''Thunder in the Dome XVI'' Heat Starting Positions

2000 "THUNDER IN THE DOME XVI" MIDGET HEAT RACE STARTING POSITIONS March 11, 2000 Drivers from Indiana, Illinois and Ohio occupy pole starting positions for the "Thunder in the Dome XVI" USAC invitational Midget race at the RCA Dome in...

2000 "THUNDER IN THE DOME XVI" MIDGET HEAT RACE STARTING POSITIONS March 11, 2000

Drivers from Indiana, Illinois and Ohio occupy pole starting positions for the "Thunder in the Dome XVI" USAC invitational Midget race at the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. March 11. The six lucky drivers were selected in a random drawing held today at USAC headquarters in Speedway, Ind. Defending race winner Kevin Besecker of Dayton, Ohio and 7-time USAC National Midget Car Champion Mel Kenyon of Lebanon, Ind. were among the select six, along with Indiana drivers Rick Treadway and Justin Marvel, plus Aaron Fike of Galesburg, Ill. and Wayne Chinn of Tipp City, Ohio. Forty-eight drivers are scheduled to participate in the event, which includes team heats and 40-lap team features preceding the 100-lap finale on the Dome's 1/6-mile concrete oval surface. Nearly $30,000 in prize money has been posted for the race, in which Team USA will try to capture its fourth consecutive team title. Since the 1985 inaugural, Team Indiana has won 11 times and Team USA four. Indy Racing League point leader Robbie Buhl, who won the series opener at Orlando, Fla. In January, is scheduled to start sixth in the third Team USA heat race in his RCA Dome debut, while IRL driver Jimmy Kite will start right behind him! This year's RCA Dome event is certainly a family outing. Brothers Tracy and Ted Hines are positioned in Team Indiana heat #1, while father-son combo Mel and Brice Kenyon are both in Team Indiana heat #2. Brothers A.J. and Aaron Fike are positioned in Team USA heats #1 and 2, while cousins Sarah and Jimmy McCune are both in Team USA heat #3. Three of USAC's 1999 driving champions are in the field, with Coors Light Silver Bullet titlist Ryan Newman, Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car king Dave Darland and Indianapolis Speedrome Midget Car Champ Michael Lang all part of Team Indiana. Eight former RCA Dome winners are in the field, including Team Indiana members Roy Caruthers, Russ Gamester, Michael Lang and Ted Hines, plus Team USA drivers Kevin Besecker, Mike Streicher, Jim Hettinger and Stevie Reeves. One of nine RCA Dome "rookies" will be NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Terry Cook, who will start last in Team USA heat race #1. Gates to the RCA Dome open at 5 pm and racing starts at 6. Tickets for the "Thunder in the Dome XVI" are available at the RCA Dome box office and $3 discount coupons are available at Kroger and Speedway Auto Parts stores.

TEAM INDIANA HEAT #1

RICK TREADWAY JON HERB TRACY HINES BRIAN GERSTER TED HINES DAVE DARLAND ERIC GORDON RYAN NEWMAN

TEAM INDIANA HEAT #2

MEL KENYON TONY AVE TBA ROBBIE RICE RUSS GAMESTER MICHAEL LANG CRITTER MALONE BRICE KENYON

TEAM INDIANA HEAT #3

JUSTIN MARVEL MIKE MANN DAN DRINAN JOHNNY PARSONS SONDI EDEN ROY CARUTHERS MICHAEL LEWIS TONY ELLIOTT

TEAM USA HEAT #1

KEVIN BESECKER JOHN HEYDENREICH KEVIN OLSON MATT WESTFALL DANNY PENS A.J. FIKE JIM HETTINGER TERRY COOK

TEAM USA HEAT #2

AARON FIKE STEVIE REEVES JACK HEWITT JERRY NEMIRE STEVE THINNES J.D. TURNER GENE LEE GIBSON DONNIE LEHMANN

TEAM USA HEAT #3

WAYNE CHINN SARAH McCUNE MIKE STREICHER DAN BOORSE JIMMY McCUNE ROBBIE BUHL STEVE KNEPPER JIMMY KITE

NOTES:

Team #1 Drew the pole for the Team Indiana Feature and Team #3 Drew the pole for the Team USA Feature.

You will notice that one Team Indiana invitee has yet to be named, which will be inserted in the third starting spot in the second heat race.

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Series USAC
Drivers Ryan Newman , Robbie Buhl , Terry Cook , Rick Treadway , Dave Darland , Aaron Fike , Jimmy McCune , Russ Gamester , Stevie Reeves