Billy Boat To Run in the Copper Classic

Indy Racing League veteran Billy Boat of Phoenix, Ariz. has won nine of the last 12 USAC Midget Car races he's competed in but this weekend he'll climb behind the wheel of a Midget Car for the first time in more than two years when he ...

Indy Racing League veteran Billy Boat of Phoenix, Ariz. has won nine of the last 12 USAC Midget Car races he's competed in but this weekend he'll climb behind the wheel of a Midget Car for the first time in more than two years when he competes in the 23rd "Copper World Classic" at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway. Boat is entered in the #29 Dino Tomassi Pink Ford Beast and should be considered a top threat for victory. The Tomassi machine made 12 appearances in 1999 with drivers Jason Leffler, Bud Kaeding, Jimmy McCune, Thomas Meseraull and Dave Steele and recorded eight "top-10" finishes, including a feature win by Leffler. The USAC MCI WorldCom National/Western Midget Cars will be joined by the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet machines, plus supermodifieds and stock cars for this weekend's racing events on the 1-mile paved PIR oval. Practice is scheduled Friday, with qualifying and consolation races on Saturday. Sunday's first of four feature events, the Midget car 25-miler, starts at noon. More than 50 entries have already been received for the Midget Car portion of the "Copper World Classic." Boat's competition will include defending "Copper World Classic" and MCI WorldCom National Midget Car Champion Leffler, of Long Beach, Calif., plus defending MCI WorldCom Western Midget Car Champion Marc DeBeaumont of Clayton, Calif. Boat won the final race of the 1996 season and then reeled off eight wins in 11 1997 Midget Car starts. In 1994 he established the all-time USAC consecutive feature victory record of 11 in the Western Midget Car series, erasing the previous mark of seven posted by A.J. Foyt in the 1964 National Championship Series and the late Billy Vukovich III in the USAC Supermodifieds in 1987. Sunday's 25-mile race kicks off the 2000 USAC Midget Car racing calendar for both the National and Western series, with points awarded toward both championships. Leffler holds the current PIR 1-lap Midget Car track qualifying record of 132.856 mph, which he set last year. Dan Drinan of Indianapolis, Ind. holds the 25-mile Midget Car race record of 128.822 mph, set in 1995.

--USAC--

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Billy Boat , Dave Steele , Bud Kaeding , Dan Drinan , Jimmy McCune , A.J. Foyt , Thomas Meseraull