Hawkeye Downs: Race report

Yeley, fresh from Cedar Rapids "sweep" seeks "Tony Hulman Classic" victory Saturday at Terre Haute. Defending Stoops Freightliner USAC Sprint Car Champion J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. wants to add another "Tony Hulman Classic" trophy to ...

Yeley, fresh from Cedar Rapids "sweep" seeks "Tony Hulman Classic" victory Saturday at Terre Haute.

Defending Stoops Freightliner USAC Sprint Car Champion J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. wants to add another "Tony Hulman Classic" trophy to his mounting collection this Saturday night when the 32nd running of the race unfolds at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.

Yeley became the first driver to "sweep" a USAC National Sprint Car/Midget Car "doubleheader" on pavement since Doug Kalitta's sweep at Winchester, Ind. in 1995, winning both Friday night's 30-lap Midget Car and Sprint Car feature at the 1/2-mile Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

J.J., who became the youngest winner of the "Tony Hulman Classic" as a "rookie" in 1997 at age 21, led all 30 laps of Friday's Advance Auto Parts "Hawkeye Open Wheel Classic" to beat Jason McCord, series point leader Tracy Hines, Eric Gordon and Derek Davidson. Turbines, Inc. fast qualifier Bobby East finished sixth.

Hines, defending winner of the "Tony Hulman Classic," takes a 48-point lead over Davidson into the Terre Haute event, which gets under way with practice at 6 pm. Qualifying starts at 6:30 and the first preliminary race gets the green at 7:30. Hines is attempting to be only the second driver to win back-to-back "Tony Hulman Classics." Steve Butler was the first to do it in 1987-1988.

Yeley also won his heat race at Cedar Rapids in his ABC Sand & Rock/Red Line Oil RPM/Beast. Jay Drake and McCord also won heat races.

Drake is among former "Tony Hulman Classic" winners (2000) expected to challenge Yeley and Hines Saturday at Terre Haute. Others are Terry Pletch (1999), Jack Hewitt (1983 & 1995), Dave Darland (1993) and Eric Gordon (1991).

USAC STOOPS FREIGHTLINER SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Tracy Hines 255
2. Derek Davidson 207
3. A.J. Fike 194
4. Jay Drake 184
5. J.J. Yeley 177
6. Jason McCord 170
7. Bud Kaeding 169
8. Eric Gordon 157
9. Dave Darland 154
10. Dave Steele 144

-usac-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Jack Hewitt , Bud Kaeding , Jay Drake , A.J. Fike , Eric Gordon , Jason McCord