OCTOBER 19, 1998 SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES YELEY WINS GATEWAY FINALE; LEFFLER TAKES SILVER CROWN TITLE J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. captured Saturday's "Shop 'N Save 100" USAC Silver Crown Championship Series finale at Gateway...
OCTOBER 19, 1998
SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES YELEY WINS GATEWAY FINALE; LEFFLER TAKES SILVER CROWN TITLE
J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. captured Saturday's "Shop 'N Save 100" USAC Silver Crown Championship Series finale at Gateway International Raceway before a crowd of more than 30,000 enthusiastic spectators. He passed Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. on the final lap for the $17,500 win in his Brian & Gary's Cars for Less Special, averaging 105.645 mph.
Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. shared the victory podium with Yeley after clinching his first USAC Silver Crown driving title by a 16-point margin over Brian Tyler of Parma, Mich., who finished 16th in the 100-mile race. Leffler, last year's USAC National Midget Champion, said: "It hasn't sunk in yet. We only planned to run a couple of races this year and here we are with the title. I'm still focused on repeating as the Midget champ too (he leads the current points).
"I thought I had no chance to win today from 17th starting spot," admitted Yeley in victory lane. "This track requires a lot of horsepower and I had to use the draft several times. The chassis was perfect but it was a lucky move on the last lap which paid off and I was able to get by Hines with a "Manzanita Slide Job."
Tyler entered the race with a 14-point lead on Leffler but pitted on lap 25 with braking problems. He rejoined the race but was unable to make up the lost ground and settled for second in the final standings. Ryan Newman of South Bend, Ind. finished third in the race and in the final points.
Only four caution periods interrupted the 100-mile event and there were no driver injuries in any of the incidents.
Pole starter Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. led much of the race before a broken fuel injector sent him to the sidelines after 67 laps.
Brad Armstrong of New Palestine, Ind. earned the Turbines, Inc. "Rookie of the Race" award for finishing seventh.
Final Silver Crown Point Standings: 1-Jason Leffler-553; 2-Brian Tyler-537; 3-Ryan Newman-526; 4-Jimmy Sills-457; 5-Dave Darland-447; 6-J.J. Yeley-436; 7-Jack Hewitt-404; 8-Russ Gamester-368; 9-Robby Flock-340; 10-Tracy Hines-335.