Weekend Race Stories 98-05-11 (All Series)

SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES "COCA-COLA 100" SATURDAY NIGHT AT I.R.P. Round three of the 1998 USAC Silver Crown Championship Series unfolds in this Saturday night's "Coca-Cola 100" at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Pat Abold of Pennellville,...


Round three of the 1998 USAC Silver Crown Championship Series unfolds in this Saturday night's "Coca-Cola 100" at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Pat Abold of Pennellville, N.Y. is the defending champion and one of over 50 expected entrants for the 100-lap contest on the newly-paved and contoured .686-mile oval. Recent testing there has proven the new surface to be plenty racey and fast and Jim Keeker's 1-lap track qualifying mark of 119.143 mph, set in 1995, may be in jeopardy.

Keeker, recovering from injuries suffered at Phoenix, Ariz. in February, will not participate in Saturday night's "Coca-Cola 100" but many of the nation's top open-wheel pilots will.

Practice starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by qualifying at 6:30 and a 15-lap "last chance" race at 8.

Brian Tyler, winner of the January opener at Walt Disney World Speedway is the series point leader by 12 over Jack Hewitt and 24 over Davey Hamilton. All three are trying to secure a spot in this year's Indianapolis 500. Tony Stewart, among favorites for this year's "500," ranks ninth in the standings and won the "Copper World Classic" at Phoenix, Ariz., the second round of the 1998 series. He is also among entrants for Saturday night's race.

SILVER CROWN POINT STANDINGS: 1- Brian Tyler-117; 2-Jack Hewitt-105; 3-Davey Hamilton-93; 4-Chet Fillip-85; 5-Jason Leffler-83; 6-Ryan Newman-78; 7-Dave Darland-77; 8-J.J. Yeley-70; 9-Tony Stewart-60; 10-John Heydenreich-57.


Defending Stoops Freightliner/USAC Sprint Car Champion Brian Tyler of Parma, Mich. hopes to extend his lead in the 1998 series standings this Friday night when the series returns to the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway for the "Emge 50." The 1/4-mile paved oval hosted USAC's 1,000th Sprint car race last year, Donnie Adams the feature winner.

The "Emge 50" is one of only two 50-lap contests for the "Thunder & Lightning" division in 1998 and could be pivotal in the early dash for series points toward the year-end championship.

Tyler leads 1997 series True Value "Rookie of the Year" J.J. Yeley by only 14 points, with 87 available at Anderson. Kevin Thomas, last year's series runner-up, is third, only 16 back of the leader. Yeley did not run at Anderson last year, while Thomas finished second and Tyler third.

Practice is set for 6 p.m., with qualifying at 7 and racing at 8. A complete program of preliminary races precedes the 50-lap finale.

STOOPS FREIGHTLINER SERIES POINTS: 1-Brian Tyler-375; 2-J.J. Yeley-361; 3-Kevin Thomas-359; 4-Tim Cox-344; 5-Tony Elliott-336; 6-Dave Steele-333; 7-Jason McCord-302; 8-Brad Armstrong-301; 9-Chet Fillip-281; 10-Derek Davidson-269.

---------------------------------------------- FORMULA 2000 SERIES HOMESTEAD ROAD COURSE HOSTS SATURDAY & SUNDAY RACES

Australian David Besnard and his Haase Racing Karts Van Diemen Quicksilver are in the spotlight as the United States Formula 2000 National Championship moves this weekend to the Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex for a pair of races on the challenging 2.21-mile Homestead, Florida road course.

Besnard is undefeated so far in 1998, winning both at Orlando, Fla. January 24 and Phoenix, Ariz. March 22, but both wins came on ovals. Homestead marks the USAC/SCCA series' first 1998 outing on the road courses.

Besnard leads Robby McGehee of St. Louis, Mo. by only nine points because McGehee has finished second in both previous races this season in his Energizer Van Diemen Quicksilver.

Three other drivers have also posted "top-10" finishes in both previous 1998 races. They include 1997 series "Rookie of the Year" Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y. (3rd & 5th), Jonathan Bottoms of Buffalo, N.Y. (6th and 3rd) and Jeff Shafer of Indianapolis, Ind. (7th and 9th).

A 22-lap feature is planned both Saturday and Sunday. Practice actually begins on Friday, with Saturday's feature getting the green flag at 4 p.m. and Sunday's feature starting at 9:15 a.m.

FORMULA 2000 POINT STANDINGS: 1-David Besnard-64; 2-Robby McGehee-55; 3-Andy Lally-45; 4-Jonathan Bottoms-44; 5-Ryan Hampton-37; 6-Jon Herb & Jeff Shafer-36; 8-Rolando Quintanilla-31; 9-Tom Wood-30; 10-Sam Hornish, Jr.-22.


Defending USAC National Midget Champion Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif., Critter Malone of Plainfield, Ind. and Jupiter Pluvius from somewhere up above all scored victories in USAC Midget racing events last weekend.

Pluvius (rain) intervened at the Indianapolis Speedrome for the second consecutive Thursday night, again postponing the 1998 Speedrome Midget Series opener to this Thursday night, May 14. A 50-lap feature is planned.

Leffler, driving the Steve Lewis/Ford/Beast/ASE/Wynn's/PRI Ed Pink Ford, led all 30 laps of Saturday night's National points race at the 7/16-mile paved Louisville (Ky.) Motor Speedway. Ronnie Johncox, Tracy Hines, Jimmy McCune and Jerry Coons, Jr. trailed at the checkered flag. Hines emerged from the race with a five-point lead over fast qualifier Ricky Shelton (who was eighth in the 30-lapper). The next National Midget race is the May 23 Budweiser 53rd "Night Before the 500" Classic at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Malone trailed Ron Smoker for the first eight laps at 16th Street's 1/4-mile dirt track, then led the last 22 laps to beat Roy Caruthers, Steve Knepper, Jeff Hampton and Andy Pierce. Fast qualifier Johnny Parsons III was one of six drivers who flipped during the program but they all escaped injury. Malone drove the Red Top Equipment Rentals Chevy to the victory, vaulting to the top of the 16th Street Series points as a result. The series resumes May 21.

NATIONAL MIDGET STANDINGS: 1-Tracy Hines-128; 2-Ricky Shelton-123; 3-Jay Drake-115; 4-Jimmy McCune-110; 5-Jason Leffler-108; 6-Ronnie Johncox-84; 7-Ted Hines-70; 8-Chris Shultz-66; 9-Kevin Thomas-62; 10-Sarah McCune-57. 16TH STREET REGIONAL STANDINGS: 1-Critter Malone-49; 2-Jeff Hampton-40; 3-Roy Caruthers-37; 4-Andy Pierce-37; 5-Donnie Beechler-32; 6-Steve Knepper-31; 7-Andy Michner-29; 8-Tracy Hines-27; 9-Jay Drake-25; 10-Jerry Coons, Jr.-23. ---------------------------------------------- WESTERN STATES SERIES TRIPP NOTCHES #101 IN CARSON CITY 30-LAPPER; TUCSON NEXT FACCINTO WINS AT HANFORD, REBELS HEAD FOR BAKERSFIELD SATURDAY

It took nearly two years for Sleepy Tripp to find his 100th victory lane in the USAC "Western States" Midget Series but only one week to find #101!

The Costa Mesa, Calif. veteran who won on the Ventura Raceway dirt last week came back Saturday night to claim the 30-lap feature on the 1/4-mile paved Silver State Raceway in Carson City, Nev. He was running second when Marc DeBeaumont's engine expired on the 25th lap, allowing Tripp to lead the final six laps in his Stealth Gaerte. Wally Pankratz finished second, ahead of Shane Scully, fast qualifier Rick Hendrix and Clay Klepper.

The "Western States" Midgets are now idle until May 30 when they visit Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park.

Monte Faccinto of Hanford, Calif. scored a hometown victory in Saturday night's 30-lap USAC Regional Rebel Sprint Car feature at the Kings Speedway. The win extended his lead in the new USAC series, which continues with another 30-lapper this Saturday night at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway.

Fast qualifier Faccinto led all 30 laps to beat Lawrence Edlund, Tim Worth, 1997 "Western States" Sprint Car "Rookie of the Year" Davey Pombo and H.P. Myatt.

WESTERN STATES MIDGET STANDINGS: 1-Rick Hendrix-182; 2-Clay Klepper-161; 3-Wally Pankratz-160; 4-Bryan Stanfill-147; 5-Shane Scully-136; 6-Bobby Boone-121; 7-Nick Mitchell-110; 8-Sleepy Tripp-95; 9-Jason Leffler-92; 10-Steve Paden-90. REGIONAL REBEL SPRINT STANDINGS: 1-Monte Faccinto-168; 2-Lawrence Edlund-154; 3-Davey Pombo-154; 4-Crag Stidham-154; 5-Shane Travioli-149; 6-Tyler Haylett-99; 7-Jonathan Allard-98; 8-Jeff Gardner-92; 9-Garrett Ishii-89; 10-Rick Williams-88.

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Robby McGehee , Jon Herb , Davey Hamilton , Donnie Beechler , Rolando Quintanilla , Andy Lally , David Besnard , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Dave Steele , Jack Hewitt , Brian Tyler , Tony Elliott , Ronnie Johncox , Ryan Hampton , Tom Wood , Jay Drake , John Heydenreich , Chet Fillip , Jimmy McCune , Johnny Parsons , Brad Armstrong , Jason McCord , Steve Paden , Jerry Coons , Wally Pankratz , Jonathan Allard , Chris Shultz , Sarah McCune , Clay Klepper , Steve Knepper , Rick Williams , Bryan Stanfill , Rick Hendrix , Sam Hornis , Jeff Shafer , Ricky Shelton
Teams Williams