South Boston: Mini Indy Midget 200 preview

Stewart to greet fans; Leffler, Yeley and Darland to compete at South Boston Oct. 19. SOUTH BOSTON, VA (OCT. 10, 2002)--It has been said that Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway attracts some of racing's greatest. That statement recently became...

Stewart to greet fans; Leffler, Yeley and Darland to compete at South Boston Oct. 19.

SOUTH BOSTON, VA (OCT. 10, 2002)--It has been said that Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway attracts some of racing's greatest. That statement recently became even more true as Tony Stewart seized the NASCAR Winston Cup championship points lead following the Oct. 6 EA Sports 500 at the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Stewart will appear Oct. 19 at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in conjunction with the Speedway's USAC Mini Indy Midget 200.

Due to his quest for the Winston Cup title, Stewart will not defend last year's victory in the USAC 200. He will be available to meet fans in a two-hour prerace autograph session. The Home Depot Pontiac driver will also serve as grand marshal for the evening's activities.

"We've made the decision to stay focused on the championship for the Home Depot team and Joe Gibbs Racing," Stewart said. "As much as I would like to come back and defend the race at South Boston, it just would not be part of the plan to stay focused on the championship. I love to see the fans and watch some good short track racing. That is what this trip to South Boston is going to be about this year."

Although Stewart won't be taming the tight four-tenths mile asphalt that is Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway, there will be no shortage of talent competing in the USAC Mini Indy Midget 200. Some of these open wheel wizards include a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver and a pair of defending USAC champions.

Jason Leffler, who currently pilots the No. 2 Team ASE Dodge for Ultra Motorsports, will compete in the No. 67 Team ASE Beast. Leffler finished ninth in last month's Hardee's 250 with John Boy and Billy presented by Textilease Craftsman Truck Series event at South Boston, and currently sits sixth in series standings. He competed for 2001 Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, but finished fourth behind fellow Californian Kevin Harvick.

J.J. Yeley returns to South Boston this year as the 2001 Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Series champion. The Phoenix native looks to improve on last year's performances aboard the No. 91 ASE/Ford Beast. Yeley pulled double duty in last year's USAC 200 at South Boston, finishing 18th in the Stoops Freightliner Sprint feature and 15th in the Midget feature.

The 2001 USAC National Midget Car Series Champion Dave Darland will make his first visit to South Boston. Darland, who hails from Walton, Ind., remained the Midget points leader despite missing the South Boston shootout. He will exhibit his championship skills in the No. 9 ASE/Ford Beast.

Fans will be able to meet Leffler, Yeley and Darland in an on-track autograph session before the USAC Mini Indy Midget 200. Stewart and fellow NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader, Hermie Sadler, Morgan Shepherd, legendary NASCAR car owner Junie Donlavey and wrestler Marcus "Buff" Bagwell will participate in a pre race autograph session from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the on-track session beginning at 6 p.m. The first 800 fans through the gate will receive an autograph voucher good for the first hour of the evening's autograph session.

Grandstand gates for the USAC Mini Indy Midget 200 open at 2 p.m., with qualifying at 4 p.m. The racing action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. In addition to the USAC Midgets, the evening will include racing for Lehigh Valley Quarter Midgets and Scale Racing League Mini Cup Cars and Trucks.

Reserved seats are $30 in advance and $35 at the gate. Adult general admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Advance pricing is good only until 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18. General admission for young adults (10-15) is only $10, with children 9 and under admitted free. A limited number of $15 back straight seats will be available for purchase on race day. Tickets are available online via tickets.com. Credit card orders can be placed by calling the Speedway toll free at 1-877-440-1540. Further event information can be accessed via the Speedway's website at www.southbostonspeedway.com

-sbs-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Hermie Sadler , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Morgan Shepherd
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing