Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio hopes to become USAC's second-winningest Sprint car driver of all time on Saturday night, April 1. He currently has 44 career wins and trails Larry Dickson by just one. Tom Bigelow is the all-time leader at 52. ...
Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio hopes to become USAC's second-winningest Sprint car driver of all time on Saturday night, April 1. He currently has 44 career wins and trails Larry Dickson by just one. Tom Bigelow is the all-time leader at 52. Hewitt's first opportunity to tie Dickson comes in the 18th "Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic" at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The race kicks off the 2000 Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Series and opens a weekend which also includes the "Glen Niebel Classic" doubleheader of USAC Sprint/Midget Car racing at Anderson, Ind. on Sunday, April 2. Hewitt has had a fantastic record in the "Branson/Larson" 30-lapper, winning it in 1982 and 1990, but he's had 15 "top-seven" finishes in the previous 17 runnings of the race. Between 1982 and 1993 he never finished worse than third! Last year Jack again finished third but his record at the 1/2-mile dirt oval is legendary. Few will ever forget his stunning "4-Crown Nationals" sweep in 1998, a feat many veteran observers refer to as the crowning achievement of American oval-track racing. In one spectacular afternoon he won a 25-lap Midget Car, 30-lap Sprint Car, 40-lap Late Model and 50-lap Silver Bullet feature, the only man ever to win four sanctioned events in one day at a single track! Hewitt, who owns a record 24 USAC feature wins at Eldora, will face stiff competition from defending Stoops Freightliner Champion Dave Darland, who won the "4-Crown" Midget Car and Sprint Car features there last September. Darland's best finish in the "Branson/Larson Classic" was a second in 1995. Derek Davidson also poses a threat, having won last year's "Branson/Larson" feature. The race will be race organizer Earl Baltes' 257th at various tracks under USAC sanction, having presented his 200th USAC event at Eldora during last year's "4-Crown Nationals" program. Practice for the "Branson/Larson Classic" April 1 starts at 6:30 pm. Qualifying gets under way at 7 and the first race is scheduled for 8 pm.
"Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic" Race Winners
1981--Dave Peperak 1982--Jack Hewitt 1983--Rich Vogler 1984--Steve Butler 1985--Jac Haudenschild 1986--Rick Hood 1987--Rich Vogler 1988--Jac Haudenschild 1989--No Race 1990--Jack Hewitt 1991--No Race 1992--Terry Shepherd 1993--Robbie Stanley 1994--Frankie Kerr 1995--Kevin Doty 1996--Frankie Kerr 1997--Kevin Huntley 1998--Kevin Doty 1999--Derek Davidson 2000--????????