WM: Manzanita preview

COONS, RODELA LEAD MIDGETS TO PHOENIX FOR FRIDAY & SATURDAY'S "THE COPPER ON DIRT" USAC National and Western Midget Car Champions Jerry Coons Jr. and Jerome Rodela respectively are set to attack Manzanita Speedway's oval this weekend in the ...

COONS, RODELA LEAD MIDGETS TO PHOENIX FOR FRIDAY & SATURDAY'S "THE COPPER ON DIRT"

USAC National and Western Midget Car Champions Jerry Coons Jr. and Jerome Rodela respectively are set to attack Manzanita Speedway's oval this weekend in the Phoenix, Ariz. inaugural "The Copper on Dirt" USAC program, saluting the memory of Roger McCluskey and Gene Brown and presented by Sands Chevrolet.

A 30-lap Midget feature is planned on Saturday, along with a 40-lap USAC/CRA Sprint race and a 50-lap USAC Silver Crown Championship race. Prelims are Friday, including heat races. Saturday's program includes semi-features and main events for all three series.

Saturday's Midget race will be the first for USAC on the Manzanita 1/2-mile oval since Jason Leffler won there in 1998. The event has drawn a stellar field of Midget entries, including drivers from 10 states, including Arizona's Coons. Nathan High of Goodyear, Ariz., who polished off a USAC Western Midget field last year at Tucson, is also among entries.

Returning for this weekend's Midget action will be former USAC National Midget Champ Bobby East, along with noted female standout Stephanie Mockler, Western Rookie of the Year Chase Barber, Turkey Night Grand Prix Champ Billy Wease, former USAC Western Sprint Car Champ Kody Swanson, Indiana Sprint Week titlist Jon Stanbrough, Feb. 3 USAC/CRA feature winner Darren Hagen, USAC stars Dave Darland, Levi Jones and Tracy Hines and Chuck Gurney Jr., son of the legendary USAC Champion from Livermore, Calif.

Saturday's race continues a great tradition of USAC racing at Manzanita, begun in 1956 when Johnnie Tolan won a 100-lap Midget race there. Some of the greatest Midget drivers of all time have competed and won on the Manzanita clay but this marks only the third USAC Midget race there since a Stan Fox victory in 1981.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Dave Darland , Tracy Hines , Bobby East , Levi Jones , Jon Stanbrough , Billy Wease , Darren Hagen , Chuck Gurney Jr. , Jerry Coons Jr.