Twelve-time Indianapolis 500 veteran Johnny Parsons of Indianapolis, Ind. celebrated the 50-year anniversary of his father's dramatic Indianapolis 500 victory with his first USAC triumph in five years, capturing Saturday night's 100-lap ...
Twelve-time Indianapolis 500 veteran Johnny Parsons of Indianapolis, Ind. celebrated the 50-year anniversary of his father's dramatic Indianapolis 500 victory with his first USAC triumph in five years, capturing Saturday night's 100-lap "Thunder in the Dome XVI" Midget race at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Parsons last won a USAC race when he captured the 100-mile Silver Crown race at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds in 1995. Johnny led every lap of the race despite pressure from former race winner Jim Hettinger, who tangled with Robbie Rice and hit a tire barrier in turn two on lap 50. Hettinger was transported to Methodist Hospital for a precautionary check after complaining of back pain. Parsons was able to fix a steering problem during the lap 50 red flag for Hettinger's accident, then resumed his race lead in his B & W Plumbing & Heating/Gas America VW. "The tire marker I hit sort of woke me up. But this car was perfect tonight. We were able to fix the steering during the break and we led it the rest of the way." Critter Malone finished second after challenging Parsons late in the race. He was followed by Ryan Newman, A.J. Fike and defending race winner Kevin Besecker. Forty-lap team feature races were won by Parsons (Team Indiana) and Hettinger (USA), while heats went to Tracy Hines, Mel Kenyon, Mike Mann, Kevin Besecker, Aaron Fike and Mike Streicher. Indy Racing Northern Light Series point leader Robbie Buhl, unable to compete in Saturday night's race due to other commitments, made a late appearance at the RCA Dome and stated he was looking forward to competing in next year's race.
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