WM: FF: Santa Maria: Race report

Pankratz, Ercse share Santa Maria podium. Bakersfield hosts Midget/Ford Focus "Doubleheader" Saturday. Wally Pankratz of Orange, Calif. and J.J. Ercse of Lakewood, Calif. scored USAC feature victories in Saturday night's "doubleheader" at Santa...

Pankratz, Ercse share Santa Maria podium.
Bakersfield hosts Midget/Ford Focus "Doubleheader" Saturday.

Wally Pankratz of Orange, Calif. and J.J. Ercse of Lakewood, Calif. scored USAC feature victories in Saturday night's "doubleheader" at Santa Maria (Calif.) Speedway and look to repeat in this Saturday night's "doubleheader" at the Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway. A 20-lap Ford Focus Midget and 30-lap Western Midget Car feature are on tap at the 1/3-mile dirt Bakersfield oval.

Pankratz earned his 18th career USAC Western Midget Car triumph in his Sta-Rite/HASA/Trench Shoring VanDyne/Edmunds, leading the final three laps after series point leader Shane Scully flipped while leading on lap 18. The race actually saw five different leaders as Pankratz was chased to the checkered flag by Danny Stratton, Dallen McKenney, Bobby Boone and Dean Alexander.

Robby Flock led the opening lap, then yielded to Ronnie Day. Day slipped to second behind fast qualifier Josh Wise on lap 14, then Scully took over the lead on lap 17 only to flip on the next lap!

Two-time USAC TQ Midget Car Champion J.J. Ercse won Saturday night's USAC Ford Focus Midget Car feature at Santa Maria, which was halted after eight laps due to accidents. Ironically, the two fastest qualifiers, Josh Lakatos and Garrett Andrews, flipped during the second heat race. Andrews was transported to a local hospital for a precautionary check-up. Series point leader Todd Hunsaker escaped injury in a flip during the feature.

Rounding out the "top-five behind Ercse at the checkered flag were Garrett Hansen, Randi Pankratz, Steve Lambert and Todd Hunsaker.

USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Shane Scully 430
2. Robby Flock 393
3. Danny Stratton 350
4. Wally Pankratz 306
5. Jerome Rodela 300
6. Matt Rossi 231
7. Dallen McKenney 209
8. Van Knill 207
9. John Sarale 174
10. Alex Harris 166

USAC FORD FOCUS MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Todd Hunsaker 431
2. Phil Goodwine 383
3. Wayne McCormick 350
4. J.J. Ercse 332
5. Garrett Hansen 269
6. Steve Davis 214
7. Bobby Owens 201
8. Timothy Barber 176
9. Jon Wilcox 142
10. Josh Lakatos 128

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About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Josh Wise , Wally Pankratz , Robby Flock , Josh Lakatos , Randi Pankratz , Garrett Hansen , Danny Stratton