AUGUST 31, 2015… The cars and stars of the Honda USAC Western Midget Series are gearing up for the highly anticipated “1st Annual California Midget Week.” Starting this Saturday, September 5th, the four-race mini-series will open at Calistoga’s “Louie Vermeil Classic” before heading to the clay ovals of Chico and Santa Maria.
After running second to Michael Faccinto in a Petaluma photo finish on July 18th, 2-time defending champion Ronnie Gardner has taken over the point lead. 2012 Champion Shannon McQueen trails Gardner by 17 points and is followed by Cody Swanson, Terry Nichols, Trey Marcham, Faccinto, Scott Pierovich, and Nick Chivello. A talented roster of drivers, including the finest from the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA), will battle for bragging rights during the “California Midget Week.”
NOTICE TO COMPETITORS: Calistoga and Santa Maria have a 95db at 100 feet sound rule and mufflers are required. Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway has a tougher sound rule and racers are advised to run their quietest mufflers. If the sound levels are broken, the racer will be disqualified and not allowed to compete. Due to recent midget sound levels at Silver Dollar Speedway, the track may be forced to cancel or pass on any USAC Western or BCRA midget races in the future. The Honda USAC Western Midgets follow the USAC National Series Rule Book, which can be found online at www.usacracing.com/assets/files/rules/2015/Appendix_D_Midget_Dirt_2015.pdf.
On September 5th and 6th, Calistoga Speedway will host the “8th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic.” Promoted by HMC Promotions, the popular event will pay $10,000-to-win each night, courtesy of Abreu Vineyards. The Napa County Fairgrounds will also have a vintage car show, driver autograph session, raffle, wine tasting, silent auction, and a beer garden for fans to enjoy. Since July 2, 1993, twenty-two Honda USAC Western Midget races have been held at the scenic half-mile and Billy Boat leads all drivers with four wins. Last year, Rico Abreu earned his third Calistoga triumph and Christopher Bell added the “Vermeil Classic” to his resume. Abreu also broke Shannon McQueen’s 2009 qualifying track record on August 30, 2014 with a 20.159 second lap. The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprints and Vintage Cars will share the spotlight with qualifying at 6:00pm and racing to follow. Calistoga Speedway is located at 1435 North Oak Street in Calistoga, California and for more information, visit www.calistogaspeedway.org, or call 916.773.7225.
LOUIE VERMEIL CLASSIC MIDGET WINNERS:
2008-Johnny Rodriguez, 2009-Josh Ford, 2010-Cory Kruseman, 2011-Johnathon Henry, 2012-Rico Abreu, 2013-Kyle Larson, 2014- Christopher Bell.
CALISTOGA USAC WESTERN MIDGET WINS:
4- Billy Boat, 3-Rico Abreu, 2-Johnny Rodriguez, 1-Christoper Bell, 1-Johnny Cofer, 1-Josh Ford, 1-Garrett Hansen, 1-Johnathon Henry, 1-Jim Keene, 1-Cory Kruseman, 1- Kyle Larson, 1-Evan Margeson, 1-Robby Josett, 1-Wally Pankratz, 1-Scott Pierovich, 1-Tony Stewart.
After a short break, the tour will continue on Thursday, September 10th, at Dennis Gage’s Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. Located on the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, the special event is co-sanctioned with the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA). Held during the “Gold Cup Race of Champions,” the race will mark the sixth appearance for the series at the popular quarter-mile oval. Last year, Brian Gard drove to victory after passing Trey Marcham on the fifteenth lap. The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will join the action with Racing scheduled for 7:00pm. In addition, the facility will host a “black out party” after the races. Silver Dollar Speedway is located at 2357 Fair Street in Chico, California and for more information, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530.350.7275.
GOLD CUP RACE OF CHAMPIONS MIDGET WINNERS:
2011-David Prickett, 2013-Ronnie Gardner, 2014-Brian Gard.
CHICO USAC WESTERN MIDGET WINS:
1-Ryan Bernal, 1-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Johnathon Henry, 1-David Prickett, 1-Kody Swanson.
Santa Maria Raceway will host the “California Midget Week” finale on Saturday, September 12th. Now promoted by Mike Kappmeyer, “The West’s Best Short Track” will feature the “mighty midgets” for the thirty-third time in series history. Ron “Sleepy” Tripp, the all-time series leader with 104 victories, won the May 11, 1985 debut and tops all drivers with six wins. On July 3rd, Ronnie Gardner added Santa Maria to his win list and J.R. Lawson holds the 1-lap qualifying record of 13.667, set on August 26, 1995. The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, Hobby Stocks, Sport Mods, and Mini Stocks will share the spotlight with racing set for 6:00pm. Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. For more event information, visit www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232.
SANTA MARIA HONDA USAC WESTERN MIDGET WINS:
6-Sleepy Tripp, 3-Rusty Rasmussen, 2-Billy Boat, 1-Mario Bringetto Jr., 1-Tyler Brown, 1-Johnny Cofer, 1-Tommie Estes Jr., 1-Nic Faas, 1-Terry Farrar, 1-Robby Flock, 1-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Frankie Guerrini, 1-Garrett Hansen, 1-Johnathon Henry, 1-Cory Kruseman, 1-Brad Kuhn, 1-Jeff Meyer, 1-Wally Pankratz, 1-Bryan Stanfill, 1-Danny Stratton, 1-Jake Swanson, 1-Richard Vander Weerd, 1-Tommy White, 1-Josh Wise.
The Honda USAC Western Midget Series thanks Hoosier Tire, Competition Suspension Inc., DJ Safety, Extreme Mufflers, K&N Engineering, Keizer Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, 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 email@example.com.
For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club’s website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the Honda USAC Western Midget Facebook and Twitter pages. Loudpedal Productions has DVDs available for purchase that feature the Honda USAC Western Midgets and for more information, call 805.407.7229 or visit www.loudpedalvideo.com.
HONDA USAC WESTERN MIDGET CHAMPIONS:
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 HONDA USAC WESTERN MIDGET WINS:
2-Michael Faccinto, 2-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Brady Bacon.
HONDA USAC WESTERN MIDGET POINT STANDINGS:
- Ronnie Gardner-294, 2. Shannon McQueen-277, 3. Cody Swanson-260, 4. Terry Nichols-243, 5. Trey Marcham-209, 6. Michael Faccinto-167, -. Scott Pierovich-167, 8. Nick Chivello-166, 9. Randi Pankratz-146, 10. Sean Dodenhoff-130, 11. Brian Gard-121, 12. Steve Davis-114, 13. Danny Faria, Jr.-92, 14. Brady Bacon-74, 15. David Prickett-57, 16. Jack Hawley-46, 17. Jimmy Voitel-42, –. Nate Waite-42, 19. Jeff Harrington-38, 20. Ricky Shelton-27, 21. Tyler Dolacki-25.