Emerson Axsom qualified seventh and ran in eighth place for the first 40 laps of the Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown race Friday night at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Unfortunately at that point it appeared that a front suspension component broke on his bright yellow Nolen Racing No. 20, and he crashed hard into the outside wall in Turn 1. Although he escaped injury, his KECO Coatings-sponsored Beast with a Tranter Chevy V8 suffered front-end damage and he was unable to continue in the 146-lap race.
The Franklin, Ind.-based driver, who was making his first USAC Silver Crown pavement start, unofficially finished 28th.
Axsom ran a 42.618 for two laps around the 0.686-mile asphalt oval in qualifying, which was just 0.892 off the time Bobby Santos ran to earn the pole.
Nathan Byrd passed Axsom at the start of the race to push him from seventh to eighth, but Axsom was able to hold off veteran Russ Gamester for the first 31 laps. Taylor Ferns passed Gamester on a restart on lap 31 and inched ahead of Axsom for an instant too, but he passed her back on the same lap and never dropped out of eighth place on the lap charts.
Gamester passed Ferns back on lap 34 to draw behind Axsom again, but once again Axsom was able to prevail until his car darted into the outside guardrail in Turn 1 working lap 41 to bring out the third yellow.
Axsom’s fastest lap of the race was lap three, when he was timed in 22.156 seconds. It was the 11th-fastest lap anyone ran in the race, which attracted the largest USAC Silver Crown field for a pavement race in 18 years with 35 entries.
Bobby Santos III won over Logan Seavey, Tyler Roahrig, Derek Bischak and Ferns.
In addition to Friday’s race, Nolen Racing plans to field a USAC Silver Crown car for Axsom in the races on 1-mile dirt tracks: Aug. 19 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and Sept. 2 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Du Quoin, Ill. One or two other USAC Silver Crown races on asphalt tracks will be added to the mix as scheduling permits.
Nolen Racing’s next race is tonight, Saturday, Nov. 27 when it fields asphalt sprint cars for Axsom and Shane Hollingsworth in the Lucas Oil Little 500 Presented by UAW at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. Axsom will start fourth and Hollingsworth right behind him in seventh in the 33-car field.
Friday’s race was streamed live on Flo Racing and the Little 500 will be streamed live by MAVTV for Flo Racing.
For more information see NolenRacing.com and follow the team on Facebook and Twitter @NolenRacing.
Nolen Racing PR