LEFFLER WINS 65TH "TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX" RODELA OVERTAKES FLOCK FOR WESTERN MIDGET TITLE Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif., who admitted having trouble finding a ride for Thursday night's 65th "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at the...
LEFFLER WINS 65TH "TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX"
RODELA OVERTAKES FLOCK FOR WESTERN MIDGET TITLE
Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif., who admitted having trouble finding a ride for Thursday night's 65th "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, sped to victory in the 100-lap race in his own brand-new machine.
Finishing fifth behind Leffler, Jerome Rodela of El Monte, Calif. overcame Robby Flock in the Western Midget series standings to record his first USAC driving championship with an 18-point cushion over Flock, who finished 15th.
Leffler won the pole in his Team ASE/Esslinger K-K/Esslinger but trailed Dave Steele for the first 52 laps around the 1/2-mile paved oval. When Steele's engine soured, Leffler took over and led the rest of the way to beat Aaron Fike, J.J. Yeley, Teddy Beach and Rodela. Josh Wise finished 17th but capped his National Championship season in the process.
Leffler, who also won the first "Turkey Night" race held at Irwindale Speedway in 1999, stated in victory lane: "I had to build my own car. It's great for me to be able to come here tonight and win after putting a last-minute deal like this together. Being from Long Beach, I used to go to Ascot Park (Gardena, Calif.) when I was a kid and this was the biggest race that I went to every year. With the Agajanian name here, it's very special to have my name put on this trophy."
Thursday night's race marked 50 years for the Agajanian Family as race organizers for the storied race and they accepted a special commemorative plaque from USAC President Rollie Helmling prior to the race.
Qualifying races held prior to the feature were won by Darren Hagen and Cole Carter.
<pre> FINAL USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS 1. Josh Wise 1021 2. Jerry Coons, Jr. 849 3. Brad Kuhn 700 4. Ron Gregory 653 5. Teddy Beach 642 6. Tom Hessert III 637 7. Cole Carter 609 8. Darren Hagen 576 9. Jay Drake 491 10. Bobby East 488
FINAL USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS 1. Jerome Rodela 808 2. Robby Flock 790 3. Tyler Brown 663 4. Ryan Kaplan 569 5. Scott Pierovich 496 6. Garrett Hansen 472 7. Stephen Graves 469 8. Brad Galedrige 432 9. Dallen McKenney 428 10. Shannon McQueen 387