Derek Davidson of Lafayette, Ind. is the early leader in the 1999 Stoops Freightliner USAC Sprint Car point standings after his sensational victory in Saturday night's series-opening "Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic" at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Davidson caught two-time series champion Brian Tyler on the 26th lap of the race, then withstood a tremendous last-lap challenge from Tyler to post the win in the Hannig Construction/Bailey's One Stop Special. Tyler finished second, ahead of 1998 "4-Crown Nationals" Champion Jack Hewitt, Dave Darland and 1998 Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Champion Tony Elliott. Rounding out the "top-10" were Kevin Thomas, Danny Smith, Tray House, Jac Haudenschild and Robbie Rice.
Tracy Hines posted the Turbines, Inc. fastest qualifying time among 55 drivers, then escaped injury in a flip on the third lap of the feature event. He was one of five drivers who flipped during the program but there were no serious injuries.
Davidson will lead the Stoops Freightliner series into the April 11 Pepsi-Cola "Rich Vogler Classic" at the Winchester (Ind.) Speedway.
STOOPS FREIGHTLINER SPRINT CAR STANDINGS
1. Derek Davidson 69 2. Brian Tyler 67 3. Jack Hewitt 58 4. Dave Darland 54 5. Tony Elliott 54 6. Tray House 41 7. Robbie Rice 36 8. Tim Cox 35 9. Rob Chaney 33 10. Blll Rose 30