Unveiling of 'Next Generation'

USAC Unveils 'Next Generation' Silver Crown Racecar at PRI Trade Show Evolutionary design prepares popular series for next phase of competition INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Dec. 09, 2004) -- The United States Auto Club (USAC), seeking to build...

USAC Unveils 'Next Generation' Silver Crown Racecar at PRI Trade Show
Evolutionary design prepares popular series for next phase of competition

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Dec. 09, 2004) -- The United States Auto Club (USAC), seeking to build participation, boost competition and expand its fan base within its premier race program, the Weld Racing Silver Crown Series, has developed an evolutionary design that will become the new Silver Crown pavement car for the 2006 racing season. The car makes its debut today at the 17th Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Following initial testing, which netted extremely positive results, the revised front-engine, open-wheel racer incorporates specific modifications designed to improve many aspects of the car and the series.

"Safety was clearly a fundamental factor in our consideration of what USAC wanted to accomplish with this evolutionary design," stated USAC President and Chief Executive Officer Rollie Helmling. "Additionally, we wanted to achieve three other primary objectives: simplicity, economic stability and ultimately, performance." All goals have been realized, Helmling added.

USAC's current Silver Crown race car is an upright, traditional design open-wheeler utilizing a tubular frame. The new car will be designated for competition at paved tracks in excess of one mile in length, as well as all shorter pavement venues. "This will lead to easy adaptation of the series' current cars to the new package, and thus keep incremental costs to a minimum," Helming said.

Citing safety's prominent role, Riley Technologies' general manager Ron McMahon, who oversaw the prototype construction, said the new sidepods bring an Indycar look to the Silver Crown machine, while protecting the wheels, as does the new front nose that discourages cars from climbing wheels. Driving on one-and-a-half-mile ovals will increase the speed of the cars, especially on the straightaways, but "the stability of the car has been significantly enhanced," McMahon noted.

Riley Technologies, of Speedway, Indiana, has been involved in the concept since the fall of 2003. McMahon and his staff tested the prototype on a half-mile track first, then took the car to a wind tunnel facility at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, before finally shaking the car down at Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile tri-oval course. Regular Silver Crown drivers Jason McCord and Tony Ave conducted two tests at the larger track.

Having the opportunity to run at larger facilities is another key goal for USAC and ultimately, its entrants and drivers. Playing to larger crowds will increase the competitive series' fan base and in turn, increase purse size as well as driver and sponsor recognition.

"This project is one of the most ambitious in USAC's history," Helmling stated. "We are extremely excited about the possibilities for this new car as we continue to expand and refine the Weld Racing Silver Crown Series. We have worked diligently to keep costs down for these new cars, transferring as many current components as possible, while focusing on making these cars attractive, exciting and fast, three important points in building our exposure."

The current rules package for USAC's dirt-track Silver Crown cars remains unchanged, while the new pavement package will debut in 2006. The overall series will remain a combination of pavement and dirt events. Current and new car owners and builders will be able to utilize the new specs to construct their own machines. USAC Director of Competition Mike Devin and veteran crew chief Owen Snyder, who recently joined the association's staff, will oversee the development of the series' new cars.

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Ave , Jason McCord