Talented Field Preparing For Rollie Beale Classic

Kody Swanson is the defending winner of the Rollie Beale Classic at Toledo Speedway. (Todd Ridgeway photo)

TOLEDO, Ohio – A talented field of drivers are preparing to battle for supremacy this Saturday during the running of the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic at Toledo Speedway.

Among the 26 pre-entered drivers are a pair of Silver Crown champs, including 2016 titlist Chris Windom and four-time series king Kody Swanson, the defending winner at Toledo who picked up his record-extending 25th score in the series opener in March at Memphis (Tenn.) Int’l Raceway.

Russ Gamester is aiming to make his return to the pavement this Saturday. The 1989 USAC National Midget champ owns six USAC Silver Crown victories.

Six additional Silver Crown veterans have won before in Silver Crown competition and are hoping to tally one more at Toledo, including C.J. Leary, Bobby Santos, Aaron Pierce, David Byrne, Eric Gordon and Justin Grant.

Kyle Hamilton, twice a winner in USAC National Midgets, and Kevin Thomas Jr., a 25-time winner in USAC Sprint and four-time winner in USAC Midgets, are both seeking their first Silver Crown win.

A pair of Ohio natives are set to do battle, including Cody Gallogly and Austin Nemire, a USAC HPD Midget champion in 2014.

Eight of the 26 entered drivers are series rookies, beginning with Joey Schmidt, who finished an impressive fifth in his series debut in Memphis.  Also in the lineup are Chris Dyson, Dave Berkheimer, Cody Gerhardt, Annie Breidinger, Jason Conn, Jim Anderson and Derek Bischak. Although Gerhardt is a series rookie, he did compete at Toledo a year ago, finishing seventh.

Also entered are Kyle Robbins, who captured last year’s Silver Crown Rookie of the Year honors, along with a group of series veterans in Travis Welpott, Mike Haggenbottom, Matt Goodnight and all-time Toledo Speedway track record holder Brian Gerster.