Tradition of USAC returns to Milwaukee Mile

(West Allis, WI) July 20, 2004 -- The 172nd and 173rd United States Auto Club-sanctioned auto racing events will be held at The Milwaukee Mile this Saturday, July 24. The storied history of USAC auto races at The 'Mile dates back to the first ...

(West Allis, WI) July 20, 2004 -- The 172nd and 173rd United States Auto Club-sanctioned auto racing events will be held at The Milwaukee Mile this Saturday, July 24. The storied history of USAC auto races at The 'Mile dates back to the first 100-mile USAC Indy Car race held at the speedway won by Pat Flaherty on June 10, 1956, days after winning the Indianapolis 500.

Versatile drivers Parnelli Jones and Rodger Ward each scored USAC victories in the 1960's driving in USAC's Midget, Stock Car and Indy Car divisions. Ward, who recently passed away at age 83, won three USAC-sanctioned races in the same week in August of 1959 at The 'Mile, winning a 150-mile Stock Car race on the 23rd of August, a 100-mile Midget race on the 29th and the 200-mile Indy Car race the following afternoon.

A virtual "who's who" of auto racing legends competed at The Milwaukee Mile in USAC competition, from A.J. Foyt, who has four Indy Car and six Stock Car triumphs at The 'Mile as a driver, to Parnelli Jones' improbable seven-straight Stock Car wins during the 1963 and 1964 seasons, to Keokuk, Iowa's Don White, winner of 14 USAC Stock Car races at The 'Mile from 1962 to 1975, who beat the likes of the Unser brothers, Norm Nelson, Butch Hartman, Mario Andretti and other driving stars to become the track's winningest driver.

History comes alive this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, with the USAC pit area overflowing with race drivers with aspirations of achieving the top levels of motorsports. Phoenix, Arizona's J.J. Yeley, currently racing in the NASCAR Busch Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, is entered in both USAC Midget and Silver Crown divisions this weekend. Yeley captured the USAC Triple Crown last year, which was accomplishing the near impossible championship-winning effort in all three USAC National divisions in a single season, a feat only Yeley's NASCAR teammate Tony Stewart achieved in 1995.

Yeley returns to his open-wheel roots against some extremely tough competition. Young Bobby East of Indiana has been one of the hottest open wheel drivers in recent weeks, winning on dirt and asphalt, and is the first driver this season to win a race in each of the USAC Midget, Sprint Car and Silver Crown divisions. East joins Yeley and seven other drivers attempting double-duty status, in competing in both USAC series races this Saturday.

Over 30 cars are expected in each division, with drivers entered from 15 different states and Ontario, Canada.

Practice and qualifying sessions take place Friday to set the field for the "Milwaukee Mile 25" USAC National Midget Car Series race, scheduled for a 2:15pm start this Saturday, July 24.

The current one-lap Milwaukee Mile USAC Midget record was set on July 31, 1993 by the late Stan Fox of Janesville, WI at 30.668 seconds, at an average speed of 117.386 mph. That was the last time USAC divisions raced on America's Legendary Oval.

One of the favorites to give Yeley a challenge for supremacy is Tampa, Florida's Dave Steele. Steele has won virtually every major pavement Midget race in the country, and leads the USAC Silver Crown standings after his weekend sweep of USAC Sprint Car and Silver Crown divisions on the one-mile oval in Colorado Springs, CO on July 4.

Indiana's Eric Gordon holding down both the single-lap and 100-lap track records at The 'Mile, set in 1993 and 1990 events, respectively. Gordon will attempt to lower his record runs driving for the potent Hoffman Racing-prepared Silver Crown car. The one-mile lap record he established in '93 was at a time of 29.378 seconds, at 122.541mph.

The "Milwaukee Mile 100" USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown main event is slated for a 3:45pm start on Saturday afternoon.

This Saturday is also "Husar's House of Fine Diamonds Pole Day" at The Milwaukee Mile for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series teams. The first 10,000 fans aged 18 or older will receive a cubic zirconium (CZ) gemstone. One specially-marked CZ will entitle the bearer to a one-carat, oval-shaped diamond, which Husar's House of Fine Diamonds will mount into a pendant. The diamond and setting are valued at approximately $14,000. All race fans who receive a stone have until Friday, August 27, 2004 to stop in to Husar's House of Fine Diamonds to find out if they're holding that one, special CZ that will "transform" into 'America's Legendary Oval' diamond.

On-track activity kicks off Saturday with USAC divisions practicing from 8:30am until 10:00am. Practice and qualifying sessions are also planned Saturday for the IRL's lead development series, the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series, in preparation for their "Milwaukee 100" race to be run Sunday at 11:45am. The inaugural running of the IRL IndyCar Series in the "Menards A.J. Foyt Indy 225" race is scheduled to start shortly after 2:30pm.

Sunday ticket deals include bleacher seating starting at $20, with buy one, get one free in Level 100 of the track's one year-new center grandstand. For tickets to all three exciting days of open wheel action at The Milwaukee Mile this weekend, call the speedway's ticket office at (414) 453-8277, call toll-free (800) 955-5566, or purchase tickets on-line at www.milwaukeemile.com.

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Mario Andretti , Parnelli Jones , Pat Flaherty , J.J. Yeley , Dave Steele , Bobby East , Eric Gordon , Rodger Ward , A.J. Foyt
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing