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USAC to deep-six NASCARized carsUPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The United States Auto Club is announcing major steps aimed at preserving the future of its most popular and competitive racing series, the K & N Silver Crown Championship Series.
Already underway, an extensive program of redesign and re-evaluation of the new-generation pavement car is designed at restoring USAC's premier racing series to high-profile venues which have showcased the series the past two seasons.
The immediate impact will see the "traditional" pavement cars which formed the backbone of the Silver Crown Series returning to the paved ovals in 2008 as the new-generation machines undergo revision and re-design.
"We obviously want to maximize the potential of America's most competitive open-wheel series and build on its unparalleled heritage," said USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller. "We recognize the expansion to the larger pavement ovals required new and innovative construction, however, we also recognize that continued work is necessary to refine the product which will reflect the quality image we want to project. Our valued partners in this project, including the facilities which invested in our series, our car owners and sponsors, demand and deserve the best possible product we can offer. To that end, we are dedicated to exploring and implementing the necessary moves to achieve this goal."
"Our participants and fans deserve the very best entertainment package we can provide," continued Miller. "I want to express my deepest appreciation to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, its management and staff, for their commitment to this series but am the first to recognize that we need to give them the kind of racing event of which we can both be proud. Despite our delight at the event we conducted there in 2007, our direction will not permit a race at Darlington in 2008 but we are focused on maintaining the great relationship we have developed with that storied facility and we plan on returning with an enhanced product in the near future."
The remaining pavement ovals on the 2008 series schedule, namely Richmond International Raceway, O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Iowa Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway are all compatible with the "traditional" pavement car. With this new direction for 2008, additional race dates are being evaluated to be released in the coming weeks.
Recent meetings with car constructors and owners revealed the necessity to revamp the new-generation car and its adaptation to the larger ovals. Additional meetings are planned to formulate the plans to implement the changes needed to reach the ultimate goal.
"No other racing series in America can match the heritage and competitive nature of USAC's K & N Silver Crown Series," added USAC Senior VP/Race Operations Jason Smith. "These cars formed the backbone of the American National Championship for years and the talent pool generated since the inception of the Silver Crown Series in 1971 is immense. Consider names like A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Gary Bettenhausen, Ken Schrader, Dave Blaney, Jeff Gordon, Mike Bliss, Tony Stewart and more recently Jason Leffler, Ryan Newman and J.J. Yeley. They represent the finest racing talent America has ever produced." USAC
02/15/08 According to AutoRacing1.com sources, the NEW USAC is bringing back the OLD Silver Crown cars. They are pulling the plug on the new cars which NASCAR tried to promote but everyone rejected. The announcement will be made tomorrow we are told.
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