2 USAC Midget Car Series Open 2002 Campaign At Bakersfield Saturday Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway plays host to two USAC Midget racing series this Saturday night, one continuing a rich tradition of Western racing and the other showcasing a new...
2 USAC Midget Car Series Open 2002 Campaign At Bakersfield Saturday
Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway plays host to two USAC Midget racing series this Saturday night, one continuing a rich tradition of Western racing and the other showcasing a new concept in cost-effective competition.
The debut of USAC's Ford Focus Midget Car Series, presented by the Southern California Ford Dealers, ushers in a new era of Midget car racing on the west coast, one which is expected to lower costs but produce some great competitive racing. Initial car construction orders indicate a great deal of interest in the new series and Saturday night's race program offers a 20-lap main event for the new cars. In order to help facilitate the launch of this new series, TQ Midget Cars will be permitted to compete and those participants will be eligible for points, prize money and year-end point fund awards.
The USAC Western Midget Car Series also debuts its 2002 campaign at Bakersfield's 1/3-mile dirt track, with a 30-lap feature event concluding the night's activities. The race continues the history of a series which dates back to 1982 and Bakersfield has played a big part of that history, hosting 68 Western Midget Car events. Five were held there last year, producing five different winners, including series champion Danny Ebberts, first-time winner Larry Brown, Danny Stratton, Robby Flock and Josh Wise.
Wally Pankratz of Orange, Calif. is expected to continue his long and storied USAC career as he adds to his record 393 career starts going into this season. Another driver to watch in 2002 could be Sleepy Tripp, the seven-time series titlist who has a record 104 series triumphs. Sleepy nearly added to that total in 2001, finishing second to Danny Stratton in one of the Bakersfield features.
Saturday night's "doubleheader" is the first of five, with the USAC Ford Focus Midgets sharing the billing with the Western Midget Cars April 27, June 8, September 14 and November 2. Practice Saturday starts at 5 pm.
The Western Midget Car Series will follow the Bakersfield event with the annual "Copper World Indy 200" at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway March 15-17. The Midgets, sharing the March 16 PIR billing with the SRL Supermodifieds in the "Little Trees" twin 25s, will compete for both Western and National points at PIR, opening the 2002 USAC National Midget Car campaign.