Ten of the best in $20,000 drivers challenge

10:24 AM 07 Aug 2014 NZST
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Aaron Merriman - Leading dash winning driver this season in North America
Aaron Merriman - Leading dash winning driver this season in North America

Ten of the best drivers in the sport of harness racing will take to the track at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for the inaugural $20,000 East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge on Friday, August 8.

The first of its kind at Hoosier Park, the challenge will pit the top-five drivers based upon wins, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize.

Harness racings' all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell returns to Indiana and will headline "Team East".

Campbell far exceeds any driver when it comes to purse earnings with over $287 million in the bike and victories in nearly every major stake to date.

He is a member of both the Canadian and United States Hall of Fame and is one of only 10 drivers in North America with more than 10,000 career wins.

Campbell will be joined by the nation's current leading dash-winning driver Aaron Merriman who leads North America in wins with 464 victories to date.

Also included on the stellar cast of entrants for "Team East" are Ron Pierce, Corey Callahan, and Tyler Buter.

Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick will lead "Team Midwest" after he secured his number one position with 170 victories.

"Team Midwest" will also include Tyler Smith, Sam Widger, Peter Wrenn and Ricky Macomber Jr.

"This is going to be a lot of fun," driver Peter Wrenn said of the challenge.

"They are going to be tough to beat that is for sure, but it's going to be a great night of racing the entire night.

I know we are all looking forward to it."

Each team will have five participants in three consecutive races of the challenge and will be awarded points based upon their placings.

At the conclusion of the final race of the challenge, race nine, the points will be tallied and one team will be crowned the winner.

The East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge will compliment one of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational slated as the twelfth race of the evening with a post time of 9:30 p.m.

Racing fans will also have the opportunity to participate in a special wager offered for the East Meets Midwest Drivers' Challenge with a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 Pool.

The wager will offer a minimum bet of 50 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, and the Indiana Standardbred Association.

All of the drivers competing in the East Meets Midwest challenge will kick-off the evening with an autograph session near Hoosier Park's winner circle beginning at 4 p.m.

In what is being called the "Dan Patch Festival Weekend", Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, a fireworks display, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment.

Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park's summer concert series line-up.

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Emily Gaskin

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