ROSSBURG, Ohio – Though it served as the nightcap to the 38th annual 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway, Saturday’s USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series feature had no shortage of intensity.
When all was said and done, Brady Bacon stood in victory lane as the race winner and his Klatt Enterprises team hoisted the trophy as the 2019 Silver Crown owner’s champions.
Bacon, much like Courtney did during the USAC national sprint car feature earlier in the night, took advantage of a mistake by race-long leader Kevin Thomas Jr. to steal the lead and the eventual win.
When Thomas got up too high in the fourth corner and jumped over the cushion on lap 41, Bacon surged past through the middle groove and proceeded to put on a clinic over the final 10 circuits.
In securing his second Silver Crown victory of the season, Bacon opened up a 1.931-second margin over Thomas, who hung on to claim the runner-up honors. Justin Grant trailed Thomas home in third.
Bacon was one of a handful of drivers who ran in three separate divisions on Saturday, and while he struggled to find success in the USAC non-winged sprint cars and the All Star Circuit of Champions winged sprint cars, the Champ Cars of the historic Silver Crown Series suited him well on this night.
“It feels really good to get a win in something here tonight, because I kind of struggled in everything else,” Bacon admitted. “But no, it was good to get a win here, especially because it gave us an owner’s championship for these guys … Klatt (Enterprises) and Bob (East, chief mechanic) and everybody. They’ve worked hard to make huge improvements over last year, and I really think that’s shown in a big way all season long. I mean, we won two races this year and were in the hunt every time I was in it on the dirt, and they were in the hunt as a team every time on the pavement and got a win (with Kyle Hamilton). They worked hard and this big team effort got them the owner’s championship.
“I’m really happy for them. Hopefully we can keep winning some of these races in the next few years.”
Looking down the final tally, the Klatt Enterprises No. 6 team earned a total of 637 entrant points, 24 more than Swanson’s Nolen Racing No. 20 team over the course of the 12-race Silver Crown season.
When it came to the driver points race, perennial contender Kody Swanson needed only to fire his engine to clinch his fifth series crown, and that’s exactly what he did amid the Eldora night.
After that, Swanson drove a quiet, consistent race at the one track he’s yet to claim a Silver Crown win at, finishing fourth in the race and ending up with a 60-point cushion over Grant in the driver standings.
Shane Cottle marched from 24th to complete the top five, but even that wasn’t good enough to claim the Silver Crown hard charger honors, which went to Matt Westfall after a 27th-to-seventh onslaught.
After winning the midget and non-winged sprint car features earlier in the program, Tyler Courtney’s bid to sweep the USAC portion of the 4-Crown Nationals ended on lap 11, when he slammed into the stalled car of Jason McDougal after McDougal spun in the middle of turns one and two. Courtney finished 24th.
RESULTS: USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series; Eldora Speedway; Sept. 28, 2019
Feature (50 laps): 1. #6 – Brady Bacon (4); 2. #9 – Kevin Thomas Jr. (1); 3. #91 – Justin Grant (5); 4. #20 – Kody Swanson (3); 5. #81 – Shane Cottle (24); 6. #17 – Chris Windom (6); 7. #54 – Matt Westfall (27); 8. #10 – C.J. Leary (10); 9. #39 – Matt Goodnight (25); 10. #78 – Eric Gordon (19); 11. #15 – Chad Kemenah (7); 12. #123 – Jimmy Light (14); 13. #33 – Ronnie Wuerdeman (9); 14. #7 – Kyle Robbins (8); 15. #40 – David Byrne (13); 16. #66 – Bill Rose (16); 17. #24 – Mike Haggenbottom (21); 18. #18 – Travis Welpott (12); 19. #47 – Austin Mundie (18); 20. #34 – Terry Babb (22); 21. #16 – Austin Nemire (20); 22. #31 – Dave Berkheimer (26); 23. #56 – Jason McDougal (2); 24. #97 – Tyler Courtney (11); 25. #57 – Dallas Hewitt (17); 26. #53 – Steve Buckwalter (15); 27. #43 – John Heydenreich (23).
Lap Leader(s): Kevin Thomas Jr. 1-40, Brady Bacon 41-50.
Hard Charger: #54 – Matt Westfall (+20)