From Dick Jordan
Brad Kuhn of Avon, Ind. and Garrett Hansen of Manhattan Beach, Calif. lead their respective USAC racing series entering Thursday’s 34th “Copper World Classic” at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway. Kuhn has a 14-point lead over Brad Sweet of Alpine, Calif. in the Mopar National Midget Series and Hansen is 89 points ahead of Alex Schutte of Redding, Calif. in the Western Midget series.
The Midgets share the spotlight with the USAC K & N Silver Crown Series in Thursday’s race at the Phoenix mile. A 25-mile Midget race precedes the 100-mile Silver Crown race.
The National point race is actually a four-way affair, with Darren Hagen of Riverside, Calif. 35 back of Kuhn and two-time series champion Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. 95 behind the leader. Both series conclude November 26 with the 69th Lucas Oil “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, Calif. but the Western Midgets also have the “J.W. Mitchell Fall Classic” at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway November 21.
A total of 66 points are available at Phoenix Thursday and drivers will aim for Dave Steele’s 1-lap track qualifying record of 138.201 mph set back in 2004.
Coons has added incentive for a win Thursday. His team, Wilke-Pak Motorsports of Milwaukee, Wisc., is gunning for their 134th career USAC National race victory (in all series), which would break the tie with Steve Lewis for the all-time USAC lead.
In terms of 2009 performance, Kuhn has a victory, three seconds and four thirds, while Sweet has three wins, five seconds and two thirds. Hagen scored two early-season wins and Coons also has two 2009 victories. Hansen has five wins and a second so far this season, while Schutte has won twice.
Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind. is the defending champion of both “Copper World Classic” feature events.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1-Brad Kuhn-1,175, 2-Brad Sweet-1,161, 3-Darren Hagen-1,140, 4-Jerry Coons Jr.-1,080, 5-Cole Whitt-952, 6-Bobby East-930, 7-Tracy Hines-903, 8-Bryan Clauson-818, 9-Chad Boat-729, 10-Kevin Swindell-540.
USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1-Garrett Hansen-1,016, 2-Alex Schutte-927, 3-Jerome Rodela-916, 4-Tanner Swanson-706, 5-David Prickett-699, 6-Scott Pierovich-591, 7-Shannon McQueen-540, 8-Josh Ford-494, 9-Alex Bowman-406; 10-Randi Pankratz-405.