Springfield preview and top ten in standings

"Tony Bettenhausen 100" Saturday At Springfield Saturday's "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield is round nine of this year's 13-race Coors Light Silver Bullet Series. It could turn out to be one of the most ...

"Tony Bettenhausen 100" Saturday At Springfield

Saturday's "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield is round nine of this year's 13-race Coors Light Silver Bullet Series. It could turn out to be one of the most critical in terms of determining the series champion.

Russ Gamester of Peru, Ind. leads Paul White of Temple, Texas by 36 points with 66 available at the 1-mile dirt oval. Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. is third in the standings, 67 back of Gamester. An up-front finish by Gamester could launch him toward what would be his second USAC National driving championship. He won the 1989 National Midget title.

Practice at Springfield gets under way at 9 am and qualifications start at 10:30. A Pennzoil "qualifying race" begins at 12:30 pm and the 100-mile feature gets the green flag at 1:30.

Gamester and White will have plenty of competition, including defending race winner Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio, Indy Racing League veteran Donnie Beechler of Springfield and "rookie" A.J. Foyt IV of Hockley, Texas, whose grandfather won at Springfield four times.

One lap track record holder Robby Flock of Murrieta, Calif. will be among drivers trying to break Flock's track record of 120.048 mph, set in 1996. Hewitt established the 100-mile race record in his 1987 victory at 106.920 mph.

In addition to Beechler, Illinois will also be represented by drivers Manny Rockhold of Pekin, Al Thomas of Ludlow and brothers A.J. and Aaron Fike of Galesburg. The 50 preliminary entries include drivers from more than a dozen states.

Dave Darland, who leads the 2001 USAC National Sprint Car and Midget Car series standings, is also among race entrants, having won at Springfield in 1997 and 1999. Gamester won the Springfield race in 1998.

USAC COORS LIGHT SILVER BULLET SERIES STANDINGS
1. Russ Gamester 361
2. Paul White 325
3. Dave Steele 294
4. Jason McCord 263
5. Kasey Kahne 258
6. J.J. Yeley 256
7. Tracy Hines 255
8. Brian Tyler 253
9. Ed Carpenter 236
10. Dave Darland 225

-USAC

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Series USAC
Drivers A.J. Foyt IV , Kasey Kahne , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Jack Hewitt , Brian Tyler , Aaron Fike , Russ Gamester , Paul White , Jason McCord , Robby Flock , Tony Bettenhausen , Ed Carpenter