Midget Championships Resume At Tucson Saturday The fierce battle for 2001 USAC Midget Car championships resumes this Saturday afternoon at Tucson (AZ) Raceway Park as the WorldCom National and Western Series combine for the "Old Pueblo Classic"...
Midget Championships Resume At Tucson Saturday
The fierce battle for 2001 USAC Midget Car championships resumes this Saturday afternoon at Tucson (AZ) Raceway Park as the WorldCom National and Western Series combine for the "Old Pueblo Classic" also featuring the USAC Western Sprint Cars.
A 40-lap Midget Car and 40-lap Sprint Car feature are on tap following complete prelims for each series beginning with practice from 9:15-11:15 am. Qualifying starts at 11:30 am with drivers challenging Alex Harris' 1-lap track record of 14.472 seconds, set in 1999. The 40-lap Midget feature will be USAC's 50th in Tucson since the club began sanctioning events in 1956. Arizona's own Roger McCluskey won the first in 1962 at the old Tucson Motor Speedway.
Harris, of Simi Valley, Calif. is among the title aspirants, trailing Western point leader Danny Ebberts of Canyon Lake, Calif. by only 42 points, with 72 available at Tucson. Third-ranking Western driver Josh Wise of Riverside, Calif. trails Ebberts by 100 points, with 210 available in the remaining races (also Nov. 22 at Irwindale, CA and Nov. 24 at Las Vegas, NV).
The National Midget Car point race remains somewhat clouded as the season nears its conclusion. Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. leads Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. by 130 points, but Darland's participation at Tucson is questionable and Hines is sidelined with leg and ankle injuries sustained in a Nov. 3 non-USAC-sanctioned Sprint accident at Perris, Calif. Darland continues to await evaluation of recent medical tests which will determine his status regarding this weekend's Tucson event.
A.J. Fike of Galesburg, Ill. ranks third in the National Midget Car points but trails Darland by 158 points. A Darland championship would make him only USAC's third "triple crown" titlist, joining Tony Stewart (who won USAC titles in 1994 and 1995) and Pancho Carter (whose USAC titles came in 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1978). Stewart remains the only driver to win the National Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget Car titles in the same season (1995).
J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. and Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. are expected to be among top threats for victory at Tucson Saturday. Yeley, who claimed this year's USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car championship, will drive one of the potent Steve Lewis Beast Midgets, while Coons is slated to drive a Midget for Fred James Motorsports.
USAC WORLDCOM NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Dave Darland 1,020
2. Tracy Hines 890
3. A.J. Fike 872
4. J.J. Yeley 828
5. Jay Drake 742
6. Aaron Fike 696
7. Steve Paden 662
8. Kasey Kahne 555
9. Jerry Coons Jr. 524
10. Ryan Scott 498
USAC WORLDCOM WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Danny Ebberts 1,014
2. Alex Harris 972
3. Josh Wise 914
4. Wally Pankratz 801
5. Thomas Meseraull 713
6. Shane Scully 687
7. Robby Flock 638
8. Matt Streeter 627
9. John Sarale 370
10. Danny Stratton 357