DRAKE LEADS WORLD'S FASTEST SPRINT DRIVERS TO RICHMOND JONES, HUNTLEY OHIO VICTORY; GAINES "BUCKEYE" CHAMPION Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif., who claimed to be the world's fastest sprint car driver until last year, leads the...
DRAKE LEADS WORLD'S FASTEST SPRINT DRIVERS TO RICHMOND
JONES, HUNTLEY OHIO VICTORY; GAINES "BUCKEYE" CHAMPION
Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif., who claimed to be the world's fastest sprint car driver until last year, leads the Valvoline USAC National Sprint Car Series to Friday's race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. A 60-lap feature caps the program of racing at the 3/4-mile paved oval, part of the track's weekend of events which includes the Indy Racing League and the Weld Racing USAC Silver Crown Series.
Drake established a world's sprint car qualifying record of 144.951 mph at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado in 2003 but Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. bested that speed during 2004 USAC action at the same track. Steele's world mark of 144.980 mph is not that much faster than the 135.007 mph mark posted by Drake at RIR last year, when the USAC Sprint Cars made their RIR debut.
Drake, who teams with Josh Wise as drivers of Sprint cars entered by NASCAR star Tony Stewart, leads USAC "Triple Crown" Champ Dave Darland by 22 points going into Friday's event, which offers 66 total points.
Entered drivers for Friday's Sprint race also include 2004 RIR USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown winner Bobby East, 2005 Weld Racing Series point leader Wise and seven-time "Little 500" Sprint Car Champion Eric Gordon, who recorded a record fifth consecutive victory in the 500-lap Anderson, Ind. Sprint classic this year.
Jason McCord of Anderson, Ind. is the defending USAC Sprint Car winner at RIR, averaging 124.231 mph in winning the 2004 race.
Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. and Kevin Huntley of Bloomington, Ind. recorded victories in Valvoline Sprint Car races last weekend. Jones won Friday night's "Buckeye Nationals" opener at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio, while Huntley won Saturday night's race at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Jones passed Bud Kaeding on lap 11 and led the rest of Friday's 30-lapper in his Lucas Oil/Big R Stores Maxim/Gaerte, while Huntley paced all 30 circuits of Saturday's race in the Service Drywall/Thermo Spray of Indiana F-5/Chevy. Trailing Jones at Lima were Drake, Bryan Clauson, Shane Cottle and Kaeding. Huntley was followed at Eldora by Wise, Dickie Gaines, John Scott and Jonathan Vennard. Gaines emerged with the overall "Buckeye Nationals" Sprint championship.
Clauson, of Noblesville, Ind., was treated at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio for injuries suffered in a flip at Eldora, but was expected to be released on Monday. <pre> USAC VALVOLINE NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS 1. Jay Drake 456 2. Dave Darland 434 3. Levi Jones 395 4. Bud Kaeding 387 5. Josh Wise 342 6. Mat Neely 320 7. Jerry Coons, Jr. 249 8. Jon Stanbrough 226 9. Tom Hessert III 201 10. Justin Marvel 197