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  • Spencer Frady

15 Full-Time Drivers Set for 2024 Silver Crown Run



Series News Release - USAC Media


Speedway, Indiana (April 16, 2024) - It’s go time as the USAC Silver Crown National Championship gears up for the 2024 campaign with one of its largest crops of USAC Silver Crown full-time competitors and teams ever.


The field of 15 full-time drivers and teams includes its fair share of champions, veterans and newcomers all looking to gain glory on the most diverse schedule of oval racing on the planet.


The 14-race slate begins with the running of the Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic at the paved half-mile of Ohio’s Toledo Speedway on Saturday, April 20.


Here’s the full list of the 15 USAC Silver Crown full-timers to watch in 2024!


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KYLE STEFFENS | GORDON STEFFENS #08


Kyle Steffens’ resume is chockfull of a diverse array of competition encompassing countless types of machinery, from open wheel to fenders, namely in modified competition.


Now the Saint Charles, Mo. racer, whose Silver Crown career dates back to 2001, will take on the diverse schedule of the USAC Silver Crown series full-time in 2024 with an eye on competing on both the dirt and pavement in the coming year.


In 2023, he tackled his largest Silver Crown schedule to date with six starts, including a best of 10th at Du Quoin while making his initial three pavement starts with the series, and aims to build upon that experience in the coming year.



C.J. LEARY | KLATT ENTERPRISES #6


C.J. Leary enters the 2024 season following one of his finest overall campaigns in 2023. Returning for his third season aboard the Klatt Enterprises No. 6, the Greenfield, Ind. racer accumulated four top-fives en route to a fourth-place finish in the standings a year ago.


After posting a pair of runner-up finishes in 2023, Leary is eager to return to his winning ways. In 2022, Leary delivered a pavement victory for the team at Wisconsin’s Madison International Speedway, displaying his well-roundedness on both surfaces.


Over the years, he’s routinely shined on the dirt with victories at Terre Haute and Eldora. Versatility is key in a Silver Crown title pursuit, and with the diverse slate, Leary proves to be a prime candidate to break through in ‘24.



TRAVIS WELPOTT | WELPOTT RACING #18


Travis Welpott is one of the longtime stalwarts of USAC competition, having competed for more than three decades. Entering his seventh season of Silver Crown racing, the middle school Industrial Technology teacher and wrestling coach has garnered 48 career starts.


Welpott will once again compete in his own highly visible and instantly recognizable orange and white No. 18, which has been his mainstay design and number for a quarter century. He used that color and number scheme to finish 11th in the 2023 standings.


He’s twice finished a best of sixth in his Silver Crown career at Winchester (2021) and Du Quoin (2022), and is a veteran of all three USAC National series in his career, garnering 1998 USAC National Midget Most Improved Driver honors.



DAVEY HAMILTON JR. | LEGACY AUTOSPORT #19


Nearly all of Davey Hamilton Jr.’s racing exploits throughout his career have come on pavement. Now, the Boise, Idaho native is adding dirt to the mix as he takes on the full 2024 USAC Silver Crown schedule for the first time.


The third-generation racer will wheel the Legacy Autosport No. 19 in all 14 events on the schedule. Last year, Hamilton Jr. collected his first career Silver Crown win at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill.


That race came on pavement, but the dirt is a new world to Hamilton Jr. who comes from a long lineage of terrific pavement racers. He’s the grandson of National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Ken Hamilton and son of 11-time Indianapolis 500 starter Davey Hamilton.



LOGAN SEAVEY | RICE MOTORSPORTS-ABACUS RACING #22


Logan Seavey enters the 2024 USAC Silver Crown season with a new badge of honor in front of his name – champion. After two years of chasing Kody Swanson to the wire for the driving title, the Sutter, Calif. native broke through in a big way to earn his first series championship.


For the fourth consecutive year, Seavey will be at the controls of the Rice Motorsports-Abacus Racing No. 22. Last year, Seavey grabbed three dirt wins. Overall, in five dirt starts, he never once finished outside the top-five.


However, the pavement is truly where the tale was told in ’23 as he posted four top-fives on the asphalt. It will once again more than likely be the difference in deciding the 2024 title between Seavey and his competition once more in ’24.



KAYLEE BRYSON | SAM PIERCE #26


Throughout the 2023 season, Kaylee Bryson ascended to heights never before reached in USAC’s 68-year history. With the Silver Crown division, she became the first woman to finish inside the top-five of the standings in a USAC National series and is the first woman to earn USAC National Rookie of the Year honors.


Bryson posted six top-tens in 2023, five of them on the pavement, and finished fifth in series points. In 2022, the Muskogee, Okla. native became the first woman to receive USAC National Most Improved Driver accolades after leading 72 laps at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.


Once more, she’ll tackle the full Silver Crown schedule in 2024 aboard the Sam Pierce owned No. 26, her third year with the team.



DAVE BERKHEIMER | BERKHEIMER RACING #31


The longtime veteran of winged sprint car and super sportsman competition out on the east coast has made a home in the USAC Silver Crown series for much of the past decade.


Since his Silver Crown debut in 2016, the Mechanicsburg, Pa. pilot has accrued 39 career series starts and has been a fixture on both the dirt and pavement tracks in that span.


In 2023, he earned the Engler Machine & Tool Silver Crown Fast Pass Award for his performance and will once again take on the full season in his own Berkheimer Racing No. 31.

 


GREGG CORY | WILLIAMS RACING #32


Gregg Cory isn’t your average USAC Silver Crown racer.  The Shelbyville (Ind.) High School Engineering & Technology teacher has a long track record of success in TQs, Midgets, Sprints, Thunder Roadsters and Modifieds throughout his three-decade career.


Cory appeared at all 11 Silver Crown events in 2022 and raced his way to a ninth place points finish to earn Rookie of the Year honors, and in 2006, earned the Paragon (Ind.) Speedway sprint car track championship. Mechanical setbacks plagued Cory in 2023, limiting him to just six starts, but in 2024, he returns for a full season run in his Williams Racing No. 32.


 

NATHAN MOORE | CHIP THOMAS #48

Although Nathan Moore has been in competition with the USAC Silver Crown series for the past three seasons, he’s retained his status as a series Rookie for the 2024 season.


The Kaufman, Texas racer, who also serves as the owner and operator of the ASCS Elite Non-Wing Sprint Car series, has made sporadic dirt and pavement appearances between 2021-23, but will combine them together for his first full go with the series to date.


In his lone appearance of 2024, he took on the 1.25-mile paved oval of World Wide Technology Raceway where he finished 13th. Moore’s car will be fielded by team owner Chip Thomas, a veteran USAC driver who competed in the 1980s-90s.



TREY BURKE | LEGACY AUTOSPORT/ROBERT WILSON RACING #60


A fourth-generation driver and a fourth-generation team have joined together for the 2024 USAC Silver Crown season.


Trey Burke (Alvin, Texas) has raced on dirt and asphalt, on ovals, road and street courses as well as in rear engine and front engine machinery. This coming season, he takes on his second full year of Silver Crown competition after finishing 10th in the 2023 standings. But this time, it’s with a new team.


Trey, hailing from the successful Burke Racing family in Texas, will drive one of three entries out of the Legacy Autosport stable in a team co-owned by Robert Wilson Racing. Legacy’s Louis Michael Meyer is the great grandson of Louis Meyer, the first three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500.



KODY SWANSON | DORAN RACING #77


Kody Swanson has racked up seven driving titles and 40 victories on his illustrious USAC Silver Crown resume, both all-time records. However, the 2024 season has presented him with an unanticipated obstacle unlike any other he’s ever faced.


The Kingsburg, Calif. driver is coming off a major foot injury and multiple surgeries during an offseason accident away from the racetrack. His return thus far has been so far, so good. In a 500 Sprint Car Tour race last Sunday at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, Swanson finished second.


He’s back with the Doran-Binks Racing team in 2024 with whom he collected three wins and six poles a year ago en route to a runner-up points finish.



TREY OSBORNE | BCR GROUP #81


Similarly to Kody Swanson’s predicament, Trey Osborne has, likewise, had to overcome hardship to begin the 2024 season. In February, a USAC Sprint Car crash in Florida damaged four of his vertebrae, requiring more than a month of time off in order to heal.


He has since added a few sprint car races under his belt, but he goes into the 2024 USAC Silver Crown season looking for a refresh. After adding a pair of starts on the dirt at Eldora and on the pavement of IRP a year ago, the 6’8” tall Columbus, Ohio native is now eying USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year honors.


In a continuation of last year’s program, Osborne will have the wheel of the BCR Group No. 81, a two-time series winning team.

 


JUSTIN GRANT | HEMELGARN RACING #91


Justin Grant is one of the most prolific and successful USAC Silver Crown competitors of this era, and late last year, he hit his stride with six consecutive top-six results to close out the year.


It’s all about stability for the Ione, Calif. native and his Hemelgarn Racing team who have been partnered up since 2017. Entering their eighth year together, they have never once finished outside the top-five in the final standings.


The 2020 USAC Silver Crown champion added a fifth career series victory on the Du Quoin (Ill.) dirt mile in 2023, all five of which have come with Hemelgarn.


 

MARIO CLOUSER | KAZMARK MOTORSPORTS #92


Mario Clouser’s stride from year one to year two in the USAC Silver Crown ranks between 2022-23 saw him find increases across the board in all season-long categories.


Seven top-10 results in 11 starts saw him bolster his standing in the final points to sixth for 2023 while scoring a top-finish of fourth on the pavement at Wisconsin’s Madison International Speedway.


The veteran-savvy Kazmark Motorsports team has been a frequent frontrunner with the series and is now seeking its first win since Chris Windom grabbed the Terre Haute opener in 2017. They’re confident that Clouser can be the one to get them back to the top.

 


TAYLOR FERNS | TAYLOR FERNS RACING #555


Taylor Ferns’ name is all over the USAC Silver Crown record books and she is the first woman to finish on the podium of a USAC Silver Crown event, doing so twice in 2022 at IRP and Winchester.


In fact, Ferns holds the distinction of having the best ever Silver Crown finish by a woman on both pavement and dirt with a fourth place finish at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway in 2013.


A year ago, the full-time law student returned to full-time USAC Silver Crown status and finished a career best seventh in the standings to go along with a best finish of fifth at IRP. This year, she returns to her own Taylor Ferns Racing No. 555.

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