Early entries announced for final events

"Rookie of the Year" hopefuls Gregory, Beach headline early entries for year-end events. USAC National Midget Car "Rookie of the Year" candidates Ron Gregory and Teddy Beach are among early entries for season-finales November 23, 28 and 30 in ...

"Rookie of the Year" hopefuls Gregory, Beach headline early entries for year-end events.

USAC National Midget Car "Rookie of the Year" candidates Ron Gregory and Teddy Beach are among early entries for season-finales November 23, 28 and 30 in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Gregory, of Noblesville, Ind., and Beach, of Donnellsville, Ohio, are separated by only seven points in the latest standings. Beach is fresh from winning the October 19 race at South Boston, Va. and has eight "top-10s" to his credit this year. Gregory, with seven "top-10s" on his 2002 resume, was the fastest qualifier for the race on the ultra-fast mile at Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania in April. Gregory, who will celebrate his 19th birthday on November 20, is about five months older than Beach.

The season finales are November 23 at Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park, November 28 at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway and November 30 at the Bullring at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. The Tucson card is the "Old Pueblo Classic," while the Irwindale event is the 62nd annual Lucas Oil "Turkey Night Grand Prix." The Western Sprint Cars share the program at all three tracks, while the USAC Ford Focus Midget Cars are also part of the Irwindale event.

Western Midget car "Rookie of the Year" hopefuls include Arizona 17-year-olds Van Knill of Tucson and Matt Rossi of Phoenix. Knill is currently sixth in the standings, while Rossi is eighth.

Twenty-six-year-old Chad Nichols of San Carlos, Calif. is the current leader for Western Sprint Car "Rookie of the Year" honors, since he is leading the series standings going into the finales!

J.J. Yeley of Phoenix will try to become the 10th driver in USAC history to record at least 15 total feature victories in a single season. He currently has 14 going into the November 23 Tucson program.

All three series titles will be up for grabs in the late-November races. Defending Champion Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. (National Midget Cars), three-time champion Robby Flock of Murrieta, Calif. (Western Midget Cars) and Nichols (Western Sprint Cars) are the respective point leaders.

USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Dave Darland 1,212
2. J.J. Yeley 1,126
3. Aaron Fike 1,086
4. Bobby East 952
5. Tracy Hines 949
6. A.J. Fike 803
7. Ron Gregory 658
8. Teddy Beach 651
9. Steve Paden 569
10. Dave Steele 567

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Aaron Fike , Bobby East , Teddy Beach , A.J. Fike , Ron Gregory , Steve Paden , Robby Flock