Irwindale Track Makes Debut

DRAKE, WADE SHARE BAKERSFIELD VICTORY PODIUM IRWINDALE DEBUT FEATURES MCI WORLDCOM MIDGET CARS, SPRINTS Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, America's newest motorsports facility, opens its doors Saturday night, featuring the MCI WorldCom ...

DRAKE, WADE SHARE BAKERSFIELD VICTORY PODIUM IRWINDALE DEBUT FEATURES MCI WORLDCOM MIDGET CARS, SPRINTS

Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, America's newest motorsports facility, opens its doors Saturday night, featuring the MCI WorldCom USAC Western Midget Car Series and the USAC Western Sprint Car Series. A 30-lap feature event for each is planned on the 1/2-mile paved oval, in addition to supermodified racing. Defending USAC National Midget Champion Jason Leffler of Long Beach, Calif. leads the MCI WorldCom Western Midget Car standings after finishing second to Jay Drake in Saturday night's 30-lap feature at the Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway. Drake led all but the first five laps of the race on Bakersfield's 1/3-mile dirt oval, repeating his victory of last November's "Turkey Night Grand Prix," in which Leffler also finished second. Larry Brown, Marc DeBeaumont and Bobby Boone trailed at checkered flag. Drake also posted fast qualifying time and gave car owner John Lawson his third consecutive MCI WorldCom Western Midget Car feature triumph. Davey Hamilton scored two victories in Lawson's car the previous weekend. Ron Wade of Wilmington, Calif. shared the Bakersfield victory podium with Drake after winning the 20-lap MCI WorldCom TQ Midget Car feature over Gene Godepski, Wally Pankratz, Steve Lambert and West Evans. Wade was also the fastest qualifier and won his heat race. The MCI WorldCom TQ Midget Cars resume their 1999 campaign April 3 at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway. A number of drivers are slated for "double duty" at Irwindale Saturday night, including Indy Racing League veteran Davey Hamilton and defending MCI WorldCom Western Midget Car Champion Rick Hendrix, who will be making his Sprint car debut. Wally Pankratz, Billy Felts, Jr., Bud Kaeding and Sean Fenn are others who are expected to compete in both USAC series at the Los Angeles area's newest racing venue. Practice at the 1/2-mile paved oval is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.

MCI WORLDCOM WESTERN MIDGET CAR STANDINGS

1. Jason Leffler 70 2. John Starks 66 3. Marc DeBeaumont 65 4. Tracy Hines 60 5. Clay Klepper 59 6. Jimmy Sills 49 7. Kasey Kahne 47 8. Jay Drake 39 9. Matt Streeter 38 10. Shane Scully 33

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Davey Hamilton , Kasey Kahne , Tracy Hines , Jay Drake , John Starks , Wally Pankratz , Jimmy Sills , Clay Klepper , Rick Hendrix , Matt Streeter