"Ford Twin 25's" for USAC Midgets scheduled for Irwindale Speedway - April 26, 2003. Event pays fantastic $50,000.00 bonus to double winner. Irwindale, Calif. - What became the world's richest-ever USAC Midget Race, last September's Ford Twin...
"Ford Twin 25's" for USAC Midgets scheduled for Irwindale Speedway - April
Event pays fantastic $50,000.00 bonus to double winner.
Irwindale, Calif. - What became the world's richest-ever USAC Midget Race, last September's Ford Twin 25's at Indianapolis Raceway Park, will be duplicated as a West Coast version, when Premier Racing Entertainment (PRE) of Laguna Beach, California presents a mirror-image of the spectacular open-wheel happening at Irwindale Speedway on Saturday night, April 26, 2003.
The Ford Twin 25's at Irwindale Speedway will be a pair of twenty-five lap races for USAC Midgets and each will carry a standard event purse and full USAC race points. The "helmet trick" will be to win both events and cash in on the promoter's posting of a nice fat $50,000.00 for the feat.
Dave Steele, Irwindale's first-ever USAC midget winner (opening night March 27, 1999) did the "double" at the Twin 25's first iteration in September at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Winning the first race and then starting at the back of the second race, Steele sliced through the pack finishing first and in the process picking up the biggest bucks ever offered for a Midget race anywhere on the planet.
"Everyone who was in the capacity crowd at IRP on the night before the Formula One races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will never forget the excitement and action that they were treated to at the first-ever Twin 25's," said PRE's Steve Lewis. "We think that our event at Irwindale will duplicate those experiences and then some, Irwindale is a beautiful environment, very fan-friendly, and very easy for anyone in the southern California area to get to. Midget racing began here, and this team, Ford Motor Company, PRE, and the Speedway, are giving it the promotion that it really deserves."
The race will be shot live-to-tape and shown on the Speed Channel only a day or later for the rest of the country (and the West Coasters who couldn't get a ticket) to see.
Recent "graduates" from the ranks of USAC Midget racing underline the intense interest that everyone from knowledgeable racing fans to racing division directors at every major motor company have shown in them. Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Jason Leffler, and Jeff Gordon - to highlight but just a few - all learned the trade in midget racing.
Strong motors, light cars, and close packs of seriously motivated competitors in darting open-wheel racing cars builds one's racecraft "muscles" very quickly. These cars weigh almost nothing (900 pounds), have 370 horsepower under the driver's right boot, and sit on four fat rubber tires, have but one gear forward and no reverse, and are built solely for speed and nimbleness. West coast champion driver Wally Pankratz says, "Take it from me, there's nothing that's as much fun to race on an oval as a Midget," and he's driven them all from Sprint Cars to Super Modifieds. At Irwindale Midgets run some of the fastest laps of any of the machines raced there (16.8 seconds at 106.6 MPH), and oftimes run not three, but FOUR wide through the Speedway's wide, progressively-banked turns.
"The money is certainly the big attraction," said Pankratz. "And it adds a great deal of credibility to the package, but I think that this race will become a very important one to show well in -- One that will showcase the kind of driving talent that top-flight Midget racing reveals. This is wonderful news for fans and racers alike, Ford, PRE, Irwindale, and USAC are to be congratulated for putting this show together, I know that the results will be well worth the effort." 56 "This event was intentionally scheduled for the night before the NASCAR Winston Cup race at California Speedway which is only about 30 miles down the road from us. And we would expect a lot of 'interest' from that direction," added Irwindale General Manager Bob DeFazio. "With a number of former open wheel (Midgets, Sprints, and Silver Crown Cars) drivers finishing the 2002 season in the top 10 in the Trucks, Busch, and Winston Cup, there's bound to be a lot of team talent 'scouts' in our seats here on April 26."
This particular race has been announced as a "reserved seat" event at Irwindale Speedway with details to be announced with the release of the full event schedule in late December, early January. Reservations for this event will be taken and held in the order in which they are received for processing when tickets become available.
Irwindale Speedway, know as "LA's Half-Mile Super Speedway" is the home to many outstanding special events including the last three years of the annual USAC Thanksgiving Night Grand Prix (aka: "Turkey Night"). Jason Leffler won the inaugural year event, Winston Cup Champ Tony Stewart won in 2000, and Indy Twin 25's winner, Dave Steele won it last year. This year's event will run on Thursday, November 28, and all three of the above are entered to race.