Richmond: Round six preview

PIERCE LEADS SILVER CROWN SERIES TO RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY SATURDAY The fastest driver in USAC Silver Crown Championship history will lead the series to Richmond International Raceway in Virginia this weekend as the series joins the Indy...

PIERCE LEADS SILVER CROWN SERIES TO RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY SATURDAY

The fastest driver in USAC Silver Crown Championship history will lead the series to Richmond International Raceway in Virginia this weekend as the series joins the Indy Racing League for the track's "SunTrust Indy Challenge" program.

This Saturday's 100-lap (67-mile) race will be the ninth for the Silver Crown cars at the 3/4-mile banked oval and history includes some unpredictability. The first two in 1995 and 1996 were won by dirt specialists Jack Hewitt and Jimmy Sills, while Aaron Fike became the youngest winner in series history with his 2001 victory. Other winners include Dave Steele in 2002, 2003 and 2005, Bobby East in 2004 and series titlist Bud Kaeding last year.

Pierce, who owns the ultimate series speed mark at 175.012 mph, set in 2006 at Homestead, Fla., finished 10th in last year's Richmond race but has a nine-point lead over Wayne Reutimann Jr. entering Saturday's race. Reutimann, of Zephyrhills, Fla., was fourth at RIR in 2006.

Kaeding is only 11 points behind Pierce and will try to unseat him from the top spot Saturday. A total of 66 points are available.

Pierce already has a victory under his belt this season, winning the May 10 race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. He also finished second behind Bobby East at Iowa Speedway in May.

East, who is slated to driver one of two A.J. Foyt entries in Saturday's race, won at Iowa, while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Tracy Hines were the winners at Phoenix, Ariz. and Homestead.

Drivers will be aiming for Steele's 1-lap track record of 136.924 mph when qualifying begins at 6:15 pm Friday. Practice is also slated from 2-2:30 Friday as the Lucas Oil USAC Sprint Cars share Friday's billing with a 60-lap feature of their own.

A 2:30 pm warm-up is slated for the Silver Crown cars Saturday, followed by the 100-lap feature event at 5:15 pm.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Steele , Jack Hewitt , Bud Kaeding , Aaron Fike , Bobby East , Wayne Reutimann , Jimmy Sills , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , A.J. Foyt