Having grown up the son of a Midwestern racing legend and being only 20 minutes from a famous racing venue, it’s hard not to notice the Magic Mile at Du Quoin State Fairgrounds. Fall in love with open-wheel racing cars and it’s almost inevitable that one day you’ll race on the big mile track. Work your way up to being one of the best dirt track drivers in the Midwest and you’ll probably get some serious racing in the USAC Silver Crown Series. Follow those steps and you could become a series winner, even on the clay mile he calls home in nearby Perry County, Illinois. Those are the steps Shane Cockrum took that led to two wins in the Ted Horn 100 at Du Quoin, and the “Flyin’ Fireman” looks poised and ready for a third win on Saturday night.
Also known as “The Boss”, Cockrum generally limits his appearances in the Silver Crown series to dirty spots. finished 21St. at the Sumar Classic season opener in Terre Haute (where he is a previous winner) and 7the at the event in Port Royal, Pennsylvania. He and his BLS Motorsports team were looking forward to the two-mile tour of the dirt track, but plans were disrupted by the postponement at Springfield. That leaves Du Quoin, a track where Cockrum and his team have visited the inner lake twice after back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015. Winning at the Magic Mile was a dream come true for Cockrum. A third win would add another chapter to the dream.
Shane followed his father, the late Cliff Cockrum, to race tracks across the country. As Cliff racked up win after win, Shane decided to follow his father’s path and become a race car driver. One goal was to race the big mile track at Du Quoin, a second goal was to run one of the mighty verticals. Shane got his start in 1998 competing in the modified UMP Bill Oldani Memorial event, but it would be three years before he would main event Oldani. Several additional appearances for Oldani would come before the chance to move on to the big cars.
Former USAC Stock Car owner Dave Hardy of Decatur was a familiar face in the Du Quoin pit area. His driver, Butch Garner, was very popular in central and southern Illinois, including Du Quoin. During the winter of 2010, Hardy picked up a Stealth Silver Crown car from the Siner family in Dupo, Illinois and the named driver was Shane Cockrum. A large contingent of Cockrum fans bought tickets to the 2011 Ted Horn 100 and watched as Shane finished 17th.the completing 89 laps before running out of fuel. Since his rookie year, Cockrum has won twice, never finishing lower than fifth and completing 699 of 700 miles. Based on that record, it’s a fair bet Shane will be in the fight on Saturday night.
MiteXstream joins as the new presenting sponsor of the championship event. It’s all part of a race-packed Labor Day weekend that also includes the ARCA Menards Series on Sunday night and DIRTcar Modifieds both nights.
Practice for the USAC Silver Crown Championship cars begins Saturday, September 3 at 5 p.m. with qualifying scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the Ted Horn 100 presented by MiteXstream at 8:15 p.m. Sunday’s event schedule September 4th will start with practice at 4:15 pm, qualifying at 6:00 and the main race at 6:30.
Tickets will be available on race day or by calling the Du Quoin Fair office at 618-542-1535. Information and tickets can also be obtained by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.
For more information, visit www.trackenterprises.com.
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