Brownsburg, Indiana (Thursday, July 24, 2014): Shullsburg, Wisconsin driver, David Byrne picked a pretty big stage to score his first ever series victory in the USAC Silver Crown Series – Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, Indiana. Byrne won one of the biggest USAC events, the Rich Vogler Classic / J.D. Byrider 100 on Thursday, July 24th.
“I can’t believe this. I just can’t even put all of this into words. This is the best moment of my racing career, by far,” the 28-year-old stated. “There’s so much history with this series. There are so many teams that have been out here doing it for so long and so many big teams who make it tough to win these races. It’s the coolest feeling ever to join them as winners.”
Tanner Swanson, who won the last USAC Silver Crown Series’ “Night Before the 500″ race at LOR in May, won the USAC Pole Award and jumped up to a huge lead from the drop of the green flag.
Only three cautions slowed the century grind Thursday night. Swanson led NASCAR Sprint Cup Series invader and teammate for the night, 1999 series champion Ryan Newman, for the majority of the race. Byrne, who started fourth, fell back to fifth initially, but then at the halfway mark the driver of the #40 Bytec Resource Management / Beast Chassis machine pulled the trigger and began his charge to the front.
A caution with 18 laps to go erased Swanson’s massive lead and brought the field back to his nerf bar on what would be the final restart. On the restart, Byrne got past Swanson’s brother, Kody for third and then disposed of Newman to climb up to second and set his sights on the race leader.
As the laps continued to click off, Byrne pulled up next to Tanner Swanson’s inside heading down the back stretch working on the white flag lap, but the car wouldn’t hold. He tucked back in behind the race-long leader with one lap to go. On the final trip down the backstretch, Byrne dive bombed his entry into turn three and got underneath Swanson again and this time he completed the pass coming out of turn four to cross the stripe first.
“I didn’t know what we had at the end, but I thought we were better than the two in front of us on that last restart,” added Byrne. “I just went for it on that last lap, we were either going to victory lane or bringing the car home in a box. I honestly didn’t think I had enough. It helped that he bobbled a little, I might’ve surprised him a little with how far in I drove the corner. I knew though that I just had to go for it.”
Tanner Swanson finished second ahead of his brother, Kody Swanson while Newman and Bobby Santos III rounded out the top five. Chris Windom finished sixth as Jacob Wilson, Bobby East, Jarett Andretti and Ken Schrader wrapped up the final top 10. Twenty-five teams were on the property with 24 taking the green flag for the 100-lap main.
The next event for the USAC Silver Crown Series is on Friday, August 1st at the Belleville High Banks located just south of the Kansas / Nebraska state line in Belleville, Kansas for the ‘Hustle on the High Banks.”
– By Matt Prieur, Speed51.com Correspondent. Photo credit: Speed51.com