63RD "NIGHT BEFORE 500" KICKS OFF TOYOTA CHALLENGE; DARLAND, GALEDRIGE, OLSON "MIDGET MAYNIA TOUR" WINNERS; QUARTER-MILE WORLD MIDGET RECORD GOES TO HINES Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. leads the Mopar USAC National Midget ...
63RD "NIGHT BEFORE 500" KICKS OFF TOYOTA CHALLENGE; DARLAND, GALEDRIGE, OLSON "MIDGET MAYNIA TOUR" WINNERS; QUARTER-MILE WORLD MIDGET RECORD GOES TO HINES
Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. leads the Mopar USAC National Midget Series to this Saturday's 63rd "Toyota Night Before the 500" Classic at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. The race opens the 2008 "Toyota Challenge" which also includes races at O.R.P. July 24 and Sept. 12.
Hines established a new quarter-mile world's Midget qualifying record of 10.845 seconds last Saturday night during time trials at the Slinger (Wisc.) Super Speedway. He had a pair of third-place finishes and a 12th in last week's three "Midget Maynia Tour" events.
Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. won Friday night's "Battle in the Bluffs" at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, leading all 30 laps in the Nine Racing Toyota/Oakley Beast/Pink Toyota. Fast qualifier Kody Swanson finished second and was followed by Hines, Shane Hmiel and Brad Sweet.
Bradley Galedrige of Los Altos, Calif. earned his first USAC Mopar National Midget feature victory Saturday night at Slinger Super Speedway, leading all 50 laps to win the 2nd Annual Kubota "Stan Fox Classic." Galedrige drove the Tri-Valley Excavating/Wirtgen America Gerhardt/Stanton Mopar to the win, beating Chad Boat, Hines, Bobby East and Swanson.
Brian Olson of Puyallup, Wash. scored his first USAC Mopar National Midget feature victory Sunday afternoon at Rockford Speedway, leading all 50 laps of the main event in his Olson Brothers Excavating/Pro-Vac Clean Systems Beast/Esslinger Ford. Trailing Olson at the checkered flag were East, Dakoda Armstrong, fast qualifier Swanson and Boat.
Kevin Swndell won last year's "Night Before the 500," a race with history dating back to 1946 when Leroy Warriner and Benny Emerick won features at the now-defunct 16th Street Speedway, which was located on the south side of 16th Street across from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Former race winner Ron Gregory (2004) is expected to be among the drivers competing in Saturday's race, while series point leaders Hines, East, Swanson, Cole Whitt and Darren Hagen will all be seeking their initial victory in the prestigious 50-lap feature.