"Buckeye Nationals" pre-race notes

KAEDING EYES REPEAT "BUCKEYE NATIONALS" TITLE AT LIMA, ELDORA STEELE TOPS IRP 30_LAPPER, WINCHESTER'S "IRWIN" RACE RAINED OUT Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Calif. is the defending champion of the "Buckeye Nationals" USAC Valvoline Sprint...

KAEDING EYES REPEAT "BUCKEYE NATIONALS" TITLE AT LIMA, ELDORA
STEELE TOPS IRP 30_LAPPER, WINCHESTER'S "IRWIN" RACE RAINED OUT

Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Calif. is the defending champion of the "Buckeye Nationals" USAC Valvoline Sprint Car events, scheduled this weekend at Lima and Rossburg, Ohio. Kaeding scored a victory in the series opener at Attica, Ohio last year.

Friday night's races are at the Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, while Saturday night's races are at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg. Each night's program includes USAC National Sprint Car and Midget racing.

Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. captured Thursday night's 30-lap race at Indianapolis Raceway Park, leading all but the first two laps in his Mopar/West Coast Roofing & Waterproofing Beast/Mopar. The win was Steele's 11th at IRP but the first in a Sprint car in more than five years.

Trailing Steele to the checkered flag at IRP were Bobby Santos III, Bobby East, Josh Wise and Kyle Nicholas, while series point leader Jay Drake took 12th. Drake leads Dave Darland, who led the first two laps at IRP, by 14 points in the new standings.

Darland owns five "Buckeye Nationals" feature victories since 2002, just one shy of all-time leader J.J. Yeley's six. Wise and Drake are the defending Lima and Eldora winners respectively.

Rains forced postponement of Sunday's scheduled "Kenny Irwin Memorial" race at the Winchester (Ind.) Speedway. Track and USAC officials are hopeful of rescheduling the race later in the 2005 season.

USAC VALVOLINE NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Jay Drake-358
2.-Dave Darland-344
3.-Levi Jones-302
4.-Bud Kaeding-300
5.-Mat Neely-261
6.-Josh Wise-244
7.-Jerry Coons, Jr.-199
8.-Dave Steele-191
9.-Tom Hessert III-187
10.-Tracy Hines-184

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Series USAC
Drivers Kyle Nicholas , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Bud Kaeding , Tom Hessert III , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Levi Jones , Jerry Coons , Josh Wise , Bobby Santos