Wednesday, 20 April 2022


#7NZ Travis Buckley #7NZ Travis Buckley Photo by


By Lance Jennings

APRIL 19, 2022... After a hard fought battle at Bakersfield, the USAC Western States and Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) Midgets will invade Merced Speedway this Saturday, April 23rd. Promoted by Chris Shannon and Paul Stone, the second round of the Elk Grove Ford Mini Series will be the first of two appearances at the 1/4-mile oval. The action packed card will also showcase the winged Sprint Car Challenge Tour (SCCT) and Hobby Stocks. Located at the Merced County Fairgrounds at 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Merced, California, the pit gates open at 2:00pm, the spectator gates will open at 5:00pm, and racing will start at 7:00pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at or call 209.600.8382.For those that cannot travel to the races, will broadcast a live stream of the night’s action over the internet.



- MEMBERSHIPS / TEMPORARY PERMITS: All racers MUST PURCHASE their USAC license / membership or temporary permit online PRIOR TO THE EVENT at or TPs are $25 and Memberships are $150. Season memberships come with extra insurance. 

- ENTRY FEE: There is an entry fee due at registration / pill pick.

- TRANSPONDERS: Transponders ARE MANDATORY and will be available to rent.

- 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, 14272730-78 *Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.



- RULE BOOK:  The USAC Western States Midget Rule Book can be found online at

- California state protocol calls for competitors, crews, officials, and anyone on the grounds to practice safe social distancing, proper sanitizing, and follow local regulations regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Since April 20, 2019, six USAC Western States Midget events have been held at the Merced County Fairgrounds. Austin Liggett scored the inaugural victory and is tied with Robert Dalby, Thomas Meseraull, Tanner Thorson, Chase Johnson, and Colby Johnson with one Merced triumph. When the series last visited the 1/4-mile oval on August 7th, Colby Johnson added his name to the record books. Kyle Larson set the 1-lap qualifying record of 11.838 on November 21, 2020 and a complete series win list at Merced is at the bottom of this release.

After racing from tenth to third at Bakersfield, A.J. Bender (San Diego, California) has a 34-point lead over the competition. Driving the LKK Racing #1X Josh Ford Motorsports / Rod End Supply Triple X, Bender has one heat race victory, one Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, and three top-10 finishes on the season. The leading rookie contender also ranks fourth in the Elk Grove Ford Mini-Series and will be looking for his first USAC Midget win.

Ben Worth (Coalinga, California) is second in the championship point chase. Piloting Dean Alexander’s #5K Walker Air Filtration / WFX Spike, Worth won his heat race and scored fourteenth at Bakersfield. To date, the 2019 Rookie of the Year has one top-10 finish and sits eighth in mini-series points. With two career wins, Ben will have his sights on adding a Merced triumph to his resume.   

After scoring ninth at Bakersfield, Travis Buckley (Auckland, New Zealand) has climbed to third in the point standings. Racing the family owned #7NZ Buckley Systems / Esslinger Engineering Spike, Buckley has posted three top-10 finishes and 18 feature laps led on the year. Currently ranked second in rookie points and ninth in Elk Grove Ford standings, Travis will contend his first win at Merced.

Jake Andreotti (Castro Valley, California) ranks fourth in the chase for the championship. Driving Pete Davis’ #00 Hot Head Competition Heaters / Buchannan Automotive Stealth, Andreotti lead the opening four laps at Bakersfield before scoring seventeenth with mechanical issues. At press time, Jake has one feature win, two heat race victories, one top-10 finish, and 24 feature laps led in the campaign. Andreotti leads the Elk Grove Ford Mini Series and will be looking for his third career win this Saturday night.

C.J. Sarna (Brea, California) has climbed to fifth in the USAC Western States point chase. Piloting his #20 Z Max / Final Final Lifestyle Spike, Sarna charged from eleventh to sixth last Saturday at Bakersfield. To date, the 2007 Co-Rookie of the Year has two top-10 finishes on the season and is thirteenth in Elk Grove Ford points. Sarna has announced that he will miss the action at Merced to attend a wedding.  

While A.J. Bender leads the chase for rookie of the year, Travis Buckley, Thomas Esberg (Kelseyville, California), Anthony Esberg (Kelseyville, California), Dylan Bloomfield (Oakley, California), Ben Wiesz (Colfax, California), Caden Sarale (Stockton, California), Beau Lemire (Placerville, California), and Colton Raudman (Redding, California) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Michael Faccinto, Blake Bower, Brody Fuson, Michael Snider, Randi Pankratz, “Sugar” Shane Golobic, Austin Liggett, Danika Jo Parker, “The Panda” Terry Nichols, Floyd Alvis, and more. 

Merced Speedway is located on the Merced County Fairgrounds at 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Merced, California. Adult tickets are $25, Senior and Military tickets are $20, Kids tickets (6-14) are $10, and Children (5 & Under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at or call 209.600.8382.

The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Ammonia Refrigeration Service Inc., AMSOIL, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Elk Grove Ford, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, Hoosier Racing Tire, Jordan Hanni Well Drilling, Rod End Supply, Vahlco Wheels, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Wireless 101, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on the USAC Western States Midget Series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC Western States Midget Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. 


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-Ronnie Gardner, 2018-Michael Faccinto, 2019-Robert Dalby, 2020-NO AWARD, 2021-Blake Bower.

2022 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 1-Jake Andreotti, 1-Brody Fuson, 1-Mitchel Moles.


MERCED USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 1-Robert Dalby, 1-Chase Johnson, 1-Colby Johnson, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Thomas Meseraull, 1-Tanner Thorson.

2022 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS: 1. A.J. Bender ®-208, 2. Ben Worth-174, 3. Travis Buckley ®-167, 4. Jake Andreotti-165, 5. C.J. Sarna-155, 6. Michael Faccinto-147, 7. Blake Bower-146, 8. Brody Fuson-139, 9. Michael Snider-136, 10. Thomas Esberg ®-115, 11. Anthony Esberg ®-108, 12. Mitchel Moles-84, 13. Randi Pankratz-76, 14. Shane Golobic-75, 15. Matt Mitchell-74, 16. Shannon McQueen-68, 17. Robby Josett-66, 18. Austin Liggett-64, --. Danika Jo Parker-64, 20. Dylan Bloomfield ®-57, 21. Chase Johnson-55, --. Dylan Ito-55, 23. Terry Nichols-54, 24. Braden Chiaramonte ®-50, 25. Ben Wiesz ®-49, 26. Nick Velasquez ®-42, 27. Kyle Beilman-40, --. Racin Silva ®-40, 29. Zach Telford ®-35, 30. Caden Sarale ®-32, 31. Floyd Alvis-31, 32. Dakota Albright-24, 33. Beau Lemire ®-23, 34. Colton Raudman ®-10.

2022 ELK GROVE FORD MINI-SERIES POINT STANDINGS: 1. Jake Andreotti-80, 2. Michael Faccinto-77, 3. Shane Golobic-75, 4. A.J. Bender ®-70, 5. Shannon McQueen-68, 6. Austin Liggett-64, 7. Dylan Bloomfield ®-57, 8. Ben Worth-51, 9. Travis Buckley ®-50, 10. Blake Bower-49, 11. Ben Wiesz ®-49, 12. Randi Pankratz-45, 13. C.J. Sarna-42, 14. Kyle Beilman-40, 15. Michael Snider-38, 16. Danika Jo Parker-35, 17. Caden Sarale ®-32, 18. Floyd Alvis-31, 19. Anthony Esberg ®-28, 20. Thomas Esberg ®-26, 21. Dakota Albright-24, 22. Beau Lemire ®-23, 23. Colton Raudman ®-10.


March 4: *Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Rained Out)

March 5: *Keller Auto Speedway – Hanford, CA (Rained Out)

March 26: *#Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA (Winner: Jake Andreotti)

April 2: *Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Winner: Brody Fuson)

April 16: *Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA (Winner: Mitchel Moles)

April 23: *#Merced Speedway – Merced, CA

May 7: *#Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA (Mother’s Day Madness)

May 21: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA

June 18: *#Merced Speedway – Merced, CA

July 23: *Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA

August 13: TBA

August 27: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA

September 24: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA

October 1: TBA

October 15: *The Dirt Track at KCRP – Bakersfield, CA (Championship Night)


* = Co-Sanctioned Event with BCRA Midgets.

# = Elk Grove Ford Mini-Series.

TBA = To Be Announced.

This schedule is subject to change.