wide open ted horn 100 assembles saturday night at du quoin
Du Quoin, Illinois – In Brian Tyler’s storied USAC Silver Crown career, perhaps no moment was grander than his 2021 performance at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in southern Illinois.   For instance, it was his first run for the BCR Group team after taking the reins of the ride exactly two weeks earlier. Secondly, it had been two years since the Parma, Michigan driver had last sat in the seat of a USAC Silver Crown car.   Tyler returned to the series in grand fashion to “steal their lunch money” so to speak, by charging from 11th to first to win his second career Ted Horn 100, and first since 2008, at the Magic Mile.   While Tyler’s triumph a year ago came in an afternoon matinee, this Saturday night’s 68th running of the Ted Horn 100 Presented by MiteXstream on September 3, will be back under the lights on the Magic Mile where he’s one of six past event winners in the field of 42 which marks the largest car count for the event since 2002.   Tyler’s stretch of 10 years and 17 days between USAC Silver Crown wins was the second longest gap in series history and his victory at the age of 53 years, 10 months and 10 days old made him USAC Silver Crown’s oldest race winner.   Another year wiser, Tyler will be one of three drivers in the field attempting to join the ranks of three-time Ted Horn 100 winners along with point leader Kody Swanson and Shane Cockrum.   Series point leader Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) won the first of his 37 career Silver Crown races at Du Quoin in 2010, then became a two-time winner of the event in 2017. He comes into Saturday’s race bringing with him a three-race winning streak. Three times he’s also started from the pole at Du Quoin in 2015, 2016 and 2021.   Shane Cockrum, who hails from 20 miles east of the Magic Mile in Benton, Ill., is a fellow two-time Ted Horn 100 winner, capturing back-to-back victories in 2014 and 2015, which were topped only by his team’s impromptu leap into the infield lake following each of the two wins. In his past seven Du Quoin starts dating back to 2013, Cockrum has finished no worse than fifth.   Russ Gamester (Peru, Ind.) leads all drivers in the field with 22 career Ted Horn 100 starts. His performances include a victorious one back in 1997, which served as his first career Silver Crown score. He added three additional top-five finishes in the event during the 2000-01-02 runnings.   Chris Urish (Elkhart, Ill.) is one of six drivers to have won his one and only, thus far, USAC Silver Crown race at Du Quoin, enjoying the spoils of victory in 2013. The others to do the deed are Bubby Jones (1976), Billy Vukovich (1979), Stevie Reeves (1991), Rich Tobias Jr. (2003) and Jacob Wilson (2019).   In addition to being a Ted Horn 100 winner in 2007, Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) also captured the pole position for the race in 2007 and 2008. Cottle also collected a 2nd in 2006 and a 3rd in 2008 and recorded his best finish since that point during the 2021 edition of the race with a 6th.     HAVE YOU EVER BEEN EXPERIENCED?   Gamester (22 starts), Tyler (20) and Jerry Coons Jr. (20) are the lone drivers in the lineup with at least 20 years of Ted Horn 100 experience. Coons (Tucson, Ariz.), the 2008 Silver Crown titlist, finished a best of 2nd at Du Quoin in 2001, and his four career Du Quoin poles are the most in Du Quoin’s 73-year history of champ car racing. In 2021, he was the hardest charger, breezing through the field from 19th to 4th.     MAGIC MEN   Justin Grant has won on the indoor Mini Magic Mile at the adjacent Southern Illinois Center in USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget competition, capturing the Shamrock Classic in 2017 and again in March of this year. The 2020 Silver Crown champion nearly pulled off the double on both the big and small track, finishing 2nd on the mile in USAC Silver Crown competition in 2019.   Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) has raced to victory at Du Quoin’s dirt mile but not yet in Silver Crown competition. With the ARCA Stock Cars in 2018, he was the race winner. He nearly pulled it off again the following year, finishing 2nd after starting 10th. He was masterful in his Ted Horn 100 debut in 2021, finishing 2nd. Like Grant, Seavey has also won at Du Quoin’s indoor track, scoring the Shamrock Classic during his USAC National Midget championship season of 2018.   Kyle Steffens (St. Charles, Mo.) tallied 13th place Ted Horn 100 finishes in both 2019 and 2021. His most heroic moment on the Du Quoin mile came as a 16-year-old on Labor Day Weekend 2001 when he won the accompanying modified feature to become the youngest winner in the track’s history.   Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) snared a magnificent 3rd place result in his first Ted Horn 100 in 2021. Kyle Robbins (New Castle, Ind.), the 2018 Silver Crown Rookie of the Year, posted his best Du Quoin finish in 2021 with an 8th after taking 10th in 2018. Matt Goodnight (Winchester, Ind.), likewise, picked up a solid 9th in 2021 for his best Ted Horn 100 after garnering 10th in 2019.     LINEAGE OF Du QUOIN   A  number of Ted Horn 100 competitors possess a family lineage of Silver Crown success at the track.   Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio) finished 8th in 2018 while his grandfather, Jerry Nemire, earned a result of 7th in 1981. Steven Russell (Rochester, Ill.), meanwhile, took 10th in 2014 while his father, and chassis builder, Jerry Russell, raced to a 5th place in 1990.   C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) has made five starts at the Ted Horn 100 in his career, notching a 4th place finish in 2017 and a 7th in 2018. Leary’s father made a somewhat similar mark at Du Quoin. Chuck Leary, likewise, started the Ted Horn 100 on five occasions between 1995 and 2000, taking 7th in 1998.   Dallas Hewitt (Troy, Ohio) and Korey Weyant (Springfield, Ill.) have also followed in the family footsteps to race champ cars at Du Quoin. Dallas, a 22nd place finisher and third-place qualifier in 2022, is the nephew of three-time Ted Horn 100 winner Jack Hewitt, who captured victories in 1986-87-93.    Korey, 25th in 2021, is the great nephew of Chuck Weyant, a three-time Du Quoin champ car starter with AAA in 1952-53 and with USAC in 1959, who finished a best of 10th in that 1953 event.     THE VETERAN GUARD   Carmen Perigo (Stoystown, Pa.) traveled 22nd to 11th in his Ted Horn 100 Rookie run in 2021. Patrick Lawson (Edwardsville, Ill.) equaled his best Ted Horn 100 result in 2021 with a 12th, which he also achieved in 2014.   Casey Buckman (Chandler, Ariz.) ran 11th in 2019. Jimmy Light (West Springfield, Pa.) took 12th in 2019. Chris Fetter (Troy, Mo.) will be sporting a new car and number (15) after running number 88 for the nine seasons with the series. Fetter finished a best of 14th in 2015.   Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) made his first USAC Silver Crown start at Du Quoin in 17 seasons during his 2021 run and was a best of 17th at the track during his 2002 Rookie of the Year campaign. Travis Welpott (Pendleton, Ind.) was 19th at Du Quoin in 2019 and suffered a heavy impact during the 2021 race, getting upside down.   Vietnam War veteran Danny Long (Bonne Terre, Mo.) was 23rd in both 2016-17 while Dave Berkheimer (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) collected a 19th in 2021 and multi-time USAC National Sprint Car and Midget winner Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) was 23rd.     BACK IN THE SADDLE   For a handful of others, it’s been a few years since they’ve last turned last in USAC Silver Crown competition at Du Quoin. Eric Gordon (Greenfield, Ind.) made his first Ted Horn 100 start in 1990 but hasn’t been back in the event since 2019. The 1990 series runner-up’s best results in the race came via a 2nd in 1994 and a 3rd in 1999.   A.J. Fike (Galesburg, Ill.) racked a 3rd in 2013 and a 5th in 2014 at the Ted Horn 100 but is still seeking his first Silver Crown victory at Du Quoin as he makes a resurgence to the lineup for the first time since 2019. With the ARCA Stock Cars, he captured the pole three times at Du Quoin in 2007-09-10.   Davey Ray (Davenport, Iowa) made his last Ted Horn 100 start in 2016. The 2003 Badger Midget champion finished 19th with the champ cars at Du Quoin in 2005. Patrick Bruns (Champaign, Ill.) will be back in the seat of a champ car for the first time since 2017. He finished 23rd back in 2008.     THE NEW CLASS   Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) has heard comparisons to Kyle Larson of late. This Saturday, the current USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship point leader, and defending titlist, will try to become the first Rookie Ted Horn 100 winner since Larson got it done in 2011.   Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.), one of the longest-tenured USAC National Sprint Car drivers who ranks eighth all-time in series starts, is a relative newcomer to Silver Crown racing. He’ll debut at Du Quoin along with leading series Rookie Gregg Cory (Shelbyville, Ind.) as well as two-time USAC Silver Crown starter and one-time USAC National Sprint Car feature winner Dave Peperak.   Multi-time Indiana Sprint Car scene feature winner Tye Mihocko (Phoenix, Ariz.) and 2007-08 Du Quoin ARCA Stock Car race starter Kyle Chady (Benton, Ill.) are stepping foot into a Silver Crown car for the very first-time. Cary Oliver (Buncombe, Ill.) will be seeking his first start while a slew of fellow series Rookies will do the same: 2021 Auto Value Super Sprint champion Tom Paterson (Argos, Ind.), Eldora late model and modified champion Brian Ruhlman (Clarklake, Mich.) and ASCS Elite Non-Wing Sprint Car series owner and operator Nathan Moore (Kaufman, Texas).


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