Lincoln Park preview

USAC's 49th "Hut 100®" unfolds this Saturday night at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind. concluding two nights of USAC Midget Car racing at the 5/16-mile dirt oval. Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw, Wash. and Michael Lang of Speedway, Ind. are the...

USAC's 49th "Hut 100®" unfolds this Saturday night at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind. concluding two nights of USAC Midget Car racing at the 5/16-mile dirt oval. Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw, Wash. and Michael Lang of Speedway, Ind. are the respective MCI WorldCom National and Dirt-Track Regional point leaders going into the two nights of racing.

Dave Darland of Kokomo, Ind. is the defending "Hut 100®" champion but faces a stern challenge from Kahne, who won the recent "Belleville Midget Nationals" in Kansas and would like to add the "Hut 100®" to his list of accomplishments. The Putnamville timetable includes the final two events in USAC's brand-new "Dirt-Track Regional" Midget Car Series, with the 2000 champion to be crowned at the conclusion of Saturday night's competition.

Friday night's Dirt-Track Regional event includes a 30-lap feature, while Saturday night's program of MCI WorldCom National racing concludes with the 100-lap classic starting 28 cars. Qualifications on Saturday start at 6 pm after 5 pm warmups. The first of three scheduled 12-lap "qualifying races" is slated for a 7:30 pm start and a $5,000 paycheck awaits the winner of this year's "Hut 100®."

Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. returned to the MCI WorldCom National Series and captured Wednesday night's Kroger "Mel Kenyon Classic" at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the race shortened from 40 to 23 laps by rain. Trailing his Wynn's/Ford/ASE/Beast/PRI Special were Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Michael Lewis and Ed Carpenter. Darland was the fastest qualifier. Lewis led the first two laps, then Tracy Hines led the next four before yielding to Leffler's charge.

Hines, of New Castle, Ind., returned to win Sunday night's feature at the Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway. The race took a record seven weeks to complete, rain halting the July 9 event after just two laps. Hines caught Critter Malone on the 21st lap and led the final 10 laps in his Benchmark/Haviland/Michner Plating/JS Distributing Special. Darland finished second in the 30-lap race, ahead of Malone, Aaron Fike and Tony Elliott.

Michael Lang's 12th-place finish at Kokomo boosted him into the lead in the Dirt-Track Regional standings going into the two Putnamville series finales. He is trying to become the first driver to win USAC driving championships in seven consecutive years, having won the 1994-95-96-97 and 1999 Speedrome crowns and the 1998 16th Street Speedway title.

USAC MCI WORLDCOM NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS <pre> 1. Kasey Kahne 898 2. Dave Darland 661 3. Jay Drake 657 4. Michael Lewis 641 5. Tracy Hines 562 6. A.J. Fike 529 7. Aaron Fike 482 8. Ed Carpenter 474 9. Clay Klepper 462 10. Ryan Scott 417 </pre> USAC REGIONAL DIRT-TRACK MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS <pre> 1. Michael Lang 134 2. Shane Cottle 128 3. Critter Malone 126 4. Rick Vaughn 114 5. Andy Pierce 106 6. Chris Coers 105 7. John Wolfe 97 8. Barry Reed 82 9. Tim Spindler 82 10. Bill Baue 77

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Kasey Kahne , Michael Lewis , Ryan Scott , Dave Darland , Tracy Hines , Tony Elliott , Aaron Fike , Jay Drake , A.J. Fike , Shane Cottle , Clay Klepper , Ed Carpenter