TOLEDO, Ohio — The closest USAC Silver Crown title race ever makes its way to Ohio‘s Toledo Speedway for the season finale, the Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic, this Sunday (Oct. 10) afternoon.
California‘s Kody Swanson leads the standings by a single point over series newcomer Logan Seavey, another Californian.
That‘s less than the difference between one position in the feature, less than one fast qualifying time, and less than the bonus for leading the most laps.
Only one other time has the point difference been as close going into the final race. Similarly, in 2010, Levi Jones trailed Bud Kaeding by one entering the series‘ inaugural race at Toledo.
In that one, Jerry Coons Jr. won the race, but it was Jones who ultimately edged Kaeding by a mere two points to win the driving championship. Jones finished seventh and Kaeding was eighth.
One more spot gained and Kaeding would‘ve been the champion. But that‘s the difference when so much is at stake and every sliver of a Silver Crown point matters.
That old adage of, “if the season ended today…” would make the 2021 Silver Crown championship duel the closest of all time.
Three times has the final difference in Silver Crown points been exactly two points between first and second. Mike Bliss over Ron Shuman in 1993; Tony Stewart over Dave Darland in 1995; and the narrow fight of Jones over Kaeding in 2010.
The margin has been single digits between the champion and the runner-up a total of eight times in the series‘ 50-year history: Jones prevailing over Jerry Coons Jr. by three in 2011; Coons Jr. over Darland by five in 2008; Chris Windom by five over Swanson in 2016; Bobby East by six over Windom in 2013; and Steve Butler over Jeff Swindell by seven in 1992.
Meanwhile, Brian Tyler and Russ Gamester are expected to be in Sunday‘s Toledo field. Each recently reached the 200 starts mark in their Silver Crown careers — Tyler at Eldora on Sept. 25 and Gamester at Lucas Oil Raceway on Aug. 14.
With one more start on Sunday, they‘ll both tie Dave Darland for the most career starts in series history at 201.
Sunday‘s Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic features the USAC Silver Crown National Championship plus R & M Recycling Late Model Sportsman and The Vault Factory Stocks.