WILL USAC's "SWEET 16" EXPAND IN 2006? A total of 16 drivers have recorded victories in USAC Silver Crown, National Sprint Car and National Midget competition during a single season since the debut of the Silver Crown Series,...
WILL USAC's "SWEET 16" EXPAND IN 2006?
A total of 16 drivers have recorded victories in USAC Silver Crown, National Sprint Car and National Midget competition during a single season since the debut of the Silver Crown Series, presented by K & N Engineering, in 1971. Could that list expand in 2006?
Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. hopes to turn the trick for a record sixth consecutive year and already has two legs up in that quest. He won the "Copper World Classic" Silver Crown and Midget races Jan. 22 at Phoenix, Ariz.
In the past five years, Steele's "sweeps" have included a dozen Silver Crown wins, plus 10 in the Sprints and nine in the Midgets. Steele also accomplished the "triple" in 1998 and is the only driver to do it six times.
Dave Darland achieved the rare "triple" four times (1997, 1999, 2000 and 2005), while Rich Vogler (1980, 1981 and 1989) and J.J. Yeley (2001, 2002 and 2003) did it on three occasions. Drivers winning in all three series twice have been Pancho Carter (1977 and 1978), Jack Hewitt (1991 and 1998), Kenny Irwin Jr. (1995 and 1996) and Jay Drake (2000 and 2003).
Other drivers to grab victories in each series in a single season include Tom Bigelow (1972), Ron Shuman (1982), Ken Schrader (1983), Rick Hood (1984), Mike Bliss (1993), Tony Elliott (1998), Ryan Newman (1999), Bobby East (2004).
Drivers, in addition to Steele, Darland, Yeley, Drake, East and Elliott, who competed in feature events in all three series in 2005 included Jerry Coons Jr., Ryan Durst, Aaron Fike, Dickie Gaines, Ron Gregory, Tom Hessert III, John Heydenreich, Tracy Hines, Shane Hollingsworth, Levi Jones, Michael Lewis, Mat Neely, Kyle Nicholas, Aaron Pierce, Davey Ray, Bill Rose, Bobby Santos III, Jon Stanbrough, Matt Westfall and Josh Wise.
The next USAC Silver Crown Series presented by K & N Engineering race is March 24-25 at Homestead Miami Speedway in Florida, the National Sprint Car debut is April 1 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and the National Midget Cars resume action May 21 at Concord, N.C.