WM: TQ: Bakersfield Speedway preview

November 18 is the next target for Wally Pankratz, Jay Drake and J.J. Ercse in their quest for USAC racing history. That's the night the MCI WorldCom National and Western Midget Car Series and the MCI WorldCom TQ Midget Cars resume action...

November 18 is the next target for Wally Pankratz, Jay Drake and J.J. Ercse in their quest for USAC racing history. That's the night the MCI WorldCom National and Western Midget Car Series and the MCI WorldCom TQ Midget Cars resume action at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway. Wally Pankratz has a narrow 11-point Western Midget Car lead over Bobby Boone and 49 point cushion over Danny Ebberts going into the 50-lap Bakersfield race. Pankratz is seeking his first USAC driving championship after second-place finishes in the 1992 Western Midget Car Series and 1985 and 1986 Supermodified Series. Three of Pankratz' 16 career Western Midget Car triumphs have come in Bakersfield, at the 1/3-mile dirt Bakersfield Speedway in 1990 and 1997 and at the 1/2-mile paved Mesa Marin Raceway in 1991. This season he's finished 2nd, 5th, 7th, 7th in the four races at Bakersfield Speedway, while Boone has a 4th, 6th, 8th and 17th and Ebberts has a 3rd, 5th, 8th and 13th. Boone, though has been the fastest qualifier in each of the last three outings on the 1/3-mile dirt. Drake is still looking for his 18th USAC feature victory of the 2000 season as he chases A.J. Foyt's all-time record of 19, established in 1961. Four of Jay's dozen Western Midget Car wins have come at Bakersfield and he will be trying to win there for the fifth consecutive year! The November 18 program marks Jay's first outing this season at Bakersfield Speedway. The familiar Guy Barber #18 TQ Midget Car will be piloted by 1993 series champion J.J. Ercse, who will be trying to hang on to a narrow 10-point lead over Walt Johnson in that series going into the 20-lap Bakersfield race. Greg Edenholm is still mathematically in the hunt, but trails Ercse by 70. Ercse has finished 15th, 4th, 2nd, 2nd in this year's Bakersfield races, while Johnson has been 12th, 2nd, 2nd, 4th and Edenholm has finished 3rd, 5th, 10th and 1st. Practice on November 18 at Bakersfield starts at 4:30 pm, with qualifying at 5:30 and racing at 7.

<pre> USAC MCI WORLDCOM NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1. Kasey Kahne 1,119 2. Jay Drake 900 3. Dave Darland 855 4. Michael Lewis 817 5. Tracy Hines 718 6. Aaron Fike 626 7. A.J. Fike 617 8. Clay Klepper 572 9. Ed Carpenter 557 10. Ryan Scott 491

USAC MCI WORLDCOM WESTERN MDIGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1. Wally Pankratz 972 2. Bobby Boone 961 3. Danny Ebberts 923 4. Thomas Meseraull 831 5. Steve Paden 769 6. Shane Scully 732 7. Bryan Stanfill 716 8. Rick Hendrix 636 9. Matt Streeter 612 10. Josh Wise 583

USAC MCI WORLDCOM TQ MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS

1. J.J. Ercse 684 2. Walt Johnson 674 3. Greg Edenholm 614 4. Todd Hunsaker 588 5. West Evans 582 6. Steve Parke 417 7. Gene Godepski 408 8. Ron Wade 392 9. Ron Ahrendt 383 10. Steve Davis 327

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Series USAC
Drivers Steve Park , Kasey Kahne , Michael Lewis , Ryan Scott , Dave Darland , Danny Ebberts , Tracy Hines , Aaron Fike , Jay Drake , A.J. Fike , Steve Paden , Josh Wise , Wally Pankratz , Clay Klepper , A.J. Foyt , Bryan Stanfill , Rick Hendrix , Matt Streeter , Thomas Meseraull , Ed Carpenter