WM: FF: Bakersfield preview

Midgets, Ford Focuses share Bakersfield twin-bill The USAC Western Midget Car and California Ford Focus Midget Car Series resume action this Saturday night at the 1/3-mile dirt Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway. A 20-lap Ford Focus and 30-lap...

Midgets, Ford Focuses share Bakersfield twin-bill

The USAC Western Midget Car and California Ford Focus Midget Car Series resume action this Saturday night at the 1/3-mile dirt Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway. A 20-lap Ford Focus and 30-lap Western Midget feature are on tap.

Steve Paden of Downey, Calif. (Midgets) and Todd Hunsaker of Chino Hills, Calif. (Ford Focus) are the respective point leaders entering the event. Paden will be seeking his first USAC feature victory as he pursues his first USAC title. His best previous series point finish was seventh in 2001. He was 10th in last year's standings after claiming the 2001 "Most Improved Driver" award.

Paden is expected to be challenged by defending series titlist Robby Flock, 2002 series "Rookie of the Year" Van Knill and 2002 "Most Improved Driver" Jerome Rodela.

Hunsaker leads both the North and South California Ford Focus standings, although the Bakersfield race awards only South points. Hunsaker won last year's inaugural USAC Ford Focus Series Championship.

Other top competitors expected to compete at Bakersfield include former Western Midget Car Champion Wally Pankratz and Ford Focus vet Josh Lakatos, winner of two Ford Focus races at Bakersfield last year.

USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Steve Paden 281
2. Bobby East 274
3. J.J. Yeley 271
4. A.J. Fike 243
5. Tracy Hines 227
6. Jerome Rodela 214
7. Josh Wise 211
8. Jay Drake 191
9. Teddy Beach 188
10. Van Knill 174

USAC CALIFORNIA FORD FOCUS MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS

SOUTH SERIES
1. Todd Hunsaker 363
2. Josh Lakatos 302
3. Bobby McGowan 253
4. Ryan Kaplan 235
5. Garratt Boyden 225

NORTH SERIES
1. Todd Hunsaker 182
2. Ryan Kaplan 176
3. Josh Lakatos 162
4. Garratt Boyden 160
5. Bobby McGowan 121

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Series USAC
Drivers J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Jay Drake , Bobby East , Teddy Beach , A.J. Fike , Steve Paden , Josh Wise , Wally Pankratz , Robby Flock , Josh Lakatos , Ryan Kaplan