Johnny Parsons is hoping his "indoor" success carries over to the outdoors April 2 when the MCI WorldCom USAC National Midget Car Series visits the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway for the inaugural "Glen Niebel Classic." The 1/4-mile...
Johnny Parsons is hoping his "indoor" success carries over to the outdoors April 2 when the MCI WorldCom USAC National Midget Car Series visits the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway for the inaugural "Glen Niebel Classic." The 1/4-mile paved oval hosts the Stoops Freightliner Sprint Cars and the MCI WorldCom National Midget Cars in a "doubleheader" program, with 50-lap features on tap for each series. In addition to the $11,000 winner paychecks ($6,000 for Sprint Cars and $5,000 for Midget Cars), cash bonuses have also been posted by Pennzoil for drivers winning a combination of races at Anderson and the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, which hosts the "Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic" Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car race April 1. Parsons scored his first USAC feature victory in five years March 11, leading every lap of the "Thunder in the Dome XVI" Midget race at the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis. "It was nice to get back to victory lane," admitted the 12-time Indianapolis 500 veteran who did not dismiss running the "500" again. "I would like to run at Indy again and would entertain any reasonable opportunities. I plan to compete in all three USAC series this year on a selective basis to stay sharp, but a victory at Anderson would certainly be special, since Glen built the engine which carried me to the 1995 win at DuQuoin five years ago. "The lack of opportunities in good equipment the past several years left me with a lack of fulfillment in my career," adds Parsons. "I never lacked the confidence in myself, but victories don't come without competitive equipment. I guess I'm a lot more appreciative now of those opportunities and I think we'll be competitive at Anderson. It's a good old feel to be winning again, and for that I have to thank Dick Myers, who has provided me with a winning car." J.P.'s last outdoor victory came at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds in 1995 where he won the "DuQuoin Century" Silver Bullet 100-miler. His last outdoor USAC Midget Car win came in 1995 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. In all, he has 30 career USAC feature wins in the Midget Cars, his biggest year being 1977 when he won 10 times and finished second to Mel Kenyon in the final points. Parsons will have plenty of competition in the Anderson field. Already among Midget Car entrants are 1999 Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Champ Dave Darland, 1998 Sprint Car Champ Tony Elliott, 1999 "Thunder in the Dome" victor Kevin Besecker, 1999 "Rookie of the Year" A.J. Fike, 1998 "Rookie of the Year" Michael Lewis, 6-time USAC Midget champion Michael Lang, lady driver Sarah McCune and March 11 Bakersfield Midget Car feature winner Kasey Kahne.
<pre> USAC MCI WORLDCOM NATIONAL MIDGET CAR CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS
1. Ryan Newman 63 2. Dave Darland 57 3. A.J. Fike 53 4. Steve Paden 48 5. John Heydenreich 45 6. Jay Drake 42 7. Jimmy McCune 39 8. Clay Klepper 36 9. Ryan Scott 33 10. Ronnie Johncox 31