Yeley takes "Copper World" Midget 25-lapper PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 21, 2004) J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. scored his 51st USAC National feature victory Saturday afternoon at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, winning the 27th Annual "Copper World Classic" 25-miler at the 1-mile paved oval. Yeley started second in the 33-car field and led the first 15 laps before yielding to new track record holder Dave Steele. Steele then led through lap 23, but Yeley regained the lead on the white-flag lap and led to the checkered flag in his ASE/Ford Beast/Pink Ford.
The victory put Yeley in the point lead for the 2004 USAC National and Western Midget car series, which continues this weekend with the "Mopar Twin 25s at Irwindale" at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. Steele broke his own track record during Friday qualifying with a lap at 138.201 mph in the Nicholas Motorsports Mopar/Sweep Parts Beast/Mopar.
Trailing Yeley and Steele at the finish of Saturday's race were Bobby East, Tracy Hines, Josh Wise, Richey Jacobs, Dave Darland, Ryan Scott, Davey Ray and Jay Drake. Two 25-lap features conclude next Saturday's "Mopar Twin 25s at Irwindale," which offer a $50,000 cash bonus to any driver who can win both features. The stipulation is that the winner of race one must start dead last in race two! If the feat is accomplished, a driver could possibly eclipse Dave Steele's all-time record $60,280 Midget race earnings from Indianapolis Raceway Park when he achieved the "sweep" in 2002.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS 1.-J.J. Yeley-65 2.-Dave Steele-63 3.-Bobby East-58 4.-Josh Wise-48 5.-Kenny Jacobs-45 6.-Dave Darland-42 7.-Ryan Scott-39 8.-Davey Ray-36 9.-Jay Drake-33 10-Dane Carter-1
USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS 1.-J.J. Yeley-65 2.-Dave Steele-63 3.-Bobby East-58 4.-Josh Wise-48 5.-Kenny Jacobs-45 6.-Dave Darland-42 7.-Ryan Scott-39 8.-Davey Ray-36 9.-Jay Drake-33 10-Dane Carter-1