LEFFLER STEALS STEWART'S "TURKEY" AT IRWINDALE WISE WINS TQ TITLE AS ERCSE TAKES 20-LAP SERIES FINALE Jason Leffler stole Tony Stewart's turkey on Thanksgiving night at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. Leffler, USAC's 3-time MCI...
LEFFLER STEALS STEWART'S "TURKEY" AT IRWINDALE WISE WINS TQ TITLE AS ERCSE TAKES 20-LAP SERIES FINALE
Jason Leffler stole Tony Stewart's turkey on Thanksgiving night at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. Leffler, USAC's 3-time MCI WorldCom National Midget Car Champion, passed Stewart on the final lap to win Thursday night's 59th Home Depot "Turkey Night Grand Prix" 100-lap feature at the 1/2-mile paved Irwindale oval. Stewart and Leffler traded the lead back and forth five times before Stewart's car encountered engine woes on the last lap! Trailing Leffler, of Long Beach, Calif., and Stewart, of Columbus, Ind., was Dave Darland of Kokomo, Ind., the 1999 Stoops Freightliner USAC Sprint Car Champ, giving the Steve Lewis Racing Team a 1-2-3 sweep in the Midget Car classic in their Ford/Wynn's/Beast/Performance Racing Industry Specials. Rounding out the "top-10" in the 32-car starting field were Clay Klepper, Don Basile "Rookie of the Race" Dave Steele, Marc DeBeaumont, Tracy Hines, Ryan Newman and Travis Welpott and Jay Drake. NASCAR veteran Kenny Irwin spun during the 100-lap race and finished 23rd, while Indy car veteran P.J. Jones crashed during practice and did not start the 100-lap feature. Jones was uninjured. Stewart was the fastest of 50 qualifiers for the final race of the 1999 USAC season. Aaron Fike and Ryan Newman won the two 12-lap "qualifying races" before a capacity crowd of 6,500. Josh Wise of Riverside, Calif. emerged as the 1999 USAC MCI WorldCom TQ Midget Champion after finishing second to J.J. Ercse in the 20-lap series finale at Irwindale. He finished 22 points ahead of Greg Edenholm, who spun at the start of the race and eventually finished eighth. Ercse, of Lakewood, Calif., led all 20 laps in his GB Electric Honda to beat Wise, fast qualifier Randi Pankratz, Gene Godepski and Scott Hansen.
MCI WORLDCOM USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR FINAL STANDINGS
1. Jason Leffler 529 6. Tracy Hines 263 2. Ryan Newman 404 7. Michael Lewis 240 3. Jerry Coons, Jr.369 8. Clay Klepper 225 4. Dave Darland 281 9. A.J. Fike 212 5. Jay Drake 273 10. Brian Gerster 204
MCI WORLDCOM WESTERN MIDGET CAR FINAL STANDINGS
1. Marc DeBeaumont 563 6. Jason Leffler 323 2. Shane Scully 485 7. Steve Paden 291 3. Bobby Boone 476 8. Clay Klepper 269 4. Alex Harris 397 9. Jay Drake 221 5. Wally Pankratz 344 10. Rick Hendrix 209
MCI WORLDCOM TQ MIDGET CAR FINAL STANDINGS
1. Josh Wise 418 6. West Evans 291 2. Greg Edenholm 396 7. Todd Hunsaker 225 3. Randi Pankratz 373 8. Jim Styer 181 4. Walt Johnson 321 9. Steve Lambert 180 5. Gene Godepski 295 10. Ron Ahrendt 159