Showing posts with label Ventura Raceway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ventura Raceway. 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.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Jake Swanson Tops Ventura "Battle At The Beach"

#73T Jake Swanson (Lance Jennings Photo)

By: Lance Jennings

VENTURA, CA - AUGUST 24, 2019... Starting fifth, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, CA) raced past J.J. Ringo on the 24th lap and took the checkered flags at Ventura Raceway's "ARP Battle at the Beach Race #3."

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Robby Josett Wins Battle at Ventura

#73K Robby Josett (Lance Jennings Photo)

Via USAC Media

VENTURA, CA - JUNE 22, 2019... Making his first start of the campaign, Robby Josett (Santa Clarita, CA) outdueled Robert Dalby, Jake Swanson, and Ben Worth to win at Ventura Raceway. Driving Keith Ford's #73K Naturipe / Sun Valley AG Transport TCR, Josett reclaimed the lead on the tenth circuit and stormed to the fifth USAC Western States Midget triumph of his career. Swanson, Dalby, Cody Swanson, and defending champion Michael Faccinto rounded out the top-five drivers.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

USAC Western States Midget Point Battle Resumes At Ventura

#4D Robert Dalby (Lance Jennings Photo)

By Lance Jennings

JUNE 18, 2019... After a schedule break, the USAC Western States Midgets will battle at Ventura Raceway, this Saturday, June 22nd. Promoted by Jim Naylor, the fourth point race is the first of four appearances at the 1/5-mile oval. Saturday's event will also feature the VRA Dwarf Cars, VRA Senior Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, and Focus / WMR Midgets. The Pit Gates will open at Noon, the Front Gates will open at 3:00pm, and Racing at "The Best Little Dirt Track in America" is set for 5:30pm. For more information, visit the track's website at venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

USAC Vs. VRA "Battle At The Beach" Resumes At Ventura

#43 Hannah Mayhew (Lance Jennings Photo)

By Lance Jennings/USAC Media

This Saturday, June 1st, the USAC West Coast and VRA (Ventura Racing Association) Sprint Cars will clash at Ventura Raceway. Promoted by Jim Naylor, the "ARP Battle at the Beach Race #2" is the second of five appearances at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. VRA Dwarf Cars, VRA Senior Sprint Cars, California Lightning Sprints, and Hobby Stocks are also featured on the action packed card. The Pit Gates will open at Noon, the Front Gates open at 3:00pm, with Racing scheduled for 5:30pm at "The Best Little Dirt Track in America." For more event information, visit the track's website at venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.

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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

New Title Sponsor, New Venues Ring In Recharges USAC National Midget Series In 2018


By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Indianapolis, Indiana.........A brand new title sponsor and a pair of new venues amongst a slate of popular series mainstays bring an invigorated USAC National Midget scene in 2018 with 23 events, 21 venues and nine states occupying the USAC P1 Insurance Midget National Championship schedule.

The series has partnered with an innovative technology launching in January 2018 that rewards good drivers with great rates for car insurance, which will go hand-in-hand with benefits to the series and racers as a whole.

"P1 is the first insurance company to rate your driving skills on how you drive using smart phone technology," USAC CEO Kevin Miller explained. "P1 rewards great drivers and also rewards our great drivers at USAC with incentives that will enhance purses and point funds in addition to contributing to individual driver sponsorships based on activations within their app. USAC will be promoting P1 throughout the year to a vast fan and competitor base to increase activation. This program has the ability to dramatically impact the direction of USAC circle track dirt racing."

After a memorable 2017 season in which the deepest field of full-time competitors in years took part in countless memorable moments from the east to the west, race-after-race, the stage is set for another year of constant thrills. Those points include two venues serving as the host of USAC Midget racing for the first time.

Meeker, Oklahoma's Red Dirt Raceway begins a five-race, four-state central states invasion in mid-July at "Tuesday Night Thunder" on the 10th. The race will be the first USAC National Midget event held in the state of Oklahoma since an Oklahoma City Sports Arena doubleheader in February of 1975 won by John Batts and Sleepy Tripp.

Red Dirt is followed up by the annual "Chad McDaniel Memorial" at Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Kansas on July 11. After a night off, the Midgets double-hit Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska for two consecutive nights at the 1/5-mile oval. Missouri's Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex rounds out the busy week with its initial appearance on the schedule and the first race for the series in the "Show Me State" since 2006.

The remainder of the schedule holds steady with familiar and popular stops along the tour. The season opens indoors under the roof of the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin for the "Shamrock Classic" on March 10. April's docket brings on the "Kokomo Grand Prix" at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway on April 13 and 14.

The 14th edition of the six-race "Indiana Midget Week" series starts off at Montpelier Motor Speedway on May 29, followed by five successive events at Gas City I-69 Speedway (May 30), Lincoln Park Speedway (May 31), Bloomington Speedway (June 1), Lawrenceburg Speedway (June 2) and Kokomo Speedway (June 3).

Concurrent with the turning of the calendar to August is the start of Pennsylvania Midget Week which begins August 1 at Path Valley Speedway Park with subsequent stops at Linda's Speedway (August 2), Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (August 3) and BAPS Motor Speedway - formerly known as Susquehanna - on August 4.

The USAC Midgets' 37th annual run at the "4-Crown Nationals" at Rossburg, Ohio's Eldora Speedway finishes out the Midwest part of the schedule on September 22.

"Go west," USAC Midget teams say in the month of November when the travel guide shows the next stop as the "November Classic" on the 17th at California's Bakersfield Speedway for the penultimate round of points-paying races. The conclusion of the 2018 points season takes place at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway on Thanksgiving night, November 22, for one of the most legendary races in dirt track racing, the 78th running of the "Turkey Night Grand Prix."

The now traditional late-season 55-lap romp at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, named in honor of the late USAC car owner Junior Knepper, is slated for December 14. Meanwhile, the date and venue for the "Jason Leffler Memorial" is still to be determined.

2018 USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Mar 10: Southern Illinois Center (Du Quoin, IL)
Apr 13: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Apr 14: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
May 29: (i) Montpelier Motor Speedway (Montpelier, IN)
May 30: (i) Gas City I-69 Speedway (Gas City, IN)
May 31: (i) Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, IN)
Jun 1: (i) Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington, IN)
Jun 2: (i) Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Jun 3: (i) Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Jul 10: Red Dirt Raceway (Meeker, OK)
Jul 11: Solomon Valley Raceway (Beloit, KS)
Jul 13: Jefferson County Speedway (Fairbury, NE)
Jul 14: Jefferson County Speedway (Fairbury, NE)
Jul 15: Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex (Sweet Springs, MO)
Aug 1: (P) Path Valley Speedway Park (Spring Run, PA)
Aug 2: (P) Linda's Speedway (Jonestown, PA)
Aug 3: (P) Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (Newmanstown, PA)
Aug 4: (P) BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Sep 22: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Nov 17: (W) Bakersfield Speedway (Bakersfield, CA)
Nov 22: (W) Ventura Raceway (Ventura, CA)
Dec 14: (SE) Southern Illinois Center (Du Quoin, IL)
TBA: "Jason Leffler Memorial"
-------------------------------------
(i) represents an Indiana Midget Week event.
(P) represents a Pennsylvania Midget Week event.
(W) represents an event with the USAC Light Up the World Beverages Western States Midgets.
(SE) represents a non-points special event.

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
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**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.