GAMESTER GEARED UP FOR "BETTENHAUSEN 100" REPEAT? Russ Gamester of Peru, Ind. would like nothing better than to repeat as the winner of the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" when the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series competes this Saturday ...
GAMESTER GEARED UP FOR "BETTENHAUSEN 100" REPEAT?
Russ Gamester of Peru, Ind. would like nothing better than to repeat as the winner of the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" when the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series competes this Saturday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Following close on the heels of the Springfield race will be the "DuQuoin Century" at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds on Labor Day, September 6. Gamester, winner of last year's 100-miler on the 1-mile dirt Springfield oval, trails series point leader Ryan Newman by only 32 points, with 66 available Saturday (60 for the win, 3 for fast time and 3 for the most laps led). A championship would be Russ' second in USAC, having won the 1989 USAC MCI WorldCom Midget Car title. He'll drive the #51 Terre Haute First National Bank Special. Saturday's race is round nine of the 15-race series and is the first of five straight on the dirt. Russ has started all eight previous Silver Bullet races and is the only driver with "top-10" finishes in every race. Practice is slated from 9-9:50 am, followed by qualifying at 10:30. A 15-mile "qualifying race" starts at 12:30 pm and the 100-mile feature gets under way at 1:30. The Springfield race continues a tradition started back in 1934. Saturday's field includes several former Springfield winners, including Gamester, Dave Darland (1997), Jack Hewitt (1986, 1987 & 1993) and Jimmy Sills (1992). Newman is the only driver to repeat in the 1999 series, winning pavement races at Madison, Ill. and Indianapolis, Ind. Other 1999 winners include Sills (at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in May), Mike Bliss, Brian Tyler, Tracy Hines, defending series champion Jason Leffler and Dave Steele. Sills also won last year's DuQuoin 100-miler. Gamester finished second to Sills in the only dirt race contested so far this year - the "Hulman Hoosier Hundred" in Indianapolis in May. A purse of $42,400 is posted for Saturday's race and the winner takes home $9,000 plus contingency prizes.
1999 USAC COORS LIGHT SILVER BULLET SERIES STANDINGS
1. Ryan Newman 404 6. Gary Hieber 248 2. Russ Gamester 372 7. J.J. Yeley 228 3. Brian Tyler 290 8. Jason Leffler 220 4. Tracy Hines 270 9. Bentley Warren 209 5. Jack Hewitt 260 10. Robby Flock 199