Tulsa: Event preview

Kaeding Seeks to Narrow Steele's Point Lead; O'Reilly "Tulsa 100" Saturday at Fairgrounds Motorplex Dave Steele will make his initial appearance at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Motorplex this weekend as the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series visits...

Kaeding Seeks to Narrow Steele's Point Lead; O'Reilly "Tulsa 100" Saturday at Fairgrounds Motorplex

Dave Steele will make his initial appearance at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Motorplex this weekend as the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series visits the 3/4-mile dirt track for the O'Reilly "Tulsa 100," presented by Flowmaster.

Steele did not compete in last year's inaugural Silver Crown race at the track but enters this year's event with an 80-point lead over defending Tulsa race winner Bud Kaeding in the battle for the 2004 series championship. The 100-lap race will follow practice at 5 pm, qualifying at 6 and a 15-lap "qualifying race," slated to get the green flag at 7.

Steele has finished in the "top-10" in three of his four dirt starts this season, including a second-place finish behind Dave Darland in the "Hoosier Hundred" in May at Indianapolis. Only two series races remain on the calendar, Saturday's Tulsa event followed only by the September 24-25 "4-Crown Nationals" at Rossburg, Ohio. A third-place Tulsa finish or better would virtually lock up the 2004 title, which would be his first in USAC National competition.

Kaeding has finished in the "top-10" in all four previous 2004 Silver Crown dirt races, with a fifth and three eighths to his credit.

Brian Tyler and Jason McCord are also mathematically in the title chase. Tyler has been spectacular on the dirt so far this year, coming from 19th to third in the "Hoosier Hundred" in May before mechanical problems forced him out of competition two laps from the checkered flag. He then came from 22nd to win the "Sumar Classic 100" at Terre Haute, Ind. in June and from 21st to win the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at Springfield, Ill. in August. Earlier this month he came from 10th to finish second in the "Ted Horn 100" at DuQuoin, Ill.

Drivers will be aiming at J.J. Yeley's 1-lap track qualifying record of 108.342 mph when qualifications get under way.

WELD RACING USAC SILVER CROWN SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Dave Steele-515
2.-Bud Kaeding-435
3.-Brian Tyler-422
4.-Jason McCord-400
5.-Dave Darland-368
6.-Jay Drake-342
7.-Tracy Hines-304
8.-Bobby East-297
9.-John Heydenreich-297
10.-Aaron Pierce-266

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Jay Drake , Bobby East , John Heydenreich , Jason McCord , Aaron Pierce , Tony Bettenhausen