Indiana State Fairgrounds news 2009-05-18

Hoosier Hundred Returns!!!! Three time Hoosier Hundred winner Dave Darland and 'defending' winner Josh Wise are expected to be a part of a strong entry list of K&N Filter United States Auto Club Silver Crown Series participants for the 2009 ...

Hoosier Hundred Returns!!!!

Three time Hoosier Hundred winner Dave Darland and 'defending' winner Josh Wise are expected to be a part of a strong entry list of K&N Filter United States Auto Club Silver Crown Series participants for the 2009 Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Friday night, May 22. The position of the Hoosier Hundred on the revamped K&N Filters Silver Crown schedule is the second of 2009 on the dirt and the first to be contested on the traditional one mile fairground dirt tracks that have a national championship racing heritage that can be traced back to 1903!

The Hoosier Hundred has long been considered the 'granddaddy' of all of the events for the traditional upright championship dirt cars and even with a move from a long standing September afternoon date to the Friday night before the Indianapolis 500, the Hoosier Hundred remains an event every USAC driver would like to conquer at least once in his driving career. Unfortunately, Mother Nature took the last two scheduled Hoosier Hundred races as rain of a suitable rain date forced Hoosier Hundred promoter Bob Sargent and the United States Auto Club to cancel the event and bring the the Hoosier Hundred back in 2009.

Defending USAC Silver Crown champion Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson, Arizona comes into the 2009 Hoosier Hundred 9th in the point chase after a 9th place run at the opening "Copper on Dirt" on the half mile at Manzanita Speedway. Coons, with pole positions at both Springfield and DuQuoin to his credit, has to be considered one of the drivers to watch at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and is still in search of that elusive mile dirt track win to add to his impressive resume which includes becoming the third "Triple Crown Champion" in USAC's 52 year history

Former Silver Crown champ Tracy Hines of New Castle, Indiana began his comeback from leg injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident early in 2007 with several fine runs in 2008 for car owner Tony Stewart. Hines is fourth in the 2009 USAC Silver Crown chase after a fourth at Manzanita. Hines has several series wins to his credit including a win in the Tony Bettenhausen 100 on the mile dirt at Springfield, Illinois and two in the Ted Horn 100 on the mile dirt track at DuQuoin, Illinois. If Indiana native Hines can capture the Hoosier Hundred he would be just the tenth Indiana native to win his state's most prestigious dirt track race and the 14th man in auto racing history to win national championship races on each of the three fairground dirt miles of the Midwest. Support from General Motors in the form of Chevrolet engines should put Hines and Tony Stewart teammate Levi Jones at the front of the pack for the 56th Hoosier Hundred. Jones, a former star basketball player from Olney, Illinois won USAC Sprint car titles in 2005 and 2007 and led 99 of the 100 laps of the 2006 Hoosier Hundred before being passed by then teammate Josh Wise in the last turn of the last lap.

Wise, the 2006 USAC Sprint car champ became the youngest winner of the Hoosier Hundred in 2006 after starting from the pole for the 100-mile event. He moved to ARCA and NASCAR stock car events for owner Michael Waltrip, but sponsorship leftthe team and Wise announced recently he would attempt to contest the 2009Silver Crown Series, taking over the Contos machine formerly drivenby Shane Cottle. Dave Darland of Lincoln, Indiana is a three time Hoosier Hundred (1995, 1996, 2004) who became nationally known after his first win for car owner Galen Fox in the 1995 race and won the USAC Silver Crown title with Fox in 1997. Like Hines, Darland is one win shy of posting victories on all of the three dirt miles, lacking a victory at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Two time and defending K&N Filters USAC Silver Crown Series champ Bud Kaeding can't be counted out of the Hoosier Hundred picture either. The third generation driver from Campbell, California currently is leading the points after winning at Manzanita but has yet to win on any of the traditional mile dirt tracks.

A couple of Indiana drivers also have a chance at a top finish in the 2009 Hoosier Hundred. Jon Stanbrough from Kokomo has a number of top finishes in Silver Crown machinery to his credit and some front row starts as well. Stanbrough has two top ten starts in three Hoosier Hundred races and he could be one of the dark horse drivers on May 22. Second generation driver Shane Hollingsworth of Indianapolis won his first pole position last August for the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and looks for his first top ten run on the Indy Mile.

Brian Tyler of Parma, Michigan gained even more distinction in 2008 when he gave Toyota Motor Company it's first 100-mile dirt track wins as he took a Toyota powered Beast to victory lane at the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. How the Toyota engine performs at the tricky Indiana mile will be anyone's guess, and Indianapolis remains the last dirt mile that Tyler has yet to conquer.

Other drivers expected for the Hosier Hundred include Jesse Hocket, currently second in points, A.J. Fike of Galesburg, Illinois (7th in points), Derek Hagar and rookie Zach Daum.

The prestigious auto race created by late Indianapolis Motor Speedway Safety Director Jo Quinn and Indianapolis businessman Roger Wolcott is scheduled for May 23, 2009 at the Indiana State Fair mile. Practice is slated for 5 p.m. Eastern time, with qualificaitons at 6 and the first race of the evening at 7. Drivers will be gunning for Parsons' one lap track record of 31.379 (114.726) set in 1995, while Kenny Jacobs 100-mile track standard of 56:05.20 (106.977) has stood since 1987. Tickets can be obtained by calling Track Enterprises at 217-764-3200, the Indiana State Fair Box Office at 317-927-1482 or at Ticketmaster locations. Additional information can be found at www.trackenterprises.com or www.usacracing.com.

-credit: isf/te

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Dave Darland , Tracy Hines , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , A.J. Fike , Kenny Jacobs , Levi Jones , Jerry Coons , Josh Wise , Jon Stanbrough , Shane Cottle , Shane Hollingsworth , Tony Bettenhausen , Zach Daum , Derek Hagar