TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (July 24, 2004)
J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. capped off a spectacular day at the races Saturday with a dominating win in the "Jan Opperman Classic," the final leg of Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track. Levi Jones emerged as the six-race series champion by a slim two points over Dickie Gaines.
Yeley, also victorious in the USAC National Midget Car Series 30-lap feature earlier in the day at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisc., leaped from eighth to first on the opening lap to lead all 30 laps at the half-mile, his second straight victory in the classic and sixth at Terre Haute.
"We're here to win this race, and running second wasn't going to do us any good, so it was either put it in the fence or drive in it, and the car really stuck," said Yeley, who won the series opener July 15 at Twin Cities Raceway Park in North Vernon, Ind. "I was so surprised that I came off of turn two and almost leading the race."
It didn't take long for Yeley, piloting the No. 75 Stanton Racing/Deford Chrysler/F-5 Mopar, to move to the front. Starting eighth, he passed Dave Darland on the backstretch for second and roped around Justin Marvel on the outside of turn three for the advantage.
From there, he continued to pull away. He led by a straightaway after 10 circuits and was ahead of second by more than a straightaway at the halfway point. The field closed on him once -- when Bud Kaeding's car stalled in turn one after blowing a right rear tire.
During Yeley's dominating win -- his 28th career series victory to tie him with A.J. Foyt and Don Branson for ninth -- Jones and Gaines battled their ways through the field in search of their first USAC Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" titles. Jones, who started sixth after claiming the fast qualifying award, moved up from sixth and advanced two spots for a fourth-place finish.
Gaines, who had three second-place finishes in six races, managed to move from 17th to 10th after 30 laps but in the end was one spot from winning his first title.
Yeley finished ahead of Jon Stanbrough, Cory Kruseman, Jones and Dave Darland.
For Yeley, it was another open-wheel performance to be proud of. He also ran the Weld Racing Silver Crown Series "Milwaukee Mile 100" at the one-mile facilities.
"It's pretty cool," said Yeley, one of very few drivers to win two national races in one day at two different tracks. "This made the trip worthwhile to come down and run. I love coming here."
Jones, still fighting for a "top five" finish in the season points, said he's looking forward to running for the 2B Racing stable the rest of the year after climbing in the machine just within the last three weeks.
"Our goal was to win every race, and though we didn't do that, we won the war," Jones said. "My crew and I are really clicking right now, and we just want to keep building on that, and just win a bunch of races together."
Jones lapped the track at 21.477 seconds during his qualifying run. Brian Tyler won the six-lap qualifying race, while eight-lap heats went to Kaeding, Jim Moughan, Shane Hollingsworth and Shane Cottle. Jones triumphed in the 12-lap semifeature.
The sprints continue action with the "Mopar Thunder" Aug. 7 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
USAC Valvoline National Sprint Car Series Results from Terre Haute
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (July 24, 2004)
USAC VALVOLINE NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: July 24, 2004 -- Terre Haute, Indiana -- Terre Haute Action Track -- 17th Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" -- "Jan Opperman Classic"
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Levi Jones, 2B, 2B Racing-21.477; 2. Charles Davis Jr., 8A, Smiley-21.750; 3. Cory Kruseman, 21, Stewart-21.929; 4. Matt Westfall, 54, Westfall-22.072; 5. Dave Darland, 2, Reid-22.112; 6. Justin Marvel, 47, MPHG-22.115; 7. Rickie Gaunt, 2A, Smiley-22.144; 8. Jon Stanbrough, 69, Dynamics-22.237; 9. John Scott, 83, Scott-22.243; 10. J.J. Yeley, 75, Stanton-22.282; 11. Tony Elliott, 11, Walker-22.355; 12. Mat Neely, 17, Neely-22.380; 13. Troy Cline, 62, BWB-22.411; 14. Brad Kuhn, 25, Christman-22.423; 15. Jay Drake, 20, Stewart-22.426; 16. Terry Pletch, 29p, Pletch-22.454; 17. Josh Ford, 73, Ford-22.557; 18. Rick Ziehl, 14, Lancaster-22.631; 19. Kent Christian, 10T, R&B-22.687; 20. Marc Jessup, 14J, Jessup-22.704; 21. Danny Williams Jr., 57w, Robinson-22.728; 22. Tom Hessert, 5H, Hessert-22.729; 23. Dickie Gaines, 70, Gaines-22.814; 24. Darren Hagen, 11m, McMinn-22.822; 25. Bud Kaeding, 29, BK-22.849; 26. Brandon Petty, 39, Walker-23.011; 27. Kyle Wissmiller, 2k, Wissmiller-23.064; 28. Scotty Weir, 22w, Weir-23.075; 29. Chuck Buckman Jr., 4M, Miller-23.104; 30. Jim Moughan, 59, Moughan-23.132; 31. Shane Hollingsworth, 85, Baldwin-23.136; 32. Shane Cottle, 10E, Edison-23.289; 33. Casey Shuman, 57, Hazen-23.296; 34. Kevin Newton, 77, Law-23.301; 35. Brandon Lane, 97H, Lane-23.315; 36. Brian Tyler, 6, Kruse-23.363; 37. Davey Ray, 21x, Roberts-23.466; 38. Shawn Krockenberger, 21k, Krockenberger-23.533; 39. Brian Gerster, 42G, Jackson-23.543; 40. Chris Kopczynski, 23x, Kopczynski-23.595; 41. A.J. Anderson, 34, Anderson-23.602; 42. Jimmy Laser, 8L, Laser-23.652; 43. Chris Urish, 77u, Urish-23.732; 44. Jerry Ruble, 17R, Ruble-23.881; 45. Mark Hall, 2L, Hall-24.036; 46. Rick Hayden, 17E, Eubank-24.510; 47. Josh Wise, 67, Kunz-NT.
QUALIFYING RACE: (6 laps) 1. Tyler, 2. Shuman, 3. Ray, 4. Newton, 5. Lane, 6. Urish, 7. Gerster, 8. Ruble, 9. Krockenberger, 10. Laser, 11. Kopczynski, 12. Hayden, 13. Hall. 2:23:04
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Kaeding, 2. Ford, 3. Cline, 4. Darland, 5. Jones, 6. Williams Jr., 7. Scott, 8. Tyler, 9. Buckman Jr. NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Moughan, 2. Hessert, 3. Marvel, 4. Kuhn, 5. Yeley, 6. Davis Jr., 7. Ziehl, 8. Shuman, 9. Petty. 3:12.44
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Hollingsworth, 2. Gaines, 3. Elliott, 4. Wissmiller, 5. Kruseman, 6. Ray, 7. Drake, 8. Christian, 9. Gaunt. 3:16.56
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Cottle, 2. Stanbrough, 3. Jessup, 4. Pletch, 5. Westfall, 6. Neely, 7. Hagen, 8. Weir, 9. Newton. 3:14.83
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Jones, 2. Kruseman, 3. Westfall, 4. Yeley, 5. Drake, 6. Davis Jr., 7. Gaunt, 8. Ray, 9. Tyler, 10. Christian, 11. Neely, 12. Hagen, 13. Scott, 14. Williams Jr., 15. Shuman, 16. Newton, 17. Weir, 18. Buckman Jr., 19. Ziehl, 20. Petty. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. J.J. Yeley, 2. Jon Stanbrough, 3. Cory Kruseman, 4. Levi Jones, 5. Dave Darland, 6. Jay Drake, 7. Matt Westfall, 8. Marc Jessup, 9. Troy Cline, 10. Dickie Gaines, 11. Shane Cottle, 12. Josh Ford, 13. Tony Elliott, 14. Bud Kaeding, 15. Shane Hollingsworth, 16. Charles Davis Jr., 17. Justin Marvel, 18. Brad Kuhn, 19. Terry Pletch, 20. Tom Hessert, 21. Kyle Wissmiller, 22. Jim Moughan. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Yeley
NEW NATIONAL SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Drake-1,023; 2-Kruseman-904; 3-Jones-859; 4-Kaeding-857; 5-Darland-714; 6-Elliott-649; 7-Ford-609; 8-Tyler-607; 9-Wise-552; 10-Scott-483.
FINAL VALVOLINE "INDIANA SPRINT WEEK" STANDINGS: 1-Levi Jones-338; 2-Dickie Gaines-336; 3-Cory Kruseman-326; 4-Josh Wise-273; 5-Jay Drake-268; 6-Bud Kaeding-265; 7-Josh Ford-250; 8-Jon Stanbrough-245; 9-Tony Elliott-192; 10-J.J. Yeley-184.
NEXT NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RACE: August 7 -- Rossburg, OH -- Eldora Speedway -- "Mopar Thunder"