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Organization: Prodigy Services Company 1-800-PRODIGY WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY, January 17, 1998 LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL, - Old Yogi Berra said it right years ago when...

Organization: Prodigy Services Company 1-800-PRODIGY

WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY, January 17, 1998 LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL, - Old Yogi Berra said it right years ago when the coined the classic expression about it not being over til it's over. Jason Leffler regretably found that out when he dominated most of the inaugural Silver Crown 50 lap feature at WDW Speedway, right up to the last lap, when he either broke or ran out of fuel as he took the white flag. Stalking Leffler for the second half of the race was a patient Brian Tyler who never led a lap until the most important one.

From a 10th place starting spot Tyler took the victory ahead of another patient journeyman driver from Bloomsburg, PA, John Heydenreich while the innovative Chet Filip brought his butt ugly Advanced Racing Suspensions #777 home in third. Money driver Jack Hewitt gave owner Bob Hampshire a little reward by taking fourth. His twin entry driven by Todd Kane collected the turn two wall about 2/3rds through the feature. 1997 series champion Dave Darland was fifth in the Foxco 56, followed by Davey Hamilton in the Gregg 98, Ryan Newman in the M&L 14, Chuck Leary in the Comet Kart #30, and Kevin Thomas, up from the semi to ninth in the 5D Chevy #27. Other finishers were Jimmy Sills tenth in the Stanton 75, Russ Gamester 11th in the family #51, Jason Leffler limped home 12th in the Goetz #9, Jac Haudenschild saved a complete wipe out for the Riggs Team by taking 13th. His teammate, Chuck Gurney, driving the #3,7 experienced mechanicals and failed to make the feature. Other cars running at the finish were J. J. Yeley in #25 Boles Chevy, Randy Bauer in the #12 Galas Chevy and Eric Gordon in the Shorthorn #48. Millionaire trucking owner and two time Indy 500 driver Bentley Warren coasted across the line at the checker.

Early in the race, Leffler followed the trio of Irwin, Flock and Steele in an intense battle for the lead. Only Leffler was around at the end because of a greedy restart for a Jeff Mitrisin spin. The top three runners collected themselves and slid into the turn one wall. The mele was started when Robby Flock in the Howard #61 locked horns with Kenny Irwin, Jr. and Irwin's Johnny Vance teammate David Steele had nowhere to go. Mike Bliss worked his way up to second at the mid-point but his #11 Snyder Foyt Chevy began to weaken and he pulled into the pits. The race was definitely not to the swift today and once again steady perseverance can win races. Tyler was never the top charger but always in the hunt. The finish is now declared official and Tyler took home $12,500 while Heydenreich in second made $8,000. Fast qualifier was Irwin at 27.529, 130.771 MPH which was exceeded numerous times during the race by Jason Leffler. The semi finish was Haudenschild, Gary Hieber, David Reutimann, Kevin Thomas, Eric Gordon, Randy Bauer, Bill Rose, Brian Hayden, Travis Rilat, and Mike Brooks. Lap leaders were Flock 1-6, Irwin 7-15, Leffler 16-48, and Tyler was credited with laps 49 & 50. by Len in Indy

PRODIGY(R) interactive personal service - Date: 01/18 Time: 9:40 AM

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About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Davey Hamilton , Dave Darland , Jack Hewitt , Brian Tyler , Mike Bliss , David Reutimann , John Heydenreich , Bentley Warren , Russ Gamester , Eric Gordon , Jeff Mitrisin , Travis Rilat , Gary Hieber , Jimmy Sills , Robby Flock , Bill Rose , Jac Haudenschild