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Bakersfield Speedway, the banked third-mile clay home track of the NMRA-TQ Midget Series, hosted rounds three and four of the 14 race season. The dates were May 20 and June 3. Point leader Chuck West, from Clovis, and Chris Thomas, from Brea, won the two 20-lap main events.

Round four on May 20 was the third consecutive feature victory for West, who drove the No. 38 West Evans Motor-sports Spike/ Bob Wirth-built 750cc Suzuki. Round five on June 3 was the second career victory for Thomas, 39, and his car owner father Ed. They won their first NMRA TQ main event last season at Bakersfield in the season opener on March12.

Thomas drove the same No. 40 Stealth/Jerry Clerc-built 836cc Honda. It was the ex-No. 88 NMRA TQ owned and raced by Ron Wade. Thomas took over the driving chores from his sister, Amanda, who retired from driving the family-owned TQ in 2011. Despite missing one of the five 2017 events, Chris ranks seventh among 13 drivers who have raced with NMRA this season. The No. 40 car also ranks seventh in owner points.

MAY 20: West started seventh and won the Indy 500 Pole Day TQ main in a multi-division card at Bakersfield Speedway, which opened in 1946. Thomas started on pole and finished second. NMRA leader West Evans came from sixth at the start to third place.

Kevin Kale started and finished fourth. Scott Niven started and finished fifth. Ace Kale and his teammate Wes Cummings also completed all 20 laps and placed sixth and seventh. Doyle Mosley had third grid position in the eight-car field, but he did not start.

West started last and won the first 8-lap heat race. Ace Kale, father of Kevin and owner of the three-car team, started and finished first in the other four-car heat. West extended his point lead from 26 to 41 points.

JUNE 3: Nine TQ drivers raced in round five at Bakersfield. Chris Thomas started second and battled fourth starter West Evans, in his own No. 36 Spike/Bob Wirth 750cc Suzuki for the victory. Thomas led the first 17 laps, Evans led lap 18. Thomas led the final two laps after a late race caution reverted the point back to the last green flag lap. Thomas held his ground on the lap 19 green flag. He had consecutive feature finishes of third, second and first.

Point leader Chuck West came from eighth in the nine-car field and finished third in his usual No. 38 Spike/Suzuki. Scott Niven, from fifth, earned fourth spot. Scott Dobson, from sixth, advanced to fifth. Ace Kale (P. 7) was the last driver on the lead lap. Kevin Kale beat teammate Wes Cummings and both ran 19 laps. Doyle Mosley, started third but dropped out on lap 4.

Evans, from second, and K. Kale, from pole position, won the five and four car heat races respectively. All drivers completed eight laps. West saw his point lead slip by two digits to 39 points over his car owner/first cousin Evans. The Evans No. 38 TQ leads the No. 36 team-car by 39 points.


May 20:

Heat 1 – Chuck West, Scott Niven, Don Mosley, Chris Thomas.

Heat 2 – Ace Kale, West Evans, Kevin Kale, Wes Cummings.

Main – West, Thomas, Evans, K. Kale, Niven, A. Kale, Cummings, Mosley.

June 3:

Heat 1 – Evans, West, Scott Dobson, Thomas, Cummings.

Heat 2 – K. Kale, Niven, Mosley, A. Kale.

Main – Thomas, Evans, West, Niven, Dobson, A. Kale, K. Kale, Cummings, Mosley.


        Drivers                                    Owners

1 Chuck West        317     1 No. 38 Evans Motor-sports    332

2 West Evans        278      2 No.36 Evans Motor-sports    293

3 Scott Niven         273      3 No. 59 Steve Parke             288

4 Kevin Kale          238      4 No. 07 Ace Kale                 254

5 Ace Kale            218      5 No. 77 Ace Kale                 234

5 Scott Dobson     218      6 No. 18 Scott Dobson           230

7 Chris Thomas     213      7 No. 40 Ed Thomas              225

8 Wes Cummings 186       8 No. 70 Ace Kale                 201

9 Bruce Hiroshima 156      9 No. 5 Bruce Hiroshima       168

10 Don Mosley ®  147    10 No.11Don Mosley               156