WM: TQ: Josh Wise Moves up to Western Midgets

Josh Wise hopes to follow in the footsteps of Jay Drake, Rick Hendrix and Ricky Shelton this year as he moves from the MCI WorldCom TQ Midget Car Series to the MCI WorldCom Western Midget wars. Both series compete Saturday night at the ...

Josh Wise hopes to follow in the footsteps of Jay Drake, Rick Hendrix and Ricky Shelton this year as he moves from the MCI WorldCom TQ Midget Car Series to the MCI WorldCom Western Midget wars. Both series compete Saturday night at the Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway in the first of nine such scheduled "doubleheaders" in the year 2000. Drake, Hendrix and Shelton all graduated from winning the TQ championship to winning the Midget Car championship and Wise would like nothing better than to be the forth driver to accomplish the feat since 1987. Drake won 1990 and 1991 TQ titles and the 1996 Midget Car crown, while Hendrix won the 1992 TQ title and the Midget Car title in 1998. Only Shelton has been able to put together back-to-back titles, taking the 1996 TQ and 1997 Midget Car championships. "I can't wait," says the excited Wise about the Bakersfield event, where he will make his Midget Car debut in the J.W. Mitchell Motorsports Edmunds/Esslinger. "Bakersfield has not been my best track," he admits, "but I like it. We tested there last week and did pretty well. That was my second time in the car and I think we're ready." Wise had a lot of engine trouble at Bakersfield last year, finishing sixth twice but losing engines in his other two appearances. He admits he doesn't set any goals for himself. "I just try to go out and do the best I can every night," he says. "But we'd sure like to win Saturday." Wise will have to contend with another TQ hopeful who would like to add his name to the list of champions in both series. Alex Harris of Simi Valley, Calif. won the 1997 and 1998 TQ crowns and finished fourth in his first Midget Car campaign last year. His three 1999 Bakersfield starts produced a seventh, sixth and fifth. Greg Edenholm of Agouro, Calif. is another driver glad to see Wise running the Midget Cars Saturday. He finished second to Wise in last year's TQ standings and hopes he can land the TQ Midget title for himself this time around. Third in the 1997 standings as well, Greg scored his first two series victories last year but had a second and a third in two Bakersfield starts. A 20-lap TQ Midget Car and 30-lap Midget Car feature are on tap at the 1/3-mile dirt track.

--USAC--

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Series USAC
Drivers Jay Drake , Josh Wise , Ricky Shelton