Showing posts with label USAC P1 Insurance National Midgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USAC P1 Insurance National Midgets. Show all posts

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

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"