WM: Kings recap 2004-10-09

The USAC Western Midget Car Series competes as part of this Saturday night's "tripleheader" racing program at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada. A 40-lap feature is slated on the 1/3-mile paved oval. ...

The USAC Western Midget Car Series competes as part of this Saturday night's "tripleheader" racing program at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada. A 40-lap feature is slated on the 1/3-mile paved oval.

Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, Calif. continues to hold a comfortable 126-point lead over Wally Pankratz in the series standings going into the Las Vegas event. Rodriguez finished fifth in last Saturday night's USAC/BCRA "Pacific Coast Open" at Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif.

Danny Stratton of Fontana, Calif. passed Ryan Kaplan on the 14th lap and led the rest of the 30-lap Hanford feature in his Esslinger Engineering/Impact Racing Stealth/Esslinger Ford. He was trailed by Robby Flock, Tyler Brown, Rob Russell and Rodriguez. The win was Stratton's second in five USAC starts this season, having previously won at Perris, Calif.

Championship challengers Pankratz and Jerome Rodela were two of four drivers who flipped at the start of Saturday night's race. They were both transported to a local hospital for observation, then released. Matt Streeter and Shannon McQueen also flipped and escaped injury. Rodela continues to rank third in the standings going into this Saturday's Las Vegas race.

Josh Wise led the first seven laps of the Hanford feature before a spinout, allowing Kaplan and Stratton to move to the front.

Ironically, none of the three point leaders competed in the last USAC Midget feature at the Bullring, won by Tony Stewart at the end of the 2002 season.

USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Johnny Rodriguez-1,041
2.-Wally Pankratz-915
3.-Jerome Rodela-853
4.-Steve Paden-727
5.-Robby Flock-709
6.-Garrett Hansen-684
7.-Dallen McKenney-673
8.-Matt Mitchell-527
9.-Tyler Brown-496
10.-Shannon McQueen-484

-usac-

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Johnny Rodriguez , Steve Paden , Josh Wise , Wally Pankratz , Robby Flock , Ryan Kaplan , Matt Mitchell , Shannon McQueen , Garrett Hansen , Matt Streeter , Danny Stratton