South Boston inaugural race preview

Yeley, Drake Eye Point Lead In South Boston Debut J.J. Yeley and Jay Drake expect to battle for the USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car point lead this Saturday night when the series makes its inaugural Virginia appearance in the "USAC 200" at...

Yeley, Drake Eye Point Lead In South Boston Debut

J.J. Yeley and Jay Drake expect to battle for the USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car point lead this Saturday night when the series makes its inaugural Virginia appearance in the "USAC 200" at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway.

Yeley, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Drake, of Val Verde, Calif., are separated by only two points. They currently trail series leader Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. but Darland is not expected to compete, still recuperating from injuries suffered in a September Sprint car accident.

Neither Yeley nor Drake have won the title, Drake finishing second to Tony Elliott in last year's standings and Yeley fourth in the 2000 points. Yeley has three wins this year, Drake two, but neither has won yet on the pavement.

Elliott, of Kokomo, Ind., is the defending series champion. He is fourth in the standings and has four victories so far in 2001, but he too lacks a pavement win this year.

Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. appears to be the South Boston favorite due to his pavement success in 2001. He ranks fifth in the points and three of his five wins this season were on pavement.

Practice at the 4/10-mile paved oval is scheduled for 4 pm, with qualifying at 4:45 and the first race at 7:30. Sharing the spotlight on the night's card are the USAC WorldCom National Midget Cars, with a complete program of prelims for each series and 50-lap features concluding both series events, comprising 200 total laps of racing.

Saturday night's race is the first for USAC in Virginia since Aaron Fike won the USAC Silver Crown race at Richmond in June and only the eighth in USAC's history. In 1977 Rich Vogler won a 100-lap USAC Midget race indoors at the Scope Arena in Norfolk and subsequent USAC races have involved the Formula Ford 2000 and Silver Crown cars at Richmond in 1995, the Midgets, Formula 2000s and Silver Crown cars at Richmond in 1996 and the Silver Crown cars at Richmond in June.

STOOPS FREIGHTLINER USAC SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Dave Darland 1,334
2. J.J. Yeley 1,299
3. Jay Drake 1,297
4. Tony Elliott 1,165
5. Tracy Hines 1,073
6. Bud Kaeding 1,022
7. Derek Davidson 869
8. Robbie Rice 852
9. Brian Tyler 806
10. Bill Rose 696

-USAC

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Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Brian Tyler , Bud Kaeding , Tony Elliott , Aaron Fike , Jay Drake , Bill Rose