Saturday, December 8, 2018

Swanson, Courtney, Seavey, Share Spotlight At Friday's 63rd Night Of Champions Celebration

The three USAC National Champions: AMSOIL Sprint champ Tyler Courtney (Left), P1 Insurance Midget champ Logan Seavey (Middle) & Silver Crown champ Kody Swanson (right). (Jeremey Rhoades Photo)

Via USAC Medie

Indianapolis, Indiana (December 7, 2018).........USAC National driving champions Kody Swanson, Tyler Courtney and Logan Seavey shared the spotlight along with other 2018 USAC champions and special award recipients at Friday night's 63rd USAC "Night of Champions" celebration at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, Ind.

Swanson, of Kingsburg, Calif., Courtney, of Indianapolis, IN and Seavey, of Sutter, Calif., earned National championships. Swanson is a four-time Silver Crown titlist, Courtney a first-time AMSOIL Sprint Car king and Seavey a first-time P1 Insurance National Midget champ.

Courtney secured the $5,000 Mike Curb "Super License" in memory of Bryan Clauson. The award was presented for scoring the most National points combined in the three series.

Car owner National champions for 2018 included DePalma Motorsports of Lima, Ohio (Silver Crown), Clauson/Marshall/Newman Racing of Fishers, Ind. (Sprint) and Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports of Columbus, Ind. (Midget).

Emcees Pat Sullivan, Dillon Welch and Butch Lamb orchestrated the presentations, which included driver and car entrant champions, Rookies of the Year, Most Improved Drivers and special award recipients.

Among items presented to the 2018 champions were championship rings from Jostens, trophies, plaques, Hoosier Tire jackets, medallions, distinctive sound art canvases and OGIO Sonic Sling Packs from Elliott's Custom Trailers.

Sprint Car driving champions in addition to the aforementioned included Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif. (AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprints); Austin Liggett of Tracy, Calif. (West Coast Sprints), Charles Davis, Jr. of Buckeye, Ariz. (Sands Chevrolet Southwest Sprints), Steven Drevicki of Reading, Pa. (East Coast Sprints) and Brett Wilson of Sapulpa, Okla. (Wingless Oklahoma Sprints).

Other 2018 champions included Michael Faccinto of Hanford, Calif. (Light up the World Beverages Western States Midgets); Alex Bright of Collegeville, Pa. (USAC Eastern Midgets), Jason Goff of Preston Hollow, NY (Laquerre's Sports DMA Speed2 Midget); Aaron Leffel of Springfield, Ohio (Midwest Thunder Speed2 Midget); Andy Baugh of Mason City, Ill. (Engler IMRA Speed2 Midget), Adam Lemke of Hollister, Calif. (Western Speed2 Midget Overall and Pavement), Tyler Slay of Watsonville, Calif. (Western Speed2 Midget Dirt) and Jessica Bean of Farmland, Ind. (Eastern Speed2 Midget).

Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley, Calif. earned the USAC National Lightning Sprint title.

Also honored for their 2018 championships at Kutztown, Pa.'s Action Track USA were Billy Pauch, Jr. of Frenchtown, NJ (All Pro SpeedSTRs and Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprints); Jared Silfee of Saylorsburg, Pa. (Speedway Entertainment All Star Slingshots) and Tyler Ulsh of Shade Gap, Pa. (Speedway Entertainment Junior Slingshots).

Honored as USAC .25 Midget National Champions as a result of their accomplishments were drivers Steven Snyder (Heavy 160 Dirt and Heavy World Formula Pavement), Paul Hartwig (Junior Honda Dirt), Dylan Kontra (Senior Honda Dirt), Kenny Beinhower (Heavy Honda Dirt), Jacob Denney (Light 160 and Light World Formula Dirt), Tyler Driscoll (Junior Animal Dirt), Preston Lattomus (Senior Animal and Light Formula Mod Dirt), Jayden Wolf (Unrestricted Animal and Heavy World Formula Dirt), Ethan Burdett (Junior Honda and Junior Animal Pavement), Hunter Wise (Light 160 and Light World Formula Pavement), Ryan Wilson (Heavy 160 Pavement), Nick Loden (Senior Honda Pavement), Chase Spicola (Senior Animal Pavement), Daytona Spicola (Unrestricted Animal Pavement), Justis Sokol (Heavy Formula Mod Pavement) and Taylor Watson (Heavy Honda Pavement).

USAC President Kevin Miller presented USAC Special Appreciation Awards to Scott Petry and Reece O'Connor, acknowledging their contributions to the BC39 Midget race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Roger McCluskey Award to Phil Grove for his outstanding support of and contributions to the BC39 Midget race. Race organizer Doug Boles also was awarded the Race Organizer of the Year award for the September Midget spectacular at IMS.

Kyle Robbins of New Castle, Ind. earned the 2018 USAC Silver Crown "Rookie of the Year" honor. Timmy Buckwalter of Douglassville, Pa. and Logan Seavey of Sutter, Calif. shared the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Rookie honors and Seavey was also presented the Bob Stroud Memorial Rookie of the Year award for the P1 Insurance National Midget Series.

Isaac Chapple of Willow Branch, Ind. was named USAC's Most Improved National Driver of 2018.

USAC's 2018 Chief Mechanic of the Year award went to Tyler Ransbottom, who orchestrated Courtney's drive to the AMSOIL National Sprint Car title.

In a special ceremony, the #63 Silver Crown car was proclaimed a "lifetime registration" for DePalma Motorsports, the Silver Crown Car Owner champions who announced their retirement at the end of 2018.

Dick Jordan, who is celebrating his 50th year at USAC, was honored for his contributions to the series with an award named after him. Recipients of the award will have to meet the criteria of one who has dedicated his or her life to the betterment of USAC racing.

Two driving championships concluded in virtual ties in 2018, with Tyler Courtney and Michael Faccinto benefitting from their total feature wins in claiming their respective titles. The only previous tie in USAC history resulted in 1977 when Herm Johnson and Tom Bagley shared the Mini-Indy crown.

Second and third-place drivers and car entrants in USAC's National racing series also received their year-end recognition and awards.

All USAC driving champions were also presented one-year memberships by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.

Floral decorations were provided by Jockish Flowers of Indianapolis.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hoosier Tire Signs Entitlement For 2019 Speedweek



Via Blakesley Sports Media

STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA (December 6, 2018) – California Speedweek has announced that Hoosier Racing Tire, the leading dirt racing tire manufacturer, has agreed to present the fifth annual event for Micro Sprints. The Hoosier Tire California Speedweek will run from June 25-29, 2019, including Super 600, Non Wing, and Restricted Micro Sprints. The four races in five days event visits Dixon Speedway, Delta Speedway, Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park, and Lemoore Raceway.

Hoosier Tire has been a contingency partner for the series over the previous four seasons before increasing its involvement for 2019. Drivers and teams from across North America and Australia venture to the golden state to compete for the coveted carved wooden bear trophies. The event is also a lucrative one, awarding nearly $250,000 in cash and prizes with five drivers eclipsing $10,000 in career series earnings.

The series is owned by C&P Promotions and promoted by Steven Blakesley.

“We could not be happier to have a great partner like Hoosier Racing Tire to support our series, our tracks, and our racers,” Blakesley said. “It is a special feeling when a company of their heritage recognizes what we are doing for the sport and wants to give back.”

Pre-registration and additional details will be announced in the spring of 2019. 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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Cody Kiemele Preparing For For 2019 In Jr Late Models



Via Blakesley Sports Media

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA (December 5, 2018) – 12 year-old Cody Kiemele of Riverside, CA will enter his second season of Junior Late Model competition in 2019, competing across the southwest in his #48 Unlimited Landscaping / Burgeson’s Air Conditioning Toyota Camry.

The Amelia Earhart Middle School student burst onto the scene this season competing at Irwindale Speedway and the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His progression into the series bore fruit, as he picked up two victories and three second place finishes at Irwindale on the one-third mile inner oval. He also accumulated a best finish of third at Vegas on the 3/8ths mile speedway.

Kiemele was the fourth highest driver in the national points for INEX Bandoleros in 2017 and like many Bandolero drivers in the Southwest, he has taken to full-sized stock cars rather quickly. His season culminated with the biggest run of his career in November. Kiemele was granted an age exemption to compete in the $5,000 to win, 100 lap season finale at his home Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino. Kiemele was one of three Jr. graduates in the field and he qualified eighth out of 18 cars. He drove a steady race for a fifth place finish behind fellow graduate Austin Herzog, 15, who picked up the win.

The epicenter of the Jr. Late Model world is at Madera Speedway, which debuted the division for drivers ages 10-16 in 2016. Kiemele is working on his 2019 plans but they include starting the season at the MAVTV-televised one-third mile. The season opens on March 9th followed by round #2 on April 6th. Among the challenges will be an increase in lap count, with the Madera events spanning 70 laps. Drivers within the top-five at the lap 40 break receive a televised interview as do the top-three finishers at the checkered flag.

Kiemele drives a GM 602 crate engine on a Pathfinder Chassis. He also divides his time as a baseball pitcher when not on the track. His sponsors include Swift Springs, Downforce Racing Products by Loren Hill, and DJ Safety.

For more information or to sponsor Cody, call his father Rob at (909) 553-6130.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tickets For America's Richest Short Track Race On Sale Friday, November 30th At 10AM



Via KCRP Media

RACE FANS GET READY!!! Tickets for the 5th Annual Winter Showdown will be available online at http://www.kernraceway.com/2019wintershowdowntickets starting this Friday, November 30th starting at 10 am. Race fans can also call the Kern County Raceway office at 661-835-1264 to purchase by phone.

This two-day event, February 1-2, 2019, features the best super late model and tour drivers in North America, battling it out for 300 laps with $30,000 going to the winner!! This prestigious event is recognized as “America’s Richest Short Track Race” has featured past winners Bubba Pollard (2015 & 2016), Derek Thorn (2017) and Kyle Busch (2018) .

The 5th edition of the Winter Showdown will take place on Friday, February 1st and Saturday afternoon, February 2nd. Friday ticket prices are $20 Reserved, $15 General Admission, $10 Junior (Ages 6 to 15), and Kids Five and under are FREE. Friday will feature the Winter Showdown single car qualifying, Winter Showdown Last Chance Race, Super Stock Feature and more.

Saturday ticket prices are $30 for Reserved, $25 General Admission, $15 Junior (Ages 6 to 15), and Kids Five and under are FREE. The Spears Manufacturing Modified Series presented by Lucas Oil Feature Event and the Winter Showdown 300 will highlight this must-see event!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Bell Tolls Twice In A Row At Turkey Night G.P.

2018 "Turkey Night Grand Prix" winner Christopher Bell of Norman, Oklahoma. (Ryan Northcote Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.........Christopher Bell struck history Thursday night at Ventura Raceway, becoming just the third 3-time "Turkey Night Grand Prix" winning driver in the 78-year history of the famed race.

For the second consecutive Thanksgiving night, however, Bell had to fend off a familiar foe who was on a quest to reach the same exclusive club of three-time winners in Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian teammate Kyle Larson.

After applying relentless pressure to Larson throughout much of the second half of the 98-lap event, with just 12 laps remaining, and mired in lapped traffic, Bell slipped underneath Larson between turns three and four to grab a lead he wouldn't relinquish, adding a third "Turkey Night" trophy to his ever-growing collection following previous wins in 2014 and 2017.

Bell, the 2013 USAC P1 Insurance National Midget champion from Norman, Okla., sang the praises of playing the role of the chaser in traffic, as a cop would in the hot pursuit of a suspect on the lam.

"I just got lucky there being in second," Bell admitted. "Someone was making the bottom work underneath me in three and four and I figured it was going to get better and better. I trapped Kyle up there with a lapped car and I was able to squeak by in the rubber, stay down there and not miss my marks."

Bell, always the hard charger, began the race from the ninth position, but steadily climbed his way up the scoring pylon into the top-three as outside front row starter Chad Boat held the advantage up front for the first half of the main.

Larson, a two-time "Turkey Night" victor in 2012 and 2016, had already begun his surge to the front by that point, continuously taking peeks at the lead. Nonetheless, Boat was able to dodge every lawn dart thrown in his direction to remain at the point as he aimed to join his father, three-time winner Billy Boat, as a fellow "Turkey Night" winner.

Yet, on lap 51, Larson finally got it rolling on the top side to drive around Boat for the lead exiting turn two, then immediately darted across Boat's nose to steal the bottom entering the third turn to secure the position. Bell and Tucker Klaasmeyer followed suit on the following lap by getting around Boat for second and third, respectively.

Now, the duel would commence between two giants of dirt track midget racing discipline, each at the peak of their prime. Following fourth-running Shane Golobic's spin on lap 68, the race transformed into just your weekly 30-lap affair, albeit with a nice payday and a prestigious attachment being placed next to the eventual winner's name. That's when Bell turned up the wick.

On the lap 71 restart, Bell took a run at Larson, sliding side-by-side with his teammate into turn one to no avail. Bell stuck with it again in turn one the next lap around the 1/5-mile dirt oval, unable to make the pass stick, but sending a message to Larson that it was game on.

On the 74th circuit, Bell slid past Larson on the entry into turn one, but Larson ably countered by driving underneath Bell off turn two to retake the lead, closing the door on Bell in the process into turn three as the pair's wheels glanced off each other.

Bell ramped up the momentum, running his No. 21 high and wide off turn four as he rocketed down the front straightaway, which gave him a full head of steam as he dove to the bottom of Larson into turn one. He did so on lap 80 as he slid past Larson once again to snag the race lead just long enough for the flashbulbs from the photographers to light up the sky before Larson crossed over and raced back to the lead on the back straight with lapped traffic quickly coming into view.

With 12 laps remaining, Larson entered turns three and four on the high line to get around fellow teammate Sam Johnson. The line proved to be too long of a way around as Bell stuck his racecar underneath Johnson's against the bottom berm and propelled himself to the lead.

Traffic still loomed for Bell, however, as he carefully and successfully maneuvered under teammate Ryan Robinson and Golobic into the first turn with six laps remaining with Larson in tow.

Christopher Bell became just the third driver to win the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" three times, joining Ron Shuman and Billy Boat. (Rich Forman Photo)

As 2018 USAC National Midget champ, and sixth-place runner, Logan Seavey sat sideways in turn one to bring out the yellow on lap 96, it put a halt to the traffic situation, but Bell had to endure a test of his patience as two more additional cautions and two more restarts weighed on his mind.

"I knew there was a chance he was going to circle me on the top," Bell explained. "I just wanted to see that race end because you can't keep giving him try after try after try."

Larson greeted the opportunity on the final restart, hitting the top and used a huge drive off the exit of turn two before diving down to the bottom in three to get underneath Bell. The meticulous Bell was well-equipped to handle the charge, occupying the bottom and thwarting any chance of Larson attempting a slider.

Larson made one final run at Bell off two on the final lap, closing right on the tail of Bell midway down the back straight before splitting to the bottom of the entry of three, slightly scraping his left front wheel on the top of the berm before banging his right front wheel into Bell's left rear. The contact knocked Larson slightly askew, but Bell took a lickin' and kept on tickin', bringing his ride home for a 1.5 car-length victory over Larson, Boat, Klaasmeyer and Tyler Courtney.

The victory was the 23rd USAC National Midget win for Bell, moving him past Bobby East and Shorty Templeman on the all-time list and into 20th where he's now tied with Tom Bigelow, Pancho Carter, Tommy Copp, Kevin Olson and Billy Vukovich.

For Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., it was his sixth top-four finish in six "Turkey Night" starts, but it was just one lap, one slip-up that might've been the factor in preventing him from becoming a three-time winner.

"I just made a slight mistake in traffic sliding in three and four to clear a lapper," Larson recalled. "He was able to sneak by on the bottom. That's about when it started taking rubber in three and four. I wish I would've done just a little better job in traffic. It seems like every time he beats me, it's because of traffic. I just have to work on my craft some and try to get better and hopefully start beating him here."

For the second time this year in USAC, a rarity occurred with the USAC Light Up The World Western States Midget championship resulting in a tie. Like the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car title race between Tyler Courtney and Kevin Thomas, Jr., this year's Western States champ was decided on a tiebreaker with Michael Faccinto being crowned the series titlist over Alex Schutte. Faccinto scored three wins in 2018 to Schutte's two.

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Ventura Raceway were Jesse Colwell (Simpson Race Products First Qualifier Winner), Rico Abreu (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Qualifier Winner), Zeb Wise (Chalk Stix Third Qualifier Winner), Colby Copeland (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Jerry Coons, Jr. (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Robert Dalby (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer).

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USAC P1 INSURANCE NATIONAL & LIGHT UP THE WORLD WESTERN STATES MIDGETS presented by CBD Living Water RACE RESULTS: November 22, 2018 - Ventura Raceway - Ventura, California - 78th "Turkey Night Grand Prix"

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING (Top-10 Locked Into Feature): 1. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.425; 2. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-12.426; 3. Kyle Larson, 1, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.444; 4. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson Marshall/Wood-12.457; 5. Tanner Thorson, 3c, Tri-C-12.464; 6. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.487; 7. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.537; 8. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson Marshall-12.548; 9. Christopher Bell, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.555; 10. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.570; 11. Jesse Colwell, 71x, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.601; 12. Rico Abreu, 97K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.625; 13. Zeb Wise, 39BC, Clauson Marshall-12.629; 14. Carson Garrett, 15c, Garrett-12.638; 15. Cole Bodine, 17BC, Clauson Marshall-12.650; 16. Cody Swanson, 71s, Campbell-12.657; 17. Justin Grant, 76E, FMR-12.680; 18. Colton Heath, 99, Stewart-12.684; 19. McKenna Haase, 85, Tucker/Boat-12.691; 20. Jason McDougal, 15, Petry-12.692; 21. Michael Faccinto, 9D, Dodenhoff-12.697; 22. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.708; 23. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry-12.716; 24. Colby Copeland, 87, Tucker/Boat-12.737; 25. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-12.750; 26. Grady Chandler, 7u, Trifecta-12.755; 27. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.775; 28. Dustin Golobic, 17G, Wood-12.803; 29. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-12.807; 30. Robby Josett, 68, Six8-12.830; 31. Austin Liggett, 67x, Bock-12.852; 32. Holley Hollan, 35, Petry-12.856; 33. Chris Sheil, 91, Mason-12.892; 34. Ryan Bernal, 73T, Ford-12.963; 35. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.951; 36. Sam Johnson, 72, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.959; 37. Blaze Bennett, 10B, Bennett-12.963; 38. Jake Morgan, 45, Morgan-12.964; 39. Carson Macedo, 73x, Ford-12.978; 40. Damion Gardner, 25x, Rodela-13.033; 41. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-13.047; 42. Michelle Decker, 4m, Meents-13.047; 43. Kyle Beilman, 31, Beilman-13.055; 44. Johnathon Henry, 1x, LKK-13.057; 45. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13.090; 46. C.J. Leary, 55, Bowman-13.100; 47. Dylan Ito, 73, Ford-13.111; 48. Sheldon Haudenschild, 17s, Clauson Marshall-13.129; 49. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-13.143; 50. Daniel Anderson, 7, McQueen-13.174; 51. Jesse Fernandez, 97F, Fernandez-13.177; 52. Mike Leach, 33p, Leach-13.192; 53. Ricky Lewis, 1p, Nichols-13.197; 54. Alex Schutte, 28, Schutte/McElwee-13.221; 55. Sterling Cling, 5, Petry-13.238; 56. Lance Bennett, 10, Bennett-13.241; 57. Jake Swanson, 68w, Six8-13.295; 58. Buddy Kofoid, 73K, Ford-13.426; 59. Bryan Drollinger, 71D, Drollinger-13.428; 60. Kevin Woody, Jr., 2, Dukes-13.625; 61. Olivia Bennett, 77B, Bennett-13.842.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS / EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Colwell, 2. Grant, 3. McDougal, 4. Coons, 5. Garrett, 6. Shelton, 7. Dalby, 8. Morgan, 9. Chandler, 10. Henry, 11. Hollan, 12. Cofer, 13. Ito, 14. Anderson, 15. L. Bennett, 16. Lewis, 17. Drollinger. 2:31.84

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS SECOND QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Abreu, 2. Bodine, 3. Seavey, 4. Faccinto, 5. Copeland, 6. Josett, 7. Heath, 8. Decker, 9. Johnson, 10. Haudenschild, 11. Schutte, 12. Pankratz, 13. Fernandez, 14. Woody, 15. Sheil, 16. Macedo, 17. J. Swanson. NT

CHALK STIX / COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) THIRD QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Wise, 2. Bayston, 3. Leary, 4. C. Swanson, 5. D. Golobic, 6. Liggett, 7. Haase, 8. Bernal, 9. Gardner, 10. Sarna, 11. O. Bennett, 12. Beilman, 13. Cling, 14. B. Bennett, 15. Ensign, 16. Leach, 17. Kofoid. NT

INDY RACE PARTS / ROD END SUPPLY SEMI: (15 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Copeland, 2. Garrett, 3. Josett, 4. Liggett, 5. Dalby, 6. Decker, 7. Haudenschild, 8. Bernal, 9. Gardner, 10. Haase, 11. Chandler, 12. Johnson, 13. Heath, 14. Morgan, 15. Sarna, 16. D. Golobic, 17. Henry, 18. Shelton. NT

FEATURE: (98 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Christopher Bell (9), 2. Kyle Larson (3), 3. Chad Boat (2), 4. Tucker Klaasmeyer (6), 5. Tyler Courtney (8), 6. Tanner Carrick (1), 7. Brady Bacon (10), 8. Jason McDougal (17), 9. Jerry Coons, Jr. (20), 10. Justin Grant (14), 11. Cole Bodine (15), 12. Jesse Colwell (11), 13. Colby Copeland (23), 14. Robert Dalby (30), 15. Cody Swanson (22), 16. Logan Seavey (18), 17. Spencer Bayston (16), 18. Michael Faccinto (21), 19. Shane Golobic (4), 20. C.J. Leary (19), 21. Ryan Robinson (7), 22. Rico Abreu (12), 23. Sam Johnson (27), 24. Zeb Wise (13), 25. Tanner Thorson (5), 26. Robby Josett (25), 27. Austin Liggett (26), 28. Carson Garrett (24), 29. Alex Schutte (28), 30. Holley Hollan (29). NT
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**Pankratz flipped during qualifying. Shelton flipped during the semi. Henry flipped during the semi. D. Golobic and Sarna flipped during the semi.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-50 Boat, Laps 51-86 Larson, Laps 87-98 Bell.

DON BASILE ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Jason McDougal

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Jerry Coons, Jr. (20th to 9th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Colby Copeland

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Robert Dalby

FINAL USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Seavey-1019, 2-Boat-918, 3-Bacon-903, 4-Courtney-862, 5-Bayston-862, 6-Carrick-846, 7-Grant-845, 8-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-711, 9-Wise-632, 10-Coons-606.

FINAL USAC LIGHT UP THE WORLD WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Faccinto-753, 2-Schutte-753, 3-Dalby-613, 4-Josett-593, 5-Sarna-538, 6-David Prickett-509, 7-Beilman-438, 8-Frankie Guerrini-370, 9-Ronnie Gardner-370, 10-Shannon McQueen-370.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Schutte Speeds To Fastest Lap In Turkey Night Practice

#28 Alex Schutte (Rich Forman Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.........USAC Light Up The World Western States Midget point leader Alex Schutte led a field of 61 drivers with the fastest lap in practice Wednesday night at Ventura Raceway in preparation for Thursday's 78th running of the "Turkey Night Grand Prix."

The Redding, Calif. driver recorded a lap of 12.132 seconds around the 1/5-mile dirt oval. Recently-crowned USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion Tyler Courtney was second at 12.135, while Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian teammates Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell and Spencer Bayston rounded out the top-five.

USAC P1 Insurance National Midget point leader Logan Seavey was 22nd practice. He clinched the series title with a last-lap, last-corner pass of Rico Abreu last Saturday at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway.

On Thursday, the pits open at 11am with the drivers meeting taking place at 2:30pm. Cars are scheduled to hit the track for hot laps at 3:30pm (Pacific Time). USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Cars will also be on hand with semi-features and a 30-lap main event.

USAC Midget qualifying will lock the top-10 into the feature. The rest of the field will compete in three qualifying races, 12 laps apiece with the top-four transferring to the feature. Finishers 5-10 in each qualifier will run in the Last Chance Race, which will transfer the top-four finishers to complete the field for the 98-lap feature.

"Turkey Night" will be streamed live on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ with live audio available on the USAC app. You can also catch video of the event a day later, on-demand at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

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USAC P1 INSURANCE NATIONAL & LIGHT UP THE WORLD WESTERN STATES MIDGET presented by CBD Living Water PRACTICE RESULTS: November 21, 2018 - Ventura Raceway - Ventura, California - 78th "Turkey Night Grand Prix"

PRACTICE: 1. Alex Schutte, 28, Schutte/McElwee-12.132; 2. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson Marshall-12.135; 3. Kyle Larson, 1, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.215; 4. Christopher Bell, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.229; 5. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.241; 6. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson Marshall/Wood-12.258; 7. Justin Grant, 76E, FMR-12.288; 8. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.295; 9. Zeb Wise, 39BC, Clauson Marshall-12.312; 10. Sam Johnson, 72, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.319; 11. Robby Josett, 68, Six8-12.333; 12. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-12.338; 13. C.J. Leary, 55, Bowman-12.405; 14. Dustin Golobic, 17G, Wood-12.414; 15. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.450; 16. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.455; 17. Ricky Lewis, 1p, Nichols-12.467; 18. Colton Heath, 99, Stewart-12.477; 19. Cole Bodine, 17BC, Clauson Marshall-12.483; 20. Jason McDougal, 15, Petry-12.483; 21. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.487; 22. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.506; 23. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry-12.518; 24. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-12.523; 25. Tanner Thorson, 3c, Tri-C-12.532; 26. Carson Garrett, 15c, Garrett-12.541; 27. Sheldon Haudenschild, 17s, Clauson Marshall-12.559; 28. Colby Copeland, 87, Tucker/Boat-12.578; 29. Cody Swanson, 71s, Campbell-12.582; 30. Jesse Colwell, 71x, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.589; 31. Lance Bennett, 10, Bennett-12.590; 32. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.597; 33. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-12.619; 34. Damion Gardner, 25x, Rodela-12.632; 35. Buddy Kofoid, 73K, Ford-12.640; 36. Jake Swanson, 68w, Six8-12.652; 37. Holley Hollan, 35, Petry-12.653; 38. Kyle Beilman, 31, Beilman-12.659; 39. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-12.702; 40. McKenna Haase, 85, Tucker/Boat-12.708; 41. Rico Abreu, 97K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.713; 42. Carson Macedo, 73x, Ford-12.800; 43. Michael Faccinto, 9D, Dodenhoff-12.834; 44. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-12.835; 45. Grady Chandler, 7u, Trifecta-12.885; 46. Michelle Decker, 4m, Meents-12.896; 47. Sterling Cling, 5, Petry-12.899; 48. Chris Sheil, 91, Mason-12.913; 49. Daniel Anderson, 7, McQueen-12.962; 50. Jake Morgan, 45, Morgan-12.963; 51. Ryan Bernal, 73T, Ford-12.966; 52. Austin Liggett, 67x, Bock-12.994; 53. Dylan Ito, 73, Ford-13.102; 54. Johnathon Henry, 1x, LKK-13.112; 55. Blaze Bennett, 10B, Bennett-13.122; 56. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13.292; 57. Jesse Fernandez, 97F, Fernandez-13.386; 58. Olivia Bennett, 77B, Bennett-13.444; 59. Kevin Woody, Jr., 2D, Dukes-13.484; 60. Bryan Drollinger, 71D, Drollinger-13.492; 61. Marvin Mitchell, 78, Mitchell-NT

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-Josett-570, 5-Sarna-528, 6-David Prickett-509, 7-Beilman-428, 8-Frankie Guerrini-370, 9-Ronnie Gardner-370, 10-Shannon McQueen-370.

NEXT USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: November 22 - Ventura Raceway - Ventura, California - 78th "Turkey Night Grand Prix"

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

David Ross Motorsports Preparing For Havasu 95 Speedway



Via David Ross Motorsports PR

COLTON, CALIFORNIA (November 14, 2018) – David Ross Motorsports is excited to announce that they will compete for the 2018-19 Sigma Engineering Solutions Late Model Series championship at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu, AZ this winter. Driver David Ross will pilot the #28 Lucas Oil / Lucas Oil Racing TV Toyota in the series.

Ross began utilizing the #28 car number as a tribute to his late father Greg. After a short break from regular action, Ross is excited to return to Havasu. The full-time campaign begins with a 100 lap race on November 24, with additional races on January 5th, February 9th, and February 23rd.

Ross has made three starts this year, first competing in his father’s memorial race on May 19th at Orange Show Speedway. The night was an emotional one for the 2010 track champion that included a strong third place finish. In June, he traveled to the state-of-the-art Kern County Raceway Park for a twin bill of NASCAR Late Model competition where he racked up a pair of fourth place finishes. His 2017 season included a win and more than half-a-dozen top-five finishes.

With renewed vigor, Ross and his family are ready to travel to Arizona to compete. He wants to thank Lucas Oil for long time support of his racing program. DRM also thanks: Swift Springs, RACECAR Factory, E.R. Block Plumbing and Max Papis Innovations.

For more information, follow David Ross Motorsports on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Turkey Night Don Basile Rookie Of The Race Contenders

Don Basile Rookie of the Race candidate Jason McDougal of Oklahoma. (Photo Courtesy Mike Roth)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.........Over the years, Don Basile Rookie of the Race honors at the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" have been awarded to some of the most talented young racers in America.

Just a glance down the list will show you the names of Kasey Kahne, Dave Steele, Bobby East, Kody Swanson, Kyle Larson, Tanner Thorson, Carson Macedo and Zeb Wise as individuals who've made an impact in their first appearance at the prestigious race early in their careers before going onto achieve big things in the racing world.

This year's 78th edition of "Turkey Night" on November 22 at California's Ventura Raceway has its own share of drivers who are on the cusp of big things themselves along with a slew of drivers who've already established themselves as stars in their own disciplines outside of midget racing.

Greenfield, Indiana's C.J. Leary is one who's part of both categories, winning in both the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car and Silver Crown divisions in 2018, including a memorable drive to win the Crown finale at Eldora Speedway in September.

Jac Haudenschild was a frequent competitor at "Turkey Night," last competing in 2013, but now it's his son Sheldon's turn to take the wheel. This year, Sheldon, from Wooster, Ohio, was a five-time winner on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car trail.

Jason McDougal, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, became a first-time winner in USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition this season at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo.

Rossville, Indiana's Cole Bodine nearly pulled off a stunner in July, leading 28 laps and finishing second at Sweet Springs (Mo.) Motorsports Complex in just his fourth career USAC P1 Insurance National Midget start.

Buddy Kofoid, of Penngrove, Calif., has turned heads on the west coast in winged sprint cars while fellow Penngrove native Chase Johnson and Roseville, California's Colby Copeland have each won USAC/CRA Sprint Car features in 2018. Fremont, California's Dustin Golobic made his Turkey Night debut in 2017, missing the main event, but returns for a go at his first feature start. Tempe, Arizona's Sterling Cling has a background in off-road racing and with USAC Southwest Sprints, where he finished 11th in points this year.

Sam Johnson of St. Peters, Mo. has competed regularly with the USAC National Midgets in his first year behind the wheel of a midget. Western States regulars C.J. Sarna, Kyle Beilman, Mike Leach, Bryan Drollinger and Dylan Ito represent California's Rookie crop. The Northwest contingent consists of Tristin Thomas and Colton Heath from Washington. Kevin Woody, Jr., whose unique backstory includes experience as an Army combat veteran and currently as a government bodyguard comes cross country from New York to take in his first Turkey Night experience.

The Colorado contingent brings Carson Garrett back for his second appearance and debuts by Chris Sheil, Jesse Fernandez as well as Blaze Bennett, his brother Lance Bennett and Lance's wife, Olivia Bennett.

Olivia is one of four female Turkey Night Rookies in the field, including Oklahomans Michelle Decker and Holley Hollan, and Iowan McKenna Haase.

Last year, it was Zeb Wise driving to a 5th place finish and the top Rookie honors. In 2018, he translated that into becoming a frontrunner on the USAC National Midget tour and etched his name into the record books as the youngest ever USAC National Midget feature winner. Who'll be the next to take that step from this group?

"Turkey Night" gets underway Wednesday, November 21, with Midget practice and warmups, hot laps, heats and a Fast Dash for 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 adult tickets are $20, senior/military/students are $15 and children under 12 are free with accompanying adult. Pit passes are $40 for VRA and USAC members.

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.

Turkey Night tix can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/78th-annual-turkey-night-grand-prix-tickets-42401301434?fbclid=IwAR3f5z07dJt8vp7zb46bY3wbWghCfr_naegvhVoi4OSJ0WlaXaIqpSBSfp4

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/.

PAST DON BASILE TURKEY NIGHT ROOKIES OF THE RACE: 1998: Kasey Kahne, 1999: Dave Steele, 2000: Aaron Pollock, 2001: Bobby East, 2002: Jerome Rodela, 2003: Ryan Durst, 2004: Brad Loyet, 2005: Kevin Swindell, 2006: Kody Swanson, 2007: Mike Murgoitio, 2008: Nic Faas, 2009: Levi Roberts, 2010: Dalton Armstrong, 2011: Kyle Larson, 2012: Ryan Bernal, 2013: Tanner Thorson, 2014: Isaac Chapple, 2015: Robert Dalby, 2016: Carson Macedo, 2017: Zeb Wise

Monday, November 12, 2018

USAC Midgets Head West This Saturday, First Stop Bakersfield

#76m Brady Bacon - 2017 "November Classic" winner at Bakersfield. (Photo Courtesy Rich Forman)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Bakersfield, California.........USAC National racing continues its adventure out west this weekend, but now the focus turns to the midgets as teams point the compass toward California's Bakersfield Speedway this Saturday, November 17, for the "November Classic," the penultimate round for both the USAC P1 Insurance National & Light Up the World Western States Midget seasons.

Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Okla. returns to Bakersfield as the defending winner of the "November Classic," where he led the final 24 laps to collect the victory. He's second in points this year with one season score, which came at the $15,000-to-win "BC39" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Dirt Track in September, one of 11 different winners in 15 races this season.

Bacon trails series Rookie Logan Seavey, who carries a commanding 118-point lead in the National standings coming in and could, for all intents and purposes, lock up the title this weekend. Only two previous drivers have won the USAC National Midget championship in his Rookie season - Danny Caruthers in 1971 and Christopher Bell in 2013. Sutter, California's Seavey has won twice this year and is one of only four drivers to have multiple wins with the series in 2018.

Multi-time winners Chad Boat and Tyler Courtney run third and fourth in the standings, respectively. Phoenix, Arizona's Boat finished 12th a year ago in his first national appearance at the 1/3-mile dirt oval. His father, Billy Boat, won seven USAC Western States Midget races at Bakersfield between 1994 and 1997, including a National win there in 1995. Last Saturday, Courtney, of Indianapolis, Ind., wrapped up the closest championship race in the history of USAC with his first AMSOIL National Sprint Car title. He finished fourth at Bakersfield in 2017 in his first visit there a year ago.

Speaking of historical Rookie seasons, like Seavey, Zeb Wise of Angola, Ind. has had a memorable year, becoming the youngest driver in series history to win a feature event, in August at Lanco, after spending two months of the summer on the sidelines due to injury. The 15-year-old Clauson Marshall Racing teammate to Courtney turns a year older this Thursday. Wise made his USAC debut at Bakersfield a year ago, finishing 19th.

Spencer Bayston, the 2017 USAC National Midget champ, finished in the runner-up spot at Bakersfield in 2017. The Lebanon, Ind. native is sixth in points this year and part of a strong crop of Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian driver lineup. Along with Seavey, 2014 USAC National Midget champ Rico Abreu of St. Helena, Calif. is back in the saddle, plus teammates Tanner Carrick (Lincoln, Calif), Ryan Robinson (Foresthill, Calif.), Tucker Klaasmeyer (Paola, Kans.), Holly Shelton (Sacramento, Calif.) and Sam Johnson (St. Peters, Mo.).

Carrick was 10th a year ago, while Robinson was 7th and Shelton 22nd. Those three and newcomers, plus Klaasmeyer and Johnson, are all seeking their first career USAC National Midget wins as are Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Brayton Lynch (Springfield, Ill.). Each of this year's five Western States Midget feature winners are eager to pick up their first National Midget triumphs: Michael Faccinto (Hanford, Calif.), Alex Schutte (Redding, Calif), Damion Gardner (Concord, Calif.), Shane Golobic (Fremont, Calif.) and Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.).

Faccinto led the first six laps of last season's "November Classic" before finishing 9th. He leads the Western States points by just two markers over Alex Schutte and won at Bakersfield in June. Schutte was the top of the Western States contingent in the 2017 "November Classic" feature, bringing home an 8th place result and finished 4th there this past June. Schutte (2010), David Prickett (2012 Dirt) and Shannon McQueen (2012) are past Western States champions expected to compete.

Gardner just recently collected his sixth-straight AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car crown, and seventh overall, last weekend, but is always strong whenever he straps into a midget. He was victorious at Santa Maria in August. Shane Golobic swept both nights of the "Louie Vermiel Classic" at Calistoga on Labor Day weekend. He was the hard charger last year at the "November Classic," racing from his 16th starting spot to a 6th place finish. Swanson, the 2017 West Coast Sprint Car champ, and 2nd place finisher in June at Bakersfield, won the most recent Western States race at Ventura in October.

The Bakersfield race marks the 160th combined USAC National & Western States Midget race. A Western States regular hasn't won a National race since Danny Stratton in 2007.

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/.

NEW USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Seavey-911, 2-Bacon-793, 3-Boat-781, 4-Courtney-773, 5-Grant-772, 6-Bayston-766, 7-Carrick-727, 8-K. Thomas-711, 9-Wise-579, 10-Robinson-544.

NEW LIGHT UP THE WORLD USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET PRESENTED BY CBD LIVING WATER POINTS: 1-Faccinto-695, 2-Schutte-693, 3-Josett-570, 4-Dalby-547, 5-Sarna-503, 6-Prickett-499, 7-Beilman-418, 8-Ronnie Gardner, McQueen & Guerrini-370.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thomas Repeats $25K Oval Nationals Win; Courtney Wins USAC Sprint Title On Tiebreaker

Kevin Thomas, Jr. captured his second consecutive "Oval Nationals" victory Saturday night at California's Perris Auto Speedway. (Photo Courtesy Michael Fry)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Perris, California.........It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

That about sums of the rollercoaster of emotions Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Tyler Courtney endured at the conclusion of Saturday night's Budweiser "Oval Nationals" presented by All Coast Construction at Perris Auto Speedway.

Kevin Thomas, Jr. notched his second-straight "Oval Nationals" win worth $25,000, but lost the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car championship on a tiebreaker to Tyler Courtney who gained the one spot he needed on the final lap after it appeared as if his title chances had slipped through his fingertips just moments before.

After 40 races from coast-to-coast, and 40 laps around Perris, the 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season concluded in the most dramatic of fashion, deadlocked at the top of the standings for the first time in the 63-year history of the series. It's a record that will never be eclipsed, breaking the previous closest title race from 1965 when Johnny Rutherford defeated Greg Weld by 2.5 points.

Drama, agony, ulcers, heartbreak and, ultimately, joy were just a few of the ingredients in the mix during the final lap of the 23rd annual affair, which provided us with a nail-biter of a race on the track and on the Xcel Spreadsheet which was unlike any we've seen in recent times.

As he did Friday night, Courtney jumped out front once again at the start of the main event, although it was short-lived as Dave Darland escaped unscathed after a turn four flip on the opening lap.

On the complete restart, Courtney checked out from his outside front row starting spot while polesitter C.J. Leary cleared a charging Chase Stockon in turn two to lock up the second spot where he'd remain for much of the first half. That is until A.J. Bender became the second casualty of the young feature, flipping between turns three and four on the 14th lap before walking away under his own power.

Leary was salivating with thoughts of racing fortune when action resumed, sticking right to the bumper of Courtney until lap 16 when the two went wheel-to-wheel with Leary making the pass in turn two and narrowly leading before Courtney came right back at him for the spot on the following lap. Courtney made his move for the lead on the back straight, but Leary made a charge between three and four with Courtney just barely nipping Leary for the lead at the line this time.

On the 18th circuit, Leary was able to clear Courtney again in turn two to retake the lead and instantly began to widen the gap between he and Courtney to nearly a second and looked to be the head of the class.

With 14 laps remaining, Leary led the field entering turn one, but his ride appeared to be a handful as he wrestled with his steering wheel to get the car to turn. Courtney and Thomas, running second and third at the time, ate his lead up in the flick of a switch. Just moments later, the car of 22nd running Chris Gansen slowed to a stop at the inside of turn four to bring out the yellow. During the caution, Leary pulled into the work area to replace the right rear rubber. Though he returned to the track, his bid for a win was quashed for all intents and purposes and he'd soldier on to a 15th place finish.

That now placed the top-two in points in first and second on the track. Courtney came into the feature with a nine-point advantage and the objective was clear - finish fourth or better and the title was his regardless of what Thomas did. However, at the moment, the biggest single race payday of the year was just within reach and he was keen on putting that cherry on top of the pie with just 13 laps remaining.

Thomas worked on Courtney over the next handful of laps and, on lap 33, made his move around the outside of Courtney to grab the lead. Courtney was still in decent shape as he ran second, but one lap later, Chris Windom also scooted by and, suddenly, Courtney's title bid was in a perilous state.

With four laps remaining, Stockon slipped by the suddenly fading Courtney for third while Bacon was suddenly breathing down his neck for fourth. Courtney was able to take a deep breath for a moment during the red with three laps remaining that resulted when R.J. Johnson flipped between turns one and two from which he'd walk away.

With three to go, leader Thomas and fourth-running Courtney were locked up at the top of the standings as they stood in the moment. Courtney's role was clear. Do not let Bacon get by! However, Bacon put his ride up a lane higher than Courtney on the restart and drove around him in turn two to move into fourth and put Courtney on the outside looking in from fifth. One lap later, with 38 of the 40 laps complete, three-time "Ovals" winner Bud Kaeding slowed to a stop on the inside of turn four. The ensuing restart attempt also didn't take as Max Adams stopped at the bottom of turn two.

Two laps remained for the final round of this yearlong boxing match that's seen the point lead switch nine times among three drivers. As it stood on the lap 39 restart, Thomas was up on Courtney by three markers. Once the green flag fell, two distinct races were occurring for the race win and for fourth. Thomas held Stockon and Windom in check behind him for the race lead while Bacon handled Courtney as the field passed under the white flag.

Entering the first turn, suddenly, Bacon began to slow as his fuel tank began to run dry. Courtney was right there to capitalize and miraculously moved back into fourth and into the safe zone that he needed to be in to win the title.

Thomas finished the final lap of the final race of the season in grand fashion, winning the finale for the second consecutive season and becoming the first driver since Dave Darland in 2005-06 to win the "Oval Nationals" in successive years, while Stockon and Windom finished second and third, respectively.

"Two in a row here at the Oval Nationals! To come out of this place as the winner, that's pretty humbling," Thomas exclaimed. "It's hard whenever you get those cautions late in the race. You just have to struggle on hitting the bottom. I knew I got the lead around Sunshine running the middle. On the last lap, I saw Stockon up there and I knew with the way his stuff rolls and with the way our car was working, I just straight gave up on the bottom. I was just ripping right through the middle."

Meanwhile, Courtney clawed his way back to fourth to win the title via a tiebreaker. Both Courtney and Thomas finished with 2733 points, but Courtney's 11 victories trumped Thomas' 7, thus earning him the title in the closest points race in series history. Another 2018 champion, Damion Gardner, rounded out the top-five in the finish to collect his sixth-straight USAC/CRA Sprint Car crown and seventh overall.

Tyler Courtney won the 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car championship, equaling the number of points that Kevin Thomas, Jr. scored, but held the tiebreaker with 11 victories compared to 7 for Thomas. (Photo Courtesy Michael Fry)

"I didn't want to make it that close," Courtney said with a laugh. "We had a really good racecar tonight. It just kind of went away on us there. I couldn't stick the middle like those guys were doing, but I'd rather have luck on our side than be good sometimes. I think we had a guy upstairs looking on us tonight. We're doing all this in honor of Bryan Clauson. I'm honored to be a part of this. To come out our first year as a sprint car team and be the national champions is truly something special. It's not something many people can do, and I've got a great group behind me. I've been busting my tail to get to this step and it took a lot of people believing in me along the way. It feels like everything's paying off."

Thomas was matter of fact when it came to the title race. Just one more win - one more position, even - would have provided him just enough points toward the championship.

"For this to come all the way down to the wire and actually tie in points, that's pretty nuts," Thomas reflected. "It was a hard-fought battle all year. We tied, but he won more races. That's what got him here."

At the beginning of this season, Courtney entered new territory, exiting the TOPP Motorsports team that he had accrued so much success with over the past two seasons, to join the newly-created sprint car team owned by Tim Clauson, Richard Marshall and 1999 USAC Silver Crown champion driver Ryan Newman. The goals may have been lofty to some, but this team meant business from day one and there's no resting on their laurels according to Courtney.

"One of our goals was to be on the podium at the end of the year," Courtney remembered. "Obviously, we try to exceed our goals and we came out with 11 wins and a championship. We're going to go back to the drawing board, reset our goals, and come back and defend this title."

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway were R.J. Johnson (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner) Chris Windom (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Brady Bacon (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Dave Darland (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Max Adams (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier), Isaac Chapple (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Logan Seavey (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Logan Williams & Danny Faria, Jr. (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfers).

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USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: November 10, 2018 - Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, California - 23rd Budweiser "Oval Nationals" presented by All Coast Construction

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Thomas Meseraull, 77m, Michael-16.626; 2. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.636; 3. Brady Bacon, 99, Bacon-16.649; 4. Dave Darland, 12, Ballou-16.769; 5. Jason McDougal, 19s, Reinbold/Underwood-16.810; 6. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-16.823; 7. Bud Kaeding, 16, Martin-16.865; 8. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.904; 9. R.J. Johnson, 92, Sertich-16.907; 10. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-16.968; 11. Chase Johnson, 36D, Goodnight/Thomas/Curb-Agajanian-16.971; 12. Logan Williams, 5J, Jory-17.049; 13. Max Adams, 5m, Adams-17.055; 14. Danny Sheridan, 15, Johnson-17.075; 15. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.090; 16. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-17.158; 17. Charles Davis, Jr., 50, Davis-17.171; 18. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.198; 19. Tommy Malcolm, 5x, Napier-17.206; 20. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.216; 21. Danny Faria, Jr., 42, Cheney-17.289; 22. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-17.317; 23. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-17.334; 24. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.344; 25. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-17.497; 26. Randy Waitman, 90, Waitman-17.614; 27. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Mihocko-17.666; 28. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.675; 29. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.699; 30. Matt McCarthy, 28m, McCarthy-17.766; 31. Jake Swanson, 34AZ, Grau/Burkhart-18.003; 32. Austin Ervine, 51, AJ-18.505; 33. Gary Marshall, Jr., 72, Marshall-19.794; 34. Frank Rodgers, 11x, Rodgers-19.942.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS / EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-2 transfer to the feature) 1. R.J. Johnson, 2. Adams, 3. Davis, 4. Hodges, 5. Faria, 6. Edwards, 7. McDougal, 8. Marshall, 9. Meseraull. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-2 transfer to the feature) 1. Windom, 2. A. Williams, 3. Sheridan, 4. Seavey, 5. McCarthy, 6. Bender, 7. Chapple, 8. Rodgers, 9. Waitman. 2:53.25

CHALK STIX / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-2 transfer to the feature) 1. Bacon, 2. C. Johnson, 3. J. Vander Weerd, 4. Kaeding, 5. Liggett, 6. Malcolm, 7. Mihocko, 8. Swanson. 2:54.56

INDY RACE PARTS / BUTLERBUILT SEATS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-2 transfer to the feature) 1. Darland, 2. Roa, 3. C. Williams, 4. Gansen, 5. Sweeney, 6. Ervine, 7. L. Williams, 8. R. Vander Weerd. NT

BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS SUPER SIX DASH: (6 laps, finish order sets feature lineup) 1. C.J. Leary (#30 Leary), 2. Tyler Courtney (#7BC Clauson Marshall Newman), 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (#69 Dynamics), 4. Chase Stockon (#32 32 TBI), 5. Justin Grant (#4 TOPP), 6. Damion Gardner (#4x Alexander). NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) FIRST SEMI: (12 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Hodges, 2. Seavey, 3. Liggett, 4. J. Vander Weerd, 5. Bender, 6. L. Williams, 7. Malcolm, 8. McCarthy, 9. Sweeney, 10. Sheridan, 11. Ervine, 12. R. Vander Weerd. NT

PYROTECT RACING CELLS / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND SEMI: (12 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Kaeding, 2. McDougal, 3. Chapple, 4. C. Williams, 5. Gansen, 6. Faria, 7. Edwards, 8. Mihocko, 9. Rodgers, 10. Davis. 3:31.71

FEATURE: (40 laps - starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (3), 2. Chase Stockon (4), 3. Chris Windom (8), 4. Tyler Courtney (2), 5. Damion Gardner (6), 6. Logan Seavey (15), 7. Austin Williams (14), 8. Justin Grant (5), 9. Brody Roa (10), 10. Chase Johnson (13), 11. Brady Bacon (7), 12. Danny Faria, Jr. (26), 13. Isaac Chapple (19), 14. Jace Vander Weerd (23), 15. C.J. Leary (1), 16. Logan Williams (25), 17. Chris Gansen (20), 18. Max Adams (11), 19. Bud Kaeding (18), 20. R.J. Johnson (12), 21. Cody Williams (22), 22. Jason McDougal (16), 23. Josh Hodges (17), 24. A.J. Bender (24), 25. Austin Liggett (21), 26. Dave Darland (9). NT
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**Meseraull flipped during the first heat. Gardner flipped during the Super 6 Dash. Darland flipped on the opening lap of the feature. Bender flipped on lap 14 of the feature. R.J. Johnson flipped on lap 38 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-15 Courtney, Lap 16 Leary, Lap 17 Courtney, Laps 18-26 Leary, Laps 27-32 Courtney, Laps 33-40 Thomas.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Logan Seavey (15th to 6th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Isaac Chapple

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Max Adams

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFERS: Logan Williams & Danny Faria, Jr.

FINAL USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Courtney-2733, 2-K. Thomas-2733, 3-Windom-2651, 4-Stockon-2343, 5-Bacon-2331, 6-Leary-2328, 7-Darland-2292, 8-Grant-2290, 9-Robert Ballou-1771, 10-Chapple-1572.

FINAL AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-1643, 2-Roa-1598, 3-A. Williams-1354, 4-C. Williams-1189, 5-Swanson-1173, 6-R.J. Johnson-1113, 7-Max Adams-1044, 8-L. Williams-976, 9-Faria-972, 10-Gansen-872.