Brian Tyler won tonight's James River Grounds 100 USAC Silver Crown Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Tyler, who won this race in 2007 and the 60 lap Sprint race here in 2006, started in fifth place and jumped to second within the ...
Brian Tyler won tonight's James River Grounds 100 USAC Silver Crown Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Tyler, who won this race in 2007 and the 60 lap Sprint race here in 2006, started in fifth place and jumped to second within the first two laps. He then trailed 2004 winner Bobby East for the next 78 laps, until a caution closed the gap and gave him an opportunity. When the green fell on Lap 86, he took to the outside along the back stretch and made the pass stick through Turn 3.
"Bobby's really tough, and I know he's going to race me clean," Tyler said. "I drove it in on the outside and he got me to drive in a little deeper and come up the track and he did a crossover move. If it had stayed green he probably could have beat me, but once we got the gap closed back up we were pretty equal, so it was just a matter of going for it on that restart.
"When you're running second with a few laps to go you always like to see a caution. The guy running second's got the advantage at that point. I've got to thank everyone on the crew - everybody involved with it. They give me really good equipment and I'm able to do what I do."
East, who started on the pole, finished second after the restart and pass spoiled what might have been a flag to flag victory.
Ryan Smith started eighth and finished fourth after holding third place for much of the race, until he was passed by Cameron Dodson after a late race restart.
Dodson's drive to third place, from a 14th place starting position, gave the fans their money's worth tonight. The 2007 Silver Crown Rookie of the Year, who was critically injured in a November 2007 highway crash, continued his remarkable comeback. From his start deep in the pack he clawed his way into the top five by Lap 40. The spot from sixth to fifth was the hardest fought battle of the evening. Dodson and Bud Kaeding went wheel to wheel for over ten laps, with Dodson looking high and low, but Kaeding was always there. They even touched wheels once in Turn 1, with a big puff of smoke and both cars wiggling. Both drivers managed to hold on and continued the race and their battle. Dodson finally got past around the outside in Turns 1 and 2, then pulled out a comfortable gap.
After Dodson passed Kaeding, the order was East, Tyler, Smith and Dodson. During much of the second half of the race they held position, spread out over nearly half a lap. The caution for debris on Lap 80 set the stage for Tyler's pass for the win and, a lap later, Dodson pulling a similar move on Smith along the front stretch.
Fourth place finisher Smith was followed by A.J. Fike in fifth. Sixth place was taken by last year's winner Chet Fillip, who had an excellent drive moving up from a 15th place start. Kaeding, who held onto fourth so tenaciously in the early part of the race, finished ninth.
Bud Kaeding remains at the head of the season points, with Tracy Hines in second. Brian Tyler's run tonight advanced him from twelfth to third.
The next USAC Silver Crown Series race will be a 100 lap event July 23rd at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.