Darland, Yeley lead Midgets to "Bob Wente Classic". USAC National Midget Car Series teammates Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. and J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. hold down the ...
Darland, Yeley lead Midgets to "Bob Wente Classic".
USAC National Midget Car Series teammates Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. and J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. hold down the #1 and #2 positions in the current standings going into this Saturday night's "Bob Wente Classic" at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill.
Darland's lead has extended to 121 points after victories at Belleville, Kans. August 3 and Salem, Ind. August 10 and a third consecutive victory would enhance his chances of repeating as USAC's National Midget Car Champion.
The last driver to score three consecutive USAC National Midget Car victories in a single season was Jason Leffler in 1997, although Dave Steele won the last race of 2001 and the first two of 2002. The all-time record for consecutive feature wins in the National Midget Car Series was set by Rich Vogler in 1978 at five.
A 30-lap feature caps the program of events on the 1/2-mile dirt Tri-City oval. Practice gets under way at 6:30 pm, with qualifying scheduled at 7 and racing at 8.
Steve Knepper won USAC's last National Midget Car race at Granite City in 1991 and Jeff Gordon was victorious on the 1/2-mile dirt in 1990. Gordon still holds the 1-lap track record of 22.209 seconds, which he set in 1990. Bob Tattersall won three straight USAC Midget Car features on the Granite City 1/2 in 1967 and 1968 after also winning in 1996, while other USAC Midget Car winners on the 1/2-mile have been Mel Kenyon (1967, 69 & 85), Billy Mehner (1966), Don Meacham (1966), Les Scott (1969), Larry Rice (1970), Jimmy Caruthers (1970), Merle Bettenhausen (1971) and Pancho Carter (1972).
Bob Wente, for whom Saturday night's race is named, also won on the Tri-City 1/2-mile in 1969.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Dave Darland 804
2. J.J. Yeley 683
3. Aaron Fike 676
4. Tracy Hines 542
5. Bobby East 538
6. Steve Paden 474
7. A.J. Fike 445
8. Ron Gregory 433
9. James Chesson 414
10. Dave Steele 366