WM: Ventura 5 preview

Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, Calif. hopes to find victory lane Saturday night when the USAC Western Midget Car Series returns to Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the fifth time this season. A 30-lap feature is scheduled on the 1/5-mile...

Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, Calif. hopes to find victory lane Saturday night when the USAC Western Midget Car Series returns to Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the fifth time this season. A 30-lap feature is scheduled on the 1/5-mile dirt oval.

Rodriguez, still seeking his first win of the year, has a pair of thirds and a pair of sevenths in four Ventura starts so far. Three of his four second-place finishes have come on dirt ovals so he has reason to be optimistic.

Rodriguez holds a 153-point lead over runner-up Wally Pankratz with only three races left on the calendar. The series visits Tucson, Ariz. Nov. 20 and Irwindale, Calif. Nov. 25 and a top finish at Ventura could virtually assure Rodriguez of his first USAC driving championship.

The USAC California South Ford Focus Midgets are also part of Saturday night's Ventura program, with a 25-lap feature slated.

USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Johnny Rodriguez-1,099
2.-Wally Pankratz-946
3.-Jerome Rodela-917
4.-Steve Paden-727
5.-Robby Flock-709
6.-Garrett Hansen-684
7.-Dallen McKenney-673
8.-Matt Mitchell-575
9.-Shannon McQueen-516
10.-Tyler Brown-496

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Series USAC
Drivers Johnny Rodriguez , Steve Paden , Wally Pankratz , Robby Flock , Matt Mitchell , Shannon McQueen , Garrett Hansen