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SATURDAY'S COLUMBUS MIDGET RACE A DAYTIME EVENT! WISE SEEKS TO EXTEND SERIES LEAD The USAC National Midget Car Series returns to Columbus, Ohio Saturday, ending a hiatus of more than a quarter-century, as Columbus Motor Speedway...

SATURDAY'S COLUMBUS MIDGET RACE A DAYTIME EVENT!

WISE SEEKS TO EXTEND SERIES LEAD

The USAC National Midget Car Series returns to Columbus, Ohio Saturday, ending a hiatus of more than a quarter-century, as Columbus Motor Speedway hosts the "Open Wheel Oktoberfest." The race, originally set as a nighttime program, has been moved by the race organizer up to daylight to avoid conflicts with other sporting events in the area.

The new timetable of events at the 1/3-mile paved oval finds practice starting at 10:30 am and qualifying getting under way at 12:30 pm. Racing starts at 2 pm.

Josh Wise of Riverside, Calif. sees the Columbus race as an opportunity to extend his lead in the series standings as he seeks his initial National driving title. He leads runner-up Jerry Coons Jr. by 112 points entering the race, the final 2005 appearance of the National Midgets in the Midwest.

The National Midget Car Series is scheduled to conclude November 24 with the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.

Wise needs to exit Columbus with a 67-point lead to virtually lock up the National Championship.

A total of 23 USAC events have been conducted in the Ohio capital, including 20 Midget races, one Sprint and two Ford Focuses. Rich Vogler won the last National Midget race at Columbus Motor Speedway, in 1978. Rex Easton won the first, in 1957. In between, Midget winners at Columbus Motor Speedway have included Bob Wente, Gene Hartley, Len Sutton, Russ Congdon, Ronnie Duman, Chuck Rodee, Mel Kenyon, Sleepy Tripp, Larry Patton and Dana Carter.

USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Josh Wise-934
2.-Jerry Coons, Jr.-822
3.-Brad Kuhn-653
4.-Ron Gregory-582
5.-Tom Hessert III-570
6.-Teddy Beach-533
7.-Darren Hagen-533
8.-Cole Carter-506
9.-Jay Drake-449
10.-Dave Darland-443

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Series USAC
Drivers Brad Kuhn , Dave Darland , Tom Hessert III , Jay Drake , Teddy Beach , Ron Gregory , Jerry Coons , Josh Wise , Cole Carter , Darren Hagen , Jerry Coons Jr.