STEELE GOES FOR THREE-PEAT SUNDAY AT PIR!
Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. will try to do something Sunday only one other driver has ever done in 102 USAC races at Phoenix International Raceway since the track opened in 1964! Steele has won two consecutive "Copper World Classic" Weld Racing Silver Crown races at the 1-mile oval and a victory Sunday would match Ken Schrader's mark of three straight single-series victories in 1987, 1989 and 1990.
Schrader won a 100-mile Silver Crown race in November of 1987 which was not part of the "Copper World," then scored wins in the 1989 and 1990 "Copper World" to become the only driver so far to win three straight USAC races at the track in a single series.
Steele holds both the 1-lap Silver Crown and Midget track records and will try to better his 1-lap Silver Crown mark of 141.459 mph when qualifying gets under way on the reconfigured oval at 10:45 am Saturday. He also will try to eclipse the ultimate series qualifying record of 143.967 mph he set in 2001 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.
The "Copper World Classic" Weld Racing Silver Crown race offers prize money in excess of $100,000 and total prizes, including accessory, could eclipse the all-time series record of $112,240 paid to participants in the 2002 "Copper World" 100-miler.
Silver Crown practice is slated Thursday from 3:15-4:30 pm, followed by the "SpeedFest Drivers Party" at Tempe Beach Park, including an autograph session from 6-8 pm, open to the public. Friday's Silver Crown practices are from 9-9:50 am and 1-1:40 pm, while Saturday's morning Silver Crown practice is from 8-8:30 am. A 10-mile Weld Racing Silver Crown "qualifying race" is set for 4:45 pm Saturday.
Sunday's 100-mile Weld Racing Silver Crown feature takes grid at 11 am, following a 9-9:30 am warm-up session. The green flag for the expanded 36-car starting field is scheduled for 11:30 am. The Indy Racing League's "Copper World Indy 200" follows at 2 pm. Saturday's PIR timetable includes a 100-mile race for the Infiniti Pro machines at 2:45 pm and the 25-mile USAC National/Western Midget Car feature at 4.
Steele's challengers in the Weld Racing Silver Crown Series event include former series champions J.J. Yeley (2002 & 2003), Paul White (2001), Tracy Hines (2000) and Dave Darland (1997), plus Infiniti Pro star Aaron Fike, NASCAR Craftsman Truck star Carl Edwards, World of Outlaws star Tyler Walker, 5-time "Little 500" Sprint Car champion Eric Gordon and P.J. Jones.