Wednesday, 28 September 2022


#5K Ben Worth #5K Ben Worth Photo by Steve Lafond / Tear-Off Heaven Fotos


By Lance Jennings

VENTURA, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 27, 2022… Leading all 30-laps, third starting Ben Worth (Coalinga, California) raced to last Saturday’s triumph at Ventura Raceway. Driving Dean “Kiwi” Alexander’s #5K WFX / Walker Air Filtration Spike, Worth claimed his first USAC Western States Midget win of the season over A.J. Bender, point leader Michael Faccinto, Brody Fuson, and leading rookie Travis Buckley. For his efforts, Ben had a $1,800 payday courtesy of T&T Trucking after scoring the third win of his career.

Worth, the 2019 Rookie of the Year, opened the night by qualifying fourth out of the 24-car roster and placed second to Brody Fuson in his heat race. Worth had control of the main event but soon faced the challenge from Faccinto. Faccinto looked for an opening to grab the top spot, but a late bobble gave Worth all the room he needed to take the checkered flag. Ben heads to the October 15th “Championship Night” at The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park ranked third in the point chase.

After winning the previous race at Ventura, Chase Johnson (Penngrove, California) posted his third consecutive (fourth overall) Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award. Racing Keith Ford’s #73X Naturipe / Sun Valley AG Transport Triple X, Johnson’s time of 12.398 seconds bested the season-high of 24 “mighty midgets.” The versatile driver ran third in his 10-lap heat race and scored eighth in the main event. Chase left the Ventura County Fairgrounds placed tenth in the standings.

Brody Fuson (Bakersfield, California) raced to victory in the 10-lap Jordan Hanni Well Drilling First Heat Race. Piloting Rusty Carlile’s #51 RacePa Motorsports / W.E. Spike, Fuson was tenth quick in time trials and charged to fourth in the main event after starting eighth. On the strength of two wins, the young driver ranks second in the chase for the championship.

Second generation driver C.J. Sarna (Brea, California) took the checkered flag in the 10-lap Ammonia Refrigeration Service Second Heat Race. Racing his #20 ZMax / Final Final Lifestyle Spike, Sarna qualified fourteenth overall and finished twelfth in the main event. The 2009 Co-Rookie of the Year heads to Kern County sitting ninth in points.

Rookie contender A.J. Bender (San Diego, California) won the 10-lap Wireless 101 Third Heat Race. Driving the LKK Racing #1X Josh Ford Motorsports / Rod End Supply Triple X, Bender was ninth fast in qualifying and ran second to Worth in the feature after starting seventh. Last year’s Turkey Night Grand Prix USAC 360 Sprint Car Winner left Ventura ranked fifth in points and second in the rookie standings.

Veteran Randi Pankratz (Atascadero, California) earned the night’s Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award with a sixth place run from eighteenth. Piloting the family owned #8 HASA Pool Products / Pentair Edmunds, Pankratz qualified eighteenth overall and scored fifth in her heat race. For her efforts, Randi also earned a copy of Caged Heat, a sprint car racing photo book, courtesy of Steve Lafond / Tear-Off Heaven Fotos. As this writing goes to press, Pankratz is eleventh in the point chase despite missing several races. 

Gage Rucker (Truxton, Missouri) earned Ventura’s Wilwood Disc Brakes “Lucky 13 Award” with a thirteenth place finish in the main event from twentieth. Driving the Kruseman Motorsports’ #15K Kruseman Sprint Car and Midget Driving School / FK Rod Ends entry, Rucker was twentieth fast in time trials and scored sixth in his heat race. Before racing began, Gage also won the High Tech Performance “Lucky Pill Draw” and five gallons of fuel thanks to Jack Parker and his staff. After his first start, Rucker left the speedway tied for fifty-third in the point standings.

After scoring third in the feature, Michael Faccinto (Hanford, California) has officially clinched his second USAC Western States Midget Championship. Racing the Graunstadt Enterprises / Streeter Racing #14J Gary Silva Ranches / T&T Trucking Spike, Faccinto qualified second overall and placed fourth in his heat race. The newly crowned champion will be looking to celebrate in style at the October 15th “George Snider Classic.” 

The USAC Western States Midgets will take a break before returning to action on Saturday, October 15th, at The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park’s (Bakersfield, California) “Championship Night” and “George Snider Classic.” The final point race is co-sanctioned with the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) and will also feature the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars.

The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Ammonia Refrigeration Service, AMSOIL, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Elk Grove Ford, Extreme Mufflers,, High Tech Performance, Jordan Hanni Well Drilling, Hoosier Racing Tire, Rod End Supply, ROW Signs and Graphics, Saldana Racing Products, T&T Trucking, Tear-Off Heaven Fotos, Vahlco Wheels, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Wireless 101, and Woodland Auto Display for their support.  

For more information on the series, visit 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: September 24, 2022 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California 

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Chase Johnson, 73X, Ford-12.398; 2. Michael Faccinto, 14J, Graunstadt/Streeter-12.569; 3. Cade Lewis, 73, Ford-12.596; 4. Ben Worth, 5K, Alexander-12.644; 5. Jake Andreotti, 00, Davis-12.654; 6. Robby Josett, 68, Six8-12.670; 7. Cody Williams, 8W, Woodland-12.684; 8. Steve Paden, 56, Paden-12.688; 9. A.J. Bender, 1X, LKK-12.728; 10. Brody Fuson, 51, Carlile-12.740; 11. Samuel May, 55, Lambert-12.761; 12. Travis Buckley, 7NZ, Buckley-12.775; 13. Mike Leach Jr., 33P, Leach-12.871; 14. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-12.969; 15. Jake Hodges, 4, Hodges-13.103; 16. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-13.130; 17. Zach Telford, 22G, GR-13.221; 18. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13.222; 19. Nathan Byrd, 11K, Kruseman-13.564; 20. Gage Rucker, 15K, Kruseman-13.815; 21. Tres Van Dyne, 14JR, Streeter-14.030; 22. Kevin Gray, 7L, Gray-15.144; 23. Billy Rayburn, 6K, Kruseman-15.618; 24. Jim Vanzant, 3V, Vanzant-NT.

JORDAN HANNI WELL DRILLING FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Fuson, 2. Worth, 3. Johnson, 4. Leach, 5. Williams, 6. Byrd, 7. Gray, 8. Hix. NT.

AMMONIA REFRIGERATION SERVICE SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Sarna, 2. Andreotti, 3. May, 4. Faccinto, 5. Paden, 6. Rucker, 7. Telford, 8. Rayburn. NT.

WIRELESS 101 THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bender, 2. Lewis, 3. Buckley, 4. Josett, 5. Pankratz, 6. Hodges, 7. Vanzant, 8. Van Dyne. NT.

T&T TRUCKING FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Ben Worth (3), 2. A.J. Bender (7), 3. Michael Faccinto (5), 4. Brody Fuson (8), 5. Travis Buckley (12), 6. Randi Pankratz (18), 7. Nathan Byrd (19), 8. Chase Johnson (6), 9. Zach Telford (17), 10. Jake Andreotti (13), 11. Billy Rayburn (23), 12. C.J. Sarna (9), 13. Gage Rucker (20), 14. Steve Paden (10), 15. Cade Lewis (4), 16. Jake Hodges (15), 17. Samuel May (11), 18. Tres Van Dyne (21), 19. Robby Josett (2), 20. Mike Leach Jr. (14), 21. Steve Hix (16), 22. Kevin Gray (22), 23. Jim Vanzant (24), 24. Cody Williams (1). NT. 


**#8W Williams did not go to scales.


ROD END SUPPLY HARD CHARGER: Randi Pankratz (18th to 6th)



NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Michael Faccinto-779, 2-Brody Fuson-671, 3-Ben Worth-665, 4-Travis Buckley-612, 5-A.J. Bender-593, 6-Blake Bower-505, 7-Jake Andreotti-490, 8-Caden Sarale-397, 9- C.J. Sarna-362, 10-Chase Johnson-343.

TOP QUALIFIER POINTS: 1-Michael Faccinto-38, 2-Ben Worth-31, 3-Chase Johnson-24, 4-Jake Andreotti-19, 5-Blake Bower-16. 6-Shane Golobic-12, 7-Robby Josett-11, 8-Brody Fuson-10, 9-Mitchel Moles-6, --Travis Buckley-6, --A.J. Bender-6.

PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Travis Buckley-37, 2-Randi Pankratz-34, 3-Brody Fuson-25, --A.J. Bender-25, 5-Michael Faccinto-21, --Nathan Byrd-21, 7-Caden Sarale-18, --Danika Jo Parker-18, 9-Chase Johnson-17, 10-Thomas Esberg-15, --Jake Andreotti-15.

NEXT USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE: October 15 – The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park – Bakersfield, California – “Championship Night” / “George Snider Classic” - Co-sanctioned with BCRA