16th Street Speedway Preview 1999-09-14

Donnie Beechler of Springfield, Ill. won Saturday night's 40-lap MCI WorldCom USAC National Midget Car feature at the 16th Street Speedway, but much attention was focused on two drivers who missed the "top-10!" Ron Smoker of ...

Donnie Beechler of Springfield, Ill. won Saturday night's 40-lap MCI WorldCom USAC National Midget Car feature at the 16th Street Speedway, but much attention was focused on two drivers who missed the "top-10!" Ron Smoker of Hamburg, N.Y. and Critter Malone of Speedway, Ind. will clash for the 1999 championship of the 16th Street Midget Car Series this Saturday afternoon at the 1/4-mile dirt track after both failed to crack the "top-10" in last Saturday night's 40-lapper. Smoker was 13th and Malone 20th, boosting Smoker from a 1-point deficit entering the race to a five-point lead going into this Saturday's series finale! Neither has ever won a USAC title. The 16th Street race serves as the kickoff to a busy weekend USAC Midget Car schedule, with the Sprint Car/National Midget Car "doubleheader" at Indianapolis Raceway Park Saturday night and the National Midget Car event Sunday afternoon at the Winchester (Ind.) Speedway. A 30-lap feature awaits the 16th Street participants Saturday afternoon, then 30-lap Sprint and Midget Car features are on tap for the "Arby's Season Finale" program at IRP Saturday night and a 30-lapper concludes Sunday afternoon's Winchester events. Practice at 16th Street starts at noon, with qualifying at 1 pm and racing at 2. Practice at IRP begins at 5 pm, with qualifying at 6:30 and racing at 8. Sunday's Winchester events get under way wit practice at noon and qualifying at 1. The first race is at 2. Beechler caught Andy Pierce on the white-flag lap and led the final two circuits in the John Lawson/Van Buerden Insurance Gaerte to win the 16th Street feature over Jason Leffler, Pierce, Steve Knepper and John Heydenreich. Smoker was among four drivers who flipped during the night's events but he escaped injury. Driver John Nervo of Indianapolis, Ind. was treated at Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital and released. Pierce led 34 of the first 38 laps before yielding to Beechler and Leffler. Leffler continues to lead the MCI WorldCom National standings in quest of a third consecutive series title, which would match the feat of Shorty Templeman (1956-58) and Jimmy Davies (1960-62).

MCI WORLDCOM USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR STANDINGS

1.      Jason Leffler   427             6.      A.J. Fike       168
2.      Jerry Coons, Jr 282             7.      Dave Darland    163
3.      Ryan Newman     276             8.      Jay Drake       158
4.      Tracy Hines     181             9.      Clay Klepper    154
5.      Brian Gerster   173             10.     Ricky Shelton   151

USAC 16TH STREET SPEEDWAY MIDGET CAR STANDINGS

1.      Ron Smoker      178             6.      Roy Caruthers   94
2.      Critter Malone  173             7.      Jason Leffler   82
3.      Andy Pierce     141             8.      Rick Vaughn     81
4.      John Wolfe      140             9.      Michael Lang    72
5.      Steve Knepper   108             10.     Jerry Coons, Jr 65

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Donnie Beechler , John Nervo , Dave Darland , Tracy Hines , Jay Drake , A.J. Fike , Jerry Coons , Clay Klepper , Brian Gerster , Steve Knepper , Ricky Shelton