Salem summary, Winchester preview

SPRINTS GEAR UP FOR WINCHESTER'S "KENNY IRWIN CLASSIC"; CLAUSON TAKES "JAMES/O'CONNOR CLASSIC" 50-LAPPER Teammates Levi Jones and Josh Wise need to look over their shoulder at the rapidly closing figure in the USAC National ...

SPRINTS GEAR UP FOR WINCHESTER'S "KENNY IRWIN CLASSIC"; CLAUSON TAKES "JAMES/O'CONNOR CLASSIC" 50-LAPPER

Teammates Levi Jones and Josh Wise need to look over their shoulder at the rapidly closing figure in the USAC National Sprint Car standings. The defending National Sprint and Midget Champions have a new challenger in the race for the 2006 Sprint Car title -- Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind.

Clauson trails Jones by 73 points and Wise by 38 after winning Saturday's 49th Jasper Engines & Transmissions "Joe James/Pat O'Connor Classic" at the Salem (Ind.) Speedway. A total of 74 points will be available when the series resumes Aug. 27 with the inaugural "Kenny Irwin Classic" at the Winchester (Ind.) Speedway.

Clauson put his Mopar/Advanced Racing Beast/Mopar into the lead on lap 29 at Salem when teammate Darren Hagen encountered mechanical problems after leading the first 28 laps. Clauson then led the remaining 22 laps to record only the 24th "sweep" in USAC Sprint/Midget "doubleheader" history, having won the 30-lap Midget race held just before the Sprint race. Saturday's Salem event marked the 187th Sprint/Midget "doubleheader" in USAC history.

Tracy Hines, Brian Gerster, Jones, Marc Jessup and Wise rounded out the top-six in Saturday's race.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Tracy Hines , Levi Jones , Josh Wise , Marc Jessup , Bryan Clauson , Brian Gerster , Darren Hagen