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Notebook: USAC Western States Midgets and Sprints at Madera & Stockton.

Tony Hunt drove the Ken Piersen #14 to the feature win in sprint car action Saturday at Madera. USAC's Director of Communications, Dick Jordan calls Hunt - "the most overlooked sprint car driving talent in the country."

Todd Ellison was the sprint car quick timer at Madera.

TREES! make a perfect backdrop for Kevin Urton. The former USAC Western States sprint car champ once crashed into the trees at Calistoga to earn the nickname "TK" for Trees! Kevin.

Jason McCord of Anderson, Indiana was aboard the Bumgarner #88 this weekend.

Top point man Kasey Kahne swept both midget features.

What a combo! The original Rim Rider, Chuck Gurney with his boy Chuck Gurney Jr. The teenager is currently looking for a ride after competing last year in the midgets. HammerDown! advises all car owners that "Little Rim" has won at every level of racing so far. He has way too much talent to not have a full time ride. Midgets, 360 sprints, whatever - we think he's a future star.

The familiar Tri-C paint scheme has returned to sprint car racing. Clyde Lamar's grandson, Burney Lamar made an impressive sprint car debut this weekend. Lamar finished fourth at Stockton Sunday, and led much of the Madera event before being sidelined with a mechanical DNF.

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As compiled by HammerDown! Staff 03/03/00

Tony Stewart & Jason Leffler Grab Copper Chee$e

(Avondale AZ. 2/06/00) HD Staff: Tony Stewart displayed his special driving gifts this weekend at the Copper World Classic in Phoenix Arizona. Stewart was scheduled to serve as the event's Grand Marshall - but "gave in to peer pressure" - as he put it, and promptly drove away with his third career Copper World Midget division win. Fellow Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR stablemate, Jason Leffler solidly handled the field in the USAC Silver Bullet 50 miler. A testament to the growth of the Silver Bullet Series, Leffler bounced out of the AZ with over $19,000. Other winners were Troy Regier in the SRL Supermodifieds Copper debut, and Rick Carelli won the Taxi race.

Notes from Phoenix... as compiled by the HD! Staff.

It was 75 degrees all-day every day. (Or at least it seemed that nice!)

Ryan Newman impressed the HammerDown! Staff with his businesslike approach to racing. He sat on the Midget pole. His Johnny Vance, Silver Bullet ride was painted retro style - harking back to the days of Johnny Parsons 1950 Indy win.

Kasey Kahne looked proud in his Steve Lewis Racing Beast uniform.

Tony Stewart looked like an icon in his Home Depot threads. The price of fame is certainly evident around Stewart. He couldn't walk two steps without someone asking for an autograph or just plain gawking. However, he did nothing to dispel his already legendary driving talents. Dude got in the Lewis chariot and mashed! In the always scary super modified race - he took on fresh tires with three laps to-go, meaning he had to go to the rear of the field. Yikers! Basically, here was NASCARS biggest future star, just for the love of racing, passing guys on the inside of the narrow Phoenix front chute!

Dave Darland ran at Manzy both nights.

Brad Noffsinger looked right at home in the Silver Bullet headliner. Smooth and fast all weekend, he ended up on the box with Leffler, & Tyler.

Leffler took in the Manzy action, as did National Speed News/Open Wheel/TNN/All-Around Media Man, Dave Argabright. Argabright was making his debut as color commentator for TNN's Race of the Week Copper coverage.

Tony Hunt was impressive in his Copper Silver Bullet debut. The former USAC Formula Russell hero, out-qualifyed some bigger names, and bigger budgets when he put his Bar-D #81 on the 12th on the grid. . In the feature, he kept his nose clean and ran 16th.

Propers to Tom's Bar-B-Q in Chandler.

Tipster, Paul Wilson pointed out Brian Tyler racing his Silver Crown car with a huge, 38" shock on the right rear. Tyler reported that the car felt more stable in the turns.

NARC racer, Tommy Tarlton was pitside at the Copper Classic. He reports that his dad, Tom is continuing to improve after surviving a freak accident in which a car ran through a window of a Coffee Shop where the elder Tarlton was dining.

Chuck Gurney Jr., was also taking in the Copper action. "Lil Rim", should be giving the veterans fits on the USAC Western States Midget Tour in 2000.

Too bad there's no mild sausages in the Manzy pits. Strictly HOT links.

Jimmy Sills described midget racing on the mile at PIR. "If you are comfortable in your midget - you aren't driving it hard enough"

TNN's Race of the Week coverage of the USAC portion of the Copper Classic will be aired Sunday, February 20th.

Prettiest car: Bobby McMahan's Silver Crown ride, designed by Brad Scadden.