WS: Irwindale Speedway Oct. 14 preview

Irwindale, Calif. - - Attention open wheel fans! ATTENTION ALL OPEN WHEEL FANS! Saturday, October 14 is your opportunity … No, make that DUTY … To witness this year's only west coast pavement appearance of the mighty Silver Crown Cars of...

Irwindale, Calif. - - Attention open wheel fans! ATTENTION ALL OPEN WHEEL FANS! Saturday, October 14 is your opportunity … No, make that DUTY … To witness this year's only west coast pavement appearance of the mighty Silver Crown Cars of USAC at freeway-close, clean, comfortable, friendly, Irwindale Speedway. The Coors Light USAC Silver Bullets are back! That one statement is enough to get anyone who saw their earth-shaking, asphalt-pounding debut at IS last year to fire up and starting heading for the San Gabriel Valley right now!

These fabled "big cars" with their roots so solidly-planted in the Indy tradition are simply awesome to watch on a wide ½-mile speedway like Irwindale. Driven by the best in the business, the scene is (almost) majestic (if it wasn't for the raw edge that open wheels and tall cockpits give to the proceedings) as these heavyweights single-seater adventure machines bellow down the straights and claw for traction in the turns.

Driven by the best in the business, Leffler, Darland, Yeley, Elliot, Kaeding, Noffsinger, Hewitt, Parsons, Stewart, Pankratz, and more … These wonderfully-entertaining "throwbacks" are the nearest living relatives to the original "Champ Cars" that titans like Parnelli, A.J., Pancho, Herk, Ziggy, the original "Larry and Gary Show" and Vukie Jr. drove to glory both on the dirt tracks and the pavement not so very long ago.

This is Silver Crown racing … Begun in 1971 by USAC to immortalize the kind of great roadster racing that so many American racing legends are based on. This unique series only visits the West Coast once a year with stops in Sacramento to run a breathtaking mile on the dirt fairgrounds oval and then to take to the tapered confines of Irwindale Speedway for a speedbowl showdown. This is history on the hoof, this is USAC National Championship Coors Silver Bullet racing!

Also on the bill at Irwindale are the open-wheel favorite USAC Western States Sprint Cars. Slightly smaller than the Silver Crown cars, these V-8 powered bolides bomb the banks of Irwindale Speedway with a fervor that few can equal.

Again, these are open-cockpit, open-wheel, single-seaters with no other purpose on this earth but to carry their driver around a race track faster than anything else. Open wheels are always on the raw edge, and yet the Sprint drivers always seem to have these high-strung horses under at least some semblance of control. Seeing (these brutes) is believing.

Adding to the potential for action in the USAC Sprinters is the fact that the Western States title is on the line Todd Ellison (757 points), Burney Lamar (712) and Tony Hunt (704) all have a shot at the Championship this weekend in what will be the final race of the seven-state, 16-race series. Open wheel racing at its most intense is a given here.

And, don't forget, there's over $5000.00 in prize money for Irwindale's own Grand American Modifieds on Saturday night as well. A three-ring circus of top oval track racing entertainment on tap at "L.A.'s ½-Mile Super Speedway".

Tickets for this terrific triple-header are available at all the usual places including www.tickets.com, (626) 358-1100, or in person at the on-site box office.

There are a number of good seats left for this ONLY 2000 season visit of the USAC's fabled Silver Crown cars to Irwindale Speedway … Fans are urged to get their tickets early and to come out to the Speedway early to get a good look at the cars and drivers as they prepare and qualify for the important events that night. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. and there's plenty to do (free live band, free car club show, practice, single car qualifying, pre-event contests, the Alta Dena Milk Chugs autograph session, people-watching, NASCAR Trivia, etc.) right up to showtime at 7:00 p.m.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Tony Hunt