USAC Racing News

SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES LEFFLER, TYLER BATTLE FOR SILVER CROWN LEAD AT MEMPHIS USAC's 1997 Sprint Car and National Midget Champions will battle for the point lead in the 1998 USAC Silver Crown Championship Series this weekend when the...

SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES LEFFLER, TYLER BATTLE FOR SILVER CROWN LEAD AT MEMPHIS

USAC's 1997 Sprint Car and National Midget Champions will battle for the point lead in the 1998 USAC Silver Crown Championship Series this weekend when the series participates in the opening of America's newest speedway, Memphis (TN) Motorsports Park.

Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. leads Brian Tyler of Parma, Mich. by 35 points going into the race at the brand-new 3/4-mile paved oval. Sunday's 100-lap feature event is slated for television coverage on ESPN2, the race starting at 1 p.m. Leffler won last year's National Midget title and Tyler won both the 1996 and 1997 Sprint car crowns.

Practice at Memphis starts on Friday, with a one-hour session from 2:15-3:15 p.m. Saturday's timetable calls for Silver Crown practice from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 12:45-1:15 p.m. Qualifying is set for 2:15-3 p.m. and a 15-lap "last chance" race starts at 4:30.

Leffler ran out of fuel while leading near the end of the Walt Disney World Speedway series opener in January, then came back with "top-5" finishes in the next three Silver Crown races, including a second in the May 22 "Hulman-Hoosier Hundred" in Indianapolis, Ind. Tyler won the opener at Orlando, then finished second in the "Copper World Classic" at Phoenix, Ariz. in February but has not returned to the "top-5" since.

Sunday's race winner will rake in $15,500 from a total purse of $79,500 for the fifth round of the 1998 series.

Silver Crown Point Standings: 1-Jason Leffler-194; 2-Brian Tyler-159; 3-Ryan Newman-148; 4-Dave Darland-139; 5-Jimmy Sills-136; 6-Russ Gamester-133; 7-J.J. Yeley-129; 8-Tony Stewart-123; 9-Jack Hewitt-122; 10-Chet Fillip-121.

STOOPS FREIGHTLINER SPRINT CAR SERIES FAAS 1ST 3-TIME "HULMAN CLASSIC" WINNER; DOTY TAKES "STANLEY CLASSIC" RAINS HALT SALEM PROGRAM; ESPN2 CAMERAS AT WINCHESTER WEDNESDAY

ESPN2's cameras will focus on the Stoops Freightliner/USAC Sprint Car Series Wednesday night at the Winchester (Ind.) Speedway. A 30-lap feature is on tap at the 1/2-mile paved oval, following practice at 6 p.m. and qualifying at 7. Preliminary races get under way at 8.

Kevin Thomas of Danville, Ind. enters the Winchester race as the series point leader after a fifth and sixth-place finish in this past weekend's races. He holds a 63-point lead over defending series titlist Brian Tyler.

Cary Faas of Yorba Linda, Calif. and Kevin Doty of Milan, Ill. scored significant feature wins over the weekend. Faas became the first 3-time champion of the Terre Haute First National Bank "Tony Hulman Classic" Friday night at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track. He passed Thomas on the 17th lap and led the rest of the way in his Western union Special to beat Doty, 1997 race winner J.J. Yeley, Tony Elliott and Thomas to the checkered flag.

Doty came back with a photo-finish victory over Yeley in the "Robbie Stanley Classic" at the Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway Saturday night. Elliott, Derek Davidson and Dave Darland rounded out the "top-five" at the finish. Todd Kane led the first three laps before Doty led the final 27 in his Steve Chrisman Racing/Columbus Silgas Special.

Sunday's 30-lap feature at the Salem (Ind.) Speedway was rained out and has been rescheduled as the opening event of the August 23 "Joe James/Pat O'Connor Classic" USAC program at the 1/2-mile paved oval.

Doty, Tyler and Jerry Miller, Jr. were respective Turbines, Ind. "fast qualifiers" in the three weekend events. Doty won True Value semis at Terre Haute and Lawrenceburg.

Stoops Freightliner Point Standings: 1-Kevin Thomas-652; 2-Brian Tyler-589; 3-Tony Elliott-555; 4-Tim Cox-553; 5-J.J. Yeley-515; 6-Jason McCord-505; 7-Derek Davidson-494; 8-Dave Steele-429; 9-Kevin Doty-399; 10-Chet Fillip-354.

FORMULA 2000 SERIES BESNARD, HAMPTON SCORE F2000 VICTORIES AT THE GLEN

David Besnard of Sydney, Australia continued his drive to the 1998 USAC/SCCA United States Formula 2000 National Championship with a victory and second-place finish in a pair of 20-lap contests on the twisting 2.45-mile Watkins Glen (NY) International road course Friday and Saturday.

Besnard led all but the opening lap of Friday's race in his Haase Racing Karts Van Diemen Ford after starting on the pole. Marc Antoine Camirand finished second after leading the first lap, then won the pole for Saturday's race in his Key Tours/Key Motorsports Van Diemen Ford. He spun on the opening lap of Saturday's race and accepted last place in the 35-car field as Ryan Hampton of Glendora, Calif. sped to victory in his American Inst./Beta/Body Abuse Tatuus. Robby McGehee took second ahead of Andy Lally, with Besnard fourth and Tim Duit fifth. Lally was also third in Friday's race ahead of Hampton and McGehee.

Besnard emerged from the two races with a 38-point lead over Hampton in the new standings going into a June 14 race at the Mid-Ohio Sports car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Formula 2000 Point Standings: 1-David Besnard-180; 2-Ryan Hampton-142; 3-Robby McGehee-136; 4-Andy Lally-115; 5-Jon Herb-88; 6-Marc-Antoine Camirand-75; 7-Mike Johnson & Steve Rikert-74; 9-Bobby Oergel-66; 10-Jonathan Bottoms-62.

NATIONAL/16TH STREET/SPEEDROME MIDGET SERIES SMOKER SHOCKS 16TH STREET FIELD; SERIES CONTINUES SATURDAY LANG GETS #42 AT SPEEDROME; MIDGETS RETURN THURSDAY

Ron Smoker of Hamburg, New York and Michael Lang of Indianapolis, Ind. scored victories in weekly USAC Midget racing action in Indianapolis, Ind. and both will return to defend their triumphs this week.

Smoker shocked the 16th Street Speedway regulars by defeating 1997 series champion Steve Knepper in the 30-lap race on the 1/4-mile dirt oval Saturday night. He passed Knepper on the 23rd lap and led the rest of the way in his Parker Machinery Gaerte. Knepper finished second, ahead of Ray Bull, Roy Caruthers and Jeff Flesher. Five drivers flipped during the program but there were no injuries. Andy Pierce, who finished sixth, is the new 16th Street Midget point leader going into this Saturday night's event.

Lang passed Tim Mehner on the 21st lap of Thursday night's 50-lapper at the Indianapolis Speedrome and led the rest of the way in his Keco/Ad-Tech Floor Care/IFI VW to score the 42nd feature victory of his Speedrome career. He emerged from the race second in the 1998 series standings in quest of a record fifth consecutive series title.

John Sluss, the series point leader, failed to finish the 50-lapper but retained his lead over Lang. John Mount, Mike Hurst, Dean Franklin and Mark Longworth trailed Lang at the checkered flag.

16th Street Midget Standings: 1-Andy Pierce-72; 2-Roy Caruthers-69; 3-Critter Malone-62; 4-Steve Knepper-61; 5-Ricky Shelton-60; 6-Michael Lang-56; 7-Donnie Beechler-55; 8-Ryan Hampton-45; 9-Ron Smoker-40; 10-Rick Treadway-36. Speedrome Midget Standings: 1-John Sluss-1,065; 2-Michael Lang-1,000; 3-Dean Franklin-700; 4-John Mount-500; 5-Jerry McPherson-340; 6-Gregg Cory-300; 7-Brad Kuhn-261; 8-David Fuhrman and Mike Hurst-250; 10-Mark Longworth-244.

WESTERN STATES SERIES HENDRIX, HUNT TUCSON VICTORS; HARRIS STILL #1 AT LAKE PERRIS REGIONAL REBEL SPRINTS AT KINGS SPEEDWAY SATURDAY

The USAC "Regional Rebel Sprint" Car Series resumes this Saturday night at the Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. A 30-lap feature is scheduled on the 3/8-mile dirt track as Monte Faccinto of Hanford tries to protect his point lead in USAC's newest racing series.

"Western States" Midget point leader Rick Hendrix of Simi Valley, Calif. won Saturday night's 30-lap Midget race at Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park, beating 1997 Indy Racing League runner-up Davey Hamilton, Shane Scully, fast qualifier Bobby Boone and Sleepy Tripp. Tripp led the fifth lap before yielding to Hendrix in a failed bid to score his third consecutive series triumph.

Tony Hunt of Concord, N.C. won Saturday night's 30-lap "Western States" Sprint Car race at Tucson, leading the final 19 laps in his Bos Sheet Metal/AFCO Shocks/Rex Hutchinson Race Engines/Tognotti's Special. Rick Williams, Davey Hamilton, Rick Sipe and Curtis Brown trailed him at the checkered flag. Jeff Gardner finished sixth and retained the series point lead going into a June 27 race at Kings Speedway in Hanford.

Alex Harris of Simi Valley, Calif. remained undefeated in 1998 USAC TQ Midget competition, winning Saturday night's 20-lap feature at Perris Auto Speedway in lake Perris, Calif. Harris, who for the first time this year lost the fast qualifier honors to Jim Styer, passed Greg Edenholm on the 14th lap and led the rest of the way in his West Valley Grinding Special. Randi Pankratz, Josh Lakatos, Paul Krueger and Gary Schroeder rounded out the "top-five" at the finish.

The TQs and Midgets resume action June 13 in a "doubleheader" at the Ventura (Calif.) Raceway.

Western States Midget Standings: 1-Rick Hendrix-227; 2-Wally Pankratz-187; 3-Bryan Stanfill-171; 4-Shane Scully-169; 5-Bobby Boone-161; 6-Clay Klepper-161; 7-Nick Mitchell-130; 8-Sleepy Tripp-125; 9-Davey Hamilton-112; 10-Dwayne Marcum-103. Western States Sprint Standings: 1-Jeff Gardner-316; 2-Rick Williams-239; 3-Kirk Wartman-151; 4-Tony Hunt-141; 5-Dave Fitzgerald-118; 6-Monte Faccinto-110; 7-Ray Evans-110; 8-Kevin Urton-105; 9-Davey Pombo-93; 10-Ken Hamilton-91. TQ Midget Standings: 1-Alex Harris-176; 2-Randi Pankratz-118; 3-Josh Lakatos-110; 4-Paul Krueger-91; 5-West Evans-77; 6-Joe Bishop-69; 7-Gene Godepski-68; 8-Steve Parke-65; 8-Ron Ahrendt-61; 10-Greg Edenholm-60. Regional Rebel Sprint Standings: 1- Monte Faccinto-338; 2-Davey Pombo-329; 3-Mark Barroso-220; 4-Craig Stidham-210; 5-Lawrence Edlund-202; 6-Larry Brown-175; 6-Shane Travioli-149; 8-Tim Worth-102; 9-Tyler Haylett-99; 10-Jonathan Allard-98.

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Steve Park , Jason Leffler , Robby McGehee , Jon Herb , Davey Hamilton , Donnie Beechler , Mark Barr , Andy Lally , David Besnard , Brad Kuhn , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Dave Steele , Jack Hewitt , Brian Tyler , Tony Elliott , Ryan Hampton , Chet Fillip , Mike Johnson , Russ Gamester , Jason McCord , Wally Pankratz , Jonathan Allard , Jimmy Sills , Dean Franklin , Steve Knepper , Josh Lakatos , Ray Bull , Rick Williams , Randi Pankratz , Gary Schroeder , Bryan Stanfill , Tony Hunt , Rick Hendrix , Ricky Shelton
Teams Williams