Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif., who is scheduled to make his Indy Racing League debut January 24 in the TransWorld Diversified Services "Indy 200" at Walt Disney World Speedway, also opens defense of his 1998 USAC Silver Crown Championship title the preceding day at the 1-mile paved oval near Orlando, Fla.

Leffler is the the initial entry for the first of a record 15 races in the newly-titled Coors Light Silver Bullet Series. A 50-mile feature on Saturday follows preliminaries on Friday and Saturday. Leffler nearly won last year's WDWS opener but lost to Brian Tyler when he ran out of fuel on the next-to-last lap!

The 1999 Coors Light Silver Bullet Series encompasses 14 different speedways in nine states and two brand-new venues.

All 13 races held in 1998 will be repeated in 1999 and Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway and the brand-new Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway are the new venues. Nazareth's 1-mile paved oval will host its first Silver Bullet event the weekend of July 16-17, while Irwindale's new 1/2-mile pavement will host the October 16 penultimate round. Nazareth actually played host to the Silver Crown inaugural in 1971 and subsequent events on its dirt surface in 1982 and 1983.

Significant date changes in 1999 will include the "Sumar Classic 100" at Terre Haute, Ind. moving from July to June 11; a switch from July to late-June for Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo.; Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. moving from October to July 30; and Memphis Motorsports Park moving from June to host the October 30-31 weekend finale.

The Orlando and Pikes Peak events will be held in conjunction with 1999 Indy Racing League events.

Since its debut in 1971 the Silver Bullet Series has provided some of America's most intense auto racing competition. The 207 events held in the past 17 years have produced 64 different race winners and testament to the unpredictability of the series is the fact that 10 of its champions have come from behind in standings going into the final race, including five of the past seven years!

The 1999 USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series schedule is as follows:

Date Location...Track Type Track...D/N...Distance

January 23 Orlando, FL...Walt Disney World Speedway 1 P...D...50 M

February 5-7 Phoenix, AZ...Phoenix International Raceway 1 P...D...50 M

May 22 Indianapolis, IN...Indianapolis Raceway Park .686 P...N...100 L

May 28 Indianapolis, IN...Indiana State Fairgrounds 1 D...N...100 M

June 11 Terre Haute, IN...Terre Haute Action Track 1/2 D...N...100 L

June 26-27 Fountain, CO...Pikes Peak International Raceway 1 P...D...100 M

July 16-17 Nazareth, PA...Nazareth Speedway 1 P...D...100 M

July 30 Madison, IL...Gateway International Raceway 1.25 P...N...100 M

August 4 Indianapolis, IN...Indianapolis Raceway Park .686 P...N...100 L

August 21 Springfield, IL...Illinois State Fairgrounds 1 D...D...100 M

September 6 DuQuoin, IL...DuQuoin State Fairgrounds 1 D...D...100 M

September 24-25 Rossburg, OH...Eldora Speedway 1/2 D...N...50 L

October 9 Sacramento, CA...CalExpo State Fairgrounds 1 D...N...100 M

October 16 Irwindale, CA...Irwindale Speedway 1/2 P...N...100 L

October 30-31 Memphis, TN...Memphis Motorsports Park 3/4 P...D...100 L