Two other contenders from Illinois already have impressive resume’s in and out of the series. Pocahontas driver Zach Daum was the 2009 USAC Rookie of the Year and is a former POWRi midget champion. Elkhart’s Chris Urish scored an upset win at DuQuoin last Labor Day weekend and the driver should have plenty of fan support Saturday from his native Logan county.
Other Illinois drivers expected include series veteran Randy Bateman of Murphysboro, Patrick Lawson of Edwardsville, Tiffany Wyzard of WIlliamsville and Jerry Bruce of Benton. Another possible entrant is Chris Fetter of DuQuoin who purchased not one but two of the machines over the winter.
Springfield’s Dennis McQuinn is a long time crew chief and car owner who provided cars for capitol city native Donnie Beechler. McQuinn is expected to return with two cars this year, one for Oklahoma hotshoe Brady Bacon and the other rumored for third generation driver Steven Russell. Frequent entrant Ricky Nix of Benton is thought to be considering a series return with an as yet to be named driver.
Should the stars align one third of Saturday’s field will come from the home soil, a fact not lost on promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises who greatly appreciates the support of the home contingent.
“I really appreciate the support of all the competitors, drivers or car owners who call Illinois home,” said Sargent. “They add a lot of local flavor to the two Illinois dirt miles, they appreciate the history and what it means to compete on one of these historic tracks and they draw a lot of attention to our events.”
Fans wishing to see their local favorites should not wait until the last minute to arrive at the Illinois State Fair on Saturday. Practice for the USAC Silver Crown Series starts at 9 a.m. with qualifications at 10:25 a.m. and the 53rd Bettenhausen 100 at around 1:30 p.m.