Route 66 recap/Creek County preview

Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. and J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. continue their battle for USAC's prestigious "Triple Crown" this Saturday night in the "Night Before the 100" program at Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, Okla. The race is the first...

Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. and J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. continue their battle for USAC's prestigious "Triple Crown" this Saturday night in the "Night Before the 100" program at Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, Okla. The race is the first for USAC Midgets in the Sooner State since Sleepy Tripp won an indoor event at Oklahoma City 28 years ago.

USAC's return to Oklahoma after a 17-year hiatus comes on the heels of Sunday's O'Reilly "Tulsa 100" at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Motorplex, where the USAC Silver Crown Cars raced in 1986. A 30-lap feature caps the Midget program at Creek County, a 1/4-mile dirt oval located southwest of Tulsa.

Hines, who captured Friday night's 30-lap race at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., and Yeley both need a USAC National Midget title to wrap up the coveted USAC career "Triple Crown," each already in possession of USAC Silver Crown and Sprint Car titles. Yeley leads Hines by only 16 points with 72 available at Sapulpa.

Both will have to keep an eye on three-time USAC Silver Crown Champion Jimmy Sills of Placerville, Calif., a surprise entrant in the Creek County event. Sills will drive for Guardian Racing, which will field Murray Erickson in Sunday's Tulsa Silver Crown race.

Hines ran down Jay Drake on the 15th lap at Joliet Friday night and led the final 16 laps in his Wilke-Pak Oxi-Clean/Team Mopar Stealth/Mopar. He was followed at the checkered flag by Drake, Yeley, Cory Kruseman and Bobby East. Kruseman led the first nine laps and Drake led the next five before yielding to Hines.

East could play the spoiler in the "Triple Crown" bids of Hines and Yeley. He trails the point leader by 81 going into Saturday's race. East became USAC's youngest-ever National feature race winner with a 2001 win at Schererville, Ind.

Practice at Sapulpa starts at 6:30 pm. Qualifying begins at 7 and racing gets under way at 8.

USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. J.J. Yeley 1,207
2. Tracy Hines 1,191
3. Bobby East 1,126
4. Jay Drake 984
5. A.J. Fike 929
6. Teddy Beach 718
7. Dave Darland 648
8. Aaron Fike 635
9. Tom Hessert 546
10. Ryan Durst 472

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Aaron Fike , Cory Kruseman , Tom Hessert , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Teddy Beach , A.J. Fike , Ryan Durst , Jimmy Sills