TERRE HAUTE —
Chris Windom has big plans.
Sure, the 23-year-old would like to make the ascent from success in the U.S. Auto Club to the fame and fortune of the larger racing series of NASCAR.
The Canton, Ohio, native who makes his home in West Lafayette has his sights on a big USAC season in 2014. Windom was second in Silver Crown points in 2013 and ninth in the sprint series.
That begins with today’s Silver Crown Series opener at the Terre Haute Action Track. A Silver Crown points title would put Windom in a club with racers such as A.J. Foyt (1972), Al Unser (1973), Jeff Gordon (1991), Tony Stewart (1995), Ryan Newman (1999) and J.J. Yeley (2002-03).
“We’re looking to start off with a bang, get a win here in Terre Haute and try to win a championship,” Windom said. “We had a really good series last year ran second to Bobby East.”
Windom finished six points behind Tony Stewart Racing’s East, a Brownsburg-based driver and the two-time defending series champ.
Windom finished the 2013 season on a strong note, winning the Silver Crown race at Eldora (Ohio) Speedway on Sept. 24 after already winning the USAC Sprint race earlier that night.
“I’ve wanted to win here for so long,” Windom said that night, according to a story posted on Windom's website. “We’ve been so close all year in Silver Crown, but I don’t think I had the experience yet to finish them off.”
Winning in Silver Crown, USAC’s premier series that includes races on dirt and pavement in cars that can reach 178 miles-per-hour on the pavement, is no easy task.
Windom will face off against veterans such as Dave Darland, who has 14 Silver Crown victories during his career as well as Tracy Hines, who has nine. East has won 11 times.
It will be tough, but Windom likes the momentum he has going in his career. He has had success in Terre Haute before, winning two sprint races in 2011 at the Action Track.
“This is one my favorite tracks to come to,” Windom said. “Really good competition will be there. Tony Stewart’s car with Bobby East, they’ve won the championship last year, they’ll be really good. Christopher Bell, last year’s USAC National Midget Dirt title winner is tough. It’s a real fast, racy track. It’s a fan friendly track, with the infield, which is a really cool angle to watch the races.”