Showing posts with label Turkey Night Grand Prix. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkey Night Grand Prix. Show all posts

Thursday, December 12, 2019

2020 USAC National Midget Schedule is Largest Since 1988

4-wide USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget action was more the rule than the exception in 2019. (Danny Clum Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Speedway, Indiana (December 12, 2019).........USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets will embark on their largest schedule of events in over three decades when the series hits the trail for the start of their 65th season on Feb. 7-8 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., the opening night of Winter Dirt Games XI.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Larson Logs 3rd Turkey Night GP Win

Kyle Larson (right) poses with Ventura Raceway promoter Jim Naylor following Friday night's Turkey Night Grand Prix victory. (Rich Forman Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 29 2019).........Nearing halfway of Friday night's 98-lap feature at California's Ventura Raceway while running fifth, Kyle Larson nearly saw his Turkey Night Grand Prix end in shambles after biking hard into turn one.

Somehow, someway, the Elk Grove, Calif. native regained his footing, kept his foot on the throttle and carried on as if it was just part of the game plan.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Turkey Night Postponed to Friday


Via USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 28, 2019).........Overnight rain mixed with a heavy downpour around 10am Pacific time on Thursday has forced postponement of the 79th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix to Friday, November 29, at California's Ventura Raceway.

Colwell Fastest in Turkey Night Practice

Jesse Colwell (#71) was the fastest in Wednesday's Turkey Night midget practice at California's Ventura Raceway. (Rich Forman Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 27, 2019).........Jesse Colwell made his very first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget start at Ventura Raceway one year ago.

One year later, he's gotten his 79th Turkey Night Grand Prix off to a hot start by recording the fastest time in Wednesday's practice at the 1/5-mile southern California dirt oval in preparation for Thursday's 98-lap event.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Stenhouse Joins Stacked Turkey Night Field

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (#17JR) (Devin Mayo Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 26, 2019).........Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., a five-time USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature winner and 2007 series Rookie of the Year, has filed an entry to become the latest addition to the massive field for the 79th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix on Thursday, November 28, at California's Ventura Raceway.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Turkey Night Grand Prix-View 2019

Jake Swanson (#73K) battles wheel-to-wheel with Dillon Welch (#81) and Tyler Courtney (#7BC). (Devin Mayo Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 25, 2019).........It's been nearly three decades since the Turkey Night Grand Prix has reached the levels of enormity in car count and buzz than it has entering this Thursday's 79th edition of the prestigious event, but that's certainly the case in 2019.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Turkey Night GP Entry List Surges Past 70 Entries

#81 Dillon Welch (Carmel, Ind.) (Steve Koletar Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 19, 2019).........The driver lineup for the Nov. 28th Turkey Night Grand Prix at California's Ventura Raceway has surged above 70 entrants for the 79th running of the famed event featuring the USAC NOS Energy Drink National and Western States Midgets.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Massive Turkey Night Midget Lineup Awaits Ventura

Kevin Thomas, Jr. (#5) and Zeb Wise (#39BC) race side-by-side earlier during the 2019 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season. (Lee Greenawalt Photo)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California (November 13, 2019).........As it stands now, the entry list for the 79th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix is stacked to the gills with the number of cars, drivers and the amount of talent that will be on display for the prestigious event on Thanksgiving Night, November 28, at California's Ventura Raceway.

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

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)

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Turkey Night Midget Entry List Hits 60!

BC39 winner Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. (Photo Courtesy Rich Forman)

Via USAC Media

Ventura, California.........The initial entry list for the 78th running of the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" has been released with 60 drivers already indicating their intentions to compete in the prestigious race.

The November 22 event at Ventura Raceway featuring the USAC P1 National National Midgets and Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets will have a stacked 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 are 2018 USAC National Midget feature winners Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant, Logan Seavey, Chad Boat, Spencer Bayston, Kevin Thomas, Jr., 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 champ David Prickett among many others.

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

The race will take place Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 22, with a practice night scheduled for Wednesday, November 21. USAC West Coast/VRA Sprints will be on the card both nights.

The race will be streamed live on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ with live audio available on the USAC app.

2018 "TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX" MIDGET ENTRY LIST:
1 Kyle Larson/Elk Grove, CA
1K Brayton Lynch/Springfield, IL
1P Tristan Thomas/Burlington, WA
2 Robby Josett/Santa Clarita, CA
2D Kevin Woody/Victor, NY
3c Tanner Thorson/Minden, NV
4D Robert Dalby/Anaheim, CA
4M Michelle Decker/Guthrie, OK
7BC Tyler Courtney/Indianapolis, IN
7u Grady Chandler/Piedmont, OK
8 Randi Pankratz/Atascadero, CA
9D Michael Faccinto/Hanford, CA
9F Frankie Guerrini/San Rafael, CA
10 Lance Bennett/Aurora, CO
10B Blaze Bennett/Parker, CO
15 Jason McDougal/Broken Arrow, OK
15c Carson Garrett/Littleton, CO
15x Ashley Hazelton-Heredia/Chatsworth, CA
17BC Justin Grant/Ione, CA
17G Dustin Golobic/Fremont, CA
17s Sheldon Haudenschild/Wooster, OH
17w Shane Golobic/Fremont, CA
20 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 Kyle Beilman/Santa Monica, CA
33P Mike Leach/Foothill Ranch, CA
35 Holley Hollan/Broken Arrow, OK
39BC Zeb Wise/Angola, IN
50 Tony DiMattia/Malvern, PA
55 C.J. Leary/Greenfield, IN
57 Maria Cofer/Macdoel, CA
63 Kevin Thomas, Jr./Cullman, AL
63D Brad Sweet/Grass Valley, CA
67 Logan Seavey/Sutter, CA
67K Holly Shelton/Sacramento, CA
68 Jake Swanson/Anaheim, CA
71 Ryan Robinson/Foresthill, CA
71K Tanner Carrick/Lincoln, CA
71R Chase Johnson/Penngrove, CA
71s Cody Swanson/Covina, CA
71x Bryan Drollinger/Lomita, CA
72 Sam Johnson/St. Peters, MO
73 Dylan Ito/Newbury Park, CA
73K Buddy Kofoid/Penngrove, CA
73T Ryan Bernal/Hollister, CA
73x Carson Macedo/Lemoore, CA
76M Brady Bacon/Broken Arrow, OK
77 Daniel Anderson/Riverside, CA
77B Olivia Bennett/Aurora, CA
84 Chad Boat/Phoenix, AZ
85 McKenna Haase/Des Moines, IA
87 Colby Copeland/Roseville, CA
91 Chris Sheil/Aurora, CA
97 Spencer Bayston/Lebanon, IN
97F Jesse Fernandez/Parker, CO

Friday, November 24, 2017

Bell Outduels Larson In "Turkey Night" Thriller At Ventura

Christopher Bell celebrates his victory in Thursday night's 77th "Turkey Night
Grand Prix" at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway (Photo Courtesy Rich Forman)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.........Thanksgiving is the day each year when we take a little extra time to realize how fortunate we are.

For those in attendance at Thursday's "Turkey Night Grand Prix," the realization quickly came to how thankful we are to have witnessed Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson duking it out against each other for 98 laps in USAC Midgets at Ventura Raceway.

The three official lead changes listed in the box score aren't indicative of the back-and-forth battle these two titans waged with sliders being exchanged like currency on both ends of the racetrack.

On the 54th lap, Bell ultimately made the winning pass on Larson with a daring outside move on the front straightaway, but would have to endure the relentless persistence of Larson all the way down to turn one of the final lap when he stifled Larson's slider before it even had time to develop.

Bell, of Norman, Oklahoma, joined the ranks of two-time "Turkey Night" winners just six days after wrapping up his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title at Homestead (Fla.) Speedway. Though he and Larson have reached success in the NASCAR ranks in recent years, their home lies in the dirt tracks, just like old times when they were regulars on the USAC trail.

"Oh my god, it's so much fun," Bell exclaimed. "I just told Kyle that if he would've beat me, I would've been, maybe not just as happy, but still happy because it was just that much fun. That race was one of the most fun races I've run in a long time."

Straight from the outset, polesitter Larson had the upper hand as inside second row starter Bell followed in his wake on the bottom.

As Larson ringed around the berm lining the bottom of the racing surface, Bell became the first in line to venture to the top on the 12thlap, using a big bite off turn four to pull to a dead-heat at the line alongside Larson before nudging into the lead by a sliver into the first turn.

Bell never wavered in his decision to go top-shelf and it would pay off one lap later when he slipped by Larson off turn four to secure the lead.

"I could tell that the top was going to be good," Bell theorized. "Watching the sprint car feature, we saw that it got pretty good. They tilled the bottom and I could tell it was going to be really good at the beginning. Once it started going away, I tried the top and it was right there."

On lap 40, Brayton Lynch got sideways in a shuffle for position at the exit of turn four. Facing oncoming traffic, Chad Boat met front-bumper to front-bumper with Lynch, melding the noses of each car together as Boat attempted to peel away to no avail. Courtney Crone and newly-crowned five-time USAC Light Up the World Beverages Western States Midget champ Ronnie Gardner were also involved, but would restart.

When racing resumed on lap 52, Larson went to the bottom and slid his teammate Bell to snare the lead. One lap later, Bell returned the favor and slithered by Larson with just inches to spare as he tunneled between Larson's right-side wheels and the front straightaway wall. Larson attacked again into turn one with a slider, but the motion was denied, and Bell cleared away the Tryptophan after the wake-up call and sprinted back into the lead.

Following a lap 57 tangle between the two most recent USAC National Midget feature winners - Brady Bacon and series champion Spencer Bayston - Larson harassed Bell, putting it all on the line in the prestigious race in an attempt to become just the third driver to win the event three times. On lap 66, Larson got on the bike, lifting the left side wheels as he ripped the edge of the turn three cushion in his tireless pursuit.

With three-quarters of the race in the rearview mirror, it was time to turn up the wick. The bottom became just a distant memory as the two were now inside the barrel, riding the wave in turns three and four above the cushion. On lap 80, Larson slid Bell into turn one momentarily. Bell retaliated by crossing underneath Larson off the second turn to recapture the point. In turn three, the second verse played out the same as the first as Larson slid to the lead and Bell, so Allen Iverson-esque, used a killer crossover to bolt back to the front.

"The majority of drivers understand you have to be good at the end of the race to win the race," Bell said. "At the beginning, you're just cruising and making sure you make It to the end of the race. That's the biggest thing. Kyle and I were both rolling around there about quarter-throttle at the beginning, trying to save our tires and kill some laps. It worked out and we were racing our butts off at the end."

Larson, the five-time NASCAR Monster Energy Cup winner, set up another Hail Mary that was denied as Bell wheelied away off the top of turn two to remain in front. Tyler Courtney, the USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Car feature winner earlier in the night, slowed to a stop in turn one to bring out the yellow and provide a breather for both the drivers and fans alike.

On the ensuing restart, Bell jetted away from Larson and, with ten to go, held a lead of over one second with a full nest of lappers resting in the distance. Just prior to lapped traffic possibly becoming a factor with a mere four laps to go, Holly Shelton and Bacon performed a synchronized spin between turns one and two that brought out the final yellow and one more stanza that Bell had to deal with Larson.

"The track was so technical," Bell explained. "It was all about hitting your marks and minimizing mistakes because you weren't going to make a mistake-free lap tonight. You just had to make sure when you made a mistake that you could recover from it. Once I got going on those green flag runs, I could get my momentum built up and make good, competitive laps. But after the yellow flags, it was tough to pick your rhythm back up. I knew I was a sitting duck their leading on the restarts. On the final one, Kyle got one last bomb on me and I was able to get him back."

Larson's first lob of a bomb was a success in turn one on the lap 95 restart as he scraped across the surface to snag the race lead from Bell. Bell counter-punched and ripped away the lead back away from Larson with a slider into turn three. Entering turn one with two laps remaining, wheels banged and nerf bars clanged as Larson shot to the lead past Bell once again.

As a uncertain as a game of tug-of-war teetering on a see-saw, Bell launched like a missile on a hellbound train to slide across the nose of Larson and into the lead between turns three and four to capture the lead for good. Larson threw a haymaker entering turn three coming to the white flag, pulling side-by-side with Bell at the exit of four where it momentarily became three-wide with Shane Golobic arriving seemingly out of the clear blue sky to mount a challenge for the lead.

Larson tried once more on the final lap, but Bell savagely, and wisely, took a lower entrance into turn one, thus preventing a final pull of the pin from Larson. Bell carried on with a 0.193 second lead across the finish line as Larson blasted off the top of the final corner to nip Golobic by a wheel at the line for the runner-up spot. Past "Turkey Night" winner Tanner Thorson was fourth and Don Basile "Rookie of the Race" Zeb Wise was fifth in his second-career USAC National Midget start.

Bell was 4 for 7 in USAC National Midget feature appearances in 2017 for a .571 batting average. His 21st career series victory tied him with Steve Cannon, Jimmy Caruthers, Rex Easton and Ken Schrader for 27th all-time.

The fourth-straight "Turkey Night" win for the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team began with Bell's victory in 2014. Firsts are always special in any circumstance, but this one has even more meaning for the 22-year-old, 2013 USAC National Midget titlist.

"I definitely had to work harder for this one. This one was even more fun and more special."

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Ventura Raceway were Kyle Larson (ProSource/Woodland Auto Display Fast Qualifier), Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Simpson Race Products/Extreme Mufflers 1st Qualifier Winner & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Chad Boat (Competition Suspension, Inc./Brown & Miller Racing Solutions 2nd Qualifier Winner), Zeb Wise (Chalk Stix/Keizer Aluminum Wheels/Saldana Racing Products/Indy Race Parts Last Chance Winner) and Ryan Robinson (KSE Racing Products/Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger).

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USAC NATIONAL & LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE RESULTS: November 23, 2017 - Ventura Raceway - Ventura, California - 77th "Turkey Night Grand Prix"

PROSOURCE/WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: (Top-12 locked into the Feature) 1. Kyle Larson, 1, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-11.888; 2. Jake Swanson, 73, Ford-11.909; 3. Christopher Bell, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-11.933; 4. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-12.060; 5. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-12.081; 6. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-12.119; 7. Logan Seavey, 4A, RAMS-12.200; 8. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.210; 9. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.238; 10. Michael Faccinto, 9D, Dodenhoff-12.249; 11. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.266; 12. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Klaasmeyer-12.269; 13. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-12.274; 14. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-12.276; 15. Brad Sweet, 63x, Dooling/Hayward-12.282; 16. Michael Pickens, 25x, Rodela-12.290; 17. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.326; 18. Courtney Crone, 25, Rodela-12.342; 19. Zeb Wise, 39, Clauson/Marshall-12.391; 20. Chase Briscoe, 5, Briscoe-12.393; 21. Carson Macedo, 73x, Ford-12.460; 22. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Six8-12.471; 23. Frankie Guerrini, 63, Guerrini-12.490; 24. Cory Elliott, 11E, Elliott-12.505; 25. Clayton Ruston, 7R, CR-12.512; 26. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-12.520; 27. Tyler Nelson, 47, Mason-12.535; 28. Dustin Golobic, 17G, Wood-12.593; 29. Danny Stratton, 98, Blondel-12.605; 30. David Prickett, 22Q, Neverlift-12.608; 31. Cody Swanson, 17, Swanson-12.680; 32. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.696; 33. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-12.702; 34. Dave Darland, 73T, Ford-12.729; 35. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.745; 36. Colton Heath, 99, Heath-12.802; 37. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-12.820; 38. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-12.847; 39. Daniel Robinson, 56, Fifty6x-12.872; 40. Terry Nichols, 1p, Nichols-12.878; 41. Carson Garrett, 15G, Garrett-12.882; 42. Tyler Edwards, 2JD, Shenanigans/Neverlift-12.894; 43. Mack DeMan, 9E, Dodenhoff-12.924; 44. Jake Vermeer, 87JR, Vermeer-12.938; 45. Ron Hazelton, 15, Hazelton-12.972; 46. Kyle Beilman, 31, Beilman-13.020; 47. Kyle Smith, 55, Smith-13.113; 48. Bryan Drollinger, 71x, Drollinger-13.385; 49. Matt Mitchell, 75, Miller-15.658; 50. Robby Josett, 2, Josett-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS/EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the Feature, 5-12 transfer to Last Chance Race) 1. Thomas, 2. Wise, 3. Macedo, 4. Sweet, 5. Shelton, 6. C. Swanson, 7. Stratton, 8. Courtney, 9. Ruston, 10. Dalby, 11. Carrick, 12. Nelson, 13. D. Robinson, 14. Smith, 15. DeMan, 16. Garrett, 17. Hazelton, 18. Guerrini. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI)/BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the Feature, 5-12 transfer to Last Chance) 1. Boat, 2. Pickens, 3. Crone, 4. Elliott, 5. Gardner, 6. Briscoe, 7. Cofer, 8. D. Golobic, 9. R. Robinson, 10. Edwards, 11. Pankratz, 12. Heath, 13. Nichols, 14. Prickett, 15. Darland, 16. Beilman, 17. Vermeer, 18. Drollinger. NT

CHALK STIX/KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS/SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS/INDY RACE PARTS LAST CHANCE RACE: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Shelton, 2. Gardner, 3. Courtney, 4. Briscoe, 5. R. Robinson, 6. Edwards, 7. Heath, 8. Ruston, 9. Dalby, 10. Carrick, 11. Cofer, 12. Pankratz, 13. Stratton, 14. Nelson, 15. D. Golobic, 16. C. Swanson. NT

FEATURE: (98 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Christopher Bell (3), 2. Kyle Larson (1), 3. Shane Golobic (4), 4. Tanner Thorson (9), 5. Zeb Wise (15), 6. Carson Macedo (17), 7. Justin Grant (5), 8. Ryan Robinson (25), 9. Brad Sweet (19), 10. Michael Faccinto (10), 11. Tanner Carrick (27), 12. Brady Bacon (11), 13. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (13), 14. Holly Shelton (21), 15. Logan Seavey (7), 16. Spencer Bayston (8), 17. David Prickett (29), 18. Ronnie Gardner (22), 19. Jake Swanson (2), 20. Courtney Crone (18), 21. Chase Briscoe (24), 22. Tyler Courtney (23), 23. Chad Boat (14), 24. Brayton Lynch (6), 25. Tucker Klaasmeyer (12), 26. Tyler Edwards (26), 27. Cory Elliott (20), 28. Frankie Guerrini (28), 29. Michael Pickens (16). NT
----------------------------
**C. Swanson flipped during the Last Chance Race.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Larson, Laps 13-52 Bell, Lap 53 Larson, Lap 54-98 Bell.

DON BASILE ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Zeb Wise

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/ESSLINGER ENGINEERING HARD CHARGER: Ryan Robinson (25th to 8th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Kevin Thomas, Jr.

FINAL USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bayston-1472, 2-S. Golobic-1416, 3-Bacon-1413, 4-Thorson-1392, 5-Grant-1316, 6-Courtney-1290, 7-Boat-1154, 8-Shelton-1055, 9-Carrick-995, 10-Jerry Coons, Jr.-849.

FINAL USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Gardner-810, 2-Guerrini-693, 3-Prickett-665, 4-Elliott-632, 5-Dalby-580, 6-Crone-562, 7-Faccinto-547. 8-Pankratz-427, 9-Shannon McQueen-424, 10-S. Golobic-416.

Sunshine Fries Bacon In Ventura USAC West Coast Sprint Car Showdown

"Sunshine" Tyler Courtney captured the victory in Thursday's "Turkey Night Grand Prix"
USAC West Coast/ VRA Sprint Car feature at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway (Photo Courtesy Rich Forman)

Ventura, California.........Tyler Courtney worked his way around previous night's winner Brady Bacon with 11 laps remaining to score Thursday's 77th "Turkey Night Grand Prix" USAC West Coast Sprint Car "Special Event" victory at Ventura Raceway co-sanctioned by VRA.

Courtney has now notched wins in five different USAC divisions in 2017 with triumphs in the Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint, National Midget, CRA Sprint and West Coast Sprint divisions.

Behind Courtney at the checkered of the 30-lap feature were Bacon, who led 16 laps before Courtney got by. Chase Briscoe was third ahead of early leader Klint Simpson with Brody Roa rounding out the top-five.

--------------------------------

USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SPECIAL EVENT RESULTS: November 23, 2017 - Ventura, California - Ventura Raceway - "77th Turkey Night Grand Prix" / "Battle of the Beach Race #4" - co-sanctioned with VRA

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Carson Macedo (#73 Ford), 2. Jake Swanson (#92 Sertich), 3. Shawn Arriaga (#56J Arriaga), 4. Matt Mitchell (#12 Dale), 5. Brandon Wiley (#33B Team 33), 6. Dave Darland #21K Kruseman), 7. Koen Shaw (#88K Shaw), 8. Albert Pombo (#35 Pombo), 9. Guy Woodward (#24 Woodward) 10. Tyler Wiliams (#5K Kruseman), 11. Austin Ervine (#51 AJ), 12. Dalton Hill (#81D Double D). NT

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Chase Johnson (#24X Johnson) , 2. Michael Pickens (#81 Watt), 3. Justyn Cox (#31X Cox), 4. Slater Helt (#14 Watt), 5. Kaleb Montgomery (#3K Montgomery), 6. Jeremy Ellertson (#98 Ellertson), 7. Stewart Friesen (#81X Watt), 8. Brent Owens (#71 Martin), 9. Tom Hendricks (#14X Hendricks), 10. Reed Broschart (#93 B&B), 11. Ryan Timmons (#29T Timmons), 12. Sterling Cling (#2K Kruseman), 13. Charlie Butcher (#96 B&B). NT

PYROTECT RACING CELLS THIRD SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Brody Roa (#91BR), 2. Max Adams (#5M Adams), 3. Cory Elliott (#11E Elliott), 4. Tanner Carrick (#83T Carrick), 5. Rick Hendrix (#15 Hendrix), 6. Bruce Douglass (#13 Davis), 7. Steve Hix (#57 Hix), 8. Damian Lopez (#4K Kruseman), 9. Cody Majors (#29 Steele), 10. Geoffrey Strole (#09S Strole), 11. Geoff Ensign (#3F), 12. Kyle Smith (#55 Smith), 13. Matt Rossi (#02 Rossi). NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Tyler Courtney (#81m Watt), 2. Brady Bacon (#63 Dooling/Hayward), 3. Chase Briscoe (#5 Briscoe), 4. Klint Simpson (#101 Edison), 5. Brody Roa, 6. Carson Macedo, 7. Colby Copeland (#24c Copeland), 8. Jake Swanson, 9. Michael Pickens, 10. Stevie Sussex (#34 Grau), 11. Tristan Guardino (#15T Guardino), 12. Max Adams, 13. Shawn Arriaga, 14. Cory Elliott, 15. Matt Mitchell, 16. Chase Johnson, 17. Tanner Carrick, 18. Slater Helt, 19. Troy Rutherford (#11 Rutherford), 20. Justyn Cox. NT
-----------------------
**Rutherford flipped on lap 23 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Simpson, Laps 4-19 Bacon, Laps 20-30 Courtney.

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Brody Roa (11th to 5th)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Bacon Feasts At Ventura For USAC West Coast Sprint Win

Brady Bacon was the victor at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway in Wednesday's "Turkey
Night Grand Prix" USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Car feature (Photo Courtesy Rich Forman)

Ventura, California.........Brady Bacon captured Wednesday's USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Car feature on night one of the 77th "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at Ventura Raceway.

The two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma zipped around Troy Rutherford on the fifth lap of the 20-lap points-free "Special Event" feature and cruised to a commanding two-and-a-half second victory ahead of Rutherford, Carson Macedo, Tyler Courtney and Max Adams.

Also timing in second during midget practice Wednesday night, Bacon appears to be the frontrunner to capture Automotive Racing Products' $50,000 bonus that will go to a driver who can win both the midget and sprint car feature on Thanksgiving night. Four other drivers possessing rides in both races for Thursday night finished in the top-ten Wednesday: Tyler Courtney (4th), Chase Briscoe (7th), Jake Swanson (9th) and Michael Pickens (10th).

On Thursday, Nov. 23, the event card includes a full program for the midgets, concluding with a 98-lap feature, plus USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Car semi-features and A-Main. Pits open at 11am with the drivers meeting taking place at 2:45pm. Cars hit the track at 3:30pm.

"Turkey Night" is LIVE on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ on Thursday. As always, you can watch every USAC race on demand, a day following the event, at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SPECIAL EVENT RESULTS: November 22, 2017 - Ventura, California - Ventura Raceway "77th Turkey Night Grand Prix" - co-sanctioned with VRA

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Tyler Courtney, 81M, Watt-12.289; 2. Kaleb Montgomery, 3K, Montgomery-12.307; 3. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling/Hayward-12.388; 4. Colby Copeland, 24C, Copeland-12.444; 5. Matt Mitchell, 12, Dale-12.523; 6. Stevie Sussex, 34 Grau-12.567; 7. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-12.12.570; 8. Troy Rutherford, 11, Rutherford-12.588; 9. Max Adams, 5M, Adams-12.635; 10. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-12.652; 11. Tristan Guardino, 15T, Guardino-12.656; 12. Klint Simpson, 101, Edison-12.672; 13. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-12.680; 14. Chase Briscoe, 5, Briscoe-12.724; 15. Dalton Hill, 81D, Double D-12.785; 16. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-12.786; 17. Matt Rossi, 02, Rossi-12.796; 18. Brandon Wiley, 33B, Team 33-12.806; 19. Shon Deskins, 20, Deskins-12.832; 20. Michael Pickens, 81, Watt-12.871; 21. Rick Hendrix, 15, Hendrix-12.872; 22. Chase Johnson, 24X, Johnson-12.878; 23. Slater Helt, 14, Watt-12.905; 24. Tanner Carrick, 83T, Carrick-12.914; 25. Shawn Arriaga, 56J, Arriaga-12.917; 26. Justyn Cox, 31C, Cox-12.963; 27. Guy Woodward, 24, Woodward-12.988; 28. Carson Macedo, 73, Ford-13.028; 29. Charlie Butcher, 96, B&B-13.062; 30. Kyle Smith, 55, Smith-13.108; 31. Dave Darland, 21K, Kruseman-13.115; 32. Cory Elliott, 11E, Elliott-13.169; 33. Sterling Cling, 2K, Kruseman-13.186; 34. Tyler Williams, 5K, Kruseman-13.261; 35. Tom Hendricks, 14X, Hendricks-13.261; 36. Bruce Douglass, 13, Davis-13.345; 37. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-13.357; 38. Koen Shaw, 88K, Shaw-13.406; 39. Bruce St. James, 7K, St. James-13.471; 40. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-13.481; 41. Geoffrey Strole, 09S, Strole-13.512; 42. Brent Owens, 71, Martin-13.525; 43. Damian Lopez, 5X, Perkins-13.962; 44. Albert Pombo, 35, Pombo-13.996; 45. Reed Broschart, 93, B&B-14.219; 46. Austin Ervine, 51, AJ-14.527; 47. Cody Majors, 29, Steele-14.765; 48. Stewart Friesen, 81X, Watt-NT; 49. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-NT.

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Simpson, 2. Courtney, 3. Arriaga, 4. Hix, 5. Elliott, 6. Ervine, 7. Hendrix, 8. Mitchell. NT

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Briscoe, 2. Rutherford, 3. Helt, 4. Butcher, 5. Owens, 6. Hendricks, 7. Majors, 8. Montgomery. NT

KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Guardino, 2. Carrick, 3. Bacon, 4. Darland, 5. Friesen, 6. Shaw, 7. Deskins, 8. Lopez. NT

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Adams, 2. Copeland, 3. Wiley, 4. Smith, 5. Cox, 6. Douglass, 7. Hill, 8. Strole. NT

PYROTECT RACING CELLS FIFTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Pickens, 2. Swanson, 3. Sussex, 4. Woodward, 5. Timmons, 6. Ensign, 7. Pombo, 8. Cling. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED SIXTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Macedo, 2. Roa, 3. Johnson, 4. Williams, 5. Broschart, 6. Ellertson, 7. Rossi, 8. St. James. NT

FEATURE: (20 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Troy Rutherford, 3. Klint Simpson, 4. Tyler Courtney, 5. Colby Copeland, 6. Stevie Sussex, 7. Chase Briscoe, 8. Tristan Guardino, 9. Jake Swanson, 10. Michael Pickens, 11. Max Adams, 12. Carson Macedo, 13. Chase Johnson, 14. Geoff Ensign, 15. Brandon Wiley, 16. Kaleb Montgomery, 17. Tanner Carrick, 18. Shawn Arriaga, 19. Slater Helt, 20. Brody Roa, NT
-----------------------
**Friesen flipped during qualifications. Deskins flipped during third heat.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1-4 Rutherford, Laps 5-30 Bacon.

BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Klint Simpson (9th to 3rd)

NEXT USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SPECIAL EVENT: November 23 - Ventura (CA) Raceway - "77th Turkey Night Grand Prix" - co-sanctioned with VRA

Golobic Fastest In Turkey Night Practice

Shane Golobic recorded the fastest lap during Wednesday's practice session at
Ventura (Calif.) Raceway in preperation for Thursday's "Turkey Night Grand Prix"
(Photo Courtesy Rich Forman)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.........Shane Golobic led a field of 52 drivers by recording the fastest lap in Wednesday's open practice for the 77th running of the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" at Ventura Raceway.

Four different teams represented the top-four in practice, which all came in the second of the four sessions held with Fremont, California's Golobic taking the top time for Clauson-Marshall/Wood Racing. The second through fourth positions were held by Brady Bacon (FMR Racing), Spencer Bayston (Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports) and Brad Sweet (Dooling/Hayward Motorsports).

The fastest past winner of the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" was 2015 winner Tanner Thorson (5th). Christopher Bell, the 2014 winner, was 10th. Kyle Larson, 2012 and 2016 winner, was 13th. Dave Darland, 2007 and 2013 winner, was 33rd.

The fastest Don Basile "Rookie of the Race" contender was Zeb Wise, who timed in sixth quickest for Clauson/Marshall Racing.

Only one incident with contact took place during practice when Kyle Beilman spun sideways in turn two. Tucker Klaasmeyer clipped Beilman's car with his right rear tire, sending him flipping over. He was uninjured and returned to practice where he timed in 18th fastest.

On Thursday, Nov. 23, the event card includes a full program for the midgets, concluding with a 98-lap feature, plus USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Car semi-features and A-Main. Pits open at 11am with the drivers meeting taking place at 2:45pm. Cars hit the track at 3:30pm.

"Turkey Night" is LIVE on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ on Thursday. As always, you can watch every USAC race on demand, a day following the event, at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

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USAC NATIONAL & LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES WESTERN STATES MIDGET PRACTICE RESULTS: November 22, 2017 - Ventura Raceway - Ventura, California - 77th "Turkey Night Grand Prix"

1. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-12.038; 2. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.059; 3. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.088; 4. Brad Sweet, 63, Dooling/Hayward-12.095; 5. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.103; 6. Zeb Wise, 39, Clauson/Marshall-12.120; 7. Michael Pickens, 25x, Rodela-12.121; 8. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-12.157; 9. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-12.167; 10. Christopher Bell, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.169; 11. Logan Seavey, 4A, RAMS-12.189; 12. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-12.205; 13. Kyle Larson, 1, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.225; 14. Cory Elliott, 11E, Elliott-12.260; 15. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.406; 16. Matt Mitchell, 75, Miller-12.411; 17. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.425; 18. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Klaasmeyer-12.445; 19. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-12.446; 20. Chase Briscoe, 5, Briscoe-12.449; 21. Dustin Golobic, 17G, Wood-12.452; 22. Michael Faccinto, 9D, Dodenhoff-12.462; 23. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-12.484; 24. Carson Macedo, 73x, Ford-12.529; 25. Danny Stratton, 98, Blondel-12.536; 26. Frankie Guerrini, 63, Guerrini-12.543; 27. Courtney Crone, 25, Rodela-12.613; 28. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.629; 29. Terry Nichols, 1p, Nichols-12.641; 30. Robby Josett, 2, Josett-12.702; 31. Daniel Robinson, 56, Fifty6x-12.740; 32. Tyler Nelson, 47, Mason-12.743; 33. Dave Darland, 73T, Ford-12.745; 34. Cody Swanson, 17, Swanson-12.768; 35. Clayton Ruston, 7R, CR-12.780; 36. Tyler Edwards, 2JD, Shenanigans/Neverlift-12.813; 37. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-12.814; 38. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Six8-12.877; 39. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-12.882; 40. Colton Heath, 99, Heath-12.916; 41. Carson Garrett, 15G, Garrett-12.932; 42. Jake Swanson, 73, Ford-12.941; 43. Kyle Beilman, 31, Beilman- 13.039; 44. Kyle Smith, 55, Smith-13.052; 45. Bryan Drollinger, 71x, Drollinger-13.072; 46. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-13.117; 47. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13.129; 48. Mark Chisholm, 56x, Fifty6x-13.181; 49. Max Adams, 68, Six8-13.209; 50. Mack DeMan, 9E, Dodenhoff-13.228; 51. Ron Hazelton, 15, Hazelton-13.466; 52. Jake Vermeer, 87JR, Vermeer-13.512; 53. David Prickett, 22Q, Neverlift-NT; 54. Mason Daniel, 33m, Daniel-NT.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Larson, Bell, Sweet And Briscoe Return To Their Roots For Turkey Night

2016 "Turkey Night Grand Prix" winner Kyle Larson (Photo Courtesy Rich Forman)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.........Have you heard the one about when Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Brad Sweet and Chase Briscoe walk into a racetrack? Well, when that happens, it's definitely no joke.

These four may not be series regulars, but when they strap into a USAC Midget this Thursday night, Nov. 23 at Ventura Raceway for the 77th running of the "Turkey Night Grand Prix," this "vacation" away from their regular duties becomes strictly business.

All have earned a reputation for success in a diverse set of disciplines outside wingless sprint car and midget racing, yet still dabble when their schedules allow. But, "dabble" is most certainly an understatement.

Elk Grove, California's Larson has five career wins on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit and was a championship contender for much of his 2017 campaign. In his two USAC Midget appearances this season, he was fast qualifier in both and comes in as a two-time "Turkey Night" winner (2012 & 2016).

Less than a week ago, Christopher Bell was celebrating a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title. This week, the Norman, Oklahoma native's focus is set on becoming a two-time "Turkey Night" winner, duplicating his 2014 triumph.

Brad Sweet of Grass Valley, California was the runner-up behind Donny Schatz in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car standings this season with five victories. However, he's no outsider when it comes to midget racing as evidenced by his 11 career USAC National wins between 2008 and 2010.

Chase Briscoe was a regular on Indiana's tough local sprint car scene in recent years, but over the past two years has made a spectacular rise through the stock car/NASCAR ranks with a 2016 ARCA title and a 2017 NASCAR Truck Series Rookie of the Year award to his name.

For some of these guys who've seemingly been out of the loop in midget racing, it may seem like a tall order to jump right in and be a contender, but, think again. Over the past three decades, drivers who have achieved success in a wide array of series have consistently risen to the occasion on Thanksgiving night.

Sure, Leffler was one of the most accomplished USAC Midget drivers ever with three consecutive titles between 1997 and 1999. However, by 2005, he was firmly entrenched as a regular in NASCAR's Cup and Busch series. Yet, the Long Beach, California driver's only USAC Midget feature start of 2005 resulted in a "Turkey Night" victory.

Same thing with Tony Stewart in 2000, who had already conquered USAC as a four-time National champ, but came back to collect one of the most-prized victories of his career at Irwindale Speedway after already establishing himself as an IndyCar champ and a NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year.

Billy Boat was a dominant force on the midget racing scene in the mid-1990s where he scored "Turkey Night" victories in 1995 and 1996. By the time of his third-straight "Turkey Night" crown in 1997, the Phoenix, Arizona driver was a veteran of the Indianapolis 500 and had a full-time ride with A.J. Foyt Enterprises in the Indy Racing League where he quickly became a pole winner and a regular front runner.

Speaking of dominance, no one has been more dominant at "Turkey Night" than Tempe, Arizona's Ron Shuman. With eight victories in a 15-year span between 1979 and 1993, Shuman may have seemed like a "regular." Yet, Shuman was a true outlaw and was able to adapt to any racecar he set foot into whether it was a Silver Crown car, midget, sprint car, wing or non-wing. Shuman was simply magical on Thanksgiving and his success in the race stands head and shoulders above all others.

Like Shuman, Chuck Gurney could drive the wheels off anything. But, by the late 1980s, he only made sporadic appearances in the midget, but each time, you could count on him to rise to the occasion. On the half-mile and the mile tracks, the Livermore, California driver was an untouchable force. It was the Ascot Park half where Gurney reached the pinnacle of the sport with back-to-back wins in 1988-89.

The first images of Brent Kaeding that come to mind are in a wing spring car. As the owner of 13 driving championships in both the King of the West and Northern Auto Racing Club Series, it's easy to see why. The Campbell, California driver possesses a lengthy resume that also includes Silver Crown racing and even a brief foray into NASCAR Winston Cup. But, Kaeding will forever be known as a "Turkey Night" winner as well with his lone USAC National Midget victory coming at Ascot in 1985.

Like an all-star race or sorts, "Turkey Night" brings out the best of the best: the regulars vs. the one-offs - the guys who have no worries about points or championship races. "Turkey Night" stands as a chance for these daredevils to buckle into their seats and simply go racing, back to their roots with just a steering wheel, a gas and brake pedal and 98 laps separating them from one of racing's greatest prizes.

"Turkey Night" begins Wednesday, Nov. 22 with a full program featuring the USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Cars, plus an open practice for midgets. The following night, Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 23, will once again include the sprint cars as well as the prestigious, 98-lap midget race.

Cars are set to hit the track at 3:30pm Pacific at Ventura Raceway both nights. "Turkey Night" is LIVE on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ on both Wednesday and Thursday. As always, you can watch every USAC race, including "Turkey Night," on demand, a day following the event, at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Talented Turkey Night Rookie Class Ready To Rock At Ventura

"Turkey Night Grand Prix" rookie Justin Grant owns two USAC National Midget
victories in 2017 (Photo Courtesy Rich Forman)

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.........One of the deepest "Turkey Night Grand Prix" fields in years brings with it one of the most talented rookie classes for the race as well.

At press time, 23 of the 52 entries will be contenders for Don Basile "Rookie of the Race" honors for the 77th annual race on Thursday night, Nov. 23, including three drivers currently in the top-ten of the USAC National Midget point standings: Tyler Courtney (5th), Justin Grant (6th) and Tanner Carrick (9th). While Carrick is a true midget racing rookie and is the leader in the series' rookie standings, Courtney and Grant are veterans who just happen to be making their "Turkey Night" debut.

The Clauson/Marshall team brings along three race rookies in Ione, California's Grant, Indianapolis, Indiana's Courtney and Angola, Indiana's Zeb Wise, who made his USAC debut last Saturday night at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway, just days after celebrating his 15thbirthday. Grant and Courtney have teamed up for five total USAC National Midget victories this season with Grant, the 2007 BCRA Midget champ, taking the checkered in the season opener at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin and a spectacular last lap, final corner pass to win at Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Speedway in August. Meanwhile, Courtney, who got his start in USAC National racing in the seat of a midget, is one of five drivers to pick off three wins this season, which he did at Montpelier, Ind., Bloomington, Ind. and the Illinois State Fairgrounds Multi-Purpose Arena in Springfield.

The top-rookie for USAC's National Midget division in 2017 is Lincoln, California's Carrick, one of seven pieces of the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian powerhouse that has won the past three "Turkey Night" races in a row. Carrick leads all Rookies in top-tens (9), heat race wins (5) and feature starts (21) and is the lone Rookie to record a ProSource Fast Qualifying time this season in June at Lawrenceburg Speedway during "Indiana Midget Week."

Mitchell, Indiana's Chase Briscoe already has a Rookie of the Year award under his belt in 2016 from a vastly different racing discipline - the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Fresh off his win in the trucks at the season finale in Homestead, Florida last Friday night, the sprint car racing veteran makes a return to his racing roots in a bid for his first career USAC National Midget feature start in a points-paying race. Additionally, he will be competing in the USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Car portion of the program with hopes of capturing Automotive Racing Products' $50,000 bonus paid out to the driver who can win both the midget and sprint car feature on Thursday night.

The National Midget division's second-leading Rookie, Brayton Lynch of Springfield, Illinois, has his grandfather and, famed crew chief, Rusty Kunz turning the wrenches on his first foray to Ventura. Also making the long tow to the beach are Tyler Nelson (Kansas City, Kansas), Daniel Robinson (Wayne City, Illinois), Mark Chisholm (Cheyenne, Wyoming), Tyler Edwards (Salina, Oklahoma), Rocky Mountain's Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colorado) and Mack DeMan (Mississauga, Ontario), one of two drivers arriving from outside of the United States.

Sutter, California's Logan Seavey has already made his mark on the midget racing scene in his first season, capturing not only POWRi's Rookie of the Year award, but also the season championship with two victories while Mason Daniel of Visalia, Calif. is the USAC Light Up the World Beverages top Rookie in 2017.

Additional "Turkey Night" Rookies from the west include Delano, California's Terry Nichols (14th in Western States points), Upland, California's Clayton Ruston (18th), Santa Monica, California's Kyle Beilman (24th), Lomita, California's Bryan Drollinger (26th), 2016 "Turkey Night" Sprint Car winner Geoff Ensign of Sebastopol, California (28th), Fremont, California's Dustin Golobic (36th) as well as Tony Everhart (El Cajon, California), Jake Vermeer (El Cajon, California) and Waddell, Arizona's Shon Deskins.

"Turkey Night" from the seaside oval begins Wednesday, Nov. 22 with a full program featuring the USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Cars, plus an open practice for midgets. The following night, Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 23, will once again include the sprint cars as well as the prestigious, 98-lap midget race.

This Rookie class will have a tough hill to climb with a star-studded field prepared to do battle on the one-fifth mile dirt oval in Ventura. Past "Turkey Night" winners Dave Darland (2007 & 2013), Kyle Larson (2012 & 2016), Christopher Bell (2014) and Tanner Thorson (2015) are entered, plus 2017 USAC National Midget winners Brady Bacon, Michael Pickens, series point leader Spencer Bayston and Chad Boat as well diverse racing standout Brad Sweet.

"Turkey Night" begins Wednesday, Nov. 22 with a full program featuring the USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Cars, plus an open practice for midgets. The following night, Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 23, will once again include the sprint cars as well as the prestigious, 98-lap midget race.

Cars are set to hit the track at 3:30pm Pacific at Ventura Raceway both nights. "Turkey Night" is LIVE on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ on both Wednesday and Thursday. As always, you can watch every USAC race, including "Turkey Night," on demand, a day following the event, at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.