National/Western Phoenix race notes

STEELE CLAIMS COPPER WORLD MIDGET VICTORY Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. won Sunday afternoon's "Fastsigns 25" USAC National/Western Midget Car race at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, successfully debuting the brand-new ...

STEELE CLAIMS COPPER WORLD MIDGET VICTORY

Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. won Sunday afternoon's "Fastsigns 25" USAC National/Western Midget Car race at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, successfully debuting the brand-new Toyota powerplant.

The 2005 USAC Silver Crown Champion, who also won the 2002 "Copper World" Midget race, led the final 12 laps of Sunday's race after leader Bobby East encountered mechanical problems and hit the wall in turn three on lap 14. Steele started on the pole in the ASE/Toyota Beast and trailed East for the first 13 laps around the 1-mile paved oval.

Michael Lewis finished second, followed by Jay Drake, Cole Carter and Ron Gregory, while Steele's Toyota teammate Dave Darland finished seventh.

"My hat's off to my entire crew today," said Steele in victory lane. "It's obviously a big thing for me to be part of Toyota's debut into Midget racing. To have an engine come out and run really good right out of the box is a tribute to engine builder Ed Pink and his shop and to Toyota. It's a good way to start."

The National Midget Car Series is idle until May while the Western Midget Car Series resumes March 25 at the Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway.

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Series USAC
Drivers Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , Dave Steele , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Ron Gregory