Tri-City summary, Salem preview

49TH "JAMES/O'CONNOR CLASSIC" SATURDAY AT SALEM; WISE TAKES TRI-CITY SPRINT, 1ST TO RECORD NATIONAL "TRIPLE" Saturday night's 49th Jasper Engines & Transmissions "Joe James/Pat O'Connor Classic" at the Salem (Ind.) Speedway...

49TH "JAMES/O'CONNOR CLASSIC" SATURDAY AT SALEM; WISE TAKES TRI-CITY SPRINT, 1ST TO RECORD NATIONAL "TRIPLE"

Saturday night's 49th Jasper Engines & Transmissions "Joe James/Pat O'Connor Classic" at the Salem (Ind.) Speedway will showcase Tony Stewart Racing teammates Levi Jones and Josh Wise in their continuing battle for the 2006 USAC National Sprint Car Championship.

A 50-lap Sprint car feature and 30-lap Midget feature are on tap at the 1/2-mile paved oval following complete preliminaries. Brian Tyler won last year's "James/O'Connor" Sprint race.

Jones, the defending National Sprint Car Champion, leads Wise, the 2005 National Midget Champion, by 29 points in the latest standings going into Saturday's events. The Salem spectacular dates back to 1953 when Larry Crockett won the inaugural running.

Wise, of Riverside, Calif., became the first USAC driver to complete the "triple" in National competition this year, winning Sunday night's 30-lap Sprint race at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill. He had previously won in both the Silver Crown and National Midget Car Series. Wise trailed Daron Clayton for the first 18 laps, then took the lead when Clayton flipped. He paced the final 12 laps in his Mopar/Bass Pro Shops Maxim/Mopar to beat Mat Neely, fast qualifier Jerry Coons Jr., Bryan Clauson and Darren Hagen. Jones finished sixth.

Former "James/O'Connor" Sprint winners Dave Steele (1997 & 2004), Eric Gordon (2000), Dave Darland (1999) and Jay Drake (1998) are already among entered drivers Saturday.

-credit: usac

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Dave Darland , Dave Steele , Jay Drake , Eric Gordon , Levi Jones , Josh Wise , Bryan Clauson , Darren Hagen , Daron Clayton , Jerry Coons Jr.