Jun 25, 2013 11:09 PM by Jordan Mason
The biggest weekend of the year for Colorado race fans is upon us and USAC racing will be a big part of the celebration.
The "Rocky Mountain Classic" returns to Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. Saturday featuring both the TRAXXAS USAC Silver Crown cars and the Honda USAC National Midgets on the demanding one-mile paved oval which will host its first USAC activity in eight years.
It's all part of the weekend which includes Sunday's 91st "Race to the Clouds," the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb, west of Colorado Springs.
Speed will be at its ultimate with possible all-time USAC track records in the offing at PPIR and the Hill Climb featuring its all-paved course for just the second time. USAC will again serve as the official timing and scoring body for the Hill Climb.
Seven drivers with previous PPIR experience are expected to compete in Saturday's doubleheader. They include A.J. Fike, Bobby East, Bobby Santos, Brian Tyler, Darren Hagen, Jerry Coons Jr. and Tracy Hines.
Five of the seven have competed in both series. Hines won the 1999 Silver Crown race and was the fastest qualifier for the final Silver Crown appearance in 2005. Santos was second in the 2004 Silver Crown race and second from the pole in the 2005 Midgets. East was second from the pole in the 2004 Midgets, Fike and Coons were fifth and eighth respectively in the 2002 Silver Crown race. Tyler' Silver Crown outings produced a victory in 2002 and Hagen's lone Midget appearance ended in an eighth in 2005.
A media day is set for Friday, June 28, with the racing action unfolding on the one-mile oval on Saturday. Friday night will see USAC drivers and fans mingling in a festive "Fan Fest" atmosphere from 5-10 pm in downtown Colorado Springs.