springfield winner's circle. Dave also won at the Springfield mile in 1997 and 1999.

Yeley, leading all three USAC National Series standings, fought an ill-handling car and finished 17th, eight laps behind the winner after making numerous pit stops for adjustments on yellow flags.

Darland won the pole for the race at 119.047 mph. and was trailed at the checkered flag by Jerry Coons, Jr., Tyler Walker, Jay Drake and Tracy Hines. Coons caught Darland on a restart and led lap 21 but Darland regained the lead the next lap and was never again headed.

""It's too bad the day's over," said Darland, who attributed the win to a great car. "We weren't good on restarts but once we got the momentum we were OK."

The race was halted on lap 90 for a five-car accident at the end of the frontstretch but there were no serious injuries. Tom Capie, one of three drivers who flipped during the melee, was transported to a Springfield hospital for a precautionary checkup. Brian Tyler and Rich Tobias, Jr. also flipped.

USAC WELD RACING SILVER CROWN SERIES STANDINGS
1. J.J. Yeley 383
2. Dave Darland 374
3. Dave Steele 370
4. Tracy Hines 330
5. Jay Drake 288
6. Paul White 269
7. Tyler Walker 227
8. Brian Tyler 225
9. Jason McCord 179
10. Rich Tobias, Jr. 172

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Jay Drake , Paul White , Tyler Walker , Jason McCord , Jerry Coons , Tom Capie , Tony Bettenhausen