“The racetrack was perfect tonight; I love the racetrack when it’s like this,” said Darland in victory lane. “I love when the cushion it’s like that. We had a good starting spot in the race, and (car owner) Galen Fox just gave me a great racecar. We just got a new engine; it’s the third race on it, and it gave me a lot of power.”

After capturing his seventh career series pole Friday at the half-mile track, Darland was only challenged seriously at the onset by Tyler Walker but when Walker dropped off the pace at the completion of the opening lap, Darland put the car in cruise. Darland’s lead was only cut when five cautions and a red flag slowed or halted the field. Walker stopped on the front straightaway on lap five and Tony Elliott spun in turns three and four on lap 11.

Boston Reid barrel-rolled several times in the third turn on lap 14, bringing out the red flag. Reid climbed out of the car. When racing resumed, Darland ran away from Jac Haudenschild and Kevin Huntley, who battled feverishly for the second position. Mike Brecht joined the mix for second on lap 15. But as those drivers battled for second, Darland pulled away. Haudenschild ran away for the next 15 laps, leaving Huntley to battle for third with Brecht, defending Silver Crown Series “4-Crown Nationals” winner Brian Tyler and Levi Jones.

By lap 32, Darland lapped Steele, who had already clinched the championship. Tyler stopped action for the fourth time when he stalled momentarily in turn four on lap 33. Neither of the next two cautions were serious thwarts against Darland’s victory, and he won by 1.222 seconds. Huntley finished second ahead of Brecht, Rich Tobias Jr. and Jones.

Steele, who won his first USAC title of any kind, said he was happy to give owners Bob East and Tony Stewart the title, the No. 9 team’s third straight series title. “My hats off to my car owners Bob East and Tony Stewart, as well as crew chief Evan Avart,” said Steele, who won twice during his championship campaign. “They are the hardest working crew out there. I don’t have any plans for the future right now, so I guess I’ll have to think about it over the offseason.”

Steele’s final margin over Bud Kaeding ended at 47 points.

USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series Results from Eldora Speedway

USAC WELD RACING SILVER CROWN SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 24-25, 2004 – Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora Speedway – “4-Crown Nationals”

QUALIFICATIONS: (Held sept. 24) 1. Dave Darland, 56, Foxco-17.526; 2. Jac Haudenschild, 59, S & R-17.900; 3. Tyler Walker, 19, Kahne-17.918; 4. Nick Lundgreen, 0, Lundgreen-17.922; 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 191, Hemelgarn/Johnson-17.938; 6. Jon Stanbrough, 53, Fox-17.963; 7. Boston Reid, 35, RE-17.988; 8. Kevin Huntley, 97, SC Racing-18.048; 9. Brian Tyler, 21, Team Six-R-18.083; 10. Paul White, 99, Mucci/Matczak-18.119; 11. Bud Kaeding, 67, Zarounian-18.127; 12. Rich Tobias Jr., 17, RW-18.127; 13. Dickie Gaines, 37, Indiana Underground-18.129; 14. Levi Jones, 20, Nolen-18.166; 15. Nelson Stewart, 115, Lawson-18.181; 16. Jay Drake, 11, Stewart/Snider-18.187; 17. Roger Rager, 03, TNT-18.225; 18. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-18.381; 19. John Heydenreich, 90, Bank-18.504; 20. Jason McCord, 4, Contos-18.510; 21. Rob Chaney, 70, SC Racing-18.607; 22. Davey Ray, 114, FattFro-18.614; 23. Mike Brecht, 64, DePalma-18.641; 24. Matt Westfall, 14, Daugherty-18.658; 25. Jerry Nemire, 76, Nemire-18.798; 26. Dave Steele, 9, East/Stewart-18.875; 27. Shane Hollingsworth, 85, Baldwin-18.916; 28. Russ Gamester, 51, Gamester-18.929; 29. Tony Elliott, 52, BWB-19.157; 30. Wes Miller, 36, Miller-19.250; 31. A.J. Fike, 32, RFMS-19.281; 32. Mat Neely, 54, Pedersen-NT.

QUALIFYING RACE: (15 laps – Held Sept. 25) 1. Gaines, 2. Drake, 3. Jones, 4. Chaney, 5. Steele, 6. Heydenreich, 7. Westfall, 8. Elliott, 9. Hollingsworth, 10. Brecht, 11. Pierce, 12. Ray, 13. McCord, 14. A.J. Fike, 15. Gamester, 16. Miller, 17. Nemire, 18. Stewart, 19. Rager. NT

FEATURE: (50 laps – Held Sept. 25) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Kevin Huntley, 3. Mike Brecht, 4. Rich Tobias Jr., 5. Levi Jones, 6. Jon Stanbrough, 7. Rob Chaney, 8. Aaron Pierce, 9. Matt Westfall, 10. John Heydenreich, 11. Jay Drake, 12. Tony Elliott, 13. Bud Kaeding, 14. Dickie Gaines, 15. Paul White, 16. Dave Steele, 17. Nick Lundgreen,18. Jerry Coons Jr., 19. Jason McCord, 20. Shane Hollingsworth, 21. Davey Ray, 22. Brian Tyler, 23. Jac Haudenschild, 24. Boston Reid, 25. Tyler Walker.

NT ------------------------------- **Reid flipped in turn 3 on the 14th lap of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-50 Darland.

FINAL SILVER CROWN STANDINGS: 1-Steele-563; 2-Kaeding-516; 3-Darland-476; 4-Tyler-472; 5-McCord-463; 6-Drake-427; 7-Heydenreich-355; 8-Tobias-330; 9-Pierce-328; 10-Tracy Hines-304.

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