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Bakersfield, CA. - The NMRA-TQ Midget Series made two recent trips to the Bakersfield Speedway banked, clay third-mile for events eight and nine of the season. Scott Niven, now a three-time TQ feature winner in his part-time racing career, and six-time NMRA driving champion Chuck West won in multi-division racing programs at the Kern County track. They brought the number of different winners this season to five in nine features.
Seven NMRA teams traversed the famous Interstate 5 Grapevine in summer heat for the ninth completed 2016 season TQ event in California. Two April races (at Bakersfield and Santa Maria) were rained out despite the infamous and continuing California drought. Two races, on Saturdays September 24 and October 15, remain on the NMRA schedule. The site is Santa Maria Speedway.
AUGUST 20: Moorpark resident Scott Niven, 47, started from pole position and led all 20-laps in the No. 59 Rick Stewart chassis with a Honda engine. Car owner is former TQ driver Steve Parke, the NMRA director of competition for years. It was Niven's first feature triumph since March 15, 2014 when he led all 20-laps in his own No. 66 TQ at Bakersfield Speedway. It also was the first main event win for owner Parke since April 10, 2010. Dakota Schweitzer led all 20-laps in Parke's No. 59 on that date.
Teammates West Evans, from outside row two, and inside row two starter Chuck West, from Clovis, finished second and third respectively in Evans Motor-sports TQs No. 36 and No. 38. Scott Dobson, a five-time main event winner this year in his own No. 18 Stealth/Clerc Kawasaki, started fifth and placed fourth.
The three-car team owned by Ace Kale, of Westminster, finished fifth through seventh. He won the 2015 NMRA rookie of the year title at age 59. Ace, No 77 Stealth/Clerc Honda, his son Kevin Kale, No. 07 Stealth/Clerc Honda, and TQ rookie/Lakewood resident Wes Cummings, No. 70 Dave Ellis/Clerc Honda, followed in that order. Only Cummings finished off the lead lap and he ran 19 laps.
Dobson started sixth and won the only eight lap heat race conducted over West, Niven, A. Kale, Evans, Cummings and K. Kale.
SEPTEMBER 10: The most recent NMRA event at Bakersfield Speedway had ten TQs in the pits. Two eight-lap heat races were run with five cars in each. Fourth starter C. West won over Dobson. Evans, also from fourth starting slot, won the second heat over Niven.
The 20-lap feature went to West, who started sixth in the Evans No. 38 Stealth/Bob Wirth Suzuki. He led the final 15 laps after passing third starter Ace Kale, the leader of laps 1-5. Kale tied his career-best feature finish. Point leader/two-time driving champion Evans started seventh and finished third in his No. 36 Spike/Bob Wirth Suzuki. Eighth starter Dobson and fifth starter Niven completed the top five at the checkered flag. The top five drivers completed all 20 laps.
Sixth through tenth place drivers all completed 19 laps. They were: pole starter Paul Sanders, second starter Kevin Kale, tenth starter/rookie Wes Cummings, fourth starter Dave Lambert, and ninth starter Doyle Mosley, brother of the late Indy 500 driver Mike Mosley.
NMRA announced in September that its under construction new NMRA-TQ MIDGET RACING SERIES website has been launched in September. It is
POINT STANDINGS: (after nine of 11 races) as of Sept. 15, 2016.
       Drivers                                        Car Owners
1 West Evans           524       1 No. 36 West Evans     551
2 Chuck West           509       2 No. 38 West Evans     536
3 Scott Dobson         508       3 No. 18 Scott Dobson   532
4 Ace Kale               444         4 No. 77 Ace Kale       471
5 Kevin Kale             350         5 No. 59 Steve Parke   444
6 Wes Cummings (r) 281         6 No. 07 Ace Kale       374
7 Dave Lambert         277         7 No. 70 Ace Kale       302
8 Scott Niven           257         8 No. 55 Dave Lambert 295
9 Paul Sanders         235         9 No. 22 Paul Sanders 250
10 Bruce Hiroshima  196       10 No.87 Doyle Mosley 237
Seventeen drivers, including four rookies, and 14 cars have earned 2016 NMRA championship points