WS: WM: Stewart sweeps Las Vegas, Darland takes Midget title

2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart of Rushville, Ind. captured both ends of Saturday night's USAC Sprint/Midget Car "doubleheader" at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway "Bullring." It marked his first USAC Sprint/Midget sweep on pavement.

Tony passed Dave Darland on the 20th lap of the 40-lap Midget race and led the rest of the way in his Ford/ASE/Performance Racing Industry Pink Ford/Beast. Ironically, he also grabbed the lead on the 20th lap of the 40-lap Sprint race from Jeff Gardner and led the rest of the way in his Western Speed/Coca-Cola Wesmar Chevy/Eagle. Tony's Winston Cup car number is #20!

Dave Darland.
Photo by Steve Rossini.

Darland, who finished second in the Midget race, clinched his second consecutive USAC National Midget Car Championship in the process. J.J. Yeley, Ron Gregory and Bobby East rounded out the "top-five" at the checkered flag as Steve Lewis-owned cars finished 1-2-3-5.

Trailing Stewart and Gardner in the Sprint finish were Tracy Hines, Brian McClish and Kevin Feeney.

USAC Western Driving Championships went to Robby Flock of Murrieta, Calif. and Rick Hendrix of Canyon Country, Calif. Flock finished sixth in the 40-lap Midget race and overcame a 10-point deficit to Danny Stratton, who did not start the feature. Hendrix was 12th in the Sprint feature and finished three points ahead of Scott Hansen, who spun out on lap three, while Chad Nichols failed to start the main event.

Stewart qualified fastest among the 48 Sprint cars and second to Ryan Scott in the 36-car Midget field.