The final dirt race of the 2023 USAC Silver Crown season happens this weekend at Eldora with a field of 36 entries, the most in 22 years, which will make the race just to get into the 26-car field a challenging ordeal in itself.
Two of those entries find themselves in the throes of a heated championship battle once again for the third consecutive season – Logan Seavey and Kody Swanson.
Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) enters the event just one point ahead of Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.). To put how close this modern-day Gary & Larry Show has been in recent years, consider this. After the Eldora round in 2021, Swanson led Seavey by one. After Eldora in 2022, Swanson and Seavey were tied. However, on both occasions, Swanson wound up with the ultimate championship glory.
But Eldora has been a personal ATM for Seavey of late, having won the last two 4-Crown Silver Crown races in 2021-22 while leading 91 of the 100 total laps. Swanson finished a best of 2nd in 2015 and won the pole in 2017, and also notched a 4th in 2019, 5th in 2016, 5th in 2018 and another 5th in 2021.
Likewise, Justin Grant and Brady Bacon find themselves intertwined in the USAC National Sprint Car title race for the second year in a row.
Grant (Ione, Calif.) finished ahead of runner-up Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) in 2022, and at press time, they remain in the same order with just nine points of separation between the two.
Grant has won five times in his USAC National Sprint Car career at Eldora, including this past May during #LetsRaceTwo. Two of those five victories came during the 4-Crown in 2016 and just last year in 2022.
Similarly, Bacon owns a 4-Crown USAC Sprint Car win in 2014, and added a #LetsRaceTwo triumph in the spring of 2018, his most recent series victory at The Big E.
Grant and Bacon are among the five past 4-Crown USAC Sprint Car winners in this weekend’s field at Eldora along with Robert Ballou (2007), Thomas Meseraull (2015) and C.J. Leary (2017).
One USAC National Midget show is wild at Eldora. But on 4-Crown weekend, everybody gets a double-dose of the biggest edge-of-your-seat race of the season.
A stout field of around 20 cars and drivers are expected to be on hand for the pair of 25-lappers on Friday and Saturday night.
Two past 4-Crown midget stars will be in this weekend’s field as they make their season debuts in USAC National Midget competition – Rico Abreu and Chris Windom.
Windom enters Eldora as the two-time and defending 4-Crown Midget champion, having won each of the last two rounds in 2021 and 2022. The 2020 series champ will wheel a car owned by CB Industries who has won the past three USAC Midget races at Eldora, including Mitchel Moles in the BeFour the Crowns program in 2022. Windom is pursuing a quest to become the first driver to win three consecutive 4-Crown Midget features.
Meanwhile, Rico Abreu (St. Helena, Calif.) returns to USAC National Midget racing for the first time since 2020, and for the first time at the 4-Crown since a fourth-place run in 2019.
Abreu, the 2014 USAC National Midget champ, has captured 4-Crown Midget wins twice in his career in 2013 and 2016. This time around, he’ll be behind the wheel of a car owned by 2016 USAC National Midget champion Tanner Thorson.
Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) scored in his first ever race on the banks of Eldora in 2022 and returns for a rare midget start during the 2023 season aboard the Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports No. 19T.
P19. In the midgets, Holly Jones (formerly Holly Shelton) will make her return to the series after finishing 5th, 6th and 6th in the Gold River, California native’s only three Eldora starts between 2016-18.
That track surface with the fast groove up on the fence is the real Eldora right there. Impressive for Avedisian to put it on the podium between the two former series champions. If Windom hadn't dropped in...