Kenny Irwin Enters "Turkey Night"

Kenny Irwin, the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup "Rookie of the Year," is the latest driver to announce he will compete in the Home Depot "Turkey Night Grand Prix," joining fellow NASCAR driver Tony Stewart in the field for the prestigious...

Kenny Irwin, the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup "Rookie of the Year," is the latest driver to announce he will compete in the Home Depot "Turkey Night Grand Prix," joining fellow NASCAR driver Tony Stewart in the field for the prestigious November 25 MCI WorldCom USAC National Midget Car race at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. Irwin will drive his father's #7k K & R Racing Ford/predator in the 59th running of one of America's most traditional auto races. The feature event on Irwindale's 1/2-mile paved oval will be 100 laps. The race will mark Kenny's first USAC Midget Car appearance since last January's "Thunder in the Dome" invitational race at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. His last outdoor Midget Car race produced a third-place finish in the 1997 "Night Before the 500" classic at Indianapolis Raceway Park and his last USAC Midget Car victory came on the dirt at Sioux Falls, SD in July of 1996. His last pavement Midget Car triumph occurred on the 3/4-mile Richmond (VA) International Raceway in June of 1996, a race in which Stewart finished second. Irwin owns eight career USAC Midget Car victories and he was the 1996 USAC Midget Car Champion. He was also the Midget Car runner-up in 1993 and in 1996 narrowly missed winning the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet title, losing out to Jimmy Sills in the final race. This year Irwin has competed in four USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet races and scored second-place finishes at Gateway International Raceway, Indianapolis Raceway Park and Memphis Motorsports Park. In 1995 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield he came from 28th starting position to win the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" Silver Crown race after winning a 25-mile Midget Car race earlier in the day. He owns six USAC Silver Crown wins in addition to seven in the USAC Sprint Cars. This will be Kenny's seventh "Turkey Night" appearance. In 1991 he finished 21st on the pavement at Saugus, Calif., then missed the feature field for the 1992 and 1993 classics at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway on the dirt. He was third in the 1994 race at Bakersfield and finished second to Billy Boat in the 1995 Bakersfield race. His sixth "Turkey Night" appearance ended in a third-place finish on the dirt at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. Irwin and Stewart join 1999 USAC National Champions Ryan Newman (Coors Light Silver Bullet Series) and Dave Darland (Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car) and National and Western MCI WorldCom Midget Car point leaders Jason Leffler and Marc DeBeaumont respectively as early favorites for the Thursday night spectacular. The MCI WorldCom TQ Midget Cars are also on the program and will contest a 20-lap feature on Irwindale's 1/3-mile paved oval before the 100-lap Midget Car finale on the bigger track.

--USAC--

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Billy Boat , Dave Darland , Jimmy Sills , Tony Bettenhausen