Indy IRP preview, Concord wrap-up

61ST COCA COLA "NIGHT BEFORE 500" AT IRP SATURDAY SANTOS FINALLY FINDS WINNERS CIRCLE AT CONCORD The 61st "Coca Cola Night Before the 500" Classic unfolds this Saturday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Michael Lewis ...

61ST COCA COLA "NIGHT BEFORE 500" AT IRP SATURDAY
SANTOS FINALLY FINDS WINNERS CIRCLE AT CONCORD

The 61st "Coca Cola Night Before the 500" Classic unfolds this Saturday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Michael Lewis of Noblesville, Ind. is the defending champion. Lewis ranks third in the National standings entering the IRP race.

A 50-lap feature is on tap at the .686-mile paved oval where Bobby and Erica Santos of Franklin, Mass. hope to make USAC history as the first brother-sister combo to start a National feature race.

Ths Santos family figured significantly in the outcome of Sunday night's "Mopar All-Star Shootout" at Concord (N.C.) Motorsports Park. Bobby crashed during a heat race, then took over his sister's car and promptly raced from 16th starting position to victory in the 50-lap feature! The win was Bobby's first in USAC National competition and left him sixth in the new series standings going into Saturday's race at IRP.

Bobby caught Brad Loyet on lap 47 and led the final four laps in his Wirtgen America Beast/Esslinger Ford. Loyet, who led the first 46 laps, finished second ahead of Josh Wise, Bryan Clauson and Jay Drake. NASCAR star and three-time USAC National Midget Champ Jason Leffler encountered mechanical problems and failed to finish the Concord race.

Billy Wease posted the fastest qualifying time for USAC's inaugural race at Concord.

Dave Steele, who will team with Dave Darland in Toyota-powered entries at IRP, leads the National Midget standings, 13 ahead of Drake and 18 ahead of Lewis.

-USAC-

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , Dave Steele , Jay Drake , Josh Wise , Billy Wease , Bryan Clauson , Erica Santos , Brad Loyet