Championship update 2004-09-15

Wednesday night's "Roper Classic" at Lebanon, Mo. and Friday night's race at the Tulsa (Okla.) Fairgrounds Motorplex presented by Flowmaster are next on the calendar in Jay Drake's drive toward his first USAC National driving championship. He...

Wednesday night's "Roper Classic" at Lebanon, Mo. and Friday night's race at the Tulsa (Okla.) Fairgrounds Motorplex presented by Flowmaster are next on the calendar in Jay Drake's drive toward his first USAC National driving championship. He leads the Valvoline Sprint Car Series standings going into this week's two key races.

Drake's point lead narrowed to 134 points over runner-up Bud Kaeding after weekend races in which he posted only a ninth-place finish, but he must rate among favorites for victory in both this week's encounters.

The "Roper Classic" at I-44 Speedway salutes one of Missouri's most accomplished racing families and marks USAC's initial appearance on the new 3/8-mile dirt surface. Tony Stewart, who owns Drake's car, won USAC's last race at Lebanon, in 1992. Practice starts at 5 pm, followed by qualifying at 6 and racing at 7. A 50-lap feature is on tap.

Friday night's race at Tulsa opens a two-night USAC race fest at the big 3/4-mile dirt track presented by Flowmaster. The USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown cars close out the Tulsa action with Saturday night's O'Reilly "Tulsa 100." Sprint car practice Friday gets under way at 6 pm, with qualifying slated at 7 and racing at 8. A 30-lap feature concludes the racing action.

Cory Kruseman, Bobby East and Dave Steele all recorded USAC feature victories in USAC Valvoline Sprint Car action this past weekend.

Kruseman and Steele, who pilot Tony Stewart Racing Mopar/Vital Express Beast/Stanton Mopars as teammates to Drake, earned wins at Joliet, Ill. and Nashville, Tenn. respectively, while East, of Brownsburg, Ind., narrowly missed a $25,000 cash bonus posted at Nashville, winning the 77-lap opener and taking second to Steele in the nightcap.

Kruseman led the final eight laps of Friday night's 30-lapper at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet to beat Levi Jones, Tracy Hines, Josh Wise and Jon Stanbrough. Wise led the first 15 laps and Dave Darland led the next seven before encountering mechanical woes.

East won the pole for the first of the two 77-lap "Music City 150" features at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, then led wire-to-wire in his Powerstroke Diesel/Ford Beast/Ford to earn a chance at the $25,000 cash bonus. He started dead last in the second 77-lapper and was running second to Steele when the checkered flag flew. Trailing East in the first "77" were Hines, Eric Gordon, Bobby Santos III and Steele.

In the second feature, Brad Armstrong looked strong in leading the first 44 laps, then Santos raced to the front and appeared headed for victory until he and Steele touched exiting turn two, with Santos spinning. Steele then paced the final lap to beat East, Armstrong, Kaeding and Jason McCord.

Drake was running in the "top-10" in the first Nashville 77-lapper until a spin and rollover on the backstretch. He was unable to start the second feature, but that race offered no National points due to the requirement that the first race winner start dead last in the field.

VALVOLINE USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Jay Drake-1,276
2.-Bud Kaeding-1,142
3.-Cory Kruseman-1,100
4.-Levi Jones-1,066
5.-Tony Elliott-838
6.-Dave Darland-803
7.-Josh Ford-802
8.-Tony Elliott-771
9.-Josh Wise-668
10.-Dickie Gaines-626

-usac-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Dave Darland , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Bud Kaeding , Tony Elliott , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Eric Gordon , Levi Jones , Brad Armstrong , Josh Wise , Jon Stanbrough , Bobby Santos III , Josh Ford