Turkey Night - The Starting Line for Champions

"THE STARTING LINE FOR CHAMPIONS…" … United States Auto Club slogan Irwindale, Calif. - - If you dial up the United States Auto Club on the world wide web (www.usacracing.com), you'll see their familiar red, white and blue logo pop up ...

"THE STARTING LINE FOR CHAMPIONS…" … United States Auto Club slogan

Irwindale, Calif. - - If you dial up the United States Auto Club on the world wide web (www.usacracing.com), you'll see their familiar red, white and blue logo pop up underlined by the slogan: "The Starting Line For Champions". Pretty darn accurate advertising, especially if it is applied to their upcoming midget event at Irwindale Speedway. The 59th running of the classic "Turkey Night Grand Prix" event will simply overflow with championship-caliber drivers, both new and established. For example, all three of USAC's national champions are entered at Irwindale for the festivities: Ryan Newman (Silver Crown), Dave Darland (Sprints), and Jason Leffler (Midgets). Additionally, both the 1998 and 1999 NASCAR "Rookie of the Year" honorees are entered for the history-charged event. Tony Stewart and Kenny Irwin, Jr., known rivals, will both be at Irwindale for Turkey Night '99. To the old-timers both men still look a little strange driving stock cars. Both were prodigious protagonists in the open-wheelers and both would like the vaunted "Turkey Night Winner" notch for their belts. Add to that the 20+ other drivers in the field who will have 50+ local, state, regional, and national driving titles distributed among them. It's surely not the money that will bring some 45 top teams from around the country to forego Thanksgiving at home for a track-supplied Turkey dinner on the pavement pits at Irwindale Speedway. The night's purse is modest at best (the winner collects $6,000), but the prestige earned in winning is this one is something that makes this race perhaps the most-revered of all of them. Since 1934, well before any competitor in this race was born, it's been: win this one and your name goes on the list with A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Stan Fox, Ronnie Shuman, Mel Kenyon, Billy Boat, Bill Zaring, Jay Drake, Bubby Jones, Danny Oakes, and Gary Bettenhausen. The Starting Line For Champions? Oh yes, this is the place (Irwindale, California) and Turkey Night (November 25) is the date. Come early (gates open at 2pm), bundle-up (it will likely get cold, bring a stadium blanket), and get ready for some real racing excitement (100 laps to glory) with a heavy dose of history thrown in.

THERE ARE STILL TICKETS AVAILABLE … PLEASE CALL: (626) 358-1100

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Billy Boat , Parnelli Jones , Dave Darland , Jay Drake , A.J. Foyt