Indiana Fair: Hoosier Hundred preview

TALENT-LADEN COORS LIGHT "HOOSIER HUNDRED" FIELD EYES $50,000 CASH BONUS FRIDAY AT ISF One of the most talented fields of USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown drivers in "Hoosier Hundred" history is preparing for Friday night's 54th...

TALENT-LADEN COORS LIGHT "HOOSIER HUNDRED" FIELD EYES $50,000 CASH BONUS FRIDAY AT ISF

One of the most talented fields of USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown drivers in "Hoosier Hundred" history is preparing for Friday night's 54th running of the Coors Light Hoosier Hundred presented by The Indiana National Guard at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

The Hoosier Lottery has created a $50,000 bonus incentive which will be available for the driver who elects to start last and wins the race. The offer goes first to the pole position starter, then to the next in starting position until it is accepted. In addition, a $100 bonus for each position advanced during the 100-mile race, based on finishing position, is also posted.

Friday's qualifications will present a decidedly different format than previous Hoosier Hundreds. Following "group" qualifying, the fastest 10 will face a secondary session of track time to determine the top 10 starting positions in the 100-mile race.

Defending race champion Dave Darland, who also won the race in 1995 and 1996, appears to be a prime candidate for victory Friday. His challengers are numerous, including defending series titlist Dave Steele, who won the 2005 opener at Phoenix and led the first 90 laps last year before yielding to Darland.

Others to watch Friday are track record holder Johnny Parsons (114.726 mph), 2005 points runner-up Tracy Hines, Brian Tyler (who charged from 19th to third last year before losing a rear end), Jay Drake (who won three straight series races in 2004), two-time race winner Tony Elliott (2000-01), 2001 series champ Paul White, 2004 Rookie of the Year Aaron Pierce, 2004 Most Improved driver and points runner-up Bud Kaeding, and 2003 "Mopar Million" Sprint race winner Kevin Huntley.

Special interest Friday will be centered on the series return of Gary Irvin of Noblesville, Ind. Irvin will team with step-son Ron Gregory, who finished eighth last year. Irvin's last series start came in 1997 at Madison, Ill. but he's a three-time "top-10" Hoosier Hundred finisher (7th in 1989, 9th in 1984 and 10th in 1980). Irvin's last Silver Crown dirt race produced a 12th-place finish in this race in 1992.

USAC WELD RACING SILVER CROWN SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Dave Steele-63
2.-Tracy Hines-57
3.-J.J. Yeley-51
4.-Brian Tyler-48
5.-Wayne Reutimann, Jr.-45
6.-Jimmy Kite-42
7.-Ron Gregory-39
8.-Dave Darland-36
9.-Eric Gordon-33
10.-Danny Ebberts-31

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Series USAC
Drivers Jimmy Kite , Dave Darland , Danny Ebberts , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Tony Elliott , Jay Drake , Johnny Parsons , Eric Gordon , Ron Gregory , Paul White , Wayne Reutimann