WS: Madera season opener report

Stewart beats 2002 USAC champs Hines & Hendrix to win Western Sprint opener at Madera. NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart of Rushville, Ind. led all 50 laps to win Saturday night's USAC Western Sprint Car opener at the Madera (CA) Speedway.

Stewart beats 2002 USAC champs Hines & Hendrix to win Western Sprint opener at Madera.

NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart of Rushville, Ind. led all 50 laps to win Saturday night's USAC Western Sprint Car opener at the Madera (CA) Speedway. His victory in the "Fred Gerhardt Open Wheel Classic" was the 56th of his USAC career.

Stewart drove the Western Speed Mopar/Coca-Cola Eagle/Mopar to the win, his fourth in four USAC Western Sprint Car career starts! He won races last year at Tracy, Calif., Irwindale, Calif. and Las Vegas, Nev.

Trailing Stewart to the checkered flag were defending USAC National Sprint Car Champion Tracy Hines, defending USAC Western Sprint Car Champion Rick Hendrix, Michael Lewis and Bud Kaeding. Jason Leffler finished sixth.

Hendrix was the fastest qualifier and heats went to Scott Hansen, Hines, Kaeding and Lewis. Tyler McQuarrie won the semi.

The USAC Western Sprint Car Series now prepares for a May 17 race at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway.

USAC WESTERN SPRINT CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Tracy Hines 66
2. Tony Stewart 64
3. Rick Hendrix 63
4. Michael Lewis 62
5. Bud Kaeding 54
6. Jason Leffler 50
7. Jim Waters 48
8. Jeff Gardner 43
9. Tony Hunt 42
10. Shauna Hogg 41

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Michael Lewis , Tracy Hines , Bud Kaeding , Tyler McQuarrie , Tony Hunt , Rick Hendrix , Scott Hansen