Thunder in the Dome XVI Driver Preview

Saturday night's "Thunder in the Dome XVI" at the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. is certainly a "Race for Champions." Included in the 48-driver field are 81 sanctioning body season driving titles! Ageless Mel Kenyon of ...

Saturday night's "Thunder in the Dome XVI" at the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. is certainly a "Race for Champions." Included in the 48-driver field are 81 sanctioning body season driving titles! Ageless Mel Kenyon of Lebanon, Ind., the elder statesman of the field at age 66, has the most championships - 12! Kevin Olson of Rockford, Ill. has 10, while Steve Knepper of Belleville, Ill. has 7. Drivers with 6 include Michael Lang, Dan Boorse, Donnie Lehmann and Danny Pens, while Jim Hettinger has 4. Jay Drake, Jack Hewitt and Ted Hines each have 3, while Dave Darland, Gene Lee Gibson, John Heydenreich and Stevie Reeves have 2. Drivers with 1 seasonal title t their credit include Ryan Newman, Tony Elliott, Russ Gamester, Jerry Nemire, Mike Streicher, Steve Thinnes and Matt Westfall. Team USA, which boasts 53 of the titles, is seeking its fourth consecutive "team" championship at the Dome. Practice starts at 2 p.m., while racing gets under way at about 5:30 A 20-lap Kenyon-Car Feature will be followed by a 20-lap Mini-Cup Feature and a 20-lap Go-Kart Feature, then six 12-lap Midget Car heats, two 40-lap Midget Car "team" Features and the 100-lap main event. Driver changes which occurred after the original starting position drawing conducted last week at the USAC headquarters included Aaron Pierce of Muncie and Kent Christian of Plainfield on Team Indiana, replacing Roy Caruthers and Eric Gordon, who relinquished their team assignments. Indy Racing League drivers Robbie Buhl and Jimmy Kite also relinquished their Team USA assignments due to other commitments and they were replaced by drivers Jay Drake of Val Verde, Calif. and Ronnie Johncox of Jackson, Mich. Rich Corson of Markham, Ill. also joined Team USA when Stevie Reeves was moved to Team Indiana to complete the 48-car driver lineup. Tickets for Saturday night's racing program at the RCA Dome are available at the RCA Dome box office and $3 discount coupons are available at Central Indiana Kroger Stores and Speedway Auto Parts.

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Series Midget
Drivers Ryan Newman , Robbie Buhl , Jimmy Kite , Dave Darland , Jack Hewitt , Ronnie Johncox , Jay Drake , John Heydenreich , Matt Westfall , Jerry Nemire , Russ Gamester , Eric Gordon , Aaron Pierce , Donnie Lehmann , Steve Knepper , Stevie Reeves