FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget Series
VENTURA’S “77TH TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX” CLOSES USAC WESTERN MIDGET CAMPAIGN
By Lance Jennings
NOVEMBER 16, 2017... On Thursday, November 23rd, Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway will host the “77th Running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix.” Presented by Agajanian Promotions, the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States and USAC National Midgets will battle in one of the most prestigious and longest running motorsports events in the country. The USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Cars will join the action packed card in the non-point “Battle of the Beach.” The Pit Gates at the “The Best Little Dirt Track in America” will open at Noon, the Driver’s Meeting will be held at 2:45pm, and the program starts at 3:30pm.
2017 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS:
B&B: FRAC-0375-S w/side outlet
Coast Fabrication: 300x625x17-2s, 350x625x17-2s, 400x625x17-2s
Extreme: 3515-3030 (15” Long 5” round shell with 3”inlet & 3” outlet), 3615-3030 (15” Long 6” round shell with 3” inlet & 3” outlet), 3515-3030-8 (15” Long 5” round shell with 3”inlet & 3” outlet with turnout), 3615-3030-8 (15” Long 6” round shell with 3” inlet & 3” outlet with turnout)
Flowmaster: (BCRA Approved) 13009130, 13509130, 13509135
*Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
The festivities for the “77th Running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix” will start on Wednesday, November 22nd. That night, the USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Cars will clash in a special non-points event and the USAC National and Western States Midgets will have their practice sessions. On Thursday, the Sprint Cars will have their semi-mains and feature, while the midgets will qualify, run their last chance races, and compete in a 98-lap main event. There will be a special driver autograph session at intermission on both nights.
Since Bob Swanson took the checkered flags at Gilmore Stadium in 1934, the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” (TNGP) has been a “must win” race for drivers from across the country. While other venues like Gardena, Speedway 605, Saugus, Bakersfield, Irwindale, and Perris have showcased the event, it is perhaps best known at the legendary Ascot Park. In 1997, Ventura Raceway hosted the “granddaddy of all midget races” and Billy Boat claimed his third-straight “Thanksgiving Classic.” Last year, NASCAR’s Kyle Larson added his name for the second time to the perpetual “Aggie Trophy” alongside many legends of the sport. A complete win list of the “Turkey Night Grand Prix is at the end of this release.
This year, Rick Goudy will serve as Grand Marshall of the prestigious race. Goudy, who won the Thanksgiving Classic at Ascot Park in 1978, is the only driver to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix and the California Racing Association (CRA) Sprint Car Championship in the same year. Piloting Stan Lee’s #66 Continental Airlines VW powered Edmunds, Rick won the 100-lap race ahead of Sleepy Tripp, Johnny Anderson, Jon Rahe, and Mike Gregg. Before adding his name to the Turkey Night winner’s list, Goudy gave the Morales Brothers their sixth CRA Sprint Car Championship and closed out the season with nine victories, including a World of Outlaws victory in the famed “Tamale Wagon.” In addition, Rick earned the 1970 URA Midget Championship, the 1974 CRA Midget Championship, and has three USAC National Midget wins to his credit. At the time of his retirement in 1979 from CRA, he posted fifteen fast time awards, twenty-six trophy dash wins, thirty-one sprint car feature wins, and five midget triumphs.
ARP BONUS: Automotive Racing Products is offering a special $50,000 bonus to the driver that wins both the Thursday night sprint car and midget main events. A talented roster of drivers from across the country are expected at this prestigious event.
Since May 24, 1986, 141 USAC Western States Midget events have been held at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Sleepy Tripp claimed the inaugural victory and leads all drivers with eighteen Ventura wins. At press time, 1994 Champion Johnny Cofer holds the 1-lap qualifying record of 11.675, set on November 18, 1995 and a complete series Ventura win list is at the bottom of this release.
Before heading to Ventura, the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States and USAC National Midgets will battle at Bakersfield’s “November Classic” on Saturday, November 18th. Both events are available on pay-per-view and will be live streamed at www.speedshifttv.com.
At press time, Ronnie Gardner (Riverside, California) has a 128-point lead over the competition. Driving the Six8 Motorsports’ #68 PAC Springs / Wilwood Brakes Stewart, Gardner ran second to Carson Macedo at Ventura on October 28th. To date, the point leader has three feature wins, four Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, five heat race victories, nine top-10 finishes, and 93 feature laps led on the year. Gardner ranks fourth on the win list and will be looking to claim his twenty-third series victory.
Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, California) ranks second in the USAC Western States point chase. Piloting the family owned #63 F&F Racing / Davis Motorsports Spike, Guerrini ran eighth at the Ventura County Fairgrounds on October 28th. At press time, the 2015 BCRA Champion has one Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger Award, nine top-10 finishes, and 13 feature laps led in the campaign. Frankie will have his sights on earning his second career USAC main event.
Veteran David Prickett (Fresno, California) is third in the championship point standings. Racing the Neverlift Motorsports’ #22Q Crysalli Artesian Water / Mt. Rose Cocktails Spike, Prickett took fifth in the October 28th main event. To date, the 2012 Dirt Series Champion has one heat race victory, one Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger Award, one Light Up The World Beverages Hard Luck Award, and seven top-10 finishes to his credit. David will be looking to claim his second career series win at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) sits fourth in the chase for the championship. Driving the family owned #11E Capital E Trucking / FK Indy Spike, Elliott returned to action at Ventura and finished seventh in the feature. At press time, the 2015 Rookie of the Year has one feature win, four heat race victories, eight top-10 finishes, and 30 feature laps led on the season. Cory has two career wins and will have his sights on earning a victory at the “Turkey Night Grand Prix.”
Robert Dalby (Anaheim, California) is fifth in the USAC Western States Midget point standings. Piloting the family owned #4D RD Spring & Stamping / Monster Seal Spike, Dalby finished fourteenth in the Ventura 30-lap feature. To date, the young driver has posted three heat race victories, one Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger Award, and six top-10 finishes on the year. Robert will be looking to earn his first win at Ventura Raceway.
Leading rookie contender Mason Daniel (Visalia, California) is tenth in the championship point standings. Other drivers in contention are Clayton Ruston (Upland, California), Bryan Drollinger (Lomita, California), and Kyle Beilman (Santa Monica, California).
Over 50 drivers are expected to be in action at Ventura. Among them are Courtney Crone, Michael Faccinto, Randi Pankratz, Robby Josett, Maria Cofer, Jake Swanson, “The Panda” Terry Nichols, C.J. Sarna, Nate Wait, Ron Hazelton, Cody Swanson, Kyle Larson, Brad Sweet, Chase Briscoe, Shon Deskins, Christopher Bell, Carson Macedo, Dave Darland, and Matt Mitchell.
Spencer Bayston (Lebanon, Indiana) leads the USAC National Midget Series point chase. “The Macho Man” Brady Bacon, “Sugar” Shane Golobic, Tanner Thorson, Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant, Chad Boat, Holly Shelton, Tanner Carrick, and Jerry Coons Jr. round out the top-10 in points.
Ventura Raceway is located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 West Harbor Blvd. in Ventura, California. Advance tickets are on sale and for more event information, visit the track’s website at www.venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET CHAMPIONS:
1982-*Jeff Heywood, 1983-Sleepy Tripp, 1984-Tommy White, 1985-Sleepy Tripp, 1986-Robby Flock, 1987-Sleepy Tripp, 1988-Sleepy Tripp, 1989-Robby Flock, 1990-Sleepy Tripp, 1991-Sleepy Tripp, 1992-Sleepy Tripp, 1993-Robby Flock, 1994-Johnny Cofer, 1995-Billy Boat, 1996-Jay Drake, 1997-Ricky Shelton, 1998-Rick Hendrix, 1999-Marc DeBeaumont, 2000-Wally Pankratz, 2001-Danny Ebberts, 2002-Robby Flock, 2003-Steve Paden, 2004-Johnny Rodriguez, 2005-Jerome Rodela, 2006-Jerome Rodela, 2007-Johnny Rodriguez, 2008-Nic Faas, 2009-Garrett Hansen, 2010-Alex Schutte, 2011-Cory Kruseman, 2012-Shannon McQueen, 2013-Ronnie Gardner, 2014- Ronnie Gardner, 2015-Ronnie Gardner, 2016-Ronnie Gardner.
TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX WINNERS:
1934-Bob Swanson; 1935-Ted Sizemore; 1936-Ronney Householder; 1937-Ronney Householder; 1938-Bob Swanson; 1939-Mel Hansen; 1940-Roy Russing; 1941-Roy Russing; 1945-Danny Oakes; 1946-Perry Grimm; 1947-Johnny McDowell; 1948-Bill Vukovich; 1949-Perry Grimm; 1950-Bill Zaring; 1955-Johnnie Parsons; 1956-Edgar Elder; 1957-George Amick; 1958-Joe Garson; 1959-Tony Bettenhausen; 1960-A.J. Foyt; 1961-A.J. Foyt; 1962-Billy Cantrell; 1963-Mel Kenyon; 1964-Parnelli Jones; 1965-Dick Atkins; 1966-Parnelli Jones; 1967-Gary Bettenhausen; 1968-Sam Sessions; 1969-George Benson; 1970-Gary Bettenhausen; 1971-Bill Englehart; 1972-Tony Simon; 1973-Bill Englehart; 1974-Danny McKnight; 1975-Mel Kenyon; 1976-Bubby Jones; 1977-Gary Patterson; 1978-Rick Goudy; 1979-Ron Shuman; 1980-Ron Shuman; 1981-Ron Shuman; 1982-Ron Shuman; 1983-Kevin Olson; 1984-Ron Shuman; 1985-Brent Kaeding; 1986-Warren Mockler; 1987-Ron Shuman; 1988-Chuck Gurney; 1989-Chuck Gurney; 1990-Stan Fox; 1991-Stan Fox; 1992-Ron Shuman; 1993-Ron Shuman; 1994-Jordan Hermansader; 1995-Billy Boat; 1996-Billy Boat; 1997-Billy Boat; 1998-Jay Drake; 1999-Jason Leffler; 2000-Tony Stewart; 2001-Dave Steele; 2002-Michael Lewis; 2003-Dave Steele; 2004-Bobby East; 2005-Jason Leffler; 2006-Billy Wease; 2007-Dave Darland; 2008-Bobby Santos; 2009-Bryan Clauson; 2010-Bryan Clauson; 2011-Caleb Armstrong; 2012-Kyle Larson, 2013-Dave Darland, 2014-Christopher Bell, 2015-Tanner Thorson, 2016-Kyle Larson.
VENTURA LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS:
18-Sleepy Tripp, 13-Billy Boat, 8-Page Jones, 7-Garrett Hansen, 6-Jimmy Sills, 5-Johnny Cofer, 5-Robby Flock, 5-Ronnie Gardner, 5-Cory Kruseman, 4-Robert Dolacki, 4- P.J. Jones, 3-Jay Drake, 3-Robby Josett, 3-Chris Rahe, 3-Tony Stewart, 2-Tommy Astone, 2-Tyler Brown, 2-Josh Ford, 2-Dennis Hart, 2-Johnathon Henry, 2-Brad Kuhn, 2-Frank Pedregon, 2-Jerome Rodela, 2-Chuck West, 1-Mike Appio, 1-Wayne Bennet, 1-Chad Boat, 1-Bobby Boone, 1-Mario Bringetto Jr., 1-Hank Butcher, 1-Keith Chrisco, 1-Kevin Doty, 1-Tony Elliott, 1-Nic Faas, 1-Stan Fox, 1-Russ Gamester, 1-Chuck Gurney, 1-Daryl Haugh, 1-Rick Hendrix, 1-A.J. Johnson, 1-Ryan Kaplan, 1-Josh Lakatos, 1-Kyle Larson, 1-Brad Loyet, 1-Carson Macedo, 1-Lealand McSpadden, 1-Matt Mitchell, 1-Steve Paden, 1-Rusty Rasmussen, 1-Keith Rauch, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Shane Scully, 1-Ron Shuman, 1-Bryan Stanfill, 1-Tommy White.
2017 LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS:
3-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Rico Abreu, 1-Chad Boat, 1-Cory Elliott, 1-Michael Faccinto, 1-Shane Golobic, 1-Carson Macedo, 1-Alex Schutte, 1-Tanner Thorson.
LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS:
1. Ronnie Gardner-751, 2. Frankie Guerrini-623, 3. David Prickett-595, 4. Cory Elliott-577, 5. Robert Dalby-547, 6. Courtney Crone-501, 7. Michael Faccinto-451, 8. Randi Pankratz-417, 9. Shannon McQueen-400, 10. Mason Daniel-370, 11. Robby Josett-366, 12. Maria Cofer-364, 13. Jake Swanson-342, 14. Terry Nichols-334, 15. Shane Golobic-286, 16. Clayton Ruston-254, 17. C.J. Sarna-253, 18. Chad Boat-249, 19. J.J. Ercse-245, 20. Alex Schutte-216.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET POINT STANDINGS:
1. Spencer Bayston-1363, 2. Brady Bacon-1297, 3. Shane Golobic-1286, 4. Tanner Thorson-1256, 5. Tyler Courtney-1200, 6. Justin Grant-1198, 7. Chad Boat-1084, 8. Holly Shelton-988, 9. Tanner Carrick-906, 10. Jerry Coons Jr.-849, 11. Ryan Robinson-671, 12. Tyler Thomas-633, 13. Brayton Lynch-603, 14. Alex Bright-542, 15. Dave Darland-528, 16. Michael Pickens-380, 17. Gage Walker-359, 18. Ryan Greth-326, 19. Jake Neuman-304, 20. Zach Daum-266.
2017 LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SCHEDULE
November 18: #Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
November 23: #Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC National Midgets.
This schedule is subject to change.