FF: Indy Speedrome season opener preview

SPEEDROME SEASON OPENS THURSDAY; PRACTICE WEDNESDAY USAC and Blossom Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome officials will offer fans another serving of midget tripleheaders this season, as "Thunder Night Thunder" takes the place of "Open Wheel ...

SPEEDROME SEASON OPENS THURSDAY; PRACTICE WEDNESDAY

USAC and Blossom Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome officials will offer fans another serving of midget tripleheaders this season, as "Thunder Night Thunder" takes the place of "Open Wheel Wednesdays" at the 1/5-mile track.

The 14-week series, presented by Traderindiana.com and Wheels & Deals, will offer wide-open competition although only one of the 2004 titlists is expected to challenge for this year's title.

Dakoda Armstrong of New Castle, Ind., the youngest USAC champion in history when he celebrated last year's Kenyon Midget Car Series at the track, returns to the track in search of a repeat title. Armstrong won the title at age 13, becoming the youngest USAC champion by nearly three years. He'll have hold off Brent Beauchamp of Fairland, Ind., who scored four victories in 2004, and Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind., a three-time victor last season.

Defending USAC Speedrome champions Sondi Eden (Regional Midgets) and Brice Kenyon (Ford Focus Midgets) have departed, leaving the doors wide open in those divisions. Among challengers in the Regional Midget Series are Travis Young of Franklin, Ind., the winner of the season finale in 2004 and series runner-up, and Chris Manifold of Indianapolis, the third-ranking driver in points last season. Andy Baber II of Indianapolis and Stephanie Mockler of Westfield, Ind. put together solid efforts in 2004 in Ford Focus competition and look to capitalize on Kenyon's departure.

The track will host a practice session for the midgets this Wednesday. The series continues through Aug. 3.

- USAC -

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Series USAC
Drivers Bryan Clauson , Stephanie Mockler , Dakoda Armstrong , Brent Beauchamp