TULSA, Okla. (September 8, 2003) - The non-winged racing stars of the United States Auto Club return to the Sooner State this weekend for the first time since 1986, as the USAC National Midget Series invades the quarter-mile Creek County Speedway...
TULSA, Okla. (September 8, 2003) - The non-winged racing stars of the United States Auto Club return to the Sooner State this weekend for the first time since 1986, as the USAC National Midget Series invades the quarter-mile Creek County Speedway clay oval in Sapulpa, OK, on Saturday night, with the inaugural O'Reilly Tulsa "100", featuring the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series, taking place at the ¾-mile Tulsa Fairgrounds Motorplex dirt oval on Sunday afternoon.
The events mark the first USAC-sanctioned events in Oklahoma since Shane Carson topped the USAC vs. NCRA challenge at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway on July 20, 1986. It will be the first USAC appearance in the Tulsa area since the USAC Silver Crown cars competed at the Tulsa Fairgrounds on September 28, 1980, when Rich Vogler and Billy Engelhart shared victory honors in the Twin 75-lap features.
After recently selling Creek County Speedway, the Hahn family returns to present one last event before passing the reigns on to new owner Ted Holt, Jr. With contracts signed between USAC and Emmett Hahn, one of the provisions of the transaction was that Hahn would promote the September 13 USAC National Midget race.
The event will mark the end of an era, as Hahn and family have operated Creek County Speedway since opening it in 1984. Several open Midget events have been hotly contested atop the tight quarter-mile oval over the years, with former USAC champion and defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart among the winners.
Sunday's event at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Motorplex marks the long-awaited return of auto racing to the Tulsa Fairgrounds. Not since 1984 have the sounds of racecars graced the friendly confines of the legendary Tulsa Fairgrounds Motorplex. The racing of days past typically played to enthusiastic crowds of approximately 12,000 on a weekly basis at the Fairgrounds, forever etching the site's place in auto racing history.
Sunday's O'Reilly Tulsa "100" for the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series simply opens a new chapter in the storied auto racing history of the Tulsa Fairgrounds, with additional dates to be presented on an annual basis in future years.
A number of the nation's top drivers will be hand over the weekend battling for victory honors, including current USAC sensation J.J. Yeley, who will try to build upon what is already an unprecedented season in the annals of USAC history. Yeley has already surpassed the all-time record for most USAC wins in a season, racing to victory lane 22 times. Yeley also tops the point charts in all three major USAC divisions: the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series, the USAC National Sprint Car Series and the USAC National Midget Series.
Tracy Hines is giving a Yeley a run for his money in the USAC Midget points, trailing by a mere 16 points entering Saturday night's event at Creek County Speedway. Bobby East is currently third, with Jay Drake and A.J. Fike rounding out the current top five. Others in the top ten include Teddy Beach, two-time USAC Midget champion Dave Darland, Aaron Fike, Tom Hessert, Jr., and Ryan Durst.
In the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series points race, Yeley is only 48 points ahead of Darland, with Hines and Dave Steele tied for third, just 20 more points back. Drake rounds out the current top five, with Tyler Walker, Brian Tyler, 2001 series champion Paul White, Rich Tobias, Jr., and Jason McCord rounding out the current top ten.
Saturday night's hot laps for the USAC National Midget Series at Creek County Speedway, just 25 minutes southwest of the Tulsa Fairgrounds, begin at 6:30 p.m., with qualifying slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. General admission tickets are available for $20 in advance. Tickets will be $22 at the gate on race day.
Gates open on Sunday for the O'Reilly Tulsa "100" at 11:00 a.m., with hot laps beginning at noon and qualifying at 1:00 p.m. Reserved seats for the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series event are available for $31, with general admission tickets available for just $26.
For tickets or more information regarding both events, call 918-838-3777.