Eldora, Anderson previews

"Branson/Larson" & "Niebel" Traditions Continue Saturday & Sunday At Eldora & Anderson Two USAC racing "traditions" will continue this weekend as the 2004 Valvoline National Sprint Car Series debuts at tracks in Ohio and Indiana. ...

"Branson/Larson" & "Niebel" Traditions Continue Saturday & Sunday At Eldora & Anderson

Two USAC racing "traditions" will continue this weekend as the 2004 Valvoline National Sprint Car Series debuts at tracks in Ohio and Indiana.

The "Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic" unfolds Saturday night at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, while the "Glen Niebel Classic" is scheduled Sunday afternoon at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. The Anderson event also includes the Midwest Ford Focus Midget Car Series opener for 2004.

J.J. Yeley and Aaron Pierce won last year's events and Pierce is expected to return to defend his title. Former "Branson/Larson" Champions Eric Gordon, Dave Darland and Jay Drake are among those who could repeat at Eldora.

A 30-lap feature event is on tap at Eldora, while the Anderson feature is 50 laps, following complete prelims and the Anderson Ford Focus feature is a 30-lapper. Practice at Eldora starts at 6:30 pm and qualifying is at 7. The first race starts at 8. Anderson's events Sunday begin with practice at 10:30 am, with qualifying slated at 1:15 pm and racing at 2.

Drivers will aim at Jay Drake's 1-lap track record at Eldora, a lap of 15.232 seconds set in 2000. Dave Darland is the current track record holder at Anderson, turning a lap at 11.360 seconds in 2001.

Bobby East, fresh from his near-sweep of the "Mopar Twin 25s at Irwindale" USAC Midget races this past weekend, is among Anderson hopefuls, while Dave Darland, who captured a Valvoline USAC/CRA Sprint Car win at Phoenix, Ariz. two weeks ago, is among "Branson/Larson" hopefuls Saturday.

The Eldora race celebrates the careers of Don Branson and Jud Larson, who between them won 44 USAC Sprint car features, five of them at Eldora. Branson also was the 1964 National Champion. Sunday's Anderson race celebrates the life of the car builder, owner and mechanic who amassed numerous Anderson victories, including dominating the prestigious "Little 500" Sprint car race for several years.

--USAC--

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Eric Gordon , Aaron Pierce