Hawkeye Downs recap, IRP preview

Yeley Wins at Hawkeye Downs, takes midget lead; 58th "Night Before The 500 Classic" Saturday at IRP. J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. is the new leader in the USAC National Midget Car Series, which is preparing for this Saturday night's 58th running...

Yeley Wins at Hawkeye Downs, takes midget lead; 58th "Night Before The 500 Classic" Saturday at IRP.

J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. is the new leader in the USAC National Midget Car Series, which is preparing for this Saturday night's 58th running of the "Night Before the 500" Classic at Indianapolis (Ind.) Raceway Park.

Yeley caught Teddy Beach on lap 17 and led the rest of the way to win Friday night's 30-lap "Advance Auto Parts Hawkeye Downs Open Wheel Classic" presented by Papa John's at the 1/2-mile paved Cedar Rapids, Iowa oval. He and his Steve Lewis ASE/Ford Beast/Pink Ford were trailed by Tracy Hines, A.J. Fike, Beach and fast qualifier Bobby East. Beach led the first 16 laps of the Cedar Rapids feature.

East trails Yeley by eight points going into Saturday night's IRP classic, which concludes with a 50-lap feature on the .686-mile paved oval.

Practice at IRP Saturday starts at 4 pm and qualifying is slated for 5. The first race is at 7 and two 12-lap "qualifying races" will precede the 50-lap finale.

Jason Leffler is the defending champion of the "Night Before the 500" Classic, which dates back to 1946 and has incorporated five different facilities during its 58-year history. IRP has hosted the race since 1980 but only Jeff Gordon (1989-90) and Kasey Kahne (2000-01) have won back-to-back classics in the last 40 years.

USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1. J.J. Yeley 341
2. Bobby East 333
3. A.J. Fike 306
4. Tracy Hines 294
5. Teddy Beach 247
6. Jay Drake 230
7. Steve Paden 171
8. Dave Steele 170
9. Bud Kaeding 156
10. Michael Lewis 144

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Series USAC
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jason Leffler , Kasey Kahne , Michael Lewis , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Bud Kaeding , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Teddy Beach , A.J. Fike , Steve Paden