Series Illinois spotlight - Brian Tyler

TYLER EYES SPRINGFIELD REPEAT AUGUST 22 Brian Tyler of Parma, Mich. looks forward to the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" all year. He has good reason to, having won the race three times in the past five years! Tyler is the defending champion of both...

TYLER EYES SPRINGFIELD REPEAT AUGUST 22

Brian Tyler of Parma, Mich. looks forward to the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" all year. He has good reason to, having won the race three times in the past five years!

Tyler is the defending champion of both USAC K & N Silver Crown Championship races held on the Illinois mile dirt ovals last year. The "Tony Bettenhausen 100" is slated next Saturday, August 22, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, followed by the September 6 "Ted Horn 100" at the DuQuoin State Fair.

Tyler, the only driver with two wins in this year's Silver Crown series (on the pavement at Richmond, Va. and Oswego, N.Y.), has tied Dave Steele for second on the career list with 16 wins, behind Jack Hewitt's all-time record of 23 and a Springfield triumph would put him in second place by himself.

A fourth Springfield win would also put Tyler in select company, with four wins, joining A.J. Foyt, Jack Hewitt and the spectacular Chuck Gurney, who won seven times at Springfield!

Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind., will also seek a fourth Springfield win, having won in 1997, 1999 and 2003. Darland finished second to Tyler in last year's 100-miler and is second to Bud Kaeding in this year's standings.

Kaeding, of Campbell, Calif., finished fifth in last year's Springfield race and is still looking for his first mile dirt track win in the series. Kaeding's last series win came at the Terre Haute (Ind.) dirt track in 2006.

The Springfield tradition is deep, the first 100-mile Championship race having been held in 1934, won by Billy Winn. The ensuing years have produced wins by many of America's greatest drivers, including Indianapolis 500 champions Wilbur Shaw, Mauri Rose, Johnnie Parsons, Rodger Ward, Sam Hanks, Jimmy Bryan, Foyt, Mario Andretti and Al Unser. Even Tony Bettenhausen, got in on the glory, with three Springfield wins of his own. His son Gary also won twice.

Tyler will pilot one of two Team Six-R entries. The other will be driven by Kingsburg, Calif. driver Kody Swanson, both with Lucas Oil and Fatheadz Sunglasses sponsorship and Toyota engines. Swanson has strung together three "top-six" finishes in the last three series outings. The team's proficiency has put Tyler in third and Swanson in fifth in the point race.

Tyler, despite the 16 career wins, continues to seek his first series championship. The 1996 and 1997 USAC Sprint Car Champion was second in Silver Crown points in 1998 and 2006. He is currently 69 points back of Kaeding, who is trying to secure his third title.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Mario Andretti , Al Unser Sr. , Dave Darland , Dave Steele , Jack Hewitt , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Rodger Ward , Tony Bettenhausen , A.J. Foyt , Kody Swanson