WS: Pikes Peak Rocky Mountain Classic preview

Michael Lewis of Noblesville, Ind. and J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. lead their respective USAC Sprint Car Series point standings going into this week's "Rocky Mountain Classic" at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. Lewis is the...

Michael Lewis of Noblesville, Ind. and J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. lead their respective USAC Sprint Car Series point standings going into this week's "Rocky Mountain Classic" at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo.

Lewis is the USAC Western Sprint leader and Yeley tops the USAC National standings with Thursday and Friday's activities at the 1-mile PPIR facility having an impact on both series points.

Six of Yeley's 14 USAC feature wins in 2003 have come in the National Sprint Car Series, while Lewis has won two of his four Western Sprint Car starts. All 14 of Yeley's National Sprint car starts have resulted in "top-five" finishes!

Jeff Gardner of Fresno, Calif., USAC's 1998 Western Sprint Car Champion, holds the 1-lap USAC Sprint Car track record at PPIR. He turned in a 136.679 mph effort during qualifying for a 1998 Western Sprint race on the 1-mile paved oval. Gardner finished second in that day's feature, which was won by Tony Hunt of Fair Oaks, Calif.

Hunt, the 2001 USAC Western Sprint Car Champion, returns for the July 3-4 "Rocky Mountain Classic" but he and Gardner will face a formidable field which includes Yeley and defending series champion Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind.

The PPIR timetable has practice and qualifying races for USAC's Weld Racing Silver Crown Series, National and Western Sprint Car Series and National and Western Midget Car Series on Thursday. Friday's schedule calls for "qualifying races" for each series, followed by feature events, with a 30-mile Midget race at 3:50 pm, a 30-mile Sprint race at 4:40 pm and a 100-mile Silver Crown finale at 5:30 pm.

Hines trails Yeley by 139 points in the National standings, while Lewis' lead over Brian McClish in the Western points stands at 14.

Pre-entered drivers also include Shauna Hogg of Roseville, Calif., who became the first lady driver to win a race in the USAC Western Sprint Car Series with her June 19 win at Madera, Calif.

USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. J.J. Yeley 894
2. Tracy Hines 755
3. Bud Kaeding 695
4. Jay Drake 693
5. Boston Reid 666
6. Cory Kruseman 515
7. Levi Jones 508
8. Brian Tyler 423
9. Matt Westfall 421
10. Dave Darland 411

USAC WESTERN SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Michael Lewis 220
2. Brian McClish 206
3. Jim Waters 202
4. Shauna Hogg 194
5. Jeff Gardner 187
6. Tony Hunt 186
7. Rick Hendrix 156
8. Jason McCord 155
9. Scott Hansen 135
10. Michael Newman 123

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Series USAC
Drivers Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Matt Westfall , Levi Jones , Jason McCord , Boston Reid , Tony Hunt , Rick Hendrix , Scott Hansen