59TH "TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX" AT IRWINDALE ANCHORS USAC'S 1999 "WESTERN" SWING SEASON FINALES The "Turkey Night Grand Prix" returns to the Los Angeles arena for only the second time in eight years when it arrives at its new...
59TH "TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX" AT IRWINDALE ANCHORS USAC'S 1999 "WESTERN" SWING SEASON FINALES
The "Turkey Night Grand Prix" returns to the Los Angeles arena for only the second time in eight years when it arrives at its new home November 25 - the Irwindale Speedway. The 59th running of America's most traditional Midget Car event unfolds on Thanksgiving night within sight of the 1975 classic and takes to the pavement for only the third time in its storied history. In 1975 the race was held at the now-defunct 605 Speedway in Irwindale, won by the legendary Mel Kenyon. In 1991, after the demise of Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif., the race was held at Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita, Calif., with Stan Fox the winner. "Turkey Night," continues a tradition nurtured by the famed Agajanian family, who have organized the event for a half-century. Nearly every top Midget Car driver has competed in the race and its list of winners reads like a who's-who of the sport. It features a 100-lap race on the 1/2-mile paved Irwindale oval following qualifications and "qualifying races." Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif. won last year's "Turkey Night" classic, held at Bakersfield, Calif., and is expected to be a top threat to repeat. The last driver to repeat was Stan Fox, who won at Ascot Park in 1990 and Saugus in 1991. The USAC MCI WorldCom Midget Cars will conclude their 1999 campaign with dirt-track races November 20 at Bakersfield and November 27 at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. in addition to "Turkey Night." Year-end point rankings in both the MCI WorldCom National and Western Midget Car Series will be affected by all three events. Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. is headed for his third consecutive MCI WorldCom National title, thus becoming the first driver since Jimmy Davies (1960-62) to accomplish that feat. Marc DeBeaumont of Clayton, Calif. and Shane Scully of Encino, Calif. are embroiled in a terrific duel for the "Western" title entering the final events on the calendar. Leffler finished second to Drake in last year's "Turkey Night" race and tuned up for this year's classic with an October 16 Midget Car and Silver Bullet win at Irwindale.
"TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX" RACE WINNERS
1934 Bob Swanson 1971 Bill Engelhart 1935 Ted Sizemore 1972 Tony Simon 1936 Ronney Householder 1973 Bill Engelhart 1937 Ronney Householder 1974 Danny McKnight 1938 Bob Swanson 1975 Mel Kenyon 1939 Mel Hansen 1976 Bubby Jones 1940 Roy Russing 1977 Gary Patterson 1941 Roy Russing 1978 Rick Goudy 1945 Danny Oakes 1979 Ron Shuman 1946 Perry Grimm 1980 Ron Shuman 1947 Johnny McDowell 1981 Ron Shuman 1948 Bill Vukovich 1982 Ron Shuman 1949 Perry Grimm 1983 Kevin Olson 1950 Bill Zaring 1984 Ron Shuman 1955 Johnnie Parsons 1985 Brent Kaeding 1956 Edgar Elder 1986 Warren Mockler 1957 George Amick 1987 Ron Shuman 1958 Joe Garson 1988 Chuck Gurney 1959 Tony Bettenhausen 1989 Chuck Gurney 1960 A.J. Foyt 1990 Stan Fox 1961 A.J. Foyt 1991 Stan Fox 1962 Billy Cantrell 1992 Ron Shuman 1963 Mel Kenyon 1993 Ron Shuman 1964 Parnelli Jones 1994 Jordan Hermansader 1965 Dick Atkins 1995 Billy Boat 1966 Parnelli Jones 1996 Billy Boat 1967 Gary Bettenhausen 1997 Billy Boat 1968 Sam Sessions 1998 Jay Drake 1969 George Benson 1999 ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 1970 Gary Bettenhausen