Four Crown Next At Eldora
ROSSBURG, Ohio – Historically, the name remains as the Four Crown Nationals, but as has been the practice in recent years, the traditional fourth-week in September event will again offer five distinct divisions of racing on Eldora Speedway’s half-mile clay oval.
Kicking off the race-chaser’s dream weekend on Friday night will be a full program for the winged sprint cars of the World of Outlaws as they make their final 2012 Eldora appearance. Joining them will be the UMP (United Midwestern Promoters) DIRTcar Modifieds in a continuation of their cumulative point chase.
Saturday’s program will focus on the United States Auto Club (USAC), with their three premier divisions on non-winged open wheel racing – Midget, Sprint Car and Silver Crown.
Established in 1981, the Four Crown Nationals was initially designed to showcase the USAC competition, including their now extinct Stock Car. Since that inaugural event, the USAC open wheeled divisions have shared three of the four crowns, with the remaining crown varying over the years.
The World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car series came on board for the fourth crown in 2008, with the modifieds joining the fold two years last year after a three-year absence.
Dubbed ‘Eldora’s favorite son’, Jack Hewitt heads up the win list with an incredible 19 victories in the 118 Four Crown feature events completed to date; and they have been achieved in four different classes.
His brightest moment came in 1998 when he performed what was thought to be an impossible fete – feature wins in all four competing divisions (Midget, Sprint Car, Silver Crown, UMP DIRTcar Modified).
In total, Hewitt, now retired from active driving due to racing related injuries, has three USAC Midget wins, five USAC Sprint Car wins, eight USAC Silver Crown wins and three UMP DIRTcar Modified wins on his Four Crown resume.
Sitting back in a distant second place on the win list is Dave Darland, with seven Four Crown trophies (two USAC Midget, one USAC Sprint and four USAC Silver Crown). Darland will come into this year’s chase as the USAC Sprint Car point leader.
Young driving sensation Kyle Larson came close to duplicating Hewitt’s stunning accomplishment in last year’s Four Crown event as the diminutive California hot shoe swept all three USAC divisions.
Larson hopes to defend those wins, and more, this year; providing his commitment to the K&N Pro Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon does not interfere.
Larson’s 2012 Four Crown attempt to duplicate his 2011 fete will be with the Keith Kunz owned Midget, Hoffman Brothers owned Sprint Car and Tony Stewart Racing owned Silver Crown.
Completing the busy weekend will be a look back in time, as the cars of the Vintage American Race Cars (VARC) will be on display, and do some exhibition laps.