Jason Leffler Aims for Three in a Row Championships

Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif., trying to become USAC's first driver to win three consecutive National MCI WorldCom Midget Car Championships since the late Jimmy Davies in 1960-62, heads for Nebraska and Kansas to continue that quest...

Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif., trying to become USAC's first driver to win three consecutive National MCI WorldCom Midget Car Championships since the late Jimmy Davies in 1960-62, heads for Nebraska and Kansas to continue that quest this week. Eagle Raceway in Lincoln, Neb. hosts the MCI WorldCom National and Western Midget competitors Tuesday night, while the 22nd Annual Miller Genuine Draft "Belleville Midget Nationals" are on tap Thursday through Saturday at the famed Belleville (Kans.) High Banks. Leffler is a former winner at both Lincoln and Belleville, taking both during his 1997 title chase. He leads Ryan Newman by only 12 points going into the mid-American heartland swing. Jason won Saturday night's 40-lap race at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway in his Wynn's/Beast/Ford/ASE Pink Ford, leading all but the first two laps to beat Newman to the checkered flag. John Heydenreich, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Brian Gerster rounded out the "top-five." Newman was the fastest qualifier. Practice at Lincoln's 1/3-mile dirt Eagle Raceway gets under way 6:30 pm, with qualifying slated for 7 and racing at 8. A 40-lap feature is scheduled. The $70,000-plus Belleville Midget Nationals, supported this year by Kansas Touchstone Energy, start Thursday and the top four finishers from Thursday and Friday night's 25-lap features are guaranteed a "top-eight" starting position in Saturday night's 40-lap finale. Saturday's feature winner gets a check for $10,000 and matching Miller Genuine Draft Silver Cups are awaiting the champion driver and car owner. A $500 savings bond also awaits a driver setting a new 1-lap track qualifying record. Leffler established the existing record of 17.504 seconds last year.

MCI WORLDCOM/USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR STANDINGS

1. Jason Leffler        203     6.  Tracy Hines         105
2. Ryan Newman          191     7.  John Heydenreich    93
3. Ricky Shelton        151     8.  Jay Drake           87
4. Jerry Coons, Jr.     133     9.  Dave Steele         80
5. Brian Gerster        111     10. Clay Klepper        73

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Jay Drake , John Heydenreich , Jerry Coons , Clay Klepper , Brian Gerster , Ricky Shelton