SILLS TAKES CALEXPO; NEWMAN TAKES 20-POINT LEAD TO IRWINDALE Crowd favorite Jimmy Sills of Placerville, Calif. captured Saturday night's "Silver Crown 100" USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet race at CalExpo State Fairgrounds in Sacramento,...
SILLS TAKES CALEXPO; NEWMAN TAKES 20-POINT LEAD TO IRWINDALE
Crowd favorite Jimmy Sills of Placerville, Calif. captured Saturday night's "Silver Crown 100" USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet race at CalExpo State Fairgrounds in Sacramento, Calif., leading the final 40 miles around the 1-mile dirt track in his True Value/Terre Haute First National Bank Chevy.
Sills took advantage of a slip by leader J.J. Yeley in turn two on the 61st lap and motored by to take the lead. He finished with a cushion of several car lengths, averaging a record 96.205 mph for the 100 miles.
"George (Snider), my car owner, made a tire change just before the race," said Sills in victory lane. "The car was real tight and I tried to save the tires as much as I could. I think we might have had about another 10 laps left at the end, so we were lucky."
Tony Elliott finished second ahead of Yeley, with Russ Gamester fourth and Todd Kane fifth. Gamester's finish narrowed Ryan Newman's series point lead to just 20 points going into next Saturday's race at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. Newman finished ninth in the Sacramento race.
Elliott won the pole starting spot for the race at 115.744 mph but lost the lead to Yeley at the green flag. Three caution periods interrupted the 100-miler but there were no driver injuries in any of the incidents.
Ricky Shelton of Huntington Beach, Calif. earned the Turbines, Inc. "Rookie of the Race" award for his sixth-place finish, while series rookie Paul White won the 15-lap "qualifying race" which preceded the 100-miler.
The Coors Light Silver Bullet Series, Western Sprint Car Series and MCI WorldCom Western Midget Car Series share billing in what promises to be a unique format of racing at Irwindale. All will be condensed into a three-hour television package by ESPN2. A 30-lap Sprint, 30-lap Midget Car and 100-lap Silver Bullet feature event are scheduled on the 1/2-mile pavement, following practice which is slated to start at noon for Midget Cars, 12:30 for Sprint Cars and 1 pm for Silver Bullet, plus prelims.
Irwindale Speedway has debuted in 1999 with USAC events in various series but the Coors Light Silver Bullet machines will be making their first Los Angeles-area appearance ever. The previous 11 Silver Bullet events in the Golden State have included nine in Sacramento, plus the 1994 race at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield and the 1996 series finale at the Del Mar Fairgrounds track.
1999 USAC COORS LIGHT SILVER BULLET SERIES STANDINGS
1. Ryan Newman 576 6. Jimmy Sills 429 2. Russ Gamester 556 7. Tony Elliott 412 3. Jack Hewitt 477 8. J.J. Yeley 411 4. Tracy Hines 445 9. Dave Darland 403 5. Brian Tyler 444 10. Jason Leffler 274