Monday, 7 August 2023


#68 T.J. Smith #68 T.J. Smith Photo by Lance Jennings


ANTIOCH, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 6, 2023… For the second time in as many races, a new driver has celebrated a victory with the USAC Western States Midget Series. Leading all 30-laps, T.J. Smith of Fresno, California topped the $2,000 debut presented by Graunstadt Enterprises at Antioch Speedway. Making his second start of the campaign in the Six8 Motorsports #68 Competition Suspension Incorporated / Extreme Mufflers Stewart, Smith became the 192nd winning driver with the series over Jake Andreotti, Cade Lewis, Ben Worth, and David Gasper.

Before winning the first round of the “Antioch Challenge Mini Series,” Smith qualified eighth overall and claimed the 10-lap Hot Head Competition Engine Heaters Second Heat Race victory. Starting on the pole position, T.J. outpaced David Gasper for the top spot and faced constant pressure from the young driver. As Smith set a torrid pace on the Antioch clay, there was a fierce battle for position behind the leader with Gasper, Jake Andreotti, Ben Worth, and Cade Lewis. As the laps counted down, Andreotti managed to break free and moved into striking distance for the lead. However, the night belonged to Smith and he took the checkered flag in front of a packed grandstands. Despite running a limited schedule, T.J. has climbed to twentieth in the point standings after joining the winner’s list at Antioch.

For the fifth time this season, Bakersfield, California’s Brody Fuson topped the Woodland Auto Display qualifying charts. Driving Rusty Carlile’s #51 Race Pa Motorsports / Van Meter Motorsports Spike, Fuson established the track record with a time of 13.882 seconds over the eighteen car roster. Later, the point leader suffered mechanical issues that resulted in a ninth place finish in his heat race and eighteenth in the main event. Heading to the next race at Ventura on September 9th, Fuson’s big lead has shrunk to a 20-point advantage. 

Colby Johnson of Penngrove, California raced to victory in the 10-lap Jordan Hanni Well Drilling First Heat Race. Piloting Keith Ford’s #73 Naturipe / Surecan LLC Triple X, Johnson was ninth fast in time trials and placed fifteenth in the feature after an early exit. Following his first start of the season, Colby ranks thirty-first in the point standings.

Two “lucky pill draw awards” were available at Antioch that were claimed by Randi Pankratz and Danika Jo Faccinto. Pankratz earned the Extreme Mufflers Award, was twelfth quick in time trials, ran fifth in her heat race, and scored tenth in the feature aboard the #8 HASA Pool Products / Sta-Rite Triple X. Faccinto won the Competition Suspension Incorporated / Saldana Racing Products Award, qualified eleventh, ran seventh in her heat race, and scored seventh in the main event in the #13 Roza Motorsports / Sala Racing Spike after starting eleventh. Pankratz left Antioch ranked sixth in points, while Faccinto sits twelfth.

Starting fifteenth, Oxnard, California’s Samuel May earned the night’s Ebbco Offroad Hard Charger Award after finishing eighth in the main event. Racing the Dave Lambert owned #55 Employee Benefit Systems Incorporated / Surecan LLC Triple X, May was fifteenth fast in time trials and scored fourth in his heat race. With three point races remaining, the rookie contender is tenth in the point standings.

By virtue of his thirteenth place finish, veteran driver Marvin Mitchell of Madera, California earned the night’s Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award. Piloting his #78 TRC Transmissions Elite, Mitchell qualified eighteenth overall and ran seventh in his heat race. Marvin left the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds ranked fourteenth in the point chase.

On Saturday, September 9th, the USAC Western States Midget Series will return to Ventura Raceway. For more event information, visit venturaraceway.com.

The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks BR Motorsports, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Ebbco Offroad, Esslinger Engineering, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, Graunstadt Enterprises, High Tech Performance, Hoosier Racing Tires, Hot Head Competition Engine Heaters, Jordan Hanni Well Drilling, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Steve Lafond / Tear-Off Heaven Fotos, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Wireless 101, and Woodland Auto Display for their support.

For more information on the USAC Western States Midget Series, visit usacracing.com 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 SERIES RACE RESULTS: August 5, 2023 – Antioch Speedway - Antioch, California – “Antioch Challenge #1 Presented by Graunstadt Enterprises”

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Brody Fuson, 51, Carlile-13.882 (New Track Record); 2. Cade Lewis, 5K, Alexander-14.116; 3. Ben Worth, 5V, Alexander-14.124; 4. Jake Andreotti, 00, Davis-14.170; 5. Caden Sarale, 14J, Graunstadt-14.186; 6. David Gasper, 73X, Ford-14.259; 7. Nikko Panella, 32, Sarale-14.279; 8. T.J. Smith, 68, Six8-14.362; 9. Colby Johnson, 73, Ford-14.402; 10. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-14.513; 11. Danika Jo Faccinto, 13, Parker-14.560; 12. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-14.616; 13. Jerry Kobza, 35, Felkins-14.626; 14. Ben Covich, 65, Covich-14.803; 15. Samuel May, 55, Lambert-14.886; 16. Kevin Gray, 7L, Gray-15.876; 17. Ron Hazelton, 15, Hazelton-15.885; 18. Marvin Mitchell, 78, Mitchell-NT.

JORDAN HANNI WELL DRILLING FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Johnson, 2. Sarale, 3. Worth, 4. May, 5. Panella, 6. Kobza, 7. Faccinto, 8. Hazleton, 9. Fuson. NT.

HOT HEAD COMPETITION ENGINE HEATERS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Smith, 2. Lewis, 3. Andreotti, 4. Gasper, 5. Pankratz, 6. Covich, 7. Mitchell, 8. Gray, 9. Sarna. NT.

SAMMY BAHR FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. T.J. Smith (1), 2. Jake Andreotti (4), 3. Cade Lewis (6), 4. Ben Worth (5), 5. David Gasper (2), 6. C.J. Sarna (10), 7. Danika Jo Faccinto (11), 8. Samuel May (15), 9. Nikko Panella (9), 10. Randi Pankratz (12), 11. Ben Covich (14), 12. Ron Hazelton (17), 13. Marvin Mitchell (18), 14. Jerry Kobza (13), 15. Colby Johnson (7), 16. Caden Sarale (3), 17. Kevin Gray (16), 18. Brody Fuson (8). NT.


** Sarale flipped on lap 12 of the feature.






NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Brody Fuson-589, 2-Cade Lewis-569, 3-Ben Worth-434, 4-Ron Hazelton-397, 5-C.J. Sarna-384, 6-Randi Pankratz-352, 7-Ben Covich-269, 8-Caden Sarale-263, 9-Blake Bower-255, 10-Samuel May-247.

NEW ANTIOCH CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY GRAUNSTADT ENTERPRISES POINTS: 1-T.J. Smith-78, 2-Cade Lewis-76, --Jake Andreotti-76, 4-Ben Worth-71, 5-David Gasper-64, 6-C.J. Sarna-56, 7-Samuel May-54, --Danika Jo Faccinto-54, 9-Nicco Panella-50, 10-Randi Pankratz-47.

NEW WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY TOP QUALIFIER POINTS: 1-Brody Fuson-44, 2-Cade Lewis-27, 3-Caden Sarale-14, 4-Ben Worth-12, 5-C.J. Sarna-11, 6-Jake Andreotti-9, 7-Blake Bower-7, --Randi Pankratz-7, 9-Robby Josett-6, --David Gasper-6.

NEW SAMMY BAHR FEATURE POINTS: 1-Brody Fuson-493, 2-Cade Lewis-491, 3-Ben Worth-382, 4-Ron Hazelton-367, 5-C.J. Sarna-343, 6-Randi Pankratz-319, 7-Ben Covich-257, 8-Blake Bower-223, --Caden Sarale-223, 10-Samuel May-216.

NEW PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Cade Lewis-33, 2-Brody Fuson-23, --Ron Hazelton-23, 4-Ben Covich-14, 5-Marvin Mitchell-10, 6-C.J. Sarna-8, 7-Steve Paden-7, --David Gasper-7, --Robby Josett-7, --Samuel May-7.

NEXT USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE: September 9 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California