MAFF: Mid-America Indoor season opener preview

The USAC Ford Focus Midgets will officially christen the brand-new Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin, Ill. Sunday in the first of two legs of the 2005 Pepsi Mid America Indoor Focus Championship Series. Practice on the ...

The USAC Ford Focus Midgets will officially christen the brand-new Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin, Ill. Sunday in the first of two legs of the 2005 Pepsi Mid America Indoor Focus Championship Series. Practice on the specially-constructed 1/6-mile dirt oval begins at 12:30 pm and heat racing starts at 2. The feature event is 40 laps.

Robbie Ray of Davenport, Iowa, USAC's inaugural Indiana (Midwest) Ford Focus Champion, is expected to be among top entrants for the historic event, the first ever specifically for Ford Focus Midgets indoors. Ray finished third in last year's Carolina/Virginia Ford Focus series and won a race at Sumner, Ill. during his 2003 championship season, one of eight career Focus triumphs for the cousin of 2004 USAC National Midget "Most Improved Driver" Davey Ray.

Brad Loyet of St. Louis, Mo. will definitely add "local" interest, having finished fourth in last year's Midwest Focus series, winning a feature at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Ryan Scott of Concord, N.C. is also expected to compete. Scott's brother Chase won last year's USAC Carolina/Virginia Focus title. Ryan is a former USAC National Midget feature winner and top-10 point finisher.

Joshua Clemons of Indianapolis, Ind. also rates among early favorites for the DuQuoin event. He won last year's high-profile Focus feature race at Kentucky Speedway as well as races at the Indianapolis Speedrome.

Lady driver Stephanie Mockler of Westfield, Ind., who became the first lady to win a Focus feature race at the Indianapolis Speedrome last year, is also planning to compete, as is Canadian driver Ryan Litt of Lyons, Ontario. Litt finished third in the 2004 Midwest series and Mockler was fourth in the 2004 Speedrome series. Stephanie is the daughter of former USAC driver Warren Mockler.

The Pepsi Mid America USAC Indoor Focus Championship Series concludes with a second event at the DuQuoin facility on Sunday, February 19. Both the January and February events also include 600cc Mini-Sprint competition.

The Southern Illinois Center is located at the south end of the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, just east of U.S. Highway 51 south of DuQuoin, within sight of the famed Magic Mile, home of USAC's annual "Ted Horn 100" Weld Racing Silver Crown race.

--USAC

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Series USAC
Drivers Ryan Scott , Davey Ray , Stephanie Mockler , Brad Loyet , Robbie Ray