WM: Irwindale Twin 25s offer rare opportunity

Midget "doubles" rare! $50,000 bonus at Irwindale a rare opportunity. Winning more than one USAC Midget Car feature event at the same track in a single day is a rarity. So is the $50,000 bonus posted this Saturday at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway...

Midget "doubles" rare!
$50,000 bonus at Irwindale a rare opportunity.

Winning more than one USAC Midget Car feature event at the same track in a single day is a rarity. So is the $50,000 bonus posted this Saturday at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway for any driver who can win both 25-lap main events comprising the "Mopar Twin 25s Irwindale."

Last September Dave Steele swept both ends of the Twin 25s at Indianapolis Raceway Park, raking in by far the largest paycheck in Midget Car Racing history - $60,280! It marked only the 12th time a driver had won two USAC Midget features on the same card since USAC's inception in 1956.

Steele will try to duplicate that feat this Saturday at the 1/2-mile paved Irwindale oval, where race organizer Steve Lewis has arranged again to pay the $50,000 bonus if a driver can win both. To be eligible, the first race winner must start last in the second 25-lapper! Including prize money and lap prizes, a driver could again top the $60,000 mark.

Pancho Carter (1977) and Rich Vogler (1978), both at Salem, Ind., are the only drivers to win two USAC Midget races in the same program on a 1/2-mile paved oval. Shorty Templeman (1956) won on the 16th Street Speedway pavement, while dirt-track "doubles" were posted by Jimmy Davies (1965) at Springfield, Ill, Don Meacham (1966) at Fairbury, Ill. and Rich Vogler (1985) at Terre Haute, Ind., plus Chuck Arnold (1966), Mel Kenyon (1969), Jimmy Caruthers (1970), Johnny Parsons (1971) and Tom Bigelow (1972), all at DuQuoin, Ill.

Steele is among entrants for Saturday night's Irwindale race, as are defending USAC National Midget Car Champion Dave Darland, former National Midget Car Champions Kasey Kahne and Jason Leffler, Western Midget Car Champions Danny Ebberts, Wally Pankratz, Rick Hendrix and Jay Drake, plus 2003 National and Western Midget point leader J.J. Yeley.

The California Focus Midget Cars share Saturday's spotlight at Irwindale, practicing and qualifying beginning at 3 pm. A driver autograph session from 6-6:45 pm precedes the racing action, which begins with a 25-lap Focus Midget Car feature event at 7:15 pm. A pair of 12-lap Midget Car 'qualifying races" also precede the Mopar Twin 25s Irwindale feature events.

Leading the Focus driver contingent at Irwindale will be defending series champion and 2003 point leader Todd Hunsaker of Chino Hills, Calif.

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Kasey Kahne , Dave Darland , Danny Ebberts , J.J. Yeley , Dave Steele , Jay Drake , Johnny Parsons , Pancho Carter , Wally Pankratz , Rick Hendrix