Steve Paden of Downey, Calif. only ranks fourth in the USAC MCI WorldCom Western Midget Car standings after the series' opening race at Phoenix, Ariz. in February, but that's as good as first-place going into this weekend's back-to-back...
Steve Paden of Downey, Calif. only ranks fourth in the USAC MCI WorldCom Western Midget Car standings after the series' opening race at Phoenix, Ariz. in February, but that's as good as first-place going into this weekend's back-to-back events at Madera and Stockton, Calif. The three drivers who rank ahead of Paden, who finished fifth at the "Copper World Classic" in February, have their sights set on National titles, leaving Paden as the heir to the Western point lead, pending a decent showing this weekend. Steve finished seventh in last year's Western standings and would like to move up in the rankings. IN 1999 he posted an eighth-place finish as his best at Madera, while he did not start a race at Stockton. This weekend's "doubleheaders" at Madera (Saturday) and Stockton (Sunday) feature both the MCI WorldCom Western Midget Cars and the Western Sprint Cars. A 30-lap Midget Car and 40-lap Sprint Car feature are on tap at each track. The two events serve as the openers for the Western Sprint Car Series, with Rick Williams of San Leandro, Calif. out to shed his "bridesmaid" tag after finishing second in the final standings all four years since the series began in 1996. Last year, Rick had a pair of fourths and an eighth in three Madera starts. This Sunday's race at Stockton will mark the series' debut there. Practice at the 1/3-mile Madera Speedway oval on Saturday gets under way at noon, while Sunday's practice at the 1/4-mile Stockton 99 Speedway oval starts at 10:30 am.
<pre> USAC MCI WORLDCOM WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS
1. Ryan Newman 63 2. Dave Darland 57 3. A.J. Fike 53 4. Steve Paden 48 5. John Heydenreich 45 6. Jay Drake 42 7. Jimmy McCune 39 8. Clay Klepper 36 9. Ryan Scott 33 10. Ronnie Johncox 31