IRP "Night before the 500" results

Gregory Wins The 59th Annual Coca-Cola Night Before The 500 INDIANAPOLIS (May 29, 2004) Another thrilling 59th Annual Coca-Cola Night Before the 500, USAC Midget Series race is in the record books and Ron Gregory was the big winner of the night ...

IRP "Night before the 500" results

Gregory Wins The 59th Annual Coca-Cola Night Before The 500

INDIANAPOLIS (May 29, 2004) Another thrilling 59th Annual Coca-Cola Night Before the 500, USAC Midget Series race is in the record books and Ron Gregory was the big winner of the night in the 50-lap USAC feature race.

On the 8th lap a red flag was brought out when Richey Jacobs and Drew Fornoro were involved in a strong crash in the first turn bring out the red flag. Both drivers were not seriously injured in the wreck but Jacobs was taken to Methodist Hospital for observation.

On the restart it was two Steve Lewis owned cars battling for the lead. Bobby East and long time USAC veteran Dave Darland led a group of four cars that checked out on the field. Ron Gregory and Tracy Hines were the other two cars that made up the lead pack.

Cole Carter and Billy Wease made contact in lap 24 to bring out the second caution of the night; both cars were able to continue. Carter was in second when the red flag was out on lap seven, but his crew brought the jack out during the red flag placing Carter at the back of the field. Carter hustled up through the field, which may have led to the contact.

On the 34th lap Gregory was poised to make his move and wheel to wheel with Darland. After a lap and a half Gregory eased past Darland and was able to check out for his first Coca-Cola Night Before the 500 win and his first win at IRP.

"I was just following the last 30 laps or so trying to figure when the car was going to get better," said Gregory following the race. "We just started running the last laps has hard and as straight as we could and were able to get the win."

1. Ron Gregory
2. Dave Darland
3. Bobby East
4. Tracy Hines
5. Tom Hessert
6. Cole Carter
7. Josh Wise
8. Scott Thoman
9. Ryan Durst
10. Justin Overfelt
11. Mike Heiss
12. Ryan Scott
13. Danny Ebberts
14. Travis Minea
15. Brad Kahun
16. Mario Marietta
17. Billy Wease
18. Dan Drinan
19. Teddy Beach
20. Aaron Fike
21. Richey Jacobs
22. Drew Fornoro
23. Todd Beach
24. Doug Cross

The evening's racing action also featured the Championship Auto Racing Series, Allison Legacy Series, Baby Grands and USA Modifieds.

The first feature of the day, the Baby Grands series, took to the IRP oval in their 30-lap feature. Thirteen cars took the green flag and it was Bill Christie leading early, but on the 23rd lap Christie lost the lead to Troy Turner. Turner, the pole sitter, went on to lead the final seven laps and took the win.

1. Troy Turner
2. Bill Christie
3. Jim Dugan
4. Matt Goodnight
5. Anthony Fornetti
6. Chad Ramsey
7. Curtis Clark
8. Don Napier
9. Andrew Oakley
10. James Huttel
11. Shane Oakley
12. Kenneth Owens

The racing action didn't take a break as the Allison Legacy series raced their 30-lap feature. A late restart bunched the field but when the green came back out Neil McCland was able to keep the field in his mirrors and take the feature win.

1. Neil McCleland
2. Matt Byrne
3. Richie Dawson
4. Kelly Keil
5. Steve Brooks
6. Justin Claucherty
7. Chris Krauguth
8. Mark Hayes
9. Tony Sommer
10. Mike Springer
11. Colin Toland
12. Doug Della
13. Mark Keffer
14. Mason Hadley
15. Bill Hobson
16. Nick Beinlich

The next feature of the night was the USA Modifieds in their 40-lap feature race. On the point for the majority of the race, Mike Stacy took the win by more than 10 car lengths. This was Stacy's first win at IRP.

"This is my first time here and I've got to thank my crew chief," said Stacy following the race. "It takes a little to learn it because it is hard to get around the turns but there is no place like it."

1. Mike Stacy
2. Rodney Scott
3. Jason Dietsch
4. LJ Lines
5. Brian Nester
6. Jeff Weston
7. Kyle Jones
8. Damon Breedlove
9. Dave Stacy
10. Rodney Cropper
11. Mark Harrison
12. Harold Scott
13. Bud Gray III
14. RJ Norton
15. Scott Coe
16. David Barnhart
17. Don Skaggs
18. Tim Burkett
19. Mike Martin
20. Greg Stapleton
21. Steve Christman
22. Bull Baker
23. Gary Bedell
24. Ronnie Phipps

Immediately following the Modifieds race was the CARS Series Voris Construction 50-lap feature race. In a wild and contact filled race Tommy St. John was able to hold off the field for the win.

"This is one of the biggest races of the year and I get pumped to be in front of this crowd," exclaimed an excited St. John following the race. "I drove the wheels off of it and I got to thank my dad for getting this car hooked up for me."

1. Tommy St. John
2. Joe Hill
3. Steve Blair
4. Dave Baldwin
5. Kerry Roseman
6. Sam Breedlove
7. Richard Waldhoff
8. David Potts
9. Patrick Crabtree
10. Richard Lowe
11. Eddie Deal
12. Dave Crabtree
13. Joe Axsom
14. Tom Miller
15. John Wicks
16. Derek Price
17. Sunny Kline
18. Sonny Wiley

The next racing action was the 50-lap CARS Series Turbines INC. Stock Car race. In the feature it was an IRP regular who dominated the race until lap 39 when Steve Blair's motor let go in turn four and he was done for the night. Following a lengthy clean up, it was the number one car of Tim Ewers that was able to check out from the field and take the feature win.

"It meant a lot to us, and I'm sorry for Steve's bad luck," said Bliar's following the race. "We would not of had anything for Blair and just run second but I'm glad we were able to get the win."

1. Tim Ewers
2. Scott Tomasik
3. Wes Bullock
4. Dave Kinney Jr.
5. Stuart Quakenbush
6. Dave Bussie
8. Toby Cooper
9. Chuck Maitlen
10. Chip Dowell
11. Jerome Branscum
12. Glen Andrew
13. Ken Fodrie
14. Charles Wilson
15. Bob Dumke
16. Steve Blair
17. Jeff Ellis
18. Ritchie Hawkins
19. Steve Blankenship
Fast Qualifer: Toby Cooper

One of five drag racing facilities owned and operated by the National Hot Rod Association, IRP was built in 1960 and has presented organized racing events since 1961. From March through October, the facility hosts more than 120 dates of racing on three tracks, a quarter-mile drag strip, a .686-mile paved oval and a 2.5-mile road course. Home to drag racing's biggest event, the NHRA U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend, the drag strip runs more than 50 days of point-to-point action, from national events to street legal community programs. The oval track draws racing's biggest events, including annual visits from the NASCAR Busch and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to five annual USAC races, and an exclusive Saturday Night Series. The road course provides a home for several racing sanctions, such as SCCA, while providing an ideal resource for driving schools, corporate outings and open-road tests for professional drivers.

- IRP -

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