West Coast
Wednesday, 22 November 2017


The Kruseman Team at Ventura. The Kruseman Team at Ventura. Richie Murray Photo



By: Scott Daloisio

Ventura, California………Kruseman Motorsports has entered a trio of drivers for the sprint car portion of this Wednesday and Thursday’s historic 77th running of the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at the Ventura Raceway.

Dave Darland, the USAC all-time leader in sprint car wins, off-road racing star Sterling Cling and recording artist Tyler Williams will comprise the three-car effort that is being sponsored by Lucas Oil, Sander Engineering, K&N, ARP Fasteners, KWIK Change and K1 Race Gear.

The two-night show will feature the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars along with the USAC National and Western Midgets on the beautiful 1/5 of a mile track located adjacent to the beach on the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Darland, who resides in Lincoln, Indiana, is no stranger to the “Turkey Night Grand Prix.” The popular driver, who is known as “The People’s Champ” to his legion of fans around the nation, has contested the race more than 20-times. He has won the midget portion of the show two-times and is one of only three drivers in the first 76-years of the race who has won it on both pavement and dirt.

Darland’s first triumph in the “TNGP” came on the pavement at the Irwindale Speedway in 2007. He backed up that win when he won on the famous Perris Auto Speedway half-mile clay oval driving for Keith Ford Motorsports in 2013. This season Darland ended up 10th in USAC National Sprint Car points, 11th in the Silver Crown standings and is 15th in the USAC National Midget championship standings. In addition to driving for Kruseman this week, Darland will be seeking his third win in the midget portion of the program driving for the Ventura local Ford Motorsports team.

Unlike Darland, this week’s two-night show will be the first ever “Turkey Night Grand Prix” for Tempe, Arizona’s Cling and one of the few times he has competed in a sprint car at the Ventura Raceway. Like Darland, the Tempe, Arizona racer owns a resume that is highlighted by gaudy statistics in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. In 2016, Cling ended up seventh in the Pro Buggy point standings. The accomplished off-road star upped the ante in 2017 by placing third in the class. In 13 rounds of the LOORS Series in 2017, Cling had two wins and only finished out of the top five two times. In addition to the wins, he finished second four times, ended up third twice, fourth one time and he placed fifth on two occasions. As well as leaning on Kruseman for advice at this week’s races, Cling can also call on his brother, who is an up can coming sprint car racer in Arizona.

Rounding out the Kruseman Motorsports trio of drivers will be Stone Mountain, Georgia native Tyler Williams. A recording artist and actor by trade, Williams is no stranger to the fairgrounds that first saw auto racing in 1924. He has been a regular at the Cory Kruseman Sprint Car Driving School and has turned in many laps under the watchful eye of multi-time racing champion Kruseman. Five weeks ago, Williams took one of Kruseman’s cars to an eighth-place finish in the VRA Sprint Car main event at Ventura. A few days before the Ventura race, Williams released his new single, “Good for Me.” You can listen to the new tune at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmZ12sQyJRY.

Fans wishing to take in the 77th running of the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” can find the Ventura Raceway on the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The address for the track is 10 West Harbor Boulevard, Ventura (93001). Spectator gates will open at 3:00 P.M. with racing at 5:30 each night. The track phone number, which is also the number to purchase advance tickets, is: (805) 648-RACE and the track website is available at the following link: http://venturaraceway.com/.

"Turkey Night" begins Wednesday, Nov. 22 with a full program featuring the USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Cars, plus an open practice for midgets.  The following night, Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 23, will once again include the sprint cars as well as the prestigious, 98-lap midget race.

Cars are set to hit the track at 3:30pm Pacific at Ventura Raceway both nights.  "Turkey Night" is LIVE on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ on both Wednesday and Thursday.  As always, you can watch every USAC race, including “Turkey Night,” on demand, a day following the event, at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.