Midget News 98-07-13

NATIONAL/16TH STREET/SPEEDROME MIDGET SERIES LEFFLER EARNS $11,250 at PPIR; SMOKER, LANG INDY MIDGET STARS 16TH HOSTS "NATIONAL" RACE SATURDAY; SPEEDROME "50" THURSDAY Defending USAC National Midget Champion Jason Leffler of Long Beach,...

NATIONAL/16TH STREET/SPEEDROME MIDGET SERIES LEFFLER EARNS $11,250 at PPIR; SMOKER, LANG INDY MIDGET STARS 16TH HOSTS "NATIONAL" RACE SATURDAY; SPEEDROME "50" THURSDAY

Defending USAC National Midget Champion Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. captured Sunday's "Rocky Mountain Classic" 25-mile National/"Western States" Midget race at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. The win solidified his third-place ranking in the standings as he led all but four laps in his Ford/Beast/ASE/Wynn's/Performance Racing Industry Pink Ford.

Leffler now eyes the "Mid-Summer Midget Classic' at Lincoln, Neb., scheduled July 28, and the rich Miller Genuine Draft "Belleville Midget Nationals" in Kansas July 30-August 1, both races he won last year.

Leffler, the fastest qualifier at PPIR, raked in over $11,000 for Sunday's victory, which included a $3,000 roll-over bonus from the Wynn's Challenge. He was trailed at the checkered flag by Dave Steele, Davey Hamilton, Jay Drake and John Heydenreich.

Ron Smoker of Hamburg, N.Y. and Michael Lang of Indianapolis, Ind. captured "regional" midget races in Indianapolis last week. Smoker led all 30 laps in his Parker Machinery Gaerte to beat Dean Franklin and Roger McCluskey, Jr. at 16th Street Speedway Saturday night.

Lang, who now leads both the 16th Street and Speedrome series point standings, finished ninth at 16th Street after winning Thursday night's 50-lapper at the Speedrome in his Keco/Ad-Tech Floor Care/IFI VW. He passed Norm Young on the ninth lap and led the rest of the way to beat John Sluss and Mike Hurst.

The Speedrome series continues this Thursday night with another 50-lapper on tap, while 16th Street hosts a National event on Saturday night, with practice at 5 p.m., qualifying at 5:30 and racing at 7. A 40-lap feature will cap the 16th Street action.

National Midget Standings: 1-Ricky Shelton-352; 2-Jay Drake-342; 3-Jason Leffler-335; 4-Jimmy McCune-291; 5-Tracy Hines-253; 6-Jerry Coons, Jr.-212; 7-Dave Steele-171; 8-Ronnie Johncox-168; 9-Travis Welpott-153; 10-Michael Lewis-130.

16th Street Midget Standings: 1-Michael Lang-162; 2-Critter Malone-159; 3-Jeff Hampton-138; 4-Andy Pierce-126; 5-Roy Caruthers-119; 6-Ricky Shelton-112; 7-Donnie Beechler-108'; 8-Ron Smoker-105; 9-Johnny Parsons III-101; 10-Jerry Coons, Jr.-97.

Speedrome Midget Standings: 1-Michael Lang-4,145; 2-John Sluss-3,925; 3-Dean Franklin-1,495; 4-Daryl Campbell-1,424; 5-Brad Kuhn-1,261; 6-Ron Hamm-1,222; 7-Gregg Cory-1,080; 8-John Mount-1,030; 9-Marc Longworth-844; 10-Mike Hurst-820.

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Donnie Beechler , Brad Kuhn , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Ronnie Johncox , Jay Drake , John Heydenreich , Jimmy McCune , Johnny Parsons , Jerry Coons , Dean Franklin , Ricky Shelton