FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget Series
CORY ELLIOTT WINS SHOWDOWN AT SANTA MARIA
By Lance Jennings
AUGUST 22, 2017… Leading all 30-laps, Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) scored last Saturday’s Light Up the World Beverages USAC Western States Midget victory at Santa Maria Raceway. Four-time champion Ronnie Gardner, fast qualifier Jake Swanson, David Prickett, and Mason Daniel followed the 2015 Rookie of the Year to the checkered flags.
Starting on the pole position, Elliott got the jump on outside front row starter Gardner to grab the early lead. Setting a blistering pace on the Santa Maria clay oval, Cory looked to run away from the field at the 1/3-mile clay oval. However, a couple of early yellow flags and a red for a Frankie Guerrini flip halted the action. Once racing resumed, Elliott sliced his way past the slower cars at will, but Gardner began to catch the young driver. Despite a couple of close calls with traffic, Elliott shook free from all challengers and earned the popular victory.
After claiming his first USAC Western Midget feature at Hanford on October 3, 2015, Cory Elliott broke through at Santa Maria to post his second series win. Racing the family owned #11E Capital E Trucking / FK Indy Spike, Elliott qualified third out of the eighteen racers and won the night’s Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #3. At press time, Cory is second in the point chase with one feature win, four heat race victories, five top-10 finishes, and 30 feature laps led.
Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) looked to challenge Elliott, but had to settle for second in the 30-lap main event. Driving the Six8 Motorsports’ #68 PAC Springs / Wilwood Brakes Stewart, Gardner was second quick in time trials and won the Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. To date, the four-time champion leads the standings with two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, five top-10 finishes, and 40 feature laps led to his credit.
Making his first start in Keith Ford’s #73 Naturipe / Sun Valley AG Transport TCR, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) earned the night’s Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger / Best Passing Job honors with a third place run from seventh. At press time, the USAC/CRA Sprint Car standout earned the night’s Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award and placed third in his heat race. In limited appearances, Swanson ranks thirteenth in points with two top-10 finishes and 24 feature laps led in the campaign.
David Prickett (Fresno, California) had a solid night at Santa Maria Raceway with a fourth place finish. Piloting the Neverlift Motorsports #22Q Crysalli Artesian Water / Mt. Rose Cocktail Mixes Spike, Prickett qualified seventh overall and won the night’s Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. To date, the 2012 USAC Western Dirt Series Midget Champion is sixth in the point chase with one Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger Award, one Light Up The World Beverages Hard Luck Award, and three top-10 finishes.
Mason Daniel (Visalia, California) scored fifth in the August 19th main event at Santa Maria. Racing the family owned #33M Young’s Racing / Dylon Risk Management Spike, Daniel was fourth fast in time trials and ran second to David Prickett in his heat race. As this writing goes to press, the rookie contender is eleventh in the point standings with one Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger Award and three top-10 finishes on the season.
The Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets will return for two nights of action at Calistoga Speedway on September 2nd and 3rd. The 2-day “10th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic” at the Napa County Fairgrounds is part of a Northern California swing that includes Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway on Thursday, September 7th. Also showcasing the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, more event information can be found at www.calistogaspeedway.org, or calling 916.773.7225.
The Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Hoosier Tire, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Esslinger Engineering, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at [email protected]
For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Loudpedal Productions has USAC Western States Midget DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES RACE RESULTS: August 19, 2017 – Santa Maria, California – Santa Maria Raceway
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Jake Swanson, 73, Ford-14.344; 2. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Six8-14.356; 3. Cory Elliott, 11E, Elliott-14.427; 4. Mason Daniel, 33, Daniel-14.460; 5. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-14.537; 6. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-14.600; 7. David Prickett, 2Q, Neverlift-14.636; 8. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-14.721; 9. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-14.861; 10. Terry Nichols, 1P, Nichols-15.018; 11. Courtney Crone, 25, Rodela-15.038; 12. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-15.262; 13, Frankie Guerrini, 63, Guerrini-15.274; 14. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-15.360; 15. Brennan Rogers, 20X, Rogers-15.635; 16. Clayton Ruston, 7R, Ruston-15.714; 17. Bryan Drollinger, 71, Drollinger-18.178; 18. Ron Hazelton, 15, Hazelton-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Prickett, 2. Daniel, 3. Swanson, 4. Guerrini, 5. Ruston. NT
BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Sarna, 3. McQueen, 4. Crone, 5. Pankratz, 6. Drollinger. NT
KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Elliott, 2. Dalby, 3. Ensign, 4. Cofer, 5. Rogers, 6. Hazelton. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Cory Elliott, 2. Ronnie Gardner, 3. Jake Swanson, 4. David Prickett, 5. Mason Daniel, 6. Robert Dalby, 7. Shannon McQueen, 8. Maria Cofer, 9. Geoff Ensign, 10. Courtney Crone, 11. Randi Pankratz, 12. C.J. Sarna, 13. Clayton Ruston, 14. Bryan Drollinger, 15. Brennan Rogers, 16. Frankie Guerrini, 17. Terry Nichols. NT
**Guerrini flipped on lap 3 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Elliott
ESSLINGER ENGINEERING HARD CHARGER: Jake Swanson (7th to 3rd)
LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS:
1. Ronnie Gardner-387, 2. Cory Elliott-362, 3. Frankie Guerrini-287, 4. Courtney Crone-285, 5. Robert Dalby-248, 6. David Prickett-246, 7. Randi Pankratz-220, .. Michael Faccinto-220, 9. Terry Nichols-207, ... Shannon McQueen-207, 11. Mason Daniel-205, 12. Maria Cofer-184, 13. Jake Swanson-155, 14. C.J. Sarna-154, 15. Alex Schutte-138, 16. Geoff Ensign-131, 17. Clayton Ruston-118, 18. Tyler Dolacki-113, 19. Robby Josett-101, 20. J.J. Ercse-83.
2017 LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SCHEDULE
September 2: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 3: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 7: *Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions)
September 16: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
September 30: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
October 14: Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA
October 28: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
November 18: #Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
November 23: #Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with BCRA Midgets.
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC National Midgets.
This schedule is subject to change.