WM: Tucson "Old Pueblo Classic" preview

East, Rodriguez Lead Midgets To "Old Pueblo Classic" Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind. and Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, Calif., each headed for their initial USAC driving championships, lead the USAC National and Western Midgets to...

East, Rodriguez Lead Midgets To "Old Pueblo Classic"

Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind. and Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, Calif., each headed for their initial USAC driving championships, lead the USAC National and Western Midgets to this Saturday's "Old Pueblo Classic" at Tucson Raceway Park in Tucson, Ariz.

East won last year's "Old Pueblo Classic" Sprint car feature and is slated to compete in both the Midget and Valvoline Western Sprint Car series which comprise Tucson's "doubleheader." A 40-lap feature for each series follows complete preliminaries on the 3/8-mile paved oval where practice begins at 1 pm and racing gets under way at 5.

Most of the "top-10" drivers in both Midget series are expected to compete at Tucson. They will be aiming at Dave Darland's National Midget track record of 14.270 seconds, set in 2001.

East is USAC's winningest driver this season, with 13 total victories in various racing series. Five of East's wins have come in the National Midgets, including the prestigious "Belleville Midget Nationals" in Kansas in July. Rodriguez has posted eight "podium" finishes but continues to search for his initial USAC Western Midget win.

Key challengers in Saturday's Tucson Midget event will include Josh Wise, Wally Pankratz, Tom Hessert, Jerome Rodela, Brad Kuhn, Steve Paden and Cole Carter.

USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Bobby East-1,185
2.-Josh Wise-849
3.-Tom Hessert-660
4.-Brad Kuhn-619
5.-Cole Carter-607
6.-Davey Ray-594
7.-Dave Darland-572
8.-Dave Steele-556
9.-Ron Gregory-554
10.-Teddy Beach-505

USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1.-Johnny Rodriguez-1,099
2.-Wally Pankratz-946
3.-Jerome Rodela-917
4.-Steve Paden-727
5.-Robby Flock-709
6.-Garrett Hansen-684
7.-Dallen McKenney-673
8.-Matt Mitchell-575
9.-Shannon McQueen-516
10.-Tyler Brown-496

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Series USAC
Drivers Brad Kuhn , Dave Darland , Dave Steele , Tom Hessert , Johnny Rodriguez , Bobby East , Teddy Beach , Ron Gregory , Steve Paden , Josh Wise , Davey Ray , Wally Pankratz , Cole Carter , Robby Flock , Matt Mitchell , Shannon McQueen , Garrett Hansen