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

COURTNEY CHECKS OUT FOR 2ND STRAIGHT "WINTER DIRT GAMES" WIN IN OCALA

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

February 17, 2018 Ocala, Florida....In the spirit of the Winter Olympic games, Tyler Courtney's performance on Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park could only be described as flawless - even coming from the Russian judge.

No, you won't find any triple axels or double lutzes in his 30-lap performance, but you will find the precise execution of a race where nary a single wheel was turned wrong lap-after-lap on his way to a commanding USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature win, his second in as many nights at "Winter Dirt Games" in his Clauson Marshall Newman Racing/Priority Aviation - Competition Suspension, Inc./Spike/Rider Chevy.

"I think it handled even better tonight," Courtney revealed. "We were able to go pretty much anywhere I put it. Hats off to Tim (Clauson) and the guys. They've worked their tails off since the week after the Chili Bowl leading up to this. This is the least I can do to repay those guys for the hours and the blood, sweat and tears that go into this. This is a really a good way to start off the year. Obviously, it's early, so you can't really worry about points, but it definitely puts us in a good spot heading into Lawrenceburg."

Tyler Courtney won his second straight USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park in the 'Winter Dirt Games' finale. (Rich Forman Photo)

From the drop of the green, pole sitter Courtney checked out, last seen headed northbound on I-75 out of Ocala carrying the winner's check under his arm. Only Chris Windom was able to present a brief challenge in the early stages of the event before falling back into line.

Windom, the defending series champ, charged from fifth to second on the opening lap past a stout group that included C.J. Leary, Chad Boespflug and Dave Darland. Yet, by midway, Courtney had ridden the cushion to more than a half-straightaway lead over Windom, who could never get close enough to present a challenge to Courtney in a race that went caution-free for the final 27 laps following a lap three caution for the stoppage of Garrett Aitken.

"I knew on that one and only restart, I could hear a guy behind me, so I kind of picked it up a little bit to see if I could either gain or lose the motor sound in my ear," Courtney explained. "It kept getting quieter and quieter, so I knew I had to be doing something right. I just kept chugging away and hitting my marks as I searched to see if the track was changing or not. We were able to work through lapped traffic nicely. When they got the move over flag, they either held their ground or moved once and didn't move again. It makes it a lot easier when the lapped cars are good like that. You try not to worry about the guys behind you, you try to worry about your own race, but it's nice when you come in and they say you had a pretty big lead."

When all was said and done, Courtney wrapped up a dominating 2.5 second victory over Windom, Boespflug, Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Darland to become the first driver to win back-to-back USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car features this early in the season since Tracy Hines in 2013.

"Winter Dirt Games" is unique in that it is almost like a mini-season within a season. It's a three-race excursion separated on its own island on the schedule in the month of February, preceding the bulk of the season which typically gets underway in late March, early April. In this case, it's a full six weeks until the next series event, March 31 at Indiana's Lawrenceburg Speedway.

'We had a semi-frustrating night the first time out, we just put our nose to the ground and kept digging. I think it obviously proved that if you stay focused on your goals, you can achieve them.' - Tyler Courtney (Al Steinberg Photo)

There may not be much, mechanically-speaking, that a team can take away from what they learned at a uniquely-shaped venue such as the 3/8-mile D-shaped track at Bubba Raceway Park and apply it to the high-banks of Lawrenceburg, but there are certain aspects of it that a driver and crew can learn from each other that will benefit them when the season gets in full swing despite the substantial time off over the next month-and-a-half. After a relatively rough showing, and an 11th place finish in Thursday night's season opener, Courtney and CMNR found something amongst themselves.

"Don't give up," Courtney noted. "We had a semi-frustrating night the first time out, we just put our nose to the ground and kept digging. I think it obviously proved that if you stay focused on your goals, you can achieve them."

"You have to stay humble and keep plugging away," Courtney continued. "I know these guys are going to go back to the shop and get her all maintenanced up and go through everything, just like we're restarting the season again. Luckily, for me, I get to go to Vegas and get to run for Mike Phulps and his 360 team here in the next week or so, so I get to stay fresh, then I get to hop into the midget at Du Quoin (on March 10). As a team, we really don't have a whole lot of downtime here. It makes things a little easier, but anytime you can stay in a racecar, it's beneficial to driving. The more laps you get, the better you're going to get."

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park include Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Indiana Mafia Fast Qualifier), Robert Ballou (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Kody Swanson (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Timmy Buckwalter (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Chris Windom (KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger), Kyle Cummins (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Johnny Petrozelle (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer), Mario Clouser (ProSource Hard Work Award) and Isaac Chapple (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 17, 2018 - Ocala, Florida - Bubba Raceway Park - "Winter Dirt Games 9"

QUALIFYING: 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 69, Dynamics-13.900; 2. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-14.033; 3. Logan Seavey, 5B, Briscoe-14.094; 4. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-14.241; 5. Dave Darland, 36D, Goodnight/Curb-Agajanian-14.249; 6. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.274; 7. Chad Boespflug, 98, NineEight-14.275; 8. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-14.312; 9. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.343; 10. Kyle Cummins, 3c, EZR/Cummins-14.375; 11. Carson Short, 21, RCM-14.375; 12. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling-Hayward/RCR-14.412; 13. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.439; 14. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-14.458; 15. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.482; 16. Nick Bilbee, 2E, Epperson-14.483; 17. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-14.492; 18. Kody Swanson, 3R, Rock Steady-14.675; 19. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, LNB-14.707; 20. Garrett Aitken, 32A, Aitken-14.860; 21. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.863; 22. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-14.887; 23. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-14.924; 24. Johnny Petrozelle, 59, Petrozelle-15.007; 25. Mario Clouser, 6, MCM-15.078; 26. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-15.330; 27. Slater Helt, 22s, Helt-15.355; 28. Frank Carlsson, 20, Carlsson-16.271.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Ballou, 2. Thomas, 3. Chapple, 4. Darland, 5. Schmidt, 6. Clouser, 7. Mattox. 1:56.48

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Swanson, 2. Cummins, 3. Andretti, 4. Windom, 5. Grant, 6. Martin, 7. Bell. 1:55.66

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Buckwalter, 2. Short, 3. Stockon, 4. Boespflug, 5. Seavey, 6. Simon, 7. Helt. 1:56.18

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Courtney, 2. Bacon, 3. Leary, 4. Aitken, 5. Bilbee, 6. Petrozelle, 7. Carlsson. 1:56.06

SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Grant, 2. Bilbee, 3. Seavey, 4. Mattox, 5. Clouser, 6. Simon, 7. Petrozelle, 8. Schmidt, 9. Martin, 10. Bell, 11. Helt, 12. Carlsson. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (1), 2. Chris Windom (5), 3. Chad Boespflug (2), 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (6), 5. Dave Darland (3), 6. C.J. Leary (4), 7. Robert Ballou (9), 8. Carson Short (11), 9. Justin Grant (8), 10. Brady Bacon (12), 11. Logan Seavey (7), 12. Chase Stockon (15), 13. Kyle Cummins (10), 14. Jarett Andretti (14), 15. Nick Bilbee (16), 16. Kody Swanson (17), 17. Timmy Buckwalter (18), 18. Isaac Chapple (13), 19. Mario Clouser (22), 20. Garrett Aitken (19), 21. Brandon Mattox (20), 22. Landon Simon (21). NT
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Courtney.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Chris Windom (5th to 2nd)

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Johnny Petrozelle

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Kyle Cummins

PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Mario Clouser

INDIANA MAFIA FAST QUALIFIER AWARD: Kevin Thomas, Jr.

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Isaac Chapple

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Thomas-227, 2-Windom-219, 3-Courtney-209, 4-Boespflug-182, 5-Leary-179, 6-Cummins-172, 7-Stockon-170, 8-Ballou-170, 9-Grant-168, 10-Short-164.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: March 31 - Lawrenceburg, Indiana - Lawrenceburg Speedway

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.

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

FLORIDA IS SUNSHINE'S STATE AFTER WINNING "WINTER DIRT GAMES" NIGHT 2

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Florida.........The evolution of Tyler Courtney's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car career has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past few seasons. In 2016, he broke into the win column for the first time. In 2017, he had a career-high five series wins. For 2018, the next logical step would be to contend for a series title.

Although the season is admittedly early, Courtney took a big leap toward that goal after a dominating performance Friday on night two of "Winter Dirt Games 9" at Bubba Raceway Park as he drove his Clauson-Marshall-Newman Racing/Priority Aviation - Competition Suspension, Inc./Spike/Rider Chevy to the front on lap three and led the remaining 28 laps to score his first victory for the team in their new sprinter.

Ocala has been a battleground that has proven to be a thorn in Courtney's side throughout his career. Four of his five starts at the 3/8-mile D-shaped track coming into Friday had resulted in finishes of 11th or worse. After a rough start a year ago and an equally tumultuous beginning on Thursday night, the Indianapolis, Indiana native licked his war wounds and arrived in a new frame of mind, a trait he said he didn't possess at this point last season.

"If I was in this position a year ago, I probably would've struggled again tonight," Courtney admits. "I took last year and learned how to handle myself from one night to the next, especially on a long trip like this. You just have to take last night and put it behind you and reset and give your team your best effort because you know they're going to give you their best effort every night. This is a really good way to start off the trip and year, especially since last year I think I came out either 14th or 15th in points. That makes the road to hoe a long one. This is really cool to start this way with a new team. There's always question marks, but I think we kind of threw those away tonight and, hopefully, made a statement that we're here to be a contender all year."

In 2017, Courtney's performance was clicking at a steady beat with TOPP Motorsports as he posted the best numbers of his career across the board. During the offseason, however, Courtney made the bold jump to Clauson-Marshall-Newman Racing full-time, the same team he competes with on the USAC Midget National Championship trail. For most, it takes more than a moment to jell properly with the team and its operations, but Courtney has a familiarity with these particular surroundings as a driver that is second to none, making the adaptation to each other in just the snap of a finger.

'If I was in this position a year ago, I probably would've struggled again tonight. I took last year and learned how to handle myself from one night to the next, especially on a long trip like this. You just have to take last night and put it behind you and reset and give your team your best effort because you know they're going to give you their best effort every night.' - Tyler Courtney (Rich Forman Photo)

"Tim (Clauson) has been a huge part of my career since I started in sprint cars and midgets," Courtney said. "Tim and I have such a close relationship with our head guy, and my roommate, Rizzy (Tyler Ransbottom). We're one big family here, so it's really special, especially to bring out a throwback car that Rizzy and Tim and everyone got to be a part of. Having a family atmosphere like this makes a transition like switching from a team that you ran with for two years a lot easier. The trust and the confidence level is there because I ran with them in the midgets last year, and I think we proved that tonight.

Indeed, they proved that, and it didn't take very long. As C.J. Leary and Kevin Thomas, Jr. tussled for position up front for the first two circuits, fourth-starting Courtney was precise, motoring to the outside of Thomas in turn two on lap three for second, then splitting between he and Leary to his outside as he dove to the bottom in turn three to snare the lead.

The sense of urgency was palpable in Courtney's mind and he knew he needed to take advantage of the space on the track afforded to him before it was discovered by Leary and/or Thomas.

"I knew I needed to get there," Courtney obliges. "I was running that next groove up from where they were and it stuck. I knew it was only a matter of time before they got there too. So, I knew I needed to get by them and get going. Luckily, I was able to get that done in one lap and didn't have to mess around too long. Once you get out front, you can maintain your own pace and run your own race instead of having to chase them and push your stuff. This place is pretty abrasive on tires, so to be able to get out and feel comfortable and manage my stuff, it's a huge advantage compared to those guys."

Seemingly nothing could slow Courtney's pace despite multiple cautions in the first half of the 30-lapper. Courtney simply walked away each time, spurting out to a half-straightaway lead by the eighth lap as he rode the lip up front.

An inadvertent yellow closed up things at the midway point when fifth-running Carson Short made a miraculous save to somehow avoid crunching the tail tank against the outside concrete. Short was repositioned to eighth in the order, the position he was in when the yellow flag was thrown.

That, in turn, erased Courtney's substantial advantage. On the lap 16 restart, an under-the-weather Leary managed to hang with Courtney for the ensuing two laps, but, gradually, Courtney and his CMNR ride proved to be too much for anybody else to handle on this night.

The only flip during the feature event came on lap 19 when Chris Windom and pole sitter Jarett Andretti made wheel-to-wheel contact while battling for the fourth position. Andretti got the worst end of the deal after hopping Windom's right rear and careening hard into the backstretch wall before flipping over. Andretti was uninjured. Windom continued.

On the ensuing restart, Courtney took the tried and true line on the cushion to distance himself from Leary. Nearing the final lap, Courtney's biggest challenge was a bevy of lapped traffic that included Isaac Chapple, Kent Schmidt and Brandon Mattox who ran high, low and middle as they battled for their own positions. Fortunately, for Courtney, he was able to part the sea of machinery and cut through the gridlock without a hindrance to his interval between he and second-place Leary as he raced to a 1.791-second victory over Leary, Thomas, Windom and fast qualifier Kyle Cummins.

As opposed to last year, the start of Courtney's 2018 season has been golden. A title is quite far off in the grand scheme of things, but getting out of the gate in such a positive manner not only provides points toward that goal, but boosts team morale and confidence to the point where running successfully comes second nature.

"Winning races is the reason we race, but there's the big picture at the end and that's a championship," Courtney said without missing a beat. "Not having to play catchup makes life a little easier, but you can't just take three nights like this and think you're good for the rest of the year. You have to finish this trip out strong and keep doing what you're doing. It's 40-plus nights of grueling, intense racing and this is probably the deepest field we've had in many years. It's going to be a fun season!"

Contingency award winners Friday night at Bubba Raceway Park include Kyle Cummins (Indiana Mafia Fast Qualifier), Nick Bilbee (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Robert Ballou (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner, KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Tyler Courtney (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Kent Schmidt (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Mike Martin (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer), Brandon Mattox (ProSource Hard Work Award) and Brady Bacon (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 16, 2018 - Ocala, Florida - Bubba Raceway Park - "Winter Dirt Games 9"

QUALIFYING: 1. Kyle Cummins, 3c, EZR/Cummins-14.297; 2. Carson Short, 21, RCM-14.358; 3. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-14.389; 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 69, Dynamics-14.410; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-14.500; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.538; 7. Logan Seavey, 5B, Briscoe-14.562; 8. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-14.605; 9. Tyler Clem, 14c, Clem/TSR-14.620; 10. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-14.678; 11. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-14.679; 12. Dave Darland, 36D, Goodnight/Curb-Agajanian-14.683; 13. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling-Hayward/RCR-14.688; 14. Chad Boespflug, 98, NineEight-14.717; 15. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.741; 16. Garrett Aitken, 32A, Aitken-14.752; 17. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, LNB-14.768; 18. Mario Clouser, 6, MCM-14.800; 19. Kody Swanson, 3R, Rock Steady-14.806; 20. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-14.808; 21. Nick Bilbee, 2E, Epperson-14.840; 22. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.904; 23. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-15.076; 24. Slater Helt, 22s, Helt-15.272; 25. Johnny Petrozelle, 59, Petrozelle-15.304; 26. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-15.403; 27. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-15.493; 28. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-15.586; 29. Frank Carlsson, 20, Carlsson-15.810.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Bilbee, 2. Bacon, 3. Cummins, 4. Leary, 5. Buckwalter, 6. Petrozelle, 7. Carlsson, 8. Clem. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Ballou, 2. Boespflug, 3. Windom, 4. Short, 5. Stockon, 6. Clouser, 7. Simon. 1:59.36

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Courtney, 2. Chapple, 3. Swanson, 4. Grant, 5. Seavey, 6. Martin, 7. Mattox. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Schmidt, 2. Darland, 3. Thomas, 4. Andretti, 5. Aitken, 6. Bell, 7. Helt. 2:.05.16

SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Seavey, 2. Stockon, 3. Aitken, 4. Clouser, 5. Mattox, 6. Buckwalter, 7. Martin, 8. Bell, 9. Carlsson, 10. Simon, 11. Helt. 3:12.52

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (4), 2. C.J. Leary (2), 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (3), 4. Chris Windom (9), 5. Kyle Cummins (6), 6. Dave Darland (10), 7. Carson Short (5), 8. Chad Boespflug (12), 9. Brady Bacon (11), 10. Chase Stockon (7), 11. Justin Grant (13), 12. Mario Clouser (15), 13. Robert Ballou (20), 14. Timmy Buckwalter (14), 15. Nick Bilbee (19), 16. Logan Seavey (8), 17. Kody Swanson (16), 18. Landon Simon (23), 19. Kent Schmidt (17), 20. Isaac Chapple (21), 21. Brandon Mattox (22), 22. Jarett Andretti (1), 23. Garrett Aitken (18). NT
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**Clem flipped during the first heat. Andretti flipped on lap 19 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Leary, Laps 3-30 Courtney.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Robert Ballou (20th to 13th)

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Mike Martin

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Robert Ballou

PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Brandon Mattox

INDIANA MAFIA FAST QUALIFIER AWARD: Kyle Cummins

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Brady Bacon

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Thomas-153, 2-Windom-142, 3-Courtney-131, 4-Cummins-128, 5-Stockon-125, 6-Grant-117, 7-Leary-115, 8-Boespflug-113, 9-Ballou-110, 10-Short-108.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: Feb. 17 - Ocala, Florida - Bubba Raceway Park - "Winter Dirt Games 9"

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.

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

STOCKON STRONG IN WINTER DIRT GAMES NIGHT 1 VICTORY

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Ocala, Florida………Strong finishes lead to strong beginnings in the case of Chase Stockon.

After finishing last season with two USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National victories in the final four races, the 29-year-old Fort Branch, Indiana racer has seemingly carried the momentum gracefully into the new year, winning the season opener for the series Thursday on night one of “Winter Dirt Games 9” at Bubba Raceway Park.

When the proverbial ball gets rolling downhill, the last thing you’d think you want to do is change it up, but Stockon felt he had to stay ahead of the game rather than play it safe and stand pat. Now what’s old is new and what’s new is working splendidly for Stockon and his 32 TBI Racing/Superior Tank & Trailer – Angle Buildings/DRC/Fisher Chevy.

“A lot is different from last year,” Stockon confided. “We struggled so badly through the middle part of last year, we went through everything. We went through old notes and found something we thought we were missing out on. We went back to our shock setup that we ran five or six years ago and that seemed to work really well for us. It seems like the tires have been changing for us a little bit. We were pretty quick out of the gate when we switched to this tire. Again, we went back to our old notes on those and stuck with it.”

“We ended this thing last year with two wins and, throughout the offseason, we knew we didn’t want to change a dang thing,” Stockon continued. “Joe (Devin) from DRC built us two new cars and they’re just as good as the one we ended last season with. Whenever you get things rolling and you’ve got a car you like, you don’t want to get rid of it, but it was time to start fresh and I think we’ve got good pieces this year.”

At the drop of the green, Stockon raced around the outside of pole sitter Dave Darland to take the early advantage as a mad scramble ensued for the runner-up position between Darland and second row combatants Carson Short and Justin Grant.

Seven cautions disrupted the first half of the 30-lapper and hindered Darland’s approach to the front. Patience was a virtue for Darland who, on multiple occasions in the early going, appeared he had the chops to possibly become the eventual successor to the point from as he relentlessly hounded Stockon, captaining his way to within a whisker of Stockon when the yellow flag flew for a pair of spins of laps eight and 11.

When racing ultimately resumed, Darland’s impressive bid for his first series win since 2016 came to an abrupt conclusion when his car slowed suddenly exiting turn two on lap 13 to bring out the yellow flag. He would not restart.

Just before halfway, the surface of the 3/8-mile D-shaped oval began to change. Stockon quickly took note and adapted to the new terrain.

“The first part of the race, I was running the top in (turns) one and two and kind off diamonding off (turns) three and four,” Stockon recalled. “I felt pretty decent there and I could see Dave (Darland) kept putting his nose underneath me. I kind of knew the bottom was pretty good there, especially with Dave down there. He likes to run the top, so when he was getting good runs on me like that, I kind of knew something was happening.”

A new contender to dethrone Stockon emerged in the early portion of the second half in the form of Justin Grant, winner of last year’s opener in Ocala. Grant ducked underneath Stockon on multiple occasions, but was unable to make the pass stick as the front two separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

With six to go, Kevin Thomas, Jr. emerged at the forefront in his debut in the famed Dynamics, Inc. machine, applying pressure to Stockon for the race lead. The ever-changing track surface required such precision that a single misstep could prove costly for Stockon. You can increase the pressure ten-fold when someone who has been as red-hot as Thomas is closing in on you. Thomas was the winner of a pair of POWRi Midget races less than a week ago at the very same track.

“We kept having so many yellows there at the start of the race, (my crew) was giving me a few pointers on where we needed to maneuver,” Stockon explained. “When we had the long green flag run in the middle part of the race, I felt my exit speed slowing up so much that, on that last restart, I decided to move back up to the top and see if I could keep my momentum built up to stay out front. I kind of noticed there, with probably five or six laps to go, it was taking rubber in the middle through the exit of (turn) four. I kind of found that and, luckily, had enough momentum once KT got to me to get back down to the bottom and get down in the rubber in (turns) one and two. The track conditions changing from slimy/greasy at the beginning to what it ended up being was kind of unique. When you lead the whole race like that, you feel like a sitting duck out there and don’t really know where to go. Luckily, everything went our way tonight.”

“He doesn’t make many mistakes,” Stockon said of Thomas. “He was back there where he could kind of maneuver and knew where the track was changing at and where to be. When it took rubber and I finally moved down there, you didn’t really want to cheat it too much and be in the slick and have a guy drive around on the top or bottom. I tried to pay attention to where the sheen was on the racetrack and put the right rear where it needed to be.”

Thomas threw the kitchen sink at Stockon, but coming to the white flag, drifted slightly high on the entry into turn one and, on the final lap, lost momentum in turn two as Stockon battened the hatches to tie board up the number one spot and take his first “Winter Dirt Games” victory in 20 tries, winning by a half-second over Thomas, Chris Windom, Grant and Robert Ballou.

“Winter Dirt Games” has been a strong suit for Stockon over the years with 11 top-five finishes in 20 starts. In fact, his 8.05 average finishing position was the best of any active driver without a “Winter Dirt Games” win coming into Thursday’s event.

“I’m just a late bloomer I guess,” Stockon said with a laugh. “We’ve always been pretty strong down here. I don’t really know why. I like this racetrack. It’s different. I wouldn’t say we do anything completely out of the norm down here. I don’t know if it just suits my style, diamonding off and exiting straight. But I really like this place and, before I came down here, I told my wife that we’ve won at least one race in almost every state that we run regularly in non-wing sprint cars. Florida was one of those states we’d yet to do it, so I know she’s definitely happy back home right now.”

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Bubba Raceway Park include Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Indiana Mafia Fast Qualifier), Tyler Courtney (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Chad Boespflug (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), C.J. Leary (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Carson Short (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Chad Boespflug (KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger), Brandon Mattox (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer), Brady Bacon (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Jarett Andretti (ProSource Hard Work Award) and Logan Seavey (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 15, 2018 – Ocala, Florida – Bubba Raceway Park – “Winter Dirt Games 9”

QUALIFYING: 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 69, Dynamics-13.750; 2. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-13.915; 3. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.981; 4. Carson Short, 21, RCM-14.007; 5. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.077; 6. Nick Bilbee, 2E, Epperson-14.145; 7. Dave Darland, 36D, Goodnight/Curb-Agajanian-14.174; 8. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling-Hayward/RCR-14.286; 9. Garrett Aitken, 32A, Aitken-14.341; 10. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.386; 11. Kyle Cummins, 3c, EZR/Cummins-14.395; 12. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.406; 13. Logan Seavey, 5B, Briscoe-14.407; 14. Tyler Clem, 14c, Clem/TSR-14.411; 15. Kody Swanson, 3R, Rock Steady-14.411; 16. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-14.431; 17. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson Marshall Newman-14.436; 18. Chad Boespflug, 98, NineEight-14.443; 19. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, LNB-14.452; 20. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-14.500; 21. Mario Clouser, 6, MCM-14.591; 22. Coleman Gulick, 14, Scorpion-14.669; 23. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-14.699; 24. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.731; 25. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.804; 26. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-14.980; 27. Johnny Petrozelle, 59, Petrozelle-15.055; 28. Slater Helt, 22s, Helt-15.151; 29. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-15.535; 30. Frank Carlsson, 20, Carlsson-16.129; 31. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-NT

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Courtney, 2. Thomas, 3. Stockon, 4. Seavey, 5. Aitken, 6. Mattox, 7. Bell, 8. Clouser. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Boespflug, 2. Ballou, 3. Windom, 4. Clem, 5. Bilbee, 6. Gulick, 7. Martin, 8. Carlsson. 2:01.46

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Leary, 2. Swanson, 3. Grant, 4. Darland, 5. Cummins, 6. Buckwalter, 7. Petrozelle. 2:02.91

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Short, 2. Simon, 3. Bacon, 4. Chapple, 5. Schmidt, 6. Goodnight, 7. Helt. 2:05.09

SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Bilbee, 2. Cummins, 3. Aitken, 4. Andretti, 5. Buckwalter, 6. Schmidt, 7. Mattox, 8. Martin, 9. Goodnight, 10. Petrozelle, 11. Bell, 12. Gulick, 13. Carlsson. 3:08.79

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Chase Stockon (2), 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (6), 3. Chris Windom (5), 4. Justin Grant (4), 5. Robert Ballou (10), 6. Kyle Cummins (11), 7. Isaac Chapple (12), 8. Chad Boespflug (18), 9. Logan Seavey (13), 10. Nick Bilbee (7), 11. Tyler Courtney (17), 12. Kody Swanson (15), 13. Brady Bacon (8), 14. Carson Short (3), 15. C.J. Leary (20), 16. Tyler Clem (14), 17. Jarett Andretti (21), 18. Landon Simon (19), 19. Garrett Aitken (9), 20. Dave Darland (1), 21. Kent Schmidt (16), 22. Timmy Buckwalter (22). NT

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**Clouser flipped during the first heat.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Stockon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Chad Boespflug (18th to 8th)

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Brandon Mattox

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Brady Bacon

PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Jarett Andretti

INDIANA MAFIA FAST QUALIFIER AWARD: Kevin Thomas, Jr.

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Logan Seavey

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Thomas-80, 2-Stockon-78, 3-Windom-75, 4-Grant-71, 5-Ballou-65, 6-Cummins-58, 7-Chapple-57, 8-Boespflug-57, 9-Seavey-51, 10-Courtney-49.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: Feb. 16-17 – Ocala, Florida – Bubba Raceway Park – “Winter Dirt Games 9”

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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BELL BLOWS OUT THE CANDLES ON 2017 WITH "KNEPPER 55" TRIUMPH

Christopher Bell at speed on his way to the 'Junior Knepper 55' USAC Midget Special Event victory Saturday at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin. (Neil Cavanah Photo)

Du Quoin, Illinois.........Christopher Bell celebrated his 23rd birthday in grand style Saturday night at the Southern Illinois Center after taking the lead with four laps remaining to win the third annual "Junior Knepper 55" USAC Midget Special event at the indoor, one-sixth-mile dirt oval in Du Quoin.

Rarely has the 2013 USAC National Midget champion from Norman, Oklahoma not been at the top of his game when he's behind the wheel of a midget, but 2017 saw him take it up another notch with 10 wins in just 13 Midget starts, an incomparable 77% average.

After wrapping up a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title, Bell has been two-for-two in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Curb Records - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota, concluding USAC's National Midget points season in November with his second career "Turkey Night Grand Prix" victory at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway and following it up by delivering his team their first victory at the Southern Illinois Center.

"To be able to win the last race of the year like that is pretty cool," Bell said. "I've been pretty close and really fast here in the past, but I just haven't been able to win. The team's always been really good here too, but finally, it all came together tonight."

Bell would start third in the feature behind a front row occupied by Trey Marcham and Chad Boat. As Marcham rode near the mountainous berm on the bottom, Boat and Bell swarmed high and low a car length behind. The high line eventually paid off for Boat as he rode the rim to the lead around Marcham off the fourth turn on lap 18.

Bell taste-tested the high side as well to make his way around Marcham between turns three and four a lap later. Once he did, Zeb Wise snookered both on the bottom to go from fourth to second. Meanwhile, Boat opened up a two-plus second lead before a Shane Golobic spin put things at ease momentarily.

"At the beginning of the race, I was really good, but was kind of biding my time," Bell recalls. "Once Chad got the lead, I was really struggling. (Justin) Grant got by me, then Zeb got by me. I was just trying to figure out what I could do to make something happen. I remember Bryan (Clauson) was always really good at sliding himself here. That was something I started doing and I'm like, 'man, I'm making up time here' and that seemed to be the key."

Early in the second half of the 55-lapper, new second-place runner put the chase on Boat through lapped traffic. As lappers Justin Peck and Tyler Nelson swapped sliders, Boat took matters into his own hands and dove under Nelson in turn three on lap 41 to gain the slightest bit of a separation. Moments later, disaster nearly struck Boat as Shane Cottle spun right in front him between turns three and four. Boat took evasive action and avoided any carnage.

On the restart with 13 laps to go, Boat and Grant lined up nose-to-tail with the lapped car of Nelson as a buffer between third-running Bell. Bell instantly went to work with a turn three slider on Grant for second on lap 44. Grant vetoed that notion and slid past Bell in turn one to retake second. Bell put the tussle to rest in turn three as he dove to the bottom and snared the runner-up position from the March Du Quoin winner.

'Junior Knepper 55' winner Christopher Bell (middle) is joined in victory lane by 2nd place finisher Chase Briscoe (left) and 3rd place Shane Golobic (right).
(Neil Cavanah Photo)

While Bell was attacking, Tyler Courtney was hustling. Courtney had entered the top-three with seven to go after starting shotgun on the field via promoter's option. Things got interesting when one wondered what was in store with Bell and Courtney next to each other after multiple on-track excursions between the two in their qualifying race earlier in the night.

Yet, with five to go, before Courtney was close enough to make a move, the 2017 USAC Most Improved Driver and 2016 "Knepper 55" winner looped his ride in turn one on the cushion, erasing one of the hardest charges witnessed all season.

On the lap 51 restart, Boat went back to the top lane as Bell tucked in on the low line. By the time the two hit the start/finish line at the completion of the lap, the two were in a dead-heat, Polaroid moment with Boat credited as the leader by the narrowest of margins. But Boat's lead wasn't long for this world as Bell roped him in and lassoed the spot for good exiting turn two as Briscoe ducked underneath for second after starting 19th!

"I was pretty much determined to go where he wasn't," Bell surmised. "He was kind of a sitting duck out there. This place, once it gets so far around the top, you can make up time there whenever you can get your momentum built up, but you're so vulnerable, especially on restarts. The door is wide open and it's so easy to throw a slider here. Whenever he opened up the inside like that, I knew I had to take advantage of it."

The duel was now on between the two dirt track stars who stood out in NASCAR's Truck Series this season with the champ (Bell) battling the Rookie of the Year (Briscoe) for Southern Illinois racing supremacy on this night. With two to go, though, Shane Cottle's loose left rear wheel jettisoned toward the turn four wall, necessitating a yellow and setting up one final restart. The position at the front of the field that Boat once found himself in as a "sitting duck" was now occupied by Bell.

"A little bit, but I was in that situation behind Chad too," Bell explains. "I was able to use that and learn from it to know how to be better for the next restarts. It was all up to me to protect the bottom. Whenever I saw Briscoe was behind me, I knew that he was going to run the bottom. At that point in time, I knew I just had to protect."

On the ensuing green, Briscoe was ruled to be out of line, the penalty of which is being docked one spot. That returned Boat to second and relegated Briscoe back to third. When racing resumed, Briscoe quickly got back by Boat, yet Bell remained just out of reach. Bell went the distance, leading the final four laps for a .295 second victory over Briscoe, Shane Golobic (from 20th after spinning at the halfway point), Boat and Grant.

Bell's had midget seasons of glory in the past, including a pair of seven-win campaigns in 2013 and 2014, but this year was simply phenomenal with five wins in eight USAC Midget starts, plus 10 out of 13 across all his combined midget starts. It's a success he attributes to the miles he's trekked in stock cars and trucks that he's been able to translate to his time in the driver's seat of a midget.

"Going to NASCAR has made me a better racecar driver just because it's taught me things I didn't learn here on the dirt," Bell said. "That's something I've been able to find that when you run these really long races, you learn that you don't have to lead lap five. You don't have to lead lap 10. You only have to lead the last lap. That's something I've really tried to apply in midget racing and it seems to have worked."

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USAC MIDGET "SPECIAL EVENT" RACE RESULTS: December 16, 2017 - Du Quoin, Illinois - Southern Illinois Center - "Junior Knepper 55"

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Tanner Carrick (#71K Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Daniel Robinson (#57D McCreery), 3. Christopher Bell (#21 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 4. Shane Golobic (#17w Clauson-Marshall/Wood), 5. Colten Cottle (#5c Cottle), 6. Joey Moughan (#29 Casson), 7. Kevin Woody, Jr. (#0 Buckwalter), 8. Derek Hagar (#9JR Hagar-Proctor). 1:37.54

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Jody Rosenboom (#14R Rosenboom), 2. Chris R. Andrews (#91A Thomas), 3. Tim Crawley (#4J James), 4. Brian Shirley (#3s Neuman), 5. J.D. Black (#7JR Blackened), 6. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (#17BC Clauson/Marshall), 7. Austin Blair (#3B Neuman), 8. Chase Briscoe (#5 Briscoe). 1:40.09

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Zeb Wise (#39 Clauson/Marshall), 2. Tyler Courtney (#7BC Clauson/Marshall), 3. Tanner Berryhill (#17B Tucker/Boat), 4. Justin Peck (#7K Irwin), 5. Tony Roney (#1T Roney), 6. Kyle Schuett (#9K Schuett), 7. Dylan Peterson (#25p Peterson), 8. Danny Frye, Jr. (#5x Frye). NT

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Parker Price-Miller (#9p PPM), 2. Dillon Welch (#99p PPM), 3. Josh Most (#92m Most), 4. Alex Watson (#3 3W), 5. Alex Schriever (#25s Peterson), 6. Brent Beauchamp (#11 B & B), 7. Terry Babb (#88 Babb), 8. Nick Drake (#55D Cline). NT

FIFTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Chad Boat (#84 Tucker/Boat), 2. Trey Marcham (#32 Marcham), 3. Tyler Nelson (#91 Harris), 4. Jake Neuman (#3N Neuman), 5. Gio Scelzi (#7 Clauson/Marshall), 6. Chris L. Andrews (#95 Miller), 7. Clayton Christensen (#1cc Rosenboom), 8. Thomas Meseraull (#66 Amati). NT

SIXTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Justin Grant (#39BC Clauson/Marshall), 2. Tony Bruce Jr. (#18 One Eight), 3. Riley Kreisel (#93K DKR), 4. Daniel Adler (#50 Adler), 5. Jacob Patton (#D33 Davis), 6. Lee Lengel (#21LL Lengel), 7. Tyler Robbins (#35 Robbins), 8. Chris Urish (#77u Casson). NT

SEVENTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Billy Wease (#12w Wease), 2. Mark Chisholm (#56x Fifty6x), 3. Shane Cottle (#1s Saucier/Hmiel), 4. Matt Crafton (#67 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 5. Nick Hamilton (#32x Hamilton), 6. Howard Moore (#41 Chappue), 7. Brad Kraus (#6B Kraus), 8. Don Dawson II (#6D Dawson). NT

C-MAIN: (10 laps) 1. Briscoe, 2. Moughan, 3. Blair, 4. Peterson, 5. Hagar, 6. Meseraull, 7. Moore, 8. Dawson, 9. Drake, 10. Lengel, 11. Kraus, 12. Woody, 13. Robbins, 14. Frye. NT

FIRST QUALIFIER: (12 laps) 1. Boat, 2. Wise, 3. Robinson, 4. Kreisel, 5. Price-Miller, 6. Schuett, 7. Scelzi, 8. Crafton, 9. C. Cottle, 10. Wease. 2:08.87

SECOND QUALIFIER: (12 laps) 1. Marcham, 2. Welch, 3. Grant, 4. Neuman, 5. Peck, 6. Golobic, 7. C.R. Andrews, 8. Patton, 9. Black. NT

THIRD QUALIFIER: (12 laps) 1. Bell, 2. Crawley, 3. Adler, 4. Bruce, 5. Schriever, 6. Stenhouse, 7. Chisholm, 8. Shirley, 9. C.L. Andrews, 10. Courtney. NT

FOURTH QUALIFIER: (12 laps) 1. Nelson, 2. Roney, 3. Berryhill, 4. S. Cottle, 5. Carrick, 6. Hamilton, 7. Most, 8. Watson, 9. Babb, 10. Rosenboom. NT

B-MAIN #1: (15 laps) 1. Robinson, 2. Crawley, 3. Peck, 4. Briscoe, 5. Kreisel, 6. Blair, 7. Wease, 8. Most, 9. Hagar, 10. Watson, 11. Babb, 12. Shirley, 13. Schriever, 14. Scelzi, 15. Hamilton, 16. Black. NT

B-MAIN #2: (15 laps) 1. Neuman, 2. Berryhill, 3. Stenhouse, 4. Golobic, 5. Chisholm, 6. Patton, 7. Schuett, 8. Meseraull, 9. C. Cottle, 10. C.L. Andrews, 11. Adler, 12. Moughan, 13. Crafton, 14. Peterson, 15. C.R. Andrews, 16. Rosenboom. NT

FEATURE: (55 laps) 1. Christopher Bell, 2. Chase Briscoe, 3. Shane Golobic, 4. Chad Boat, 5. Justin Grant, 6. Dillon Welch, 7. Tanner Berryhill, 8. Parker Price-Miller, 9. Tanner Carrick, 10. Tyler Courtney, 11. Tony Bruce Jr., 12. Daniel Robinson, 13. Tim Crawley, 14. Zeb Wise, 15. Trey Marcham, 16. Tyler Nelson, 17. Shane Cottle, 18. Justin Peck, 19. Tony Roney, 20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 21. Jake Neuman. NT
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**Christensen flipped during the fifth heat. Urish flipped during the sixth heat. Black flipped during the first B-Main.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-17 Marcham, Laps 18-51 Boat, Laps 52-55 Bell.

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SUNSHINE FRIES BACON IN VENTURA USAC WEST COAST SPRINT SHOWDOWN

'Sunshine' Tyler Courtney captured the victory in Thursday's 'Turkey Night Grand Prix' USAC West Coast / VRA Sprint Car feature at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway. (Rich Forman Photo)

Ventura, California.....November 23, 2017 - Tyler Courtney worked his way around previous night's winner Brady Bacon with 11 laps remaining to score Thursday's 77th "Turkey Night Grand Prix" USAC West Coast Sprint Car "Special Event" victory at Ventura Raceway co-sanctioned by VRA.

Courtney has now notched wins in five different USAC divisions in 2017 with triumphs in the Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint, National Midget, CRA Sprint and West Coast Sprint divisions.

Behind Courtney at the checkered of the 30-lap feature were Bacon, who led 16 laps before Courtney got by. Chase Briscoe was third ahead of early leader Klint Simpson with Brody Roa rounding out the top-five.

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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SPECIAL EVENT RESULTS: November 23, 2017 - Ventura, California - Ventura Raceway - "77th Turkey Night Grand Prix" / "Battle of the Beach Race #4" - co-sanctioned with VRA

EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Carson Macedo (#73 Ford), 2. Jake Swanson (#92 Sertich), 3. Shawn Arriaga (#56J Arriaga), 4. Matt Mitchell (#12 Dale), 5. Brandon Wiley (#33B Team 33), 6. Dave Darland #21K Kruseman), 7. Koen Shaw (#88K Shaw), 8. Albert Pombo (#35 Pombo), 9. Guy Woodward (#24 Woodward) 10. Tyler Wiliams (#5K Kruseman), 11. Austin Ervine (#51 AJ), 12. Dalton Hill (#81D Double D). NT

BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Chase Johnson (#24X Johnson) , 2. Michael Pickens (#81 Watt), 3. Justyn Cox (#31X Cox), 4. Slater Helt (#14 Watt), 5. Kaleb Montgomery (#3K Montgomery), 6. Jeremy Ellertson (#98 Ellertson), 7. Stewart Friesen (#81X Watt), 8. Brent Owens (#71 Martin), 9. Tom Hendricks (#14X Hendricks), 10. Reed Broschart (#93 B&B), 11. Ryan Timmons (#29T Timmons), 12. Sterling Cling (#2K Kruseman), 13. Charlie Butcher (#96 B&B). NT

PYROTECT RACING CELLS THIRD SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Brody Roa (#91BR), 2. Max Adams (#5M Adams), 3. Cory Elliott (#11E Elliott), 4. Tanner Carrick (#83T Carrick), 5. Rick Hendrix (#15 Hendrix), 6. Bruce Douglass (#13 Davis), 7. Steve Hix (#57 Hix), 8. Damian Lopez (#4K Kruseman), 9. Cody Majors (#29 Steele), 10. Geoffrey Strole (#09S Strole), 11. Geoff Ensign (#3F), 12. Kyle Smith (#55 Smith), 13. Matt Rossi (#02 Rossi). NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Tyler Courtney (#81m Watt), 2. Brady Bacon (#63 Dooling/Hayward), 3. Chase Briscoe (#5 Briscoe), 4. Klint Simpson (#101 Edison), 5. Brody Roa, 6. Carson Macedo, 7. Colby Copeland (#24c Copeland), 8. Jake Swanson, 9. Michael Pickens, 10. Stevie Sussex (#34 Grau), 11. Tristan Guardino (#15T Guardino), 12. Max Adams, 13. Shawn Arriaga, 14. Cory Elliott, 15. Matt Mitchell, 16. Chase Johnson, 17. Tanner Carrick, 18. Slater Helt, 19. Troy Rutherford (#11 Rutherford), 20. Justyn Cox. NT
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**Rutherford flipped on lap 23 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Simpson, Laps 4-19 Bacon, Laps 20-30 Courtney.

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Brody Roa (11th to 5th)

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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BELL OUTDUELS LARSON IN "TURKEY NIGHT" THRILLER AT VENTURA

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California....November 23, 2017 - 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.

Christopher Bell celebrates his victory in Thursday night's 77th 'Turkey Night Grand Prix' at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway. (Rich Forman Photo)

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.

'Oh my god, it's so much fun. I just told Kyle (Larson) 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.' - Christopher Bell - (Rich Forman Photo)

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.

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

BACON A BLUR EN ROUTE TO BAKERSFIELD MIDGET TRIUMPH

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Bakersfield, California....November 18, 2017 - With one of the busiest racing schedules of any driver in the United States, Brady Bacon annually competes in excess of 100 events a year on tracks from coast-to-coast.

In Saturday night's "November Classic," it might've appeared the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native had been an experienced master of Bakersfield Speedway. But, wouldn't you know it? Saturday night was the first time Bacon had even laid eyes on the track.

Bacon, originally lining up seventh on the grid, worked the outside line to climb to the lead on lap seven. It was a lead he would never relinquish as he picked up his third USAC National Midget victory of the year in his FMR Racing/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions - Black Watch Farms/Beast/Toyota in the National series' first stop at Bakersfield in 17 years.

"At the start, I was on the inside and I saw the outside got a pretty good run," Bacon observed. "The bottom was kind of glazed over from the moisture in the air or something. I knew it would eventually move back down there, but I figured I'd try to make the moves while I could. I went to the top and it worked out. We were the first ones in the front to do it and had a clear lane to the front."

The beginning was tumultuous as Light Up the World Beverages USAC Western States Midget regular Michael Faccinto stepped out to the lead from the outside of the front row on the initial start. Meanwhile, pole sitter Michael Pickens slotted into second. While riding the high side in turn three, contact was made between he and Holly Shelton. As Pickens sat sideways in the middle of the track, he was slammed into by Shannon McQueen, who had nowhere to go. Frankie Guerrini and Dustin Golobic also became involved, but would restart along with Pickens. McQueen headed back to the hauler earlier than she had planned with a hurt racecar.

The ensuing restart would only get back on track for a pair of laps before fifth-running Shelton got the back end loose in turn three. As she slid sideways, Zeb Wise, making his USAC debut, careened in while Ryan Robinson took evasive action to avoid the melee and climbed the outside wall before coming to a stop. Shelton's night was finished, but Wise and Robinson would restart.

Once the race got back on the rails, Faccinto led the way on the bottom with series point leader Spencer Bayston just behind. Glancing behind Bayston, one could see Bacon running a slightly higher line than those he trailed, which took him to second around the outside of Bayston off turn two on the fourth lap. Bayston scrapped back, but Bacon had enough of a head of steam off turns two and four to clamp down on the top spot.

As Bacon and Bayston tussled for the runner-up position, both simultaneously chipped away at Faccinto's lead. Quickly, it became a three-car race for the lead with the top-three appearing in Blue Angels formation exiting turn two. On lap seven, Bacon surged ahead of Faccinto midway down the back straightaway to secure the lead and instantly constructed a one-second gap over Faccinto and Bayston. With an open highway comfort cruise lying in front of him, Bacon was free to run his race as he pleased.

"I ran the middle in (turns) one and two a lot," Bacon explained. "I diamonded three and four and came off as straight as I could. It was really heavy, so it was easy to get pointed in the wrong direction. I just thought it was going to be too far around the top and my car was pretty good on the bottom and in the middle, so I stuck with it. I started feeling a little less grip in one and two, but I moved around and pedaled it a little more."

With Bacon pulling away, Bayston fought Faccinto for second throughout the next four laps until clearing him on lap 12. Bayston would receive a reprieve two laps later when new five-time USAC Western States Midget champion Ronnie Gardner slid sideways to a stop on the front straightaway to bring out the caution. With the substantial lead erased, Bacon would have to get back on the saddle once again. On the first try, Bacon stumbled and Bayston was able to hang in contention. Yet, when Cory Elliott slowed to bring out the yellow moments later, Bacon would get a reprieve and another shot at that restart.

When that chance arrived on lap 14 restart version two, Bacon left Bayston on his own and instantly spurted away to a ten car-length lead that wouldn't get any closer despite Bacon having to fight through traffic in the final five laps. Bacon would race away to his sixth career series victory over two seconds ahead of Bayston, Tanner Thorson, Tyler Courtney and Justin Grant.

In an odd circumstance, following the checkered flag, Courtney found himself on his side in Tommy Tipover fashion in turn two. He was uninjured.

Despite finishing one spot behind Bacon at the finish line at Bakersfield, Bayston extended his USAC National Midget point lead by one to 67 in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/IWX - Curb Records - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota. All the Lebanon, Indiana driver has left to do to clinch his first title is to simply sign-in at this Thursday's season-finale at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway's "Turkey Night Grand Prix."

Bayston's teammate, Thorson, of Minden, Nevada set the tone by recording the ProSource/Woodland Auto Display Fast Qualifying time before going on to finish third in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/JBL Audio - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

Two USAC National Midget track records were broken at Bakersfield. Jimmy Christian's 8-lap mark set in 2000 was surpassed by Shane Golobic in heat race two. The late Kevin Doty's 12-lap record from 1998 was passed by Brady Bacon during the semi-feature.

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway include Tanner Thorson (ProSource/Woodland Auto Display Fast Qualifier), Chad Boat (Simpson Race Products/Extreme Mufflers 1st Heat Winner), Shane Golobic (Competition Suspension, Inc./Brown & Miller Racing Solutions 2nd Heat Winner & KSE Racing Products/Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger), Zeb Wise (Chalk Stix/Keizer Aluminum Wheels/Saldana Racing Products 3rd Heat Winner), David Prickett (Indy Race Parts/Pyrotect Racing Cells 4th Heat Winner), Brady Bacon (Competition Suspension, Inc. Semi Winner) and Courtney Crone (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC NATIONAL & LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE RESULTS: November 18, 2017 - Bakersfield Speedway - Bakersfield California - "November Classic"

PROSOURCE/WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.849; 2. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.912; 3. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.933; 4. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.973; 5. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.035; 6. Alex Schutte, 28, Schutte/McElwee-13.037; 7. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-13.043; 8. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.059; 9. Michael Faccinto, 9D, Dodenhoff-13.103; 10. Michael Pickens, 25x, Rodela-13.103; 11. D.J. Netto, 88N, Netto-13.181; 12. Courtney Crone, 25, Rodela-13.192; 13. Frankie Guerrini, 63, Guerrini-13.219; 14. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Six8-13.225; 15. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.230; 16. Cory Elliott, 11E, Elliott-13.253; 17. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-13.272; 18. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-13.311; 19. Zeb Wise, 39, Clauson/Marshall-13.344; 20. David Prickett, 22Q, Neverlift-13.357; 21. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-13.368; 22. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.376; 23. Matt Mitchell, 75, Miller-13.400; 24. Dustin Golobic, 17G, Wood-13.460; 25. Mason Daniel, 33m, Daniel-13.559; 26. Terry Nichols, 1p, Nichols-13.587; 27. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-13.591; 28. Scott Pierovich, 35, Pierovich-13.676; 29. Kyle Beilman, 31, Beilman-14.193; 30. Ron Hazelton, 15, Hazelton-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS/EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Boat, 2. Faccinto, 3. Guerrini, 4. Thorson, 5. Robinson, 6. Daniel, 7. Cofer, 8. Beilman. 1:45.13

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI)/BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. S. Golobic, 2. Pickens, 3. Bayston, 4. Carrick, 5. Gardner, 6. Schutte, 7. Nichols, 8. Hazelton. 1:44.14 (New Track Record)

CHALK STIX/KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS/SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Wise, 2. Mitchell, 3. Grant, 4. Shelton, 5. McQueen, 6. Dalby, 7. Netto. 1:44.78

INDY RACE PARTS/PYROTECT RACING CELLS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Prickett, 2. D. Golobic, 3. Courtney, 4. Elliott, 5. Bacon, 6. Crone, 7. Pierovich. 1:46.51

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Bacon, 2. Robinson, 3. Schutte, 4. McQueen, 5. Crone, 6. Gardner, 7. Netto, 8. Dalby, 9. Daniel, 10. Pierovich, 11. Cofer, 12. Nichols, 13. Hazelton, 14. Beilman. 2:35.69 (New Track Record)

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Brady Bacon (7), 2. Spencer Bayston (5), 3. Tanner Thorson (6), 4. Tyler Courtney (3), 5. Justin Grant (14), 6. Shane Golobic (16), 7. Ryan Robinson (8), 8. Alex Schutte (9), 9. Michael Faccinto (2), 10. Tanner Carrick (20), 11. Frankie Guerrini (12), 12. Chad Boat (19), 13. Courtney Crone (11), 14. Matt Mitchell (21), 15. David Prickett (18), 16. Ronnie Gardner (13), 17. Michael Pickens (1), 18. Cory Elliott (15), 19. Zeb Wise (17), 20. Robert Dalby (23), 21. Mason Daniel (24), 22. Holly Shelton (4), 23. Dustin Golobic (22), 24. Shannon McQueen (10). NT
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**Courtney flipped after the checkered flag.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Faccinto, Laps 7-30 Bacon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/ESSLINGER ENGINEERING HARD CHARGER: Shane Golobic (16th to 6th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Courtney Crone

NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bayston-1441, 2-Bacon-1374, 3-S. Golobic-1349, 4-Thorson-1331, 5-Courtney-1267, 6-Grant-1262, 7-Boat-1131, 8-Shelton-1020, 9-Carrick-954, 10-Jerry Coons, Jr.-849.

NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Gardner-783, 2-Guerrini-670, 3-Prickett-636, 4-Elliott-609, 5-Dalby-570, 6-Crone-539, 7-Faccinto-504. 8-McQueen-424, 9-Randi Pankratz-417, 10-Daniel-393.

NEXT USAC NATIONAL & WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE: November 23 - Ventura Raceway - Ventura, California - 77th "Turkey Night Grand Prix"

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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