Tight USAC Miget point race enters Eldora for Saturday’s 4-Crown Nationals

A four-man race atop the USAC Midget National Championship standings makes its next stop to Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway Saturday night, September 24 for the 35th running of the “4-Crown Nationals.”
Spencer Bayston leads a fast bunch that includes Chad Boat, Brady Bacon and Tanner Thorson who are all separated by just 71 points coming into Saturday night’s 25-lap event.
Bayston enters the race with a 56-point advantage over Chad Boat, while Brady Bacon is just 66 back of the leader in third and Tanner Thorson is 71 behind in fourth. A maximum of 84 points are available for a driver to earn at Eldora.
Bayston’s five podium finishes so far include a victory at Gas City in June. Boat, winner of the recent “Belleville Midget Nationals” in Kansas, has three wins in his last five starts. Bacon has 11 top-10 finishes in 13 series starts this year, but is still seeking his first 2016 win. Thorson has a trio of wins this year and a pair of seconds.
Veterans Dave Darland and Jerry Coons, Jr. are past “4-Crown” Midget feature winners expected to enter Saturday night’s event. Lincoln, Indiana’s Darland is a two-time victor in 1999 and 2004 while Coons, of Tucson, Ariz., drove to victory lane in 2010.
The race is round five of seven in the Jonathan Byrd’s Indy Challenge. Rico Abreu won round one at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway in June while Boat won twice at the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks in August. Michael Faccinto won Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway’s “Louie Vermiel Classic” earlier this month during round four.
The only driver eligible to win one of the prizes offered in the challenge is Phoenix, Arizona’s Boat. If he wins Saturday’s “4-Crown” Midget feature, the final night at the “Gold Crown Nationals” in Granite City, Ill. on Oct. 8 and the 76th running of the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway on Nov. 24, he will earn an Indy Lights ride in the 2017 “Freedom 100” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Spectator gates open at noon Saturday, while hot laps are set to begin at 4:30pm with qualifications and racing to immediately follow.
Saturday night’s card at Eldora also features the USAC Silver Crown Championship, the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.