HUNT-HELBERG BATTLE TO SPICE “TURKEY NIGHT”
Tanner Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif. has a lock on this year’s USAC Western Sprint Car championship but the battle for the runner-up point spot is up for grabs Thursday night at the 69th Lucas Oil “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, Calif. and two former USAC Champions are the chief combatants.
Tony Hunt, who owns three Western Sprint titles, and JoJo Helberg, last year’s USAC Rocky Mountain Sprint Car titlist, are separated by only three points entering Thursday’s action on the Irwindale half-mile. Hunt won the “Turkey Night” Sprint race in 2001 and 2006 and his 26 career wins are the all-time record for wins in the series. Kody Swanson and Brian McClish are also mathematically in the hunt for the runner-up spot but would be eliminated if Hunt starts Thursday’s feature.
Tracy Hines won last year’s “Turkey Night” Sprint feature and will pilot a car this year for Fairfield, Calif. car owner Ted Finkenbinder.
The Western Sprint cars join the USAC Mopar National/Western Midgets and California Pavement Ford Focuses for Thursday’s race, continuing a tradition of southern California racing started back in 1934 and celebrating 75 years of thrilling competition.