The annual USAC Four Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway features all three of USAC’s national touring series in action in one great night of racing. The 2013 edition was no different as each of the three feature events was full of great racing action. The Honda National Dirt Midgets were up first as Bryan Clauson would jump out to the early lead of the 25-lap main event before he fell victim to mechanical issues on lap 6 which handed the lead to Rico Abreu. Abreu would battle with his Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate Christopher Bell as the two drivers exchanged several slide jobs.
Abreu would hold off Bell to take the first feature win of the night as he spoke in victory lane, “Winning here, and after winning at Belleville too this year, is huge. Big-track midget racing is a blast, gotta keep your momentum and cut good laps. Racing Christopher was so much fun. I saw him coming on the board, and I knew I had to get up on the wheel to hold on. I didn’t want to take the chance of driving around the outside of him when he slid in, so I was trying to be patient and turn back down under him each time. After he didn’t clear me all the way on his last try, and I knew that kinda sealed the deal.” Bell would end up in the runner-up position with Tracy Hines in third, Bobby East in fourth, and Dave Darland rounded out the top-five.
Up next was a wild 30-lap feature event for the Amsoil National Sprint Cars. Daron Clayton would look strong from the start as he led in the early laps while a battle erupted behind him. On lap 15 Brady Bacon would bang the cushion while trying for the third position and flip violently. Clayton continued to show the way around until he too banged the cushion while leading and flipped his sprint car. Fast qualifier Tracy Hines would take over the lead and look to have the race won until he hit the turn four cushion with the checkered flag in sight and flipped.
Chris Windom would survive the final restart to pick up his first win at Eldora in the Jeff Walker Racing #11. He spoke after the eventful win, “I don’t even know what to say. It was a crazy night. Really, the last two years have been pretty up-and-down for me, but I think (car owner) Jeff (Walker) and me have settled back into something nice here. He’s given me a great car, and we just haven’t been able to finish it off until tonight. I just was trying to be conservative with all the crashes those guys had ahead of us. I thought I could get a little bit closer to Tracy before I slid him, and he actually ended up getting away from me a little, so I was far enough back on the last lap to miss him when he crashed. It’s just great to finally get a win at Eldora.”
Sprint car veteran Jac Haudenschild would finish second in a rare non-wing appearance with Darland in third, Clauson in fourth, and Robert Ballou secured the final spot in the top-five.
The last feature event of the night showcased the Traxxas Silver Crown Series in a 50-lap race. Bobby East would move into the lead at the start of the race but soon gave it up to Chris Windom on a lap 3 restart. Windom would battle with Christopher Bell for the lead until East nearly spun out on lap 16 and caused Bell to make contact with him which cut a tire on Bell’s car. Windom would look strong through the middle part of the race as he held of Tracy Hines.
With only two laps to go the cushion would bite Hines again as he flipped in turn four. Windom would hold off a hard-charging Matt Westfall on the final restart to earn his first ever Silver Crown win and second win of the night. A very excited Windom spoke in victory lane after doubling up at the Four Crown, “I don’t even know if it’s really set in yet. I can’t believe I won one, let alone both. I’ve wanted to win here for so long. We’ve been so close all year in Silver Crown, but I don’t think I had the experience yet to finish them off. We had some problems from the incident earlier with Bell, which I hated for him, but that made it pretty ill-handling the rest of the race. They said I had a decent lead before that last restart, and our car restarts really well so I knew it’d be tough to get around us. I have to thank the RW bunch for sticking with me and getting a win together.”
Westfall would earn a runner-up finish with Shane Cockrum in third, Taylor Ferns in fourth, and Dave Darland earned his 3rd top-five finish of the night. Bobby East would cross the line in sixth to secure the 2013 Silver Crown points championship.