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KT, DAVEY JR. AND CONN JOIN HAMILTON RACING 2019 SILVER CROWN ROSTER

Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Speedway, Indiana (January 9, 2019).........Davey Hamilton Racing will field a talented roster of drivers with Kevin Thomas, Jr., Davey Hamilton, Jr. and Jason Conn all set to take the wheel for the new Silver Crown team which hits the track for the first time in 2019.

Thomas, of Cullman, Ala., has teamed up with team owners Hamilton and David Byrd to compete in all six pavement races on the Silver Crown schedule this season aboard the No. 11. Thomas has just a handful of Silver Crown starts in his career, but the 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car runner-up made the most of his experiences last year, finishing second in each of the last three races to conclude the season behind the wheel of the Foxco Racing No. 56, a ride in which he returns to on the dirt for 2019.

Each of Thomas' previous Silver Crown starts have come on the dirt and, aside from a pair of starts in an ARCA Stock Car in 2016 and his debut in the "Little 500" Sprint Car race a year ago, this marks new territory for the talented driver who captured nine USAC National victories in 2018 (7 Sprint and 2 Midget).

"I had a short stint there at the Little 500 of some pavement action and I really enjoyed it," Thomas said. "I think going out and running the big cars on the pavement is going to be quite different than what I'm used to. Getting into a racecar and having a new challenge is always a lot of fun. I'm going to take it as it comes. I'm going to have to gain a lot of experience, basically on the fly, on raceday. We race dirt 80-90 times a year and you kind of know what to expect, so it's going to be fun being able to more or less react to things instead of knowing what to expect every time you hit the racetrack."

Davey Hamilton, Jr. of Idaho returns to the series as a teammate to KT and will compete on both the dirt and the pavement in car No. 14 while pavement wing sprint car standout Jason Conn of Prince George, British Columbia makes his series debut in the No. 88 and will compete solely on the asphalt.

"It's exciting," team owner Davey Hamilton exclaimed. "I haven't been a Silver Crown owner in the past. I've driven them and have always had interest in them and I've wanted to put a program together for a while. I just feel it's growing momentum and I feel like there's growth there. I really wanted to focus on one car, then we had interest with Jason (Conn) and ended up making a deal, then an opportunity came along with KT and Byrd and we ended up making it a three car deal, which coming into the first year, is a challenge, but I feel very optimistic with the quality of the cars and the people we have."

Meanwhile, the Byrd name is synonymous with Rich Vogler's success in USAC Midgets in the 1980s. Now, David Byrd returns the family name to competition in conjunction with KT's Silver Crown plans for 2019.

"It's been a long time coming for us to come back to USAC as an entry," Byrd said. KT has been so successful in sprint cars the last several years and has really shown what he can do in the midgets and the Silver Crown cars. I wanted to make sure we were involved with all of KT's programs top to bottom. Davey Hamilton has a fantastic record in big track pavement racing, knows how to put the car together and will be a great mentor for KT to really learn pavement racing. I think he'll be challenging for wins right off the bat."

2019 USAC SILVER CROWN SCHEDULE
Mar 22-23: (P#) Memphis International Raceway (Millington, TN)
Apr 14: (D) Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Apr 27: (P) Toledo Speedway (Toledo, OH)
May 23: (D) Indiana State Fairgrounds (Indianapolis, IN)
May 24: (P) Lucas Oil Raceway (Brownsburg, IN)
Jun 14: (D) Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Jun 28: (P) Madison International Speedway (Oregon, WI)
Aug 10: (P) Salem Speedway (Salem, IN)
Aug 17: (D#) Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, IL)
Sep 1: (D) Du Quoin State Fairgrounds (Du Quoin, IL)
Sep 7: (P) Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (Brownsburg, IN)
Sep 27-28: (D) Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
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(P) = Pavement Race
(D) = Dirt Race
# = Daytime Race

Categories : News, USAC Silver Crown
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The United States Auto Club.

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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Christopher Bell will drive the Tucker/Boat Motorsports #81
at Saturday's 'Junior Knepper 55.' (Rich Forman Photo)



REIGNING WINNER CHRISTOPHER BELL ENTERS AS KNEPPER 55 FIELD NEARS 70

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Du Quoin, Illinois (December 10, 2018).........Recent "Turkey Night Grand Prix" winner Christopher Bell has filed his entry to compete in the "Junior Knepper 55" USAC Midget Special Event this Saturday, December 15 at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin as the entry list has exploded to 69 drivers and teams for the fourth annual race.

Bell, of Norman, Oklahoma, is one of three entries for Tucker/Boat Motorsports alongside McKenna Haase and Tanner Berryhill. Bell is the defending winner of the "Knepper 55," taking the lead four laps from the finish to win the 55-lap main event. Ironically, it was a Tucker/Boat Motorsports car driven by Chad Boat that Bell passed to win the race.

C.J. Leary has also thrown his hat into the ring, driving for NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman. Leary was victorious in two USAC series this year, with a win in the AMSOIL National Sprint Car division at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway and in the Silver Crown car at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Five-time USAC Light Up the World Western States Midget champion Ronnie Gardner of Riverside, Calif. will make his "Knepper 55" debut aboard a car for RAMS Racing as a teammate to Justin Grant, the only driver to win races in all three national divisions in 2018.

Meanwhile, Elkhart, Ill. native Chris Urish, a Silver Crown winner in the "Ted Horn 100" at the adjacent Du Quoin State Fairgrounds one-mile dirt oval, will drive for Tom Casson alongside teammate and fellow Silver Crown competitor Joey Moughan of Springfield, Ill. Carson Short has won on the big stage before, capturing the 2016 "Indiana Sprint Week" round at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. He will drive his own No. 45 at Du Quoin.

Brian Shirley, of Chatham, Ill. a standout in late model racing, will drive for Jim Neuman while winged sprint car warrior Paul Nienhiser of Chapin, Ill. takes the wheel of his own ride.

These are just a few among the crop of drivers to make up this year's stout "Knepper 55" field, which also includes last year's race runner-up Chase Briscoe (Mitchell, Ind.) and 2016 "Shamrock Classic" third-place driver Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.), plus a pair of decorated USAC National Midget champions in Dave Darland and Kevin Olson.

Darland, of Lincoln, Ind., captured the 2001 and 2002 series titles in addition to his 1997 Silver Crown and 1999 National Sprint Car championships. He will drive the RMS LLC No. 36D. National Midget Hall of Famer Olson, of Loves Park, Ill., won his USAC National Midget titles in 1982 and 1987. He will climb aboard Dennis Hoppe's No. 5H on the 1/5-mile, indoor dirt oval.

Five-time Indy Indianapolis 500 starter Conor Daly, of Noblesville, Ind., steps into the Jody Rosenboom No. 22CD for his second career appearance in a midget. Beech Grove, Indiana's Kyle O'Gara, the 2014 USAC Pavement Midget champ, belts into the SFH Racing Development No. 67 for the "Knepper 55." Meanwhile, southern Illinois USAC Silver Crown star Shane Cockrum of Benton, Ill., twice a winner on the adjacent "Magic Mile," will wheel the Harris Racing No. 91.

Robert Dalby off Simi Valley, Calif. and Newcastle, Oklahoma's Trey Marcham have each had success in the USAC Western States Midget division during their careers. Dalby finished third in series points this season and will drive for Loyet Motorsports, the team that won the second-ever USAC-sanctioned race at the Southern Illinois Center, a Midwest HPD Midget event in 2005. Marcham, who led the first 17 laps of the 2017 "Knepper 55," picked up three victories with the series in 2014.

Winged sprint car veterans Ryan Smith and Tony Bruce, Jr. will shed the wing for a night of midget racing. Bruce, of Liberal, Kans. was the 2006 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year while Kunkletown, Pennsylvania's Smith has won races with both the World of Outlaws and the All Star Circuit of Champions.

The Knepper family is once again sponsoring FREE entry for competitors to enter their midgets for the Saturday, December 15 "Junior Knepper 55" USAC Special Event at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Illinois.

After visiting https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2018-knepper-car-entry, use the coupon code KNEPPER to enter your car for the race for no charge. The offer expires Monday, December 10th, 2018. The complete pre-entry list for the event will be published the following day, Tuesday, December 11th.

Additionally, tickets are now on sale for the 4th annual "Junior Knepper 55" at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2018-knepper-55-ticket-sales. The race will serve as the final event of the 2018 USAC racing season. Adult general admission tickets are available for just $19 in advance.

Furthermore, on https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2018-knepper-55-ticket-sales, you may order your 2018 "Junior Knepper 55" event t-shirt now for just $25. Sizes small through 4XL are available, but make sure to get yours soon while supplies last.

The event carries no points toward the USAC National Midget season championship, but has quickly become one of the most coveted races to win on the series calendar, annually boasting a large car count and a star-studded field to boot.

Though the special event carries no points toward the season championship, it has quickly become one of the most coveted races to win. Boasting large car counts and a star-studded field, the "Knepper 55" has already produced its share of memorable moments on the 1/6-mile dirt track located inside the building adjacent to the famed Du Quoin State Fairgrounds one-mile dirt oval.

The 55-lap event honors the memory of one of USAC's most accomplished car owners - Walter "Junior" Knepper of Belleville, Illinois - whose famed yellow number 55 midgets and sprint cars raced to 58 career USAC feature victories, including 34 in Sprints and 24 in Midgets, with drivers Bob Wente, Tom Bigelow, Mel Kenyon, George Snider, Dana Carter, Rich Vogler and his son Steve Knepper.

Nick Knepper, grandson of Junior and son of 13-time USAC National Midget winner Steve Knepper, will promote the event along with Derek LeMaster.

Last year, Norman, Oklahoma's Christopher Bell celebrated his 23rd birthday in grand style after passing Chad Boat with four laps remaining to win the third annual running over Chase Briscoe, Shane Golobic, Boat and Justin Grant.

In 2016, Indianapolis, Indiana's Tyler Courtney earned his first career USAC-sanctioned Midget feature victory in his first start for the Clauson/Marshall Racing team. In the inaugural running in 2015, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. of Olive Branch, Miss. electrified the crowd in the 55-lap feature, coming from the back of the pack to score the victory in the final laps.

Earlier this March, current USAC National Midget point leader Logan Seavey of Sutter, Calif. won his first career USAC race in the "Shamrock Classic" at the Southern Illinois Center.

Doors open for the event at 2:30pm (Central) on Saturday, December 15. A public drivers meeting will take place in the grandstands at 3:30pm. Cars are scheduled to get on track for hot laps at 4pm.

The race will be streamed LIVE on www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ with LIVE audio on the USAC app. As always, you can catch each and every USAC National event a day after the race is run, on-demand, on www.Loudpedal.TV/.

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"JUNIOR KNEPPER 55" ENTRY LIST
(69 cars as of December 10, 2018)

Car # / Driver / Hometown / Team
0 Johnny Murdock / Dallas, TX (Zero Motorsports)
05D Robert Dalby / Simi Valley, CA (Loyet Motorsports)
08 Grady Chandler / Piedmont, Oklahoma (Dave Mac Motorsports)
1T Thomas Chandler / Festus, MO (Roney Racing)
1z Chris Roseland / Carter Lake, IA (Chris Roseland)
2 Chris Baue / Indianapolis, IN (Baue Family Race Team)
2B Jason Grady / Farmington, NM (2B Racing)
2G Andy Gage / Whiting, IA (Andy Gage)
3 Alex Watson / Columbus, OH (3w Racing)
3N Jake Neuman / New Berlin, IL (Jim Neuman)
3s Brian Shirley / Chatham, IL (Jim Neuman)
4A Justin Grant / Ione, CA (RAMS Racing)
5 Chase Briscoe / Mitchell, IN (Chase Briscoe Racing)
5H Kevin Olson / Loves Park, IL (Dennis Hoppe)
5v Jesse Vermillion / Greencastle, IN (Vermillion Racing)
6D Don Dawson II / Carlisle, IA (Don Dawson II)
7 Cody Beard / Huntingburg, IN (Cody Beard)
7T Adam Taylor / Dwight, IL (Taylor Motorsports)
7x Jon Steed / Rushville, IN (Steed Motorsports)
8JR Anton Hernandez / Arlington, TX (Bear Wood)
9 Emilio Hoover / Broken Arrow, OK (Emilio Hoover)
9JR Derek Hagar / Marion, AR (Hagar/Proctor Racing)
9x Paul Nienhiser / Chapin, IL (Paul Nienhiser)
11K Gage Rucker / Bellflower, MO (Kruseman Motorsports)
11L Aaron Leffel / Springfield, OH (Team Taylor Racing)
11T Trey Osborne / Columbus, OH (Richard Osborne)
11y Travis Young / Casey, IL (Travis Young)
14c Danny Clark / Plainfield, IN (Bill Rose Racing)
14s Ronnie Gardner / Riverside, CA (RAMS Racing)
14x Jody Rosenboom / Rock Rapids, IA (Jody Rosenboom Racing)
15J Jeff Wimmenauer / Greenwood, IN (Bill Wimmenauer)
16 Joey Parker / Plainfield, IN (Bill Rose Racing)
17B Ryan Bickett / Ramona, SD (Jody Rosenboom Racing)
18 Tony Bruce, Jr. / Liberal, KS (Team Eights)
19p Brandon Long / Wichita Falls, TX (Brandon Long)
22CD Conor Daly / Noblesville, IN (Jody Rosenboom Racing)
23 Mitchell Davis / Auburn, IL (Patrick Ryan)
23x Patrick Lawson / Edwardsville, IL (Hunt Brothers)
29 Joey Moughan / Springfield, IL (Tom Casson)
32 Trey Marcham / Newcastle, OK (Trey Marcham)
35 Tyler Robbins / Collinsville, IL (Tyler Robbins)
36D Dave Darland / Lincoln, IN (RMS LLC)
36J Thomas Meseraull / San Jose, CA (RMS LLC)
39 Kyle May / New Palestine, IN (Kyle May Racing)
41 Oliver Akard / Fort Myers, FL (Dan Akard)
41x Howard Moore / Memphis, TN (Chris Chappue)
45 Carson Short / Marion, IL (Carson Short)
49F Taylor Forbes / Harrisburg, SD (Taylor Forbes)
50 Daniel Adler / St. Louis, MO (Mike Adler)
51B Joe B. Miller / Millersville, MO (Jim Neuman)
52K John Dyson / Chicago, IL (Kruseman Motorsports)
55 C.J. Leary / Greenfield, IN (Alex Bowman)
55x Nick Drake / Mooresville, NC (Troy Cline)
56x Mark Chisholm / Cheyenne, WY (Fifty6x Racing)
57D Daniel Robinson / Ewing, IL (McCreery Motorsports)
67 Kyle O'Gara / Beech Grove, IN (SFH Racing Development)
68 Ryan Smith / Kunkletown, PA (SFH Racing Development)
77u Chris Urish / Elkhart, IL (Tom Casson)
77w Joey Wirth / Waterloo, IL (Joey Wirth)
81 Christopher Bell / Norman, OK (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
81B Seth Bergman / Snohomish, WA (Team Eights)
81x Drew Fuhrman / Belleville, IL (The Duke Racing)
85 McKenna Haase / Des Moines, IA (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
88 Terry Babb / Decatur, IL (Terry Babb)
89 Tanner Berryhill / Bixby, OK (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
91 Shane Cockrum / Benton, IL (Harris Racing)
92m Josh Most / Red Oak, IA (Most Racing)
95 Chris Andrews / Tulsa, OK (Miller Racing)
721 Brendon Wiseley / Sand Springs, OK (MLM Motorsports)

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The United States Auto Club.

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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

2018 'Turkey Night Grand Prix' winner Christopher Bell of Norman, Oklahoma. (Ryan Northcote Photo)


BELL TOLLS TWICE IN A ROW AT TURKEY NIGHT G.P.

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.....November 22, 2018 - 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.

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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#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)



SEAVEY SAVES BEST FOR LAST AT BAKERSFIELD, CLINCHES USAC NATIONAL MIDGET TITLE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Bakersfield, California.....November 17, 2018 - 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 l0ittle 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"

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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78TH TURKEY NIGHT REPRESENTED BY 14 STATES, 2 COUNTRIES

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: 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)

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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NATIONAL MIDGET HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2018 INCLUDES ANDRETTI, ASTONE, CLAUSON, IRWIN, MARSHMAN, STREICHER

Speedway, Indiana (November 14, 2018).........The National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame has named six of the sport's all-time greats into its 2018 class, which will be celebrated with a luncheon and induction ceremony on Friday, January 18, inside Fair Meadows Hall (Simulcast Building) at the Tulsa (Okla.) State Fairgrounds, located adjacent to the Tulsa Expo Center which will be hosting the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals that week. The doors will open at 11am, with the luncheon beginning at 11:30am (Central).

The Class of 2018 includes (in alphabetical order) Mario Andretti, Tommy Astone, Bryan Clauson, Kenny Irwin, Jr., Bobby Marshman and Mike Streicher.

Synonymous with American auto racing, Mario Andretti has accomplished nearly everything in the realm of motorsport. He was named Driver of the Century by the Associated Press in 1999 and the American Driver of the Century by Racer Magazine in 2000. In his illustrious career, the Italian-born drive who resided in Nazareth, Pa. captured the Formula One World Championship in 1978 as well as USAC National Championships in 1965, '66, '69 and the CART title in 1984. He stands alone as the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Championship. His versatility behind the wheel is unquestionable with victories at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1969, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1967, '70 and '72, an IROC series title in 1979 and as a USAC Midget winner in 1966 at Michigan's Berlin Raceway. He began his open wheel racing career in TQ Midgets with the American Three Quarter Midget Racing Association in 1961 before jumping into full-size midgets with ARDC. On Labor Day weekend in 1963, he won three midgets features in one day at two different tracks: New Jersey's Flemington Speedway in the afternoon and twin features at Pennsylvania's Hatfield Speedway during the evening, all driving for the Mataka Brothers, who, from that day forward, always carried the number 3N1 on their cars in honor of the amazing feat.

Though his USAC National Midget career was somewhat brief, Fresno, California's Tommy Astone had an impressive run between 1974 and 1976, winning seven victories at Burlington, Iowa, Hartford, Mich., Kingsport, Tenn., Sun Prairie, Wisc., Springville, Utah and Kokomo, Ind. and his most notable victory coming in the 1974 Night Before the 500 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, all for car owner Doug Caruthers. He finished runner-up in the final USAC National Midget standings in 1973-1974 and third in 1976. He emerged in victory lane with the USAC Western States Midgets once in 1983 at Ascot Park and on four occasions at Hanford, Calif., Phoenix, Arizona's Manzanita Speedway and twice at Ventura, Calif. Astone was inducted into Bay Cities Racing Association Hall of Fame in 2009 and competed with the California Racing Association, Astone also scored his lone USAC National Sprint Car victory at New York's Erie County Fairgrounds in 1976.

No driver fit more racing accomplishments in as short amount of time in USAC history as did Bryan Clauson. The Sacramento, California-born driver who made Noblesville, Ind. his home during his career is one of just six drivers to reach 100 USAC feature wins during a career. His 112 career USAC wins rank only behind racing legends Rich Vogler, A.J. Foyt, Sleepy Tripp, Mel Kenyon and Dave Darland. Thirty-eight of those came in USAC National Midget competition with mega wins at Turkey Night Grand Prix in 2009 and '10, the Hut Hundred in 2010, the 4-Crown Nationals in 2014, the Chili Bowl in 2014 and the Belleville Nationals in 2009, '10 and '15. His achievements spread across the racing spectrum with three Indiana Midget Week titles to his credit in 2009, '11 and '16 and was a star "down under" in New Zealand at Western Springs. His championships run the gamut as the USAC National Drivers Championship winner in 2010, '11 and '12; the 2012 and '13 USAC National Sprint Car champion; the 2010 and '11 USAC National Midget Championship. His talents took him to a trio of starts at the Indianapolis 500, the last of which came in 2016 where he led the 100th lap of the 100th running. Clauson lost his life in a crash at the 2016 Belleville Nationals, fittingly while leading the race, at age 27.

Kenny Irwin, Jr. made his mark in every racecar he stepped foot in, but he particularly shined in midget racing. He won the 1992 All American Midget Series championship in the family-owned car where he earned a ton of accolades, including a pair of wins on the high banks of Winchester (Ind.) Speedway and at Indianapolis Raceway Park, as well as a 1993 USAC season-opening victory at the SkyDome in Toronto. He ventured to Dave Calderwood's No. 4 in 1995 and continued his winning ways, scoring on the Springfield Mile. He then moved to the famed Steve Lewis No. 9 car where he won twice at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and at South Dakota's Huset's Speedway en route to the 1996 USAC National Midget title. He was the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year and was twice a winner in NASCAR's Truck Series. The rising star lost his life in 2000 during a practice crash at New Hampshire International Speedway at the age of 30.

Bobby Marshman was one of the brightest young, upcoming drivers of his era when he passed away in a Champ Car testing crash in the Fall of 1964 at just 28 years old. Despite the briefness of his career, the Pottstown, Pa. driver was a force in racing right from the get-go. The son of 1949 AAA East Coast Midget champ and longtime promoter of Pennsylvania's Hatfield Speedway George Marshman, Bobby began his midget racing career with ARDC where, in his first season in 1958, he finished third in the standings. He excelled in long-distance midget races, particularly, winning big events at Trenton, N.J. in 1960, '61 and '62 at lengths of 300, 250 and 100 miles. The latter two at Trenton served as two of his four career USAC National Midget victories. He also won in USAC Sprint Car, Stock Car and Championship Car competition, winning the 1962 Bobby Ball Memorial at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. He was co-Rookie of the Year with Parnelli Jones at the 1961 Indianapolis 500, starting 33rd and finishing 7th).

Mike Streicher has been a success in nearly all facets of midget racing. The Findlay, Ohio native has won USAC National Midget championships as a driver, car owner, mechanic and car builder. In 1983, he captured his first series title with USAC as a car owner and mechanic for driver Rich Vogler. In 1988 at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway, he won the first of his six career USAC National Midget features and was victorious in the Hoosier Dome Invitational in 1990. The following season, in 1991, Streicher raced to three victories, the USAC National Midget driver title and his third owner championship. He constructed the Hawk Chassis, which raced to countless Midget feature wins in USAC, NAMARS, ARCA, NEMA, ARDC, and others. Streicher remains active in racing to this day as a professor at University of Northwestern Ohio's motorsports program to educate future racers and mechanics.

For induction ceremony tickets and more information on the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, please visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/National-Midget-Auto-Racing-Hall-of-Fame-175885105763849/

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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TURKEY NIGHT DON BASILE ROOKIE OF THE RACE CONTENDERS

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 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 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

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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