SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES BEECHLER WINS RAIN-SHORTENED "HULMAN HOOSIER HUNDRED" Donnie Beechler of Springfield, Ill. emerged the winner of A.J. Foyt's "Hulman Hoosier Hundred" USAC Silver Crown Championship race Friday night at the...
SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES BEECHLER WINS RAIN-SHORTENED "HULMAN HOOSIER HUNDRED"
Donnie Beechler of Springfield, Ill. emerged the winner of A.J. Foyt's "Hulman Hoosier Hundred" USAC Silver Crown Championship race Friday night at the Indiana State Fairgrounds after an accident and heavy rains forced a premature halt to the event after 39 laps had been complete.
The Foyt Group, organizers of the event, determined due to the lack of a suitable alternate date for the event, to distribute the entire purse to the participants based on the 39 complete laps, proclaiming Beechler the winner in his Gaerte Engines/Pro Shocks Special.
Beechler started fourth in the 32-car field and earned a paycheck in the amount of $10,500 after leading the final nine laps of the race before Chuck Leary, Jack Hewitt and Billy Puterbaugh, Jr. tangled in turn one, bringing out the red flag when Leary's car overturned several times. He was uninjured but the cleanup lasted until the rain started.
Pole winner Jimmy Sills led the first 13 laps before Jason Leffler moved to the front. He led the next 17 laps and his eventual second-place finish boosted him to the series point lead over Brian Tyler, who survived a pair of flips. Brian flipped in turn three during qualifying, then flipped again in turn three on the fourth lap of the feature, bringing out the first red flag.
Sills was third when the race was declared complete and Dave Darland and Chuck Gurney rounded out the "top-five."
The Silver Crown Championship series now gears up for round five, at the brand-new 3/4-mile paved Memphis Motorsports Park oval in Tennessee June 5-7.
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 DARLAND TAKES ELDORA: 28TH "HULMAN CLASSIC" FRIDAY AT TERRE HAUTE SPRINTS ALSO AT LAWRENCEBURG SATURDAY AND SALEM SUNDAY
Dave Darland of Kokomo, Ind. captured Sunday night's 30-lap Stoops Freightliner/USAC Sprint Car race at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The win was the first in the 1998 Sprint series for the 1997 USAC Silver Crown Champion and the fifth of his USAC Sprint car career.
Darland trailed Kevin Doty for the first 14 laps, then caught Doty in traffic coming off turn two of the half-mile banked dirt oval. Doty won the last USAC Sprint race at Eldora, on May 2 but had to settle for second this time.
Californian Sills, making a rare USAC Sprint car appearance, broke John Heydenreich's track record during qualifying with a 15.312 seconds clocking but the Turbines, Inc. award winner could only muster a fourth in the feature behind defending series titlist Brian Tyler. Sills also won the first heat race. Todd Kane, Steve Surniak and Terry Pletch won the other heats and Aaron Mosley won the True Value semi.
Tyler's third-place finish boosted him to within just six points of series leader Kevin Thomas going into three back-to-back races this weekend at Terre Haute, Lawrenceburg and Salem, Ind.
Nick Adams, Kent Wolters and Brad Armstrong all escaped serious injury in separate flips during the program.
Terre Haute's 1/2-mile dirt hosts Friday night's 28th running of the Terre Haute First National Bank "Tony Hulman Classic," while the "Danny Milburn Classic" is set for Saturday night at Lawrenceburg's 1/4-mile dirt. Salem's 1/2-mile pavement plays host to Sunday afternoon's event.
Practice at Terre Haute gets under way at 6 p.m., with qualifying set for 7 and racing at 8. J.J. Yeley is the defending winner of the "Tony Hulman Classic." Saturday's "Danny Milburn Classic" Lawrenceburg timetable has practice at 6, qualifying at 7 and racing at 8 and Sunday's schedule at Salem calls for practice at 10 a.m., qualifying at 1:15 p.m. and racing at 2. Brian Tyler won last year's "Milburn Classic."
Stoops Freightliner Point Standings: 1-Kevin Thomas-497; 2-Brian Tyler-491; 3-Tim Cox-438; 4-Jason McCord-423; 5-Tony Elliott-409; 6-Brad Armstrong-389; 7-Dave Steele-376; 8-J.J. Yeley-361; 9-Derek Davidson-357; 10-Chet Fillip-354.
FORMULA 2000 SERIES Promo Watkins Glen (2)
David Besnard of Sydney, Australia continues his quest for the 1998 United States Formula 2000 National Championship this weekend when the series visits the storied Watkins Glen International road circuit in New York.
Besnard has won three of the four races in this year's series, but lost the second of two in mid-May at Homestead, Fla. He leads Robby McGehee (the Homestead race winner) and Ryan Hampton by 37 points going into the two Glen races, set for 1:15 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Both races will be for 20 laps around the 3.4-mile road course.
Formula 2000 Point Standings: 1-David Besnard-125; 2-Robby McGehee & Ryan Hampton-88; 4-Andy Lally-67; 5-Jon Herb-65; 6-Mike Johnson-55; 7-Rolondo Quintanilla-50; 8-Jonathan Bottoms-46; 9-Sam Hornish, Jr. & Marc-Antoine Camirand-44.
NATIONAL/16TH STREET/SPEEDROME MIDGET SERIES SHELTON 1ST AT 16TH; DELAYED "NIGHT BEFORE 500" TO STEELE MIDGETS RETURN TO SPEEDROME THURSDAY & 16TH STREET SATURDAY
Ricky Shelton of Huntington Beach, Calif. now leads two USAC Midget racing series as he tries to add to his 1996 USAC TQ Midget and 1997 USAC Western States Midget championships.
Shelton won Thursday night's National/16th Street event at the 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis, Ind. in the Willoughby Keco/Stealth/Esslinger. That put the 20-year-old phenom atop both the National and 16th Street Series points. He trailed Critter Malone for the first 12 laps, then led the last 28 to beat Robby Flock, Michael Lang, Jimmy Sills and Donnie Beechler to the flag. Nine flips spiced the action but Roger McCluskey, Jr.'s broken arm was the only injury.
Tracy Hines was the fastest qualifier and won the Kelly's Pub Too "last call" semi.
Saturday night's scheduled 53rd Budweiser "Night Before the 500" classic at Indianapolis Raceway Park was rained out and run Sunday night. Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. was the fastest qualifier, then took home the feature trophy in his Beast/ASE/Wynn's/PRI Pink Ford, leading the final 36 laps of the 50-lap race. Teammate Jason Leffler led the first 14 laps and finished second, ahead of Jay Drake, Ronnie Johncox and Shelton, whose point lead stands at 30 over Hines and Drake going into a June 13 race at 16th Street.
The weekly 16th Street Midget Series resumes this Saturday night with a 30-lap feature planned on the 1/4-mile dirt oval, while the Indianapolis Speedrome's weekly Midget Series resumes Thursday night with a 50-lapper on tap.
National Midget Standings: 1-Ricky Shelton-200; 2-Tracy Hines-170; 3-Jay Drake-170; 4-Jason Leffler-164; 5-Jimmy McCune-138; 6-Ronnie Johncox-117; 7-Jerry Coons, Jr.-117; 8-Dave Steele-104; 9-Ted Hines-92; 10-Chris Shultz-82. 16th Street Midget Standings: 1-Ricky Shelton-60; 2-Donnie Beechler-55; 3-Critter Malone-54; 4-Andy Pierce-51; 5-Michael Lang-49; 6-Roy Caruthers-47; 7-Jeff Hampton-41; 8-Jerry Coons, Jr.-35; 9-Jay Drake & Tracy Hines-34.. Speedrome Midget Standings: 1-John Sluss-1,000; 2-Dean Franklin-500; 3-David Fuhrman-250; 4-Brad Kuhn-200; 5-Jerry McPherson-180; 6-Shelby Howard III-160; 7-Gregg Cory-140; 8-J.D. Nash-130; 9-Dave Coffman-120; 10-Daryl Campbell-110.
WESTERN STATES SERIES STIDHAM RECORDS 1ST USAC "REBEL" VICTORY AT KINGS MIDGETS, SPRINTS AT TUCSON; TQs AT PERRIS AUTO SPEEDWAY
Craig Stidham of Fresno, Calif. captured Saturday night's 30-lap USAC Regional Rebel Sprint Car feature at Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif., leading all 30 laps. He ranks fourth in the new series points going into a June 6 race at the 3/8-mile dirt Kings oval.
Davey Pombo, who finished second at Hanford, is the new leader in the Regional Rebel standings, by just one point over Hanford fast qualifier Monte Faccinto, who flipped during the 30-lapper but escaped injury.
The USAC "Western States" Midget and Sprint Car Series resume action this Saturday night at Tucson Raceway Park in Tucson, Ariz. Sleepy Tripp of Costa Mesa, Calif. will be trying for third consecutive Midget feature win, his 102nd in "Western States" competition and the 250th of his Midget racing career (counting all sanctions.) Rick Hendrix (Midgets) and Jeff Gardner (Sprints) are the respective series point leaders.
Alex Harris continues to lead the USAC TQ Midget standings going into this Saturday night's race at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway.
Western States Midget Standings: 1-Rick Hendrix-182; 2-Clay Klepper-161; 3-Wally Pankratz-160; 4-Bryan Stanfill-147; 5-Shane Scully-136; 6-Bobby Boone-121; 7-Nick Mitchell-110; 8-Sleepy Tripp-95; 9-Jason Leffler-92; 10-Steve Paden-90. Western States Sprint Standings: 1-Jeff Gardner-264; 2-Rick Williams-174; 3-Kirk Wartman-151; 4-Dave Fitzgerald-118; 5-Monte Faccinto-110; 6-Ray Evans-110; 7-Kevin Urton-105; 8-Davey Pombo-93; 9-Kenny Hamilton-91; 10-Gary Matranga-82. TQ Midget Standings: 1-Alex Harris-133; 2-Randi Pankratz-84; 3-Josh Lakatos-81; 4-Paul Krueger-61; 5-Joe Bishop-55; 6-West Evans-54; 7-Ron Ahrendt-53; 8-Greg Edenholm-48; 9-Gene Godepski-46; 10-Steve Parke-46. Regional Rebel Sprint Standings: 1-Davey Pombo-329; 2-Monte Faccinto-328; 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.