Historic Milwaukee, Terre Haute Wins For J.J. No driver in USAC's 49-year history (encompassing nearly 7,000 races) had ever won races in different states on the same day! No driver had ever won races on different surfaces on the...
Historic Milwaukee, Terre Haute Wins For J.J.
No driver in USAC's 49-year history (encompassing nearly 7,000 races) had ever won races in different states on the same day! No driver had ever won races on different surfaces on the same day. Saturday USAC Triple Crown Champion J.J. Yeley won races in different series, for different car owners, on dirt and pavement, in non-adjoining states!
Yeley's victories at Milwaukee, Wisc. and Terre Haute, Ind. rank among America's most impressive motorsports accomplishments, maybe the first National victories by a single driver on both surfaces on the same day!
J.J. scored a sensational half-car length victory over Dave Steele in Saturday afternoon's "Milwaukee Mile 30" National Midget race at the famed 1-mile paved Wisconsin oval, then boarded a flight to Indiana and led all 30 laps of Saturday night's "Jan Opperman Classic" Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" finale at the ½-mile dirt Terre Haute Action Track.
Only once before had a driver scored USAC feature victories at two different race tracks on the same day. Rain forced postponement of a June 23 National Midget race at Lakeside Speedway in Denver, Colo. to be held the next afternoon. That night, June 24, the same series competed at Sportsman Raceway Park in Colorado Springs, Colo. and Billy Vukovich piloted a Doug Caruthers-owned Midget to both victories.
J.J. wheeled the Steve Lewis ASE/Ford Beast/Ford at Milwaukee and drove the Stanton Racing Deford Chrysler F5/Mopar at Terre Haute.
Notable in USAC same-day race history were victories by brothers Gary and Merle Bettenhausen on September 21, 1968 and June 14, 1969. In 1968 Merle won in the National Midget series at Indianapolis Raceway Park and in 1969 he won a Midget race at Lansing, Mich. The same nights Gary recorded USAC National Sprint Car victories at the Reading (Pa.) Fairgrounds.
Brothers Jimmy and Danny Caruthers also scored same-day USAC feature wins on June 20, 1971. Jimmy's came in the afternoon National Midget race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, while Danny's came that night at nearby Springfield Speedway.