Irwindale's Quarter Midget April preview

Come early to the Mopar Twin 25's at Irwindale Speedway and catch exciting quarter midget racing action. LAGUNA BEACH, CA - More than an auto race, the MOPAR TWIN 25's AT IRWINDALE is becoming an exciting, new, multi-faceted event for Southern...

Come early to the Mopar Twin 25's at Irwindale Speedway and catch exciting quarter midget racing action.

LAGUNA BEACH, CA - More than an auto race, the MOPAR TWIN 25's AT IRWINDALE is becoming an exciting, new, multi-faceted event for Southern California car culture.

For example, race fans will be able to see the stars of tomorrow battle wheel-to-wheel in a 1/20th mile flat track built in the Irwindale Speedway parking lot the day of the MOPAR TWIN 25's USAC Midget race. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 26, over 30 drivers from the Pomona Valley Quarter Midget Association will be competing in a 'mini Twin 25's' Monza-style race of their own.

The young drivers will compete in between six to eight classes of these downsized race vehicles, with driver ages ranging from five through 16 years old. Quarter midgets are equipped with either a 120cc or 160cc Honda or Continental engine, depending on the class, and top speeds range between 25 and 60 mph. Unlike go-karts, quarter midgets feature full, four-wheel suspension and full roll cages. Four-point seat belts are mandatory.

"We're pleased and excited to use the MOPAR TWIN 25's AT IRWINDALE to put a spotlight on the next generation of great oval track drivers," said Steve Lewis, of Premier Racing Entertainment, producers of the MOPAR TWIN 25's. "It will be a spectacular night of USAC Midget racing, and we're urging the thousands of race fans heading to Irwindale Speedway that day to arrive early, and catch the exciting quarter midget racing action. It's a great family atmosphere, and these skilled, young drivers take their racing very seriously.

"In fact, such noted racers as Jason Leffler, a former USAC National Midget champion who is now a competitor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series, and Josh Wise, a rising USAC open wheel star, started their racing careers with the Pomona Valley Quarter Midget Association," said Lewis. "We hope to have both of these graduates of the Pomona Valley Quarter Midget Association racing in the MOPAR TWIN 25's that night."

Steve Fox, of the Pomona Valley Quarter Midget Association, said, "We want to thank the folks at Premier Racing Entertainment and Irwindale Speedway for allowing our young drivers to race in connection with what will be one of the greatest nights of racing in Southern California this year. We're very proud of our young drivers, and we know race fans who come early to the MOPAR TWIN 25's will have a great time watching these competitors battle their way to victory in their own Twin 25's."

Presented by Mission Foods, the MOPAR TWIN 25's is a USAC Midget race offering a spectacular $50,000 bonus prize to a driver who wins both of the night's 25-lap feature races. The exciting challenge of the Twin 25's format comes from the fact that the winner of the first 25-lap feature race must start dead last in the second 25-lap feature race. So, in the second feature race of the evening, the winning driver from the first feature race must pass the entire field in 25 action-packed laps to win the $50,000 bonus!

The MOPAR TWIN 25's AT IRWINDALE is being held the Saturday night before the NASCAR Winston Cup race at California Speedway. Associate Sponsors for the race are Team ASE, Edelbrock Corporation, Racer Magazine, K&N Engineering and Superior Super Warehouse.

Indianapolis was the site of the first Twin 25's race last year, and it was hugely successful. Dave Steele made racing history when he won both feature races, and collected the $50,000 bonus prize. It was the largest payout ever in USAC Midget racing.

For those unfamiliar with this popular form of motorsports, a USAC Midget is a very light, very quick race vehicle, featuring an engine producing 350 horsepower In a 900 lb car.

Irwindale Speedway is widely recognized as one of the finest short track racing facilities in the country. A banked, 1/2-mile oval, it is located in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, less than 25 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Irwindale Speedway is directly adjacent to the 605 Freeway and easily accessible from anywhere in Southern California.

Lewis said he expects the race to have more than 50 entrants for 24 starting positions. The race will be shown on Speed Channel on a tape-delay basis.

Drivers who have already committed to the race include Dave Steele, 2002 Indy Twin 25's winner; Dave Darland, 2002 USAC National Midget champion; Tracy Hines, 2002 USAC Sprint Car Champion; and Kasey Kahne, NASCAR Busch Grand National driver.

Other drivers include J.J. Yeley, 2002 USAC Silver Crown Champion; Michael Lewis, 2002 Turkey Night Champion; Bobby East, Top 5 Finisher in the 2002 USAC National Midget Series; and the Fike brothers- Aaron, 3rd in 2002 USAC National Midget Series, and A.J., 6th in 2002 USAC National Midget Series.

The first race begins at 7 p.m., with qualifying beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at www.twin25s.com, and at the Irwindale Speedway ticket office.

Reserved ticket seating is $25, and is available by calling (800) 515-8445. General admission is $20.

"Because Irwindale Speedway has only 6,500 seats, every race fan will be close to the racing action," said PRE's Lewis. "However, because seating is limited, we would urge race fans to reserve the seat of their choice in advance of the race."

For more information, visit www.twin25s.com, or contact John Kilroy, Premier Racing Entertainment, 31706 South Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, CA 92651; 949/499-5414.

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Series Midget
Drivers Jason Leffler , Kasey Kahne , Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Bobby East , Josh Wise