Five races remain for Driver of the Year chase

Arizona races could hold key for Driver of the Year contenders Fike, Hess, Hines, & Darland. SUN PRAIRIE, WI, November 17---After 214 races over ten months, three races this upcoming weekend in Arizona could determine the 2002 National ...

Arizona races could hold key for Driver of the Year contenders Fike, Hess, Hines, & Darland.

SUN PRAIRIE, WI, November 17---After 214 races over ten months, three races this upcoming weekend in Arizona could determine the 2002 National Midget Driver of the Year Champion. The Duel in the Desert II will run on Friday, and Saturday November 22-23 at Manzanita Speedway. Also on Saturday Night the second annual Pueblo Classic USAC National/Western Midget Series event will be run at Tucson Raceway Park.

Aaron Fike holds a slim sixteen point lead over Mike Hess, while defending champion Tracy Hines trails by 56 markers. Current USAC National Midget point leader Dave Darland is fourth 127 points behind. Fike will compete at Manzanita on Friday Night, and then at Tucson on Saturday. Hess will compete both nights at Manzanita, while Hines, and Darland will run only at Tucson.

The final two events will be the 62nd annual K & N Filters Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway on Thursday November 28. The championship has been determined at this event the past three seasons. Two days later, November 30, the final event of the season will be run at the Bull Ring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Both Irwindale, and Las Vegas will award USAC National and Western Series points.

Beast Chassis has clinched the Manufacturers Championship for Chassis Builders, while defending winner Gaerte Engines, leads Esslinger Engineering, in the Engine Maunfacuters Champion by 48 points, with 54 points still available.

Ryan Durst leads James Chesson by thirty points in the Design 500 Racewear National Midget Rookie of the Year point battle.

The top ten drivers along with manufacturers champions, and Rookie of the Year will receive their awards on Saturday Night January 11 prior to the start of the O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals, at the Tulsa Expo Raceway. Tickets for the event are available at www.chilibowl.com.

Jason Leffler('99), Kasey Kahne('00), and Hines('01), are previous winners of the award sponsored by Arizona Sport Shirts, and the Arizona Companies.

<pre> TOP TWENTY FIVE 1. Aaron Fike 1419 41/7 2. Mike Hess 1403 36/4 3. Tracy Hines 1363 36/7 4. Dave Darland 1292 26/3 5. Bobby East 1189 43/6 6. J.J. Yeley 953 24/4 7. Davey Ray 917 29/0 8. A.J. Fike 820 33/1 9. Aaron Fiscus 770 22/0 10. Aaron Pierce 731 35/7 11. Scott Hatton 721 17/1 12. Critter Malone 702 21/2 13. Teddy Beach 693 33/5 14. Chad DeSelle 676 19/1 15. Dave Steele 652 14/5 Dan Boorse 652 17/4 17. Brandon Waelti 640 20/0 18. Steve Paden 565 23/0 19. Brian Gerster 518 18/1 20. Jason Leffler 514 12/2 21. Steve Thinnes 493 19/5 22. Ron Gregory 482 28/2 23. David Gough 470 19/5 24. Steve Knepper 464 18/0 Matt Westfall 464 17/1

MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP

CHASSIS: 1. Beast 653 2. Stealth 539 3. Hawk 188

ENGINE: 1. Gaerte 393 2. ESslinger 345 3. Pink 206

DESIGN 500 RACEWEAR ROOKIE OF THE YEAR 1. Ryan Durst 459 2. James Chesson 429 3. Tom Hessert 250

-bmara-

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Series Midget
Drivers Jason Leffler , Kasey Kahne , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , James Chesson , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Aaron Fike , Tom Hessert , Bobby East , Teddy Beach , Matt Westfall , A.J. Fike , Ron Gregory , David Gough , Aaron Pierce , Steve Paden , Davey Ray , Ryan Durst , Brian Gerster , Steve Knepper , Chad DeSelle , Brandon Waelti , Aaron Fiscus , Scott Hatton