Nazareth: Event preview

Strong entry expected for Nazareth Speedway. No less than 10 Pennsylvania Midget Car drivers have entered this weekend's "Firestone Indy 225" weekend events at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway. The USAC National Midget Car Series is one of four series ...

Strong entry expected for Nazareth Speedway.

No less than 10 Pennsylvania Midget Car drivers have entered this weekend's "Firestone Indy 225" weekend events at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway. The USAC National Midget Car Series is one of four series competing in the three-day event on the 1-mile paved oval, joining the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series, USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Series and the Indy Racing League.

Throw in James Chesson of Far Hills, N.J. and east coast race fans will have plenty of drivers to cheer for in Saturday's 25-mile race. Chesson finished third in the USAC series opener at Phoenix, Ariz. in March and is expected to be a top contender for this year's championship.

Representing western Pa. will be Travis Miniea of West Middlesex, while Brian Paulus of Mechanicsburg and Frank Fiore, Jr. of Dallastown will represent south central Pa. Southeastern Pa. will send Gary Halteman of Gilbertsville and Fred Schell of Phoenixville, while east central Pa. drivers include Randy Mausteller, Ray Bull and John Heydenreich of Bloomsburg. Nick Fornoro, Jr. of Stroudsburg and Michael Roselli, Jr. of Brodheadsville will uphold the Eastern Pa. banner.

Defending USAC National Midget Car Champion Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. headlines the list of Midget Car entries, which also includes three-time champion Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif., 2000 Champion Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw, Wash., 2001 USAC Western Midget Car Champion Danny Ebberts of Canyon Lake, Calif., 2001 USAC Sprint Car Champion J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. and 2000 USAC Silver Crown titlist Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind.

One driver who looks forward to his Nazareth return is Tony Ave of Indianapolis, Ind., who won last year's Formula Atlantic race at Nazareth Speedway.

Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. will seek his third consecutive series victory in Saturday's race, which gets the green flag at 2:30 pm. Friday's Midget practice sessions are at 8:30 am and 12:45 pm and Midget qualifying starts at 4:10 pm Friday. A 10-lap Midget qualifying race is scheduled Saturday at 1:30 pm.

USAC National Midget Car Series standings
1. Dave Steele 133
2. Dave Darland 113
3. J.J. Yeley 107
4. Aaron Fike 95
5. James Chesson 86
6. Steve Paden 79
7. Tracy Hines 68
8. Richey Jacobs 64
9. Teddy Beach 60
10. Bobby East 56

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Tony Ave , Kasey Kahne , Dave Darland , Danny Ebberts , J.J. Yeley , James Chesson , Tracy Hines , Travis Miniea , Dave Steele , Aaron Fike , Bobby East , Teddy Beach , John Heydenreich , Steve Paden , Richey Jacobs , Brian Paulus , Michael Roselli , Ray Bull