Lewis (Michael) wins 62nd "Turkey Night Grand Prix" Tony Stewart hits it big in Las Vegas. Darland, Flock emerge with midget car titles. Michael Lewis of Noblesville, Ind. and Tony Stewart of Rushville, Ind. captured USAC National/Western Midget...
Lewis (Michael) wins 62nd "Turkey Night Grand Prix"
Tony Stewart hits it big in Las Vegas.
Darland, Flock emerge with midget car titles.
Michael Lewis of Noblesville, Ind. and Tony Stewart of Rushville, Ind. captured USAC National/Western Midget Car finales Thursday and Saturday nights respectively at Irwindale, Calif. and Las Vegas, Nev., but USAC season driving championships went to Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. and Robby Flock of Murrieta, Calif.
Lewis captured the 62nd Lucas Oil "Turkey Night Grand Prix" Thursday, leading 83 of the 100 laps at Irwindale Speedway in his A.J. Foyt/Electronic Chrome Pink Ford/Beast. He passed Kasey Kahne on lap 18 and led the rest of the way to beat Kahne, defending race champion Dave Steele, Bobby East and J.J. Yeley.
NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart, who won the 40-lap USAC Western Sprint Car race which preceded the 100-lap Midget feature, escaped serious injury along with Aaron Fike in a two-car accident during the race. An apparent stuck throttle in Fike's car led to the tangle which sent both cars hard into the fourth-turn wall. Both Fike and Stewart were dazed but did not require hospitalization.
Stewart passed Dave Darland on the 20th lap of Saturday's 40-lap Midget Car race at the Las Vegas "Bullring" and led the rest of the way in his Ford/ASE/Performance Racing Industry Pink Ford/Beast. Teammate Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind., who finished second in the Midget race, clinched his second consecutive USAC National Midget Car Championship in the process. J.J. Yeley, Ron Gregory and Bobby East rounded out the "top-five" at the checkered flag as Steve Lewis-owned cars finished 1-2-3-5!
Robby Flock overcame a 10-point deficit to Danny Stratton with his sixth-place finish in the Las Vegas race to beat Stratton for the Western Midget Car title, his fourth. Stratton was unable to secure a feature start in the series finale. Dave Steele and Ryan Scott were the respective fast qualifiers in the two Midget Car season finales.
"This is a pretty neat race to win," said Lewis, referring to the Turkey Night race. "I could hear Kasey the last 10 laps so I knew he was close but we were working better on the bottom of the track so I was pretty confident we could hold him off." Lewis missed four and a half months of the season due to two injuries, a concussion and a broken collarbone, but admitted: "I knew I had a good car tonight."
Jerome Rodela, who finished eighth in the 100-lap Midget race, earned the Don Basile "Rookie of the Race" award, which included a $500 cash bonus.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES FINAL STANDINGS
1. Dave Darland 1347
2. J.J. Yeley 1277
3. Aaron Fike 1191
4. Bobby East 1078
5. Tracy Hines 1047
6. A.J. Fike 918
7. Ron Gregory 767
8. Teddy Beach 712
9. Dave Steele 670
10. Steve Paden 664
USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES FINAL STANDINGS
1. Robby Flock 931
2. Danny Stratton 896
3. Jerome Rodela 835
4. Wally Pankratz 781
5. Van Knill 551
6. Josh Wise 542
7. Shane Scully 538
8. Dallen McKenney 470
9. Bobby Boone 466
10. Matt Rossi 394