By Dick Jordan
One hundred (100) laps is the feature distance set for the USAC Ford Focus cars at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway July 29 as USAC participants gear up for a busy weekend in northern Indiana culminating with the second annual “Little Hoosier 100” for USAC Mopar .25 Midgets at Newton Park in Lakeville July 31-August 1.
Only once before have the Focus cars competed in a 100-lap contest, that being in 2004 when Bradley Galedrige won a 100-lapper at the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks. Since that was on the dirt, the Plymouth race will mark the 100-lap debut on pavement.
The “Little Hoosier 100” is round seven of the 2010 “Generation Next” championship. Several of the champions of the recent “Battle at the Brickyard” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are expected to compete at Newton Park and former “Hoosier Hundred” USAC Silver Crown veteran Tony Elliott of Warsaw, Ind. will be on hand to serve as the Grand Marshal.
The Plymouth race will showcase stars of USAC’s Midwest Ford Focus racing series, including current point leaders Joe Liguori of Tampa, Fla. and Jake Blackhurst of Mapleton, Ill., as well as top competitors from the Carolina Ford Focus Series.
Jimmy Simpson of Indianapolis, Ind. won last year’s USAC Ford Focus race at Plymouth but the July 29 race will offer competitors a new strategy with its unique 100-lap distance.