Bakersfield Speedway Ready for USAC Western States Midgets Saturday – By Bobby Gerould – Oildale, CA. 06/02/04 …A spectacular sight in auto racing is viewable this Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway. The top racers in the Western United States will compete in the United States Auto Club midget races on the track perfectly suited for such cars. Defending champion, Steven Paden of Downey, California heads the pre-entry list for Saturday night’s event at the 1/3-mile high-banked dirt speed plant. Paden (24) is riding a two race feature win streak in the Richard Farrier Esslinger / Stealth #01. Paden’s two wins have come at Bakersfield, and Perris. The tenth round of the USAC Western States Midgets Series will run with Johnny Rodriguez of Elk Grove, CA. leading the point standings in the popular 26-race series that crowns champion of West Coast midget racing.
Trailing Rodriguez in the points chase is Orange, California’s Wally Pankratz, the 2000 series champion. The 58 year-old veteran driver will compete against hungry young racers Jerome Rodela, Dallen McKenney, Garrett Hansen, Tyler Brown, and Matt Mitchell plus many more. Bakersfield’s own Shannon McQueen will spice the field with female power in her own Ruth Engineering #7.
Also on the card are the USAC Ford Focus North Midgets. The spec-engine series uses a full-bodied midget chassis as an ‘entry-level’ racing option for many of the brightest young talents in motorsports. Defending champion, Josh Lakatos of Pasadena finds himself in third place in the Focus North point standings in 2004. He trails Chris Rahe, and Bradley Galedridge in a tight three-way battle for the title.
Front gates open at 5 PM, with racing scheduled to begin at 7 PM. The pit gate will swing open for competitors at 3:00 PM. Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Oildale. For more information please phone (661) 393-3373.
Directions: North of Bakersfield on SR 99 to Seventh Standard Rd., then east 3.6 mi., then north .5 mi. on Chester Ave., then northeast .3 mi. on Chester Ave. Extension.