Hansen drives smartly to USAC Western Midget win at Bakersfield Speedway By Bobby Gerould – September 16, 2006 Oildale , CA . …Garrett Hansen is a mechanical engineering student attending Long Beach State when he isn't steering a USAC Western Midget. Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway, Hansen used his smarts to defeat a field of 20 cars in the headline event of a multi-division show on the super-fast 1/3-mile (listed) dirt oval.

Early in the 30-lap feature, Hansen's #70 Stealth / Fontana sponsored by Hansen's Welding, dropped a cylinder. Undaunted by the mechanical woes, Hansen logically used the shortest way around the track to lead all but the opening lap.

“I kept looking over my shoulder thinking ‘where the (heck) are they?'”, said the 21 year-old from Manhattan Beach , CA. “It's hard to believe we finally got one here. It seems like I've been coming here trying to win for 35 years.”

Robby Flock, a four-time USAC Western Midget driving champion, led the first lap but was passed by Hansen in turn four on lap two. Shortly thereafter, the first caution period of the race occurred when Steven Williams flipped in turn three in a four-car tangle also involving Alfred Galedrige, Matt Mitchell, and Ernie Bartley III.

By lap eight Hansen opened up a quarter-straightaway lead over 2005 series title holder Jerome Rodela. The best racing on the speedway was for sixth at the time. A fierce battle between Chris Rahe, and Rick Hendrix had the large crowd buzzing. Josh Lakatos opened eyes with a low pass of Ryan Kaplan to snare eighth place on lap 13.

At the halfway point Hansen had stretched his advantage to three-quarters of a straightaway. Rodela and Flock were trading the runner-up spot at each end of the track by lap 20. Flock, riding the rim of the high-banked track, made a spectacular move in traffic coming off turn four where he narrowly missed hitting the wall to squeeze by a ‘lapper'.

With seven laps to go the caution flag flew again for Galedrige who stopped in turn three. On lap 26, Scott Pierovich passed Flock for third on the low groove. At the checkered flag it was Hansen followed by Rodela, Pierovich, Flock, and Rahe.

Chase Barber, the likely 2006 Rookie of the Year, set quick-time at 12.709 seconds. Galedrige, Jimmy Christian, and Hansen won heat races. Flock won the semi-main.

The USAC Western Midgets join the Western Sprint Cars for a big doubleheader at Shasta Raceway Park in Anderson CA. on Saturday September 23 rd .

USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 16, 2005 – Bakersfield , California – Bakersfield Speedway

      QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Chase Barber, 91, Barber-12.709; 2. Ryan Kaplan, 21, Kaplan-12.768; 3. Garrett Hansen, 70, Hansen-12.887; 4. Rick Hendrix, 12, Hendrix-12.907; 5. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-12.955; 6. Robby Flock, 19, Sala-12.957; 7. Jerome Rodela, 25, Rodela-12.972; 8. Josh Lakatos, 4, Lakatos-12.987; 9. Scott Pierovich, 35, Pierovich-12.996; 10. Chris Rahe, 3, Rahe-12.997; 11. Alex Harris, 54, Martens-13.097; 12. Steven Williams, 47, Dennett-13.188; 13. Alfred Galedrige, 26, Galedrige-13.300; 14. Jimmy Christian, 16, Christian-13.014; 15. Bobby Boone, 10, Walker-13.431; 15. Ernie Bartley III, 74, Bartley-13.583; 17. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13,585; 18. Michael Simpson, 59, Simpson-13.821; 19. Jack Walker, 10x, Walker-13.933; 20. Doug Dewitt, 11D, Dewitt-NT; 21. Greg Bragg, 05, Walker-NT; 22. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-NT; 23. Kirk Kubik, 32, Kubik-NT; 24. Doug Hunting, 2, Hunting-NT; 25. Scott Hansen, 10H, Hansen-NT.

      FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. A.Galedrige, 2. Rahe, 3. Rodela, 4. Bartley, 5. Barber, 6. Mitchell, 7. Hendrix, 8. Walker . NT
      SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Christian, 2. Lakatos, 3. Pankratz, 4. Kaplan, 5. McQueen, 6. Harris, 7. Dewitt, 8. Kubik. NT
      THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Hansen, 2. Pierovich, 3. Williams, 4. Bragg, 5. Hansen, 6. Simpson, 7. Boone. NT

      SEMI: (10 laps) 1. Flock, 2. Harris, 3. Hendrix, 4. Mitchell, 5. Simpson, 6. Dewitt, 7. Boone. NT

      FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Garrett Hansen, 2. Jerome Rodela, 3. Scott Pierovich, 4. Robby Flock, 5. Chris Rahe, 6. Josh Lakatos, 6. Rick Hendrix, 8. Alex Harris, 9. Matt Mitchell, 10. Shannon McQueen, 11. Greg Bragg, 12. Chase Barber, 13. Ryan Kaplan, 14. Michael Simpson, 15. Scott Hansen, 16. Jimmy Christian, 17. Randi Pankratz, 8. Alfred Galedrige, 19. Steven Williams, 20. Ernie Bartley III. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Flock, Laps 2-30 Hansen.

NEW WESTERN MIDGET CAR STANDINGS: 1-Rodela-828; 2-Barber-721; 3-Tyler Brown-708;
4-Garrett Hansen-508; 5-McQueen-488; 6-Kaplan-477; 7-Pierovich-465; 8-Rahe-461; 9-Bragg-448; 10-Mitchell-399.

NEXT WESTERN MIDGET CAR RACE: September 23 – Anderson, CA – Shasta Raceway Park

Bobby Gerould


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