WM: FF: Bakersfield: Race report

Scully, Lakatos Share Bakersfield Victory Podium Copper World "Little Trees" Twin 25s Saturday At Pir Shane Scully of Encino, Calif. and Josh Lakatos of Pasadena, Calif. captured the opening USAC races of the 2002 season Saturday night at ...

Scully, Lakatos Share Bakersfield Victory Podium
Copper World "Little Trees" Twin 25s Saturday At Pir

Shane Scully of Encino, Calif. and Josh Lakatos of Pasadena, Calif. captured the opening USAC races of the 2002 season Saturday night at the 1/3-mile dirt Bakersfield, Calif. Speedway. Scully won the 30-lap USAC Western Midget Car Series feature, while Lakatos won the inaugural 25-lap feature for the brand-new Ford Focus Midget Cars.

Midget car participants will now focus their attention on this weekend's Copper World Indy 200 "Little Trees" Twin 25s at the Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway. A 25-mile race on the 1-mile paved oval Saturday offers points toward both the USAC National and Western Midget Car championships. The Midgets share Saturday's "Copper World Indy 200:" spotlight with the SRL Supermodifieds, while the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Cars share Sunday's Phoenix spotlight with the Indy Racing League.

Scully performed flawlessly in his wire-to-wire victory at Bakersfield, the fourth of his USAC Western Midget Car career and first in nearly two years. He was trailed at the checkered flag by former USAC National Champion Jason Leffler, former USAC Western Champion Wally Pankratz, 2001 National Rookie of the Year Bobby East and Ronnie Day.

Lakatos, a 1996 Olympics Pistol Shooting Silver Medalist, led the final 16 laps to win the Ford Focus feature at Bakersfield. Phil Goodwine, former Russell Racing Champion Timothy Barber, Bobby Owens and lady driver Randi Pankratz rounded out the "top-five." Lakatos also posted the fastest qualifying time and won both preliminary races.

USAC's 1999 TQ Midget Car Champion Josh Wise was the fastest Midget Car qualifier at Bakersfield but escaped flips during practice and the feature.

Scully emerged with the Western Midget Car point lead going into this weekend's Copper World Indy 200 events at Phoenix. Midget Car practice is scheduled on Thursday from 2-2:50 pm. Friday's Midget Car qualifications are slated from 3:40-4:30 pm and Saturday's 25-mile "Little Trees" Twin 25s Midget Car feature gets the green at 3:30 pm, following a 10-mile "qualifying race" at 2.

Defending "Copper World" Midget Car Champ Michael Lewis of Noblesville, Ind. is among entrants at Phoenix, along with defending USAC National Midget Champ Dave Darland, former National Champ Jason Leffler and former Western Champ Robby Flock. In addition to Copper World winners Lewis (2001), Leffler (1999) and Flock (1987), 1995 race winner Dan Drinan is also entered. All will chase Ryan Newman's 1-lap qualifying record of 135.359 mph.

USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1. Shane Scully 67
2. Jason Leffler 65
3. Wally Pankratz 59
4. Bobby East 53
5. Dallen McKenney 49
6. Bryan Stanfill 46
7. Matt Rossi 42
8. Daniel Hood 40
9. Jerome Rodela 37
10. Robby Flock 34

USAC FORD FOCUS MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1. Josh Lakatos 72
2. Phil Goodwine 67
3. Timothy Barber 61
4. Bobby Owens 54
5. Todd Hunsaker 52
6. Randi Pankratz 48
7. Wayne McCormick 45
8. Steve Davis 39

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Series USAC
Drivers Jason Leffler , Ryan Newman , Michael Lewis , Dave Darland , Bobby East , Dan Drinan , Josh Wise , Wally Pankratz , Robby Flock , Josh Lakatos , Randi Pankratz , Bryan Stanfill