$140,000 "SUMMER SIZZLE '99" NEARING 100 ENTRIES Drivers from 16 states and New Zealand are among the 96 entries already received for next week's Clabber Girl "Summer Sizzle '99" at the 16th Street Speedway, the world's richest-ever ...
$140,000 "SUMMER SIZZLE '99" NEARING 100 ENTRIES
Drivers from 16 states and New Zealand are among the 96 entries already received for next week's Clabber Girl "Summer Sizzle '99" at the 16th Street Speedway, the world's richest-ever Midget Car racing event. Bringing together the best talent from sanctioning bodies across the country, the $140,000-plus, four-night racing program offers a record $20,000 payout to Saturday night's 40-lap feature race winner and a racing format expected to create one of America's most exciting motorsports events. Drivers entered so far represent states from California to New York and Wisconsin to Texas. Starting with Tuesday night's non-sanctioned "open" practice from 4-10 pm, drivers will take to the 1/4-mile dirt oval with one thought in mind, earning one of 24 coveted spots in Saturday night's finale. Points earned during the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday prelims will determine starting lineups form what could be a busy Saturday night slate of races leading up to the 40-lap main event. Defending USAC MCI WorldCom National Midget Champion Jason Leffler (who also won last year's Coors Light Silver Bullet title), 16th Street USAC Midget Car Champ Michael Lang, 1997 16th Street king Steve Knepper, New Zealand Champion Michael Kendall, NAMARS Champ Matt Westfall, Badger Champ Dan Boorse, MARA Champ Donnie Lehmann, Indianapolis Speedrome titlist John Sluss and Stoops Freightliner USAC Sprint Car champ Tony Elliott are just a few of the top entries. A 25-lap feature event caps each preliminary night's program, the top three point scorers of each night earning automatic starting berths in Saturday night's 40-lapper. The balance of the 24-car starting field Saturday will be determined through a series of Saturday prelims. Participants will assemble at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday for a special drawing to determine who competes on which prelim night. Practice on prelim nights starts at 5 pm, with qualifying at 6 and racing at 7. Saturday night's events kick off with practice at 5. The first of numerous prelims gets the green flag at 6. Four different drivers have posted fast qualifying time in this year's 16th Street action, Leffler breaking Tony Stewart's ultimate track mark with a lap of 11.786 seconds in May. But the whole field may be trying to catch Hamburg, N.Y.'s Ron Smoker before the final checkered flag falls Saturday. Smoker has won two of the three races there this year and scored three times at the 1/4-mile oval last year.