Eldora V: 4-Crown Nationals preview

Jack Hewitt Grand Marshal for "4-Crown" which includes battle for sprint point lead, Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio, the winningest USAC driver in the history of the "4-Crown Nationals" and the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, will serve as Grand...

Jack Hewitt Grand Marshal for "4-Crown" which includes battle for sprint point lead,

Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio, the winningest USAC driver in the history of the "4-Crown Nationals" and the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, will serve as Grand Marshal of this weekend's 22nd running of the event, which features all three USAC National racing series plus modifieds. Hewitt will not compete, though, as he continues to recuperate from injuries suffered in a July USAC Sprint Car accident.

The Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car portion of this weekend's activities on the 1/2-mile dirt track offers a duel for the series point lead between two of America's top open-wheel stars, J.J. Yeley and Tracy Hines. Hines leads Yeley by 27, with 72 available.

Practice at the 1/2-mile dirt track starts at 6:30 Friday. Qualifications for all four divisions are scheduled, along with heat races for Midget Cars, Sprint Cars and Modifieds.

Saturday night's events begin with a 12-lap Midget semi and a 12-lap Sprint Car semi. A 20-lap Weld Racing Silver Crown "qualifying race" and a Modified semi are also on tap. Saturday's feature events are 25 laps for Midget Cars, 30 laps for Sprint Cars, 50 laps for Silver Crown cars and 40 laps for the Modifieds.

Yeley and Hines are also locked in a battle for the 2002 Earl's Pro-Lite 350 Fast Qualifier Championship, worth a $20,000 cash bonus at season's end, as well as the USAC "Super License" honors, presented to the USAC driver earning the most National feature event points during the year.

Hewitt's Eldora record is nothing short of sensational. He owns 24 USAC feature victories there, 13 in Sprint Cars, eight in Silver Crown cars and three in Midgets. He also has a record 54 "4-Crown" starts and 15 "4-Crown" wins.

Drivers will be aiming at Jay Drake's 1-lap Sprint Car track record of 15.232 seconds, set in 2000. Bud Kaeding, who has returned to the series after recovering from early-2002 injuries, is the defending "4-Crown" Sprint Car champion.

USAC STOOPS FREIGHTLINER SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1. Tracy Hines 1,422
2. J.J. Yeley 1,395
3. Derek Davidson 1,041
4. Jay Drake 977
5. Dave Darland 913
6. Levi Jones 833
7. Tony Elliott 735
8. Boston Reid 628
9. Cory Kruseman 618
10. Brian Tyler 613

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Jack Hewitt , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Tony Elliott , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Levi Jones , Boston Reid