USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGETS BATTLE AT TULARE SATURDAY
By Lance Jennings
APRIL 4, 2017... After a successful show at Placerville, the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets are back in action this Saturday, April 8th at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. Located on the Tulare County Fairgrounds, the third point race will also feature the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, Western RaceSaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Stock Cars, and Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars. The spectator gates will open at 4:00pm, time trials at 5:00pm, and racing will start at 7:00pm. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.
NOTICE TO RACERS: USAC MEMBERSHIPS ARE MANDATORY AT FIRST RACE and can be purchased at the track or online at https://usacracing.redpodium.com/2017-usac-sprint-midget-sc.
2017 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: B&B: FRAC-0375-S w/side outlet, Coast Fabrication: 300x625x17-2s, 350x625x17-2s, 400x625x17-2s, Extreme: 3515-3030 (15” Long 5” round shell with 3”inlet & 3” outlet), 3615-3030 (15” Long 6” round shell with 3” inlet & 3” outlet), 3515-3030-8 (15” Long 5” round shell with 3”inlet & 3” outlet with turnout), 3615-3030-8 (15” Long 6” round shell with 3” inlet & 3” outlet with turnout), Flowmaster: (BCRA Approved) 13009130, 13509130, 13509135, Schoenfeld: 14272535
*Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
Heading into Saturday’s event, the Tulare County Fairgrounds has hosted eight USAC Western Midget races. P.J. Jones won the September 7, 1988 Tulare debut and Ronnie Gardner claimed victory last October. At press time, Bryan Clauson holds the 1-lap qualifying record of 15.628, set on November 13, 2010 and the series win list at Thunderbowl Raceway is at the bottom of this release.
Heading to Tulare, Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) has a thirteen point lead over the competition. Racing the Six8 Motorsports’ #68 PAC Springs / Wilwood Brakes Stewart, Gardner led five laps at Placerville before running second to Shane Golobic. At press time, the defending four-time champion has one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, two top-10 finishes, and 30 feature laps led to his credit. Ronnie ranks fourth on the series win list with twenty victories and will be looking to add another Tulare win to his resume.
Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) ranks second in the chase for the championship. Driving the family owned #11E FK Indy / Oilwize Spike, Elliott charged from ninth to score third at Placerville. To date, the 2015 Rookie of the Year has one heat race victory, and two top-10 finishes on the season. Cory has one career series win and will have his sights on gaining valuable points with a Tulare victory.
Courtney Crone (Corona, California) has climbed to third in the USAC Western States Midget point chase. Piloting Jerome Rodela’s #25 Trench Shoring / Ed Pink Racing Engines Breka, Crone ran fourth in the Placerville feature. As this writing goes to press, the 2016 Rookie of the Year has two top-10 finishes in the campaign. Fresh off a Madera BCRA Midget victory, Courtney will be looking to earn her first USAC triumph this Saturday night.
Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, California) sits fourth in the championship standings. Racing the family owned #63 F&F Racing / Davis Motorsports Spike, Guerrini scored tenth in the “Placerville Short Track Outlaw Showdown.” At press time, the 2015 BCRA Champion has two top-10 finishes on the season and will have his sights on his second career USAC victory.
Leading rookie contender Mason Daniel (Visalia, California) has risen to fifth in the championship points. Driving the family owned #33M Young’s Racing / Dylon Risk Management Spike, Daniel took seventh in the Placerville feature. To date, Mason has one Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger Award and two top-10 finishes on the year. The young driver will have his sights on earning his first win at the Tulare County Fairgrounds.
Other rookie contenders are Clayton Ruston (Upland, California) and Bryan Drollinger (Lomita, California).
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are “The Panda” Terry Nichols, Robert Dalby, Randi Pankratz, David Prickett, Michael Faccinto, Maria Cofer, Alex Schutte, J.J. Ercse, Shannon McQueen, Nate Wait, Tyler Dolacki, and more.
Tulare, California’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets. Grandstand Tickets are $25 and Bleacher Seats are $20. Advance tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling the track office at 559.688.0909. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.tularethunderbowl.com.
For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Loudpedal Productions has USAC Western States Midget DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET CHAMPIONS: 1982-Jeff Heywood*, 1983-Sleepy Tripp, 1984-Tommy White, 1985-Sleepy Tripp, 1986-Robby Flock, 1987-Sleepy Tripp, 1988-Sleepy Tripp, 1989-Robby Flock, 1990-Sleepy Tripp, 1991-Sleepy Tripp, 1992-Sleepy Tripp, 1993-Robby Flock, 1994-Johnny Cofer, 1995-Billy Boat, 1996-Jay Drake, 1997-Ricky Shelton, 1998-Rick Hendrix, 1999-Marc DeBeaumont, 2000-Wally Pankratz, 2001-Danny Ebberts, 2002-Robby Flock, 2003-Steve Paden, 2004-Johnny Rodriguez, 2005-Jerome Rodela, 2006-Jerome Rodela, 2007-Johnny Rodriguez, 2008-Nic Faas, 2009-Garrett Hansen, 2010-Alex Schutte, 2011-Cory Kruseman, 2012-Shannon McQueen, 2013-Ronnie Gardner, 2014- Ronnie Gardner, 2015-Ronnie Gardner, 2016-Ronnie Gardner.
2017 LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 1-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Shane Golobic.
TULARE LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 1-Brady Bacon, 1-Michael Faccinto, 1-Robby Flock, 1-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Tracy Hines, 1-P.J. Jones, 1-Trey Marcham, 1-Sleepy Tripp.
LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS: 1. Ronnie Gardner-161, 2. Cory Elliott-148, 3. Courtney Crone-131, 4. Frankie Guerrini-114, 5. Mason Daniel-110, 6. Terry Nichols-104, 7. Robert Dalby-98, 8. Randi Pankratz-94, 9. David Prickett-82, 10. Shane Golobic-81, ... Michael Faccinto-81, 12. Nic Faas-77, 13. Maria Cofer-76, 14. Alex Schutte-66, 15. J.J. Ercse-54, 16. Chris Ennis-50, 17. Geoff Ensign-44, ... Buddy Kofoid-44, 19. Clayton Ruston-42, 20. Matt Mitchell-40.
2017 LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SCHEDULE
April 8: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA
May 13: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
July 15: *Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA (Jack London Hall of Fame Picnic Event)
August 19: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA
September 2: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 3: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 7: *Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions)
September 16: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
September 30: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
October 28: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
November 18: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
November 23: #Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with BCRA Midgets.
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC National Midgets.
This schedule is subject to change.