Copper World Classic Quick Facts

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U.S. TOBACCO COMPANY COPPER WORLD CLASSIC QUICK FACTS WHAT: The 22nd Annual U.S. Tobacco Company Copper World Classic Second of 15 events on the 1999 Coors Light Silver Bullet Series schedule WHERE: Phoenix ...

U.S. TOBACCO COMPANY COPPER WORLD CLASSIC QUICK FACTS

WHAT: The 22nd Annual U.S. Tobacco Company Copper World Classic Second of 15 events on the 1999 Coors Light Silver Bullet Series schedule

WHERE: Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, Arizona 1-mile paved oval

WHEN: Sunday, February 7, 1999, 2 p.m. (local time)

DISTANCE: 50 miles/50 laps

TICKETS: Tickets available by calling 602-252-2227

POSTED AWARDS: More than $67,000 (winner receives $13,000 minimum)

CARS: Silver Crown, front-engine championship cars on Hoosier Racing Tires

FIELD: 30-car field

1998 RACE WINNER: Tony Stewart

1998 SERIES CHAMPION: Jason Leffler

TV: TNN (taped), 3 p.m. (EST), either Sunday, Feb. 14 or Feb. 28* Announcers: Steve Evans, Dave Rieff Pit reporters: Bobby Gerould, Dave Rieff * All four divisions of the Copper World Classic are being taped for broadcast on TNN. The races will be divided into two separate broadcasts by the production company following the event.

SCHEDULE (all times local): (Feb. 5 - Practice Day) 9 - 10 a.m.: MCI WorldCom USAC Midget Car Series practice 10 - 10:45 a.m.: WSMRA Super Modified practice 10:45 - 11:45 a.m.: Coors Light Silver Bullet Series practice 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.: NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series practice 1:15 - 2 p.m.: MCI WorldCom USAC Midget Car Series practice 2 - 2:30 p.m.: WSMRA Super Modified practice 2:30 - 3:15 p.m.: Coors Light Silver Bullet Series practice 3:15 - 4 p.m.: NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series practice

(Feb. 6 - Qualifying Day) 9 - 9:30 a.m.: NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series practice 9:30 - 10 a.m.: MCI WorldCom USAC Midget Car Series practice 10 - 10:30 a.m.: WSMRA Super Modified practice 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.: MCI WorldCom USAC Midget Car Series qualifying 11:15 a.m. - 12 p.m.: WSMRA Super Modified qualifying 12 - 12:30 p.m.: Coors Light Silver Bullet Series practice 1 - 1:45 p.m.: Coors Light Silver Bullet Series qualifying (best of two laps, to determine top 24 starting positions) 1:45 - 2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series qualifying 2:30 p.m.: MCI WorldCom USAC Midget Car Series qualifying race 3 p.m.: WSMRA Super Modified qualifying race 3:30 p.m.: Coors Light Silver Bullet Series qualifying race (10 laps, includes qualifiers 25th and slower to determine starting positions 25 - 30) 4 p.m.: NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series qualifying race

(Feb. 7 - Race Day) 10:30 a.m.: Open practice, all divisions (yellow flag) 12 p.m.: MCI WorldCom USAC Midget Car Series race 1 p.m.: WSMRA Super Modified race 2 p.m.: Coors Light Silver Bullet Series race (50 miles/50 laps) 3 p.m.: NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series race

TRACK RECORDS:        
(Qualifying)        Dave Steele, 26.002 seconds, 138.450 mph, Jan. 31, 1998

(Race) Mike Bliss, 22 minutes, 54.92 seconds, 130.917 mph, Feb. 5, 1995

THE TRACK: One-mile paved oval, with four turns banked from 9 to 11 degrees. The front straight is 1,179 feet and the back straight is 1,551 feet. The total distance of turns one and two is 631 feet, while turns three and four total 1,919 feet. Sanctioning bodies conducting races at PIR include the Pep Boys Indy Racing League, NASCAR, USAC and WSMRA.

THE RACE:

The silver crown cars have been a part of the Copper World Classic every year since 1989. Ken Schrader won the first event and became the first repeat winner by winning again in 1990. Mike Bliss has won this event a record three times (1993, '95, '96) and he is the only other repeat winner. Other winners of this event are Jeff Gordon (1991), Kenny Irwin (1994), Jim Keeker (1992), Jimmy Kite (1997) and Tony Stewart (1998).

RACE NOTES:

* There are two local drivers currently scheduled to compete in this event. Kaylene Verville and J.J. Yeley, both from Phoenix. Yeley made his mark in this event last year finishing sixth en route to a "most improved driver" award for the 1998 season. Kaylene is returning to the series after a fiery accident at DuQuoin in her series debut last year.

* Rebel Jackson, Jr. is another local favorite despite being from Buckley, Wash. Because of his success in super modified competition in the Copper World Classic, he is already well known by the fans. Rebel will be making his first start in the silver crown portion of the Copper World after winning the super modified race three times (1990, '92, '97). Rebel has two previous series starts--the final event last year at Gateway International Raceway and the season opener this year at Walt Disney World. He is chasing the Turbines, Inc. Rookie of the Year award for 1999.

* Howard Motorsports has announced that the Phoenix area Twin Palms Hotel will once again sponsor the team for the Copper World as they did at this event in 1998. Robby is fresh off a strong fourth-place finish at Walt Disney World Speedway. No word yet on whether there will be a chocolate on Robby's seat when he straps in for the race.

* The Copper World Classic kicks off the first of three Coors Light Silver Bullet Series races on TNN Motorsports. The network is also scheduled to televise the July race at Gateway International Raceway and the season finale at Memphis Motorsports Park in October.

* The Hamilton family hopes to own the podium after Sunday's race. Pep Boys Indy Racing League veteran Davey Hamilton, his father Kenny and brother Jimmy are each on the entry list for this event.

SERIES NOTES: * The boss' daughter: Jason McCord has a little extra incentive to do well this weekend. After the Copper World Classic he will return home to Anderson, Indiana to marry Meredith Contos, the daughter of his car owner Larry Contos.

* Switching beer brands: Stevie Reeves, a previous regular in NASCAR's Busch Series is scheduled to compete in this Coors Light Silver Bullet Series event driving the Aristocrat Products/Raybestos number 28 for Johnny Vance. Reeves is the former USAC Midget champion and owns one career silver crown win.

* Mike Bliss, the 1993 series champion, was all smiles after his win at Disney in the season opener. Although a regular in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Mike is scheduled for another go this weekend in the True Value number 111 owned by George Snider and four-time Indy winner A.J. Foyt. The Snider/Foyt team won this race last year with Tony Stewart in the team's number 11 entry. Bliss indicated he might lobby Jack Roush, his truck owner, for permission to run at least one more Coors Light Silver Bullet Series event later this season. After the Disney win Bliss commented, "It was so much fun out there, I know Stewart (Tony) and Reeves (Stevie) were chomping at the bit to be in this race."

* Jason Leffler is one of several drivers planning to pull double duty this weekend in both the Coors Light Silver Bullet Series and the MCI WorldCom Midget Car Series. Jason, the 1998 champion of both series, is one of the likely candidates to win both events. Last year Tony Stewart became the first driver in Copper World history to win more than one event of the Copper World on the same day.

* The television schedule for the Coors Light Silver Bullet Series is shaping up for 1999. Including the season opener at Walt Disney World Speedway which will air on Speedvision, there are a total of seven races slated for broadcast so far. TNN will air three, including this weekends event, and ESPN2 will air three, including the series debut at the new Irwindale Speedway in California.

SERIES STATISTICS:

1999 Series Standings 1. Mike Bliss 63 2. Dave Steele 60 3. Russ Gamester 54 4. Robby Flock 51 5. Ryan Newman 48 6. Brian Tyler 45 7. Tracy Hines 42 8. Jason Leffler 39 9. Billy Puterbaugh, Jr. 36 10. J.J. Yeley 33 11. Chet Fillip 31 12. Tony Elliott 29 13. Todd Kane 27 14. Brad Noffsinger 25 15. Gary Hieber 23 16. Dave Darland 21 17. Derek Davidson 19 18. Rebel Jackson, Jr. 17 19. Paul White 15 20. Bill Baue 13

1999 Series Winners 1. Mike Bliss (1)

1999 Series Poles 1. Mike Bliss (1)

1999 Series Lap Leaders 1. Dave Steele (27) 2. Mike Bliss (23)

1999 Turbines, Inc. Rookies of the Race 1. Rebel Jackson, Jr. (1)

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