Tripp Finally Scores Western States Victory Number 100! Sleepy Tripp of Costa Mesa, Calif., the winningest driver in USAC Midget racing history, ended a two-year search for that elusive 100th career "Western States" Midget feature triumph ...
Tripp Finally Scores Western States Victory Number 100!
Sleepy Tripp of Costa Mesa, Calif., the winningest driver in USAC Midget racing history, ended a two-year search for that elusive 100th career "Western States" Midget feature triumph Saturday night at the Ventura (Calif.) raceway.
Tripp started third in the 30-lap race on the 1/5-mile dirt track and assumed the lead on the 16th lap when Steve Paden lost a driveshaft. Sleepy then led the final 15 laps for the historic win, beating Dwayne Marcum and Shane Scully to the checkered flag. The win was Tripp's first since a July 20, 1996 win at Ventura and his 18th at the Ventura Fairgrounds oval. It came in his 355th "Western States" start and 613th total USAC career start, dating back to 1974.
The win was his 156th in USAC Midget competition, which also includes 59 in the National series. He was the USAC National Midget Champion in 1975 and 1976 and is the only 7-time "Western States" Champ (1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, and 1992). Of those 156 wins, 107 have come on dirt and he has won on 46 different tracks in 16 different states and in Canada.
"I had a good run" he admits. "I've been so dis-organized the last few years, busy with work etc. It's been my fault it took so long. I probably should have quit four or five years ago! I realize I'm way past my prime, but I don't think I'm quite done yet. It's nice to get number 100 at Ventura. Race organizer Jim Naylor is my buddy he was sure pumped up!"
Tripp qualified 10th fastest for Saturday's night's racing program in his DL Motorsports Stealth/Gaerte. "Danny Lendich has been real good to me," he says about his car sponsor. "This was my 246th Midget win, counting all sanctioning bodies, but I think I've still got a couple left to add. Maybe this gets the monkey off my back and now I can really go racing!"