Phoenix Draws Closer

LEFFLER, DeBEAUMONT HOPE TO CAP '99 TITLES IN PHOENIX CLOSER USAC MCI WorldCom Midget Car point leaders Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. and Marc DeBeaumont of Clayton, Calif. are targeting November 27 at Manzanita Speedway in...

LEFFLER, DeBEAUMONT HOPE TO CAP '99 TITLES IN PHOENIX CLOSER

USAC MCI WorldCom Midget Car point leaders Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. and Marc DeBeaumont of Clayton, Calif. are targeting November 27 at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. for a successful conclusion to their 1999 USAC seasons. Leffler, who was within just one point of wrapping up a record third consecutive National championship prior to November 20 race at Bakersfield, Calif., and DeBeaumont, who led Shane Scully by 40 points in the Western standings prior to that race, hope to cap championships in the final event of the 1999 USAC racing calendar, a race which offers points toward both seasonal championships. Leffler's eight USAC Midget Car triumphs during 1999 include the $140,000 "Summer Sizzle '99" feature at the 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind., the richest Midget Car race in history. He also won the season-opening "Copper World Classic" at Phoenix, Ariz., plus National races at Anderson, New Castle and Indianapolis (IRP), Ind. and Western races at Irwindale (2) and Madera, Calif. DeBeaumont's victories at Irwindale, Madera, Stockton and Hanford, Calif. helped him maintain the top ranking in the Western series despite recent success by Scully, who has closed the gap. Leffler returns to Manzanita's 1/2-mile dirt track after winning last year's 30-lapper over local favorite J.J. Yeley and Californian Jay Drake. DeBeaumont competed in last year's Manzanita race but did not earn a feature start. Leffler also holds the 1-lap track qualifying record of 93.545 mph, which he established last year. Depending on the outcome of races Nov. 20 and 25 at Bakersfield and Irwindale, Calif. respectively, DeBeaumont and Scully could square off at Phoenix for the Western title. Scully would appear to hold the edge, since he finished eighth in last year's 30-lapper. Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson is another driver to keep an eye on at Phoenix. He trails USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Champ Ryan Newman by only 16 points going into the Bakersfield race and could lock up the series runner-up spot at Manzanita. Jerry finished fourth in last year's 30-lapper. Other top drivers to watch in the series finale will be USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Champ Dave Darland of Kokomo, Ind., top 1999 National "rookie": candidates Ed Carpenter of Indianapolis and A.J. Fike of Galesburg, Ill., 1998 USAC Sprint Car king Tony Elliott of Kokomo, Ind. and Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind.

MCI WORLDCOM USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR STANDINGS (As of Nov. 15)

1.      Jason Leffler   498             6.      Dave Darland    216
2.      Ryan Newman     377             7.      Michael Lewis   209
3.      Jerry Coons,Jr. 361             8.      Brian Gerster   202
4.      Tracy Hines     242             9.      A.J. Fike       201
5.      Jay Drake       235             10.     Clay Klepper    182

MCI WORLDCOM WESTERN MIDGET CAR STANDINGS (As of Nov. 15)

1.      Marc DeBeaumont 525             6.      Jason Leffler   292
2.      Shane Scully    485             7.      Steve Paden     272
3.      Bobby Boone     460             8.      Clay Klepper    216
4.      Alex Harris     397             9.      Rick Hendrix    202
5.      Wally Pankratz  325             10.     Sleepy Tripp    194

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Tony Elliott , Jay Drake , A.J. Fike , Steve Paden , Jerry Coons , Wally Pankratz , Clay Klepper , Brian Gerster , Rick Hendrix , Ed Carpenter