Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Largest Turkey Night Field In 20 Years Set For Thursday At Ventura

2017 "Turkey Night" winner Christopher Bell of Norman, Okla. (Rich Forman Photo)

Via USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 20, 2018).........The largest field of drivers for the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" since 1998 is ready to go for the 78th installment of the prestigious Thanksgiving night race this Thursday, November 22, at California's Ventura Raceway.

Among the 67 expected entries for the USAC P1 National National Midgets and Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets is a stacked driver lineup featuring the best-of-the best from a variety of racing disciplines, including past "Turkey Night" winners Kyle Larson (2012 & 2016), Christopher Bell (2014 & 2017) and 2015 winner Tanner Thorson heading the list.

Also entered is 2018 USAC National Midget champ Logan Seavey, 2014 champion Rico Abreu, plus 2018 feature winners Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant, Chad Boat, Spencer Bayston, Zeb Wise and Brady Bacon as well as Western States winners Alex Schutte, Michael Faccinto, Damion Gardner, Shane Golobic and Jake Swanson along with USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr., USAC/CRA's winningest sprint car driver Damion Gardner and past Western States Dirt champ David Prickett among many others.

Sheldon Haudenschild and Carson Macedo are studs in the winged sprint car world who will hop in a midget for their USAC Midget season debuts.

Interestingly, 33 of the 67 entered drivers are eligible to win the Don Basile "Turkey Night" Rookie of the Race honors. Wise was the top Rookie in 2017, finishing 5th.

Turkey Night actually kicks off a night earlier with practice on Wednesday, November 21. USAC West Coast/VRA Sprints will be on the card both nights.

Both Wednesday and Thursday, the pits open at 11am with the drivers meeting at 2:45pm, preceding the cars hitting the track for hot laps at 3:30pm (Pacific Time).

Both nights of racing will be streamed live on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ with live audio available on the USAC app.

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2018 "TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX" MIDGET ENTRY LIST:
1 Kyle Larson/Elk Grove, CA
1K Brayton Lynch/Springfield, IL
1p (R) Ricky Lewis/Oxnard, CA
1x Johnathon Henry/Stockton, CA
2D (R) Kevin Woody, Jr./Victor, NY
3c Tanner Thorson/Minden, NV
3F (R) Geoff Ensign/Sebastapol, CA
4D Robert Dalby/Anaheim, CA
4M (R) Michelle Decker/Guthrie, OK
5 (R) Sterling Cling/Tempe, AZ
7BC Tyler Courtney/Indianapolis, IN
7u (R) Grady Chandler/Piedmont, OK
8 Randi Pankratz/Atascadero, CA
9D Michael Faccinto/Hanford, CA
9F Frankie Guerrini/San Rafael, CA
10 (R) Lance Bennett/Aurora, CO
10B (R) Blaze Bennett/Parker, CO
15 (R) Jason McDougal/Broken Arrow, OK
15c (R) Carson Garrett/Littleton, CO
15x Ashley Hazelton-Heredia/Chatsworth, CA
17BC (R) Cole Bodine/Rossville, IN
17G (R) Dustin Golobic/Fremont, CA
17s (R) Sheldon Haudenschild/Wooster, OH
17w Shane Golobic/Fremont, CA
20 (R) C.J. Sarna/Long Beach, CA
21 Christopher Bell/Norman, OK
24x David Prickett/Fresno, CA
25 Jerry Coons, Jr./Tucson, AZ
25x Damion Gardner/Concord, CA
27 Tucker Klaasmeyer/Paola, KS
28 Alex Schutte/Redding, CA
31 (R) Kyle Beilman/Santa Monica, CA
33P (R) Mike Leach/Foothill Ranch, CA
35 (R) Holley Hollan/Broken Arrow, OK
39BC Zeb Wise/Angola, IN
55 (R) C.J. Leary/Greenfield, IN
55T (R) Tony Everhart/El Cajon, CA
57 Maria Cofer/Macdoel, CA
67 Logan Seavey/Sutter, CA
67K Holly Shelton/Sacramento, CA
67x (R) Austin Liggett/Tracy, CA
67z Michael Pickens/Auckland, NZ
68 Robby Josett/Santa Clarita, CA
68w Jake Swanson/Anaheim, CA
71 Ryan Robinson/Foresthill, CA
71D (R) Bryan Drollinger/Lomita, CA
71K Tanner Carrick/Lincoln, CA
71R (R) Chase Johnson/Penngrove, CA
71s Cody Swanson/Covina, CA
71x (R) Jesse Colwell/Red Bluff, CA
72 (R) Sam Johnson/St. Peters, MO
73 (R) Dylan Ito/Newbury Park, CA
73K (R) Buddy Kofoid/Penngrove, CA
73T Ryan Bernal/Hollister, CA
73x Carson Macedo/Lemoore, CA
76E Justin Grant/Ione, CA
76M Brady Bacon/Broken Arrow, OK
77 (R) Daniel Anderson/Riverside, CA
77B (R) Olivia Bennett/Aurora, CO
84 Chad Boat/Phoenix, AZ
85 (R) McKenna Haase/Des Moines, IA
87 (R) Colby Copeland/Roseville, CA
91 (R) Chris Sheil/Aurora, CO
97 Spencer Bayston/Lebanon, IN
97F (R) Jesse Fernandez/Parker, CO
97K Rico Abreu/St. Helena, CA
99 (R) Colton Heath/Marysville, WA
(R) = Don Basile Rookie of the Race Candidate

Monday, November 19, 2018

2019 CA Speedweek Announced For June 25-29



Via Blakesley Sports Media

STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA (November 19, 2018) – Officials from the California Speedweek have announced that the fifth annual Micro Sprint event will take place June 25-29, 2019. Drivers across Super 600, Non Wing, and Restricted Micro Sprints will compete at Dixon Speedway, Delta Speedway, Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park, and Lemoore Raceway.

Wood is the traditional symbol for a fifth anniversary and it couldn’t be more fitting for the Speedweek with its coveted carved wooden bear trophies. One driver stands above them all with Tyler “TJ” Smith accumulating five feature win bears and three championship bears through the first four editions.

The series list of previous champions includes young up and coming drivers such as Gio Scelzi, Garth Kasiner, and Brooklyn Holland. Previous champions also include many well-known dirt open wheel standouts such as Michael Faccinto, Jake Hagopian, Chris Andrews, and Smith.

More than $200,000 in cash and prizes has been awarded throughout the series’ 16 nights of competition thus far.

Pre-registration and additional details will be announced soon. Sponsorships are available by contacting Steven Blakesley at steven@norcalmedia.com or (916) 316-4854.

The California Speedweek is available online at www.CASpeedweek.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Seavey Saves Best For Last At Bakersfield, Clinches USAC National Midget Title

#67 Logan Seavey battles #97K Rico Abreu for the lead on his way to victory during Saturday night's "November Classic" USAC P1 Insurance National & Light Up The World Western States Midget feature at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway (Devin Mayo Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Bakersfield, California.........For 29 and three-quarters of a lap, Logan Seavey was staring straight at the tail tank of his teammate Rico Abreu's car as he followed him lap-after-lap around the Bakersfield Speedway 1/3-mile dirt oval.

But all it took was one quarter, and one big run off the high side of turn four, for Seavey to race around the 2014 series champ for the lead and score his third victory of the year by a .292-second margin.

Though the Sutter, Calif. driver was steadfast in his approach down the stretch, Seavey admitted he nearly gave up on the high line. But he stuck with it and stuck his Keith Kunz Motorsports-Curb-Agajanian/Mobil 1 - JBL Audio/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota in victory lane at Saturday's "November Classic" USAC P1 Insurance National and Light Up The World Western States Midget event.

"I was just kind of riding behind him," Seavey recalled. "On that last run, got away from me, so I kept working the top. I almost gave up on it, but on the last lap, I fully committed, and I got a bunch of drive off exit. I definitely wasn't expecting that. It looked like he maybe bobbled a little bit, but sometimes, that's what it takes."

Seavey ran second for and played the role of the chaser, which afforded him the opportunity to dust off a few trails of his own as he sought a way around Abreu.

"Racing with Rico so long, you learn how his driving style works," Seavey explained. "He was committed to the bottom and he's really good on top. Obviously, Rico's known for that. Luckily, I was the one running second and I was able to search. He had to commit to his line and do what was working for him. That's the bad part about leading these races because we've all lost them that way. Tonight, we got one that way."

With the victory and the subsequent addition of maximum feature points to his credit, Seavey has essentially clinched the USAC P1 Insurance National Midget championship, carrying a 137-point advantage into Thursday's season finale, the 78th "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway.

It's been an amazing journey for the quick study who started his first USAC Midget race just a calendar year ago. On this night, the series Rookie became the first driver to reach victory lane for the third time in 2018 in what has been an incredibly-balanced season. With a National title now in his back pocket, he has reached a stratosphere that few have ever achieved as a USAC National Midget champion in his Rookie season, following in the tracks of Danny Caruthers in 1971 and Christopher Bell in 2013.

"It's pretty dang cool," Seavey exclaimed. "Not too long ago, I didn't even have a midget ride. I was just hoping one day to be able to race midgets. Now here we are with the best team in the world and we're USAC national champions!"

Although Seavey began the feature event from the pole position, it was outside front row starter Abreu who looked every bit the dominator on this night as he locked in on winning his first series race in over 16 months. Abreu rocketed around the outside of Seavey on the first and second tries at the green, which were called back due to multiple stoppages, the first of which saw Western States Midget point leader Michael Faccinto get upside down. He finished 24th and now trails Alex Schutte by four points in the standings entering the finale.

The third time was a charm as Seavey slid up further to prevent Abreu's charge off turn two, but Abreu quickly countered and dove back under Seavey off turn two to snag the lead once again, then immediately headed to the bottom entering turn three. Abreu would play the balancing act of entering high in turn one and rolling the bottom of turn three for the duration.

Through the mid-portion of the race, Seavey was engaged with Zeb Wise for the runner-up spot with fellow series Rookie Wise momentarily possessing the position on lap 13 with ta turn one slider, but Seavey was able to punch his way back by on the back straight with Wise, Chad Boat and Shane Golobic hanging in the not-so-distant rear.

With ten to go, Seavey ramped up the pressure as he shadowed Abreu on both ends of the racetrack, high in one and low in three. Following a Ryan Robinson spin in turn three with nine laps remaining, the top-three of Abreu, Seavey and Wise were in freight-train mode as they battled for the lead. Seavey broke from the tracks and went topside in turn three on lap 23, diamonding off midway between three and four which resulted in a him gaining a big run that allowed him to close right on the rear bumper of Abreu exiting off the bottom of four. Seavey kept the train a rolling all the way into turn one, sliding up in front of Abreu, but again, Abreu put on his bulletproof vest and put a stop to Seavey's Bullet (By Spike), countering back by and driving past Seavey to retake the point.

After Wise slowed to a stop on lap 24 to bring out the final yellow, the score would be settled between Abreu and Seavey. Abreu utilized a quality start off the blocks at the drop of the green to gain a half-second advantage right off the bat, but that's where Seavey went to work, searching high, low and everywhere in between.

On the last lap, Seavey stalked Abreu through turns one and two, but as Abreu headed for the bottom of three, Seavey had no doubts in his mind about heading to the top. He nailed it as perfect as perfection can be, ripping past Abreu off the final turn to score the victory by two car lengths over Abreu, with S. Golobic a close-by third, Spencer Bayston fourth and Chad Boat fifth.

"Not too long ago, I didn't even have a midget ride. I was just hoping one day to be able to race midgets. Now here we are with the best team in the world and we're USAC national champions!" - Logan Seavey (Devin Mayo Photo)

For Rico, it was a tough one to take as he appeared to be in control as others made runs at him throughout the event. But, as you'll hear drivers say, being in the lead can become a disadvantage at times on a dirt track, not knowing where your nearest competition is and not being able to see where the fastest line is at the moment.

"I just tried to be as patient as I could throughout the race," Abreu remembers. "When you get all these cautions, it changes the momentum of everything. I felt like we were good enough for a little five-lap dash there at the end. I should've moved around a lot more, but we never caught lapped traffic, so I couldn't judge my pace off anybody. I just set my own pace and waited for someone to drive around me, so I could race with them. Logan got by at the perfect time."

"I just made the wrong mistakes at the wrong times," Abreu continued. "If the roles were reversed, I would've been doing the same thing by moving around a lot more. You get trapped when you're leading, though. My car felt really good on the bottom of three and four. I had that diamond line in one and two where I could get such a big run down the back stretch and then slam on the brakes and slow it down. Another Kunz car won and, if you're going to run second, you might as well run second to one of your guys.

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway were Michael Faccinto (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Alex Schutte (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Cody Swanson (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Jason McDougal (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Holly Shelton (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer).

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USAC P1 INSURANCE NATIONAL & LIGHT UP THE WORLD WESTERN STATES MIDGET presented by CBD Living Water RACE RESULTS: November 17, 2018 - Bakersfield Speedway - Bakersfield, California - "November Classic"

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-12.536; 2. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.724; 3. Sam Johnson, 72, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.729; 4. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson Marshall/Wood-12.756; 5. Damion Gardner, 25x, Rodela-12.782; 6. Zeb Wise, 39BC, Clauson Marshall-12.786; 7. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.807; 8. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.811; 9. Dustin Golobic, 17G, Wood-12.829; 10. Rico Abreu, 97K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.831; 11. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.850; 12. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.867; 13. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.872; 14. Colton Heath, 99, Stewart-12.890; 15. Justin Grant, 76E, FMR-12.911; 16. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.931; 17. Michael Faccinto, 9D, Dodenhoff-12.935; 18. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson Marshall-12.942; 19. Alex Schutte, 28, Schutte/McElwee-13.000; 20. Cody Swanson, 71s, Campbell-13.039; 21. Holley Hollan, 35, Petry-13.048; 22. Sterling Cling, 5, Petry-13.049; 23. Jesse Colwell, 71x, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.056; 24. Michael Pickens, 67z, Kahne-13.061; 25. Jason McDougal, 15, Petry-13.094; 26. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-13.145; 27. Kyle Beilman, 31, Beilman-13.148; 28. Daniel Anderson, 7, McQueen-13.180; 29. C.J. Leary, 68, Six8-13.216; 30. Cole Bodine, 17BC, Clauson Marshall-13.230; 31. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry-13.239; 32. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-13.304; 33. Jake Swanson, 68w, Six8-13.307; 34. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-13.465; 35. Ashley Hazelton-Heredia, 15x, Hazelton-13.903; 36. Jesse Fernandez, 97F, Fernandez-14.309; 37. Shawn Jones, 10w, Jones-14.661; 38. David Prickett, 24x, Neverlift-NT; 39. Ricky Lewis, 1p, Nichols-NT; 40. Tanner Thorson, 3c, Tri-C-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS / EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Faccinto, 2. D. Golobic, 3. Bayston, 4. Hollan, 5. Boat, 6. Gardner, 7. J. Swanson, 8. McDougal, 9. Leary, 10. Jones. 1:44.15

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Courtney, 2. Abreu, 3. Wise, 4. Cling, 5. Shelton, 6. Heath, 7. Dalby, 8. Bodine, 9. Cofer. 1:43.59 (New Track Record)

CHALK STIX / COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Schutte, 2. Grant, 3. Bacon, 4. Coons, 5. Robinson, 6. Colwell, 7. Johnson, 8. Lewis, 9. Beilman, 10. Hazelton-Heredia. 1:47.84

INDY RACE PARTS / BUTLERBUILT SEATS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. C. Swanson, 2. Seavey, 3. Pickens, 4. S. Golobic, 5. Carrick, 6. Klaasmeyer, 7. Sarna, 8. Anderson, 9. Fernandez, 10. Thorson. 1:48.80

PYROTECT RACING CELLS C-MAIN: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Bodine, 2. J. Swanson, 3. Cofer, 4. Sarna, 5. Fernandez, 6. Hazelton-Heredia, 7. Lewis, 8. Jones. NT

ROD END SUPPLY SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Boat, 2. Carrick, 3. Robinson, 4. Klaasmeyer, 5. McDougal, 6. Johnson, 7. Shelton, 8. Gardner, 9. J. Swanson, 10. Dalby, 11. Leary, 12. Bodine, 13. Cofer, 14. Colwell, 15. Sarna, 16. Beilman. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (1), 2. Rico Abreu (2), 3. Shane Golobic (6), 4. Spencer Bayston (11), 5. Chad Boat (7), 6. Tanner Carrick (13), 7. Brady Bacon (4), 8. Holly Shelton (25), 9. Jason McDougal (21), 10. Tucker Klaasmeyer (9), 11. Jerry Coons, Jr. (22), 12. Cole Bodine (23), 13. Cody Swanson (17), 14. Sam Johnson (8), 15. Dustin Golobic (3), 16. Robert Dalby (24), 17. Alex Schutte (16), 18. Holley Hollan (18), 19. C.J. Sarna (26), 20. Zeb Wise (5), 21. Ryan Robinson (10), 22. Tyler Courtney (15), 23. Sterling Cling (19), 24. Michael Faccinto (14), 25. Justin Grant (12), 26. Michael Pickens (20). NT
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**Jones flipped during the C-Main. Beilman flipped during the semi. Faccinto flipped on the opening lap of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-29 Abreu, Lap 30 Seavey.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Jason McDougal (21st to 9th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Cody Swanson

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Holly Shelton

NEW USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Seavey-988, 2-Bacon-851, 3-Boat-849, 4-Bayston-833, 5-Courtney-804, 6-Grant-802, 7-Carrick-785, 8-K. Thomas-711, 9-Wise-609, 10-Robinson-569.

NEW USAC LIGHT UP THE WORLD WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Schutte-730, 2-Faccinto-726, 3-Dalby-578, 4-Robby Josett-570, 5-Sarna-528, 6-Prickett-509, 7-Beilman-428, 8-Frankie Guerrini-370, 9-Ronnie Gardner-370, 10-Shannon McQueen-370.

NEXT USAC P1 INSURANCE NATIONAL AND LIGHT UP THE WORLD WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE: November 22 - Ventura Raceway - Ventura, California - 78th "Turkey Night Grand Prix"

Friday, November 16, 2018

Bakersfield USAC Midgets Live Saturday On Speed Shift TV


Via USAC Media

Bakersfield, California (November 16, 2018).........The USAC P1 Insurance National Midgets are headed to the west coast this weekend and you're invited to join them as Speed Shift TV will have live coverage of the Saturday, November 17 event at California's Bakersfield Speedway.

Around 40 of the top wheelmen and women from USAC's National and Light Up The World Western States Midget series will be on hand for the "November Classic," including four past USAC National Midget champions, Jerry Coons, Jr. (2006-07), Rico Abreu (2014), Tanner Thorson (2016), Spencer Bayston (2017) along with current point leader Logan Seavey.

The stacked lineup also features four additional individuals who've driven to USAC National Midget victory lane in 2018: Tyler Courtney, Brady Bacon, Zeb Wise and Chad Boat. Michael Pickens won a pair with the series in 2017, but will be making his first start of the year this Saturday. C.J. Leary has tallied wins in both the USAC Silver Crown and AMSOIL National Sprint Car series this year, but is on track to make a rare midget start this weekend in search of his first series victory.

Michael Faccinto leads the Western States contingent with a two-point lead over Alex Schutte in the standings. Faccinto was victorious at Bakersfield in June and also won in 2016, while Schutte, the 2010 Western States champ, has won twice at Bakersfield in his career during the 2009 and 2015 seasons. Cody Swanson picked up his first Western States win at Bakersfield in 2013.

Damion Gardner is a seven-time champ in USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, but he's top-flight in a midget as well, with a win under his belt at Bakersfield in 2005. Shannon McQueen and David Prickett, the 2012 overall and 2012 Western States dirt champs, respectively, are also expected entrants along with the driver who swept both nights of the midget portion of this year's "Louie Vermiel Classic" at Calistoga, Shane Golobic.

Pits open at 2pm, gates open at 4pm. Drivers meeting at 4:30pm. Cars on track at 5pm. (Pacific Time) (All Times Subject to Change). Adult general admission tickets are $16, senior and military tickets are $14, kids 6-12 are $8 and kids age 5 and under are FREE! Pit pass are $45 each.

All the action will be live on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ with live audio for free on the USAC app. As always, all USAC National and Western States events will be available to view within a day following the race on http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

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BAKERSFIELD "NOVEMBER CLASSIC" EXPECTED ENTRIES:
1p Ricky Lewis/Oxnard, CA
3c Tanner Thorson/Minden, NV
4D Robert Dalby/Anaheim, CA
5 Sterling Cling/Tempe, AZ
7 Shannon McQueen/Bakersfield, CA
7BC Tyler Courtney/Indianapolis, IN
8 Randi Pankratz/Atascadero, CA
9D Michael Faccinto/Hanford, CA
9F Frankie Guerrini/San Rafael, CA
15 Jason McDougal/Broken Arrow, OK
15x Ashley Hazelton-Heredia/Chatsworth, CA
17BC Cole Bodine/Rossville, IN
17G Dustin Golobic/Fremont, CA
17w Shane Golobic/Fremont, CA
20 C.J. Sarna/Palm Desert, CA
24x David Prickett/Fresno, CA
25 Jerry Coons, Jr./Tucson, AZ
25x Damion Gardner/Concord, CA
27 Tucker Klaasmeyer/Paola, KS
28 Alex Schutte/Redding, CA
31 Kyle Beilman/Mar Vista, CA
35 Holley Hollan/Broken Arrow, OK
39BC Zeb Wise/Angola, IN
57 Maria Cofer/Macdoel, CA
67 Logan Seavey/Sutter, CA
67K Holly Shelton/Sacramento, CA
67z Michael Pickens/Auckland, NZ
68 C.J. Leary/Greenfield, IN
68w Jake Swanson/Anaheim, CA
71 Ryan Robinson/Foresthill, CA
71K Tanner Carrick/Lincoln, CA
71s Cody Swanson/Norco, CA
71x Jesse Colwell/Red Bluff, CA
72 Sam Johnson/St. Peters, MO
76m Brady Bacon/Broken Arrow, OK
77 Daniel Anderson/Riverside, CA
84 Chad Boat/Phoenix, AZ
97 Spencer Bayston/Lebanon, IN
97F Jesse Fernandez/Parker, CO
97K Rico Abreu/St. Helena, CA
99 Colton Heath/Marysville, WA
?? Justin Grant/Ione, CA

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

78th Turkey Night Represented By 14 States, 2 Countries

#27 Tucker Klaasmeyer of Kansas, a state which has not yet produced a "Turkey Night Grand Prix" winner. (Photo Courtesy Mike Roth)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 14, 2018).........Turkey Night is a destination race. It's one any driver wants to add to his or her resume when the helmet is hung up.

That's a major reason why drivers come from all over each Fall to race midgets in southern California when Thanksgiving Night rolls around each year, as will happen on Thursday, November 22, when top guns from the USAC P1 Insurance National Midgets, Light Up The World Western States Midgets and other racing disciplines converge on Ventura Raceway for the 78th edition of this grand event.

This year's pre-entry list features drivers from 14 different states and two countries (United States and New Zealand). Unsurprisingly, the home state of California leads all states with 33 drivers representing the Golden State. The remaining states are spread fairly evenly with six each from Colorado and Oklahoma, five from Indiana, a pair from Washington, and one apiece from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New York and Ohio.

Six of the 14 states in this year's field have never produced a "Turkey Night" winner: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio and Washington. Although, Iowa was the residence of two-time winner Mel Kenyon for a period at the beginning of his career before he made his home in Lebanon, Ind.

There has never been a foreign-born winner, although Michael Pickens is highly-capable of changing that stat this year! Meanwhile, the states of Missouri and New York have had quite a hiatus from "Turkey Night" glory. Missouri's last triumphs were with Roy Russing, who went back-to-back in 1940-41. "Bullet" Joe Garson scored in 1958 as New York's lone winner.

Eighteen states have had a driver claim a "Turkey Night" victory, with California leading the way at 24. Indiana sits in second with 12, nine of which have occurred since the turn of the century. Arizona has 11, but what makes it even more impressive is that all 11 of them were accomplished by just two drivers! Ron Shuman leads all drivers with eight while Billy Boat has three. Illinois chimes in at six and Wisconsin at four.

Oddly enough, all seven states with exactly two "Turkey Night" wins have just one driver representing them as two-time winners of the race: Parnelli Jones (Arkansas), Dave Steele (Florida), Bob Swanson (Minnesota), Roy Russing (Missouri), Ronney Householder (Nebraska), Christopher Bell (Oklahoma) and A.J. Foyt (Texas).

Notching a single in the win column over the years are Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Oregon and South Dakota.

Fans come from all over to witness this event in-person too! Turkey Night tix can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/78th-annual-turkey-night-grand-prix-tickets-42401301434?fbclid=IwAR3f5z07dJt8vp7zb46bY3wbWghCfr_naegvhVoi4OSJ0WlaXaIqpSBSfp4

On Thursday, November 22, it's a full program for the Midgets, plus semis and a feature for the USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Cars. Pits open at 11:45am, drivers meeting at 2:45pm, front gates at 3pm and cars on track at 3:15pm. General admission tickets are $35. Reserved tickets are $45 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. Pit passes are $50 for VRA and USAC members. $50,000 will go to a driver if he or she can win both main events.

All the action will be live on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ with live audio for free on the USAC app. As always, all USAC National and Western States events will be available to view within a day following the race on http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

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2018 TURKEY NIGHT ENTRIES (BY STATE):

ALABAMA: (1) Kevin Thomas, Jr.

ARIZONA: (3) Chad Boat, Sterling Cling & Jerry Coons, Jr.

CALIFORNIA: (33) Rico Abreu, Daniel Anderson, Kyle Beilman, Ryan Bernal, Tanner Carrick, Maria Cofer, Colby Copeland, Robert Dalby, Bryan Drollinger, Michael Faccinto, Damion Gardner, Dustin Golobic, Shane Golobic, Frankie Guerrini, Ashley Heredia, Dylan Ito, Chase Johnson, Robby Josett, Buddy Kofoid, Kyle Larson, Mike Leach, Jr., Austin Liggett, Carson Macedo, Randi Pankratz, David Prickett, Ryan Robinson, C.J. Sarna, Alex Schutte, Logan Seavey, Holly Shelton, Cody Swanson, Jake Swanson & Brad Sweet

COLORADO: (6) Blaze Bennett, Lance Bennett, Olivia Bennett, Jesse Fernandez, Carson Garrett & Chris Sheil

ILLINOIS: (1) Brayton Lynch

INDIANA: (5) Spencer Bayston, Cole Bodine, Tyler Courtney, C.J. Leary & Zeb Wise

IOWA: (1) McKenna Haase

KANSAS: (1) Tucker Klaasmeyer

MISSOURI: (1) Sam Johnson

NEVADA: (1) Tanner Thorson

NEW YORK: (1) Kevin Woody, Jr.

OHIO: (1) Sheldon Haudenschild

OKLAHOMA: (6) Brady Bacon, Christopher Bell, Grady Chandler, Michelle Decker, Holley Hollan & Jason McDougal

WASHINGTON: (2) Tristin Thomas & Colton Heath

NEW ZEALAND: (1) Michael Pickens

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1934-2017 TURKEY NIGHT WINNERS (BY STATE):

ARIZONA: (11) Billy Boat (3) & Ron Shuman (8)

ARKANSAS: (2) Parnelli Jones (2)

CALIFORNIA: (24) Dick Atkins, George Benson, Billy Cantrell, Jay Drake, Edgar Elder, Rick Goudy, Perry Grimm (2), Chuck Gurney (2), Jordan Hermansader, Brent Kaeding, Kyle Larson (2), Jason Leffler (2), Danny McKnight, Danny Oakes, Johnnie Parsons, Gary Patterson, Tony Simon, Ted Sizemore, Bill Vukovich & Bill Zaring

FLORIDA: (2) Dave Steele (2)

ILLINOIS: (6) Gary Bettenhausen (2), Tony Bettenhausen, Bubby Jones, Johnny McDowell & Kevin Olson

INDIANA: (12) Caleb Armstrong, Bryan Clauson (2), Dave Darland (2), Bobby East, Mel Kenyon (2), Warren Mockler, Michael Lewis, Tony Stewart & Billy Wease

MASSACHUSETTS: (1) Bobby Santos

MICHIGAN: (1) Sam Sessions

MINNESOTA: (2) Bob Swanson (2)

MISSOURI: (2) Roy Russing (2)

NEBRASKA: (2) Ronney Householder (2)

NEVADA: (1) Tanner Thorson

NEW YORK: (1) Joe Garson

OKLAHOMA: (2) Christopher Bell (2)

OREGON: (1) George Amick

SOUTH DAKOTA: (1) Mel Hansen

TEXAS: (2) A. J. Foyt (2)

WISCONSIN: (4) Billy Engelhart (2) & Stan Fox (2)

Big Midget Field Expected For November Classic Saturday At Bakersfield

Petry Motorsports teammates #25 Jerry Coons, Jr. and #15 Jason McDougal battle for position during the 2018 USAC P1 Insurance National Midget season. (Photo Courtesy Josh James)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Bakersfield, California (November 14, 2018).........An abundance of USAC Midget racing talent will be on display in this Saturday's "November Classic" at Bakersfield Speedway as the P1 Insurance National Midgets clash with the Light Up The World Western States Midgets for the first of two times in 2018.

The field sees four past USAC National Midget champions on board for the November 17 race on the speedy 1/3-mile dirt oval, including Jerry Coons, Jr. (2006-07), Rico Abreu (2014), Tanner Thorson (2016), Spencer Bayston (2017) along with current point leader Logan Seavey.

The stacked lineup also features four additional individuals who've driven to USAC National Midget victory lane in 2018: Tyler Courtney, Brady Bacon, Zeb Wise and Chad Boat. Michael Pickens won a pair with the series in 2017, but will be making his first start of the year this Saturday. C.J. Leary has tallied wins in both the USAC Silver Crown and AMSOIL National Sprint Car series this year, but is on track to make a rare midget start this weekend in search of his first series victory.

Michael Faccinto leads the Western States contingent with a two-point lead over Alex Schutte in the standings. Faccinto was victorious at Bakersfield in June and also won in 2016, while Schutte, the 2010 Western States champ, has won twice at Bakersfield in his career during the 2009 and 2015 seasons. Cody Swanson picked up his first Western States win at Bakersfield in 2013.

Damion Gardner is a seven-time champ in USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, but he's top-flight in a midget as well, with a win under his belt at Bakersfield in 2005. Shannon McQueen and David Prickett, the 2012 overall and 2012 Western States dirt champs, respectively, are also expected entrants along with the driver who swept both nights of the midget portion of this year's "Louie Vermiel Classic" at Calistoga, Shane Golobic.

Pits open at 2pm, gates open at 4pm. Drivers meeting at 4:30pm. Cars on track at 5pm. (Pacific Time) (All Times Subject to Change). Adult general admission tickets are $16, senior and military tickets are $14, kids 6-12 are $8 and kids age 5 and under are FREE! Pit pass are $45 each.

All the action will be live on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ with live audio for free on the USAC app. As always, all USAC National and Western States events will be available to view within a day following the race on http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

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BAKERSFIELD "NOVEMBER CLASSIC" EXPECTED ENTRIES:
1p Tristin Thomas/Burlington, WA
3c Tanner Thorson/Minden, NV
4D Robert Dalby/Anaheim, CA
5 Sterling Cling/Tempe, AZ
7 Shannon McQueen/Bakersfield, CA
7BC Tyler Courtney/Indianapolis, IN
8 Randi Pankratz/Atascadero, CA
9D Michael Faccinto/Hanford, CA
9F Frankie Guerrini/San Rafael, CA
15 Jason McDougal/Broken Arrow, OK
15x Ashley Heredia/Chatsworth, CA
17BC Cole Bodine/Rossville, IN
17G Dustin Golobic/Fremont, CA
17w Shane Golobic/Fremont, CA
20 C.J. Sarna/Palm Desert, CA
24x David Prickett/Fresno, CA
25 Jerry Coons, Jr./Tucson, AZ
25x Damion Gardner/Concord, CA
27 Tucker Klaasmeyer/Paola, KS
28 Alex Schutte/Redding, CA
31 Kyle Beilman/Mar Vista, CA
35 Holley Hollan/Broken Arrow, OK
39BC Zeb Wise/Angola, IN
57 Maria Cofer/Macdoel, CA
67 Logan Seavey/Sutter, CA
67K Holly Shelton/Sacramento, CA
67z Michael Pickens/Auckland, NZ
68 C.J. Leary/Greenfield, IN
71 Ryan Robinson/Foresthill, CA
71K Tanner Carrick/Lincoln, CA
71s Cody Swanson/Norco, CA
72 Sam Johnson/St. Peters, MO
76m Brady Bacon/Broken Arrow, OK
77 Daniel Anderson/Riverside, CA
84 Chad Boat/Phoenix, AZ
97 Spencer Bayston/Lebanon, IN
97F Jesse Fernandez/Parker, CO
97K Rico Abreu/St. Helena, CA
99 Colton Heath/Marysville, WA
?? Justin Grant/Ione, CA