SPRINTS EYE IOWA’S “CASEY’S GENERAL STORES CHALLENGE” FRIDAY
Darren Hagen’s World Sprint Car qualifying record could be challenged this Friday at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa when the USAC National Sprint Car Series returns to the 7/8-mile paved oval for the “Casey’s General Stores Challenge.” The USAC K & N Silver Crown Championship cars also share the bill, with a 100-lap race on tap.
A 50-lap feature awaits the Sprint cars at the oval where Hagen recorded a 146.145 mph lap in 2006. Hagen is expected to be among those trying to establish a new record this Friday. He currently resides in seventh place in the series standings and won the series opener at Phoenix, Ariz. in February.
Tony Stewart Racing’s Levi Jones, of Brownsburg, Ind., is atop the series standings after his recent championship in the “Indiana Sprint Week” series, where he beat Bryan Clauson by two points for the title. Jones has a 62-point lead over USAC Triple Crown Champion Dave Darland entering the Iowa race, which offers a total of 66 points.
Tracy Hines, Jones’ teammate at Tony Stewart Racing, is one of only three drivers to score pavement victories this season. Bobby East and Bobby Santos III each have a pair of wins on the pavement in 2009.
Jay Drake, Tyler Walker and Darland are the previous USAC Sprint car winners at Iowa Speedway. Drake setting a 30-lap record of 127.277 mph in 2006 and Darland winning last year’s race.
Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz., fourth in the standings, also bears watching Friday. He will be trying to win a record 74th USAC feature event for the Dynamics, Inc. racing team of Milford, Ohio.