Santa Maria hosts USAC Western Midget Car Series Saturday

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From Lance Jennings

SANTA MARIA, Cal. (September 16, 2016) — After a successful Northern California swing to Calistoga and Chico, the USAC Western States Midgets will return to action this Saturday, September 17th, at Santa Maria Raceway. Promoted by Mike Kappmeyer, the tenth point race will also feature IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks, and American Stocks. The Spectator Gates will open at 4:00pm. Time Trials at 5:00pm, and Racing at “The West’s Best Short Track” will start at 6:00pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at or call 805.922.2232.

NOTICE TO RACERS: The USAC Western States Midget Series approved/legal mufflers are:
B&B: FRAC-0375-S w/side outlet,
Coast Fabrication: 300x625x17-2s, 350x625x17-2s, 400x625x17-2s
Extreme: 3512-3030 (with insert 2312-30), 3512-3030 SS (with insert 2312-30), 3515-3030, 4615-3035- 15″ long x 6″ diameter x 3″ inlet and 3.5 outlet w/internal cone
Flowmaster: (BCRA Approved) 13009130, 1509130, 13509135
Schoenfeld: 14272735-78, 14272535
*Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.

Saturday’s event will be the 34th appearance of the “mighty midgets” at Santa Maria Raceway. Ron “Sleepy” Tripp, the all-time series leader with 104 victories, won the Santa Maria debut on May 11, 1985 and leads all drivers with six wins. As this writing goes to press, J.R. Lawson holds the 1-lap qualifying record of 13.667, set on August 26, 1995, and a complete series win list at Santa Maria is at the bottom of this release.

Inching closer to his record setting fourth straight title, Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) has a 66-point lead over the competition. The pilot of Six8 Motorsports’ #68 Baldozier Racing / Esslinger Engineering Stewart switched to Shannon McQueen’s backup car and charged to sixth at Chico’s “Gold Cup Race of Champions” from thirteenth. To date, Gardner has posted four feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, seven heat race victories, one Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, nine top-10 finishes, and 104 feature laps led to his credit. Ronnie ranks sixth overall with seventeen wins and will be looking to continue his championship bid this Saturday night.

After winning Calistoga’s $10,000 Louie Vermeil Classic and scoring nineteenth at Chico, Michael Faccinto (Hanford, California) is second in the chase for the championship. Driving the MF Motorsports’ #35F OSV / Lucas Oil Spike, Faccinto has two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one heat race victory, eight top-10 finishes, and 67 feature laps led on the year. Michael has four career series wins and will have his sights on claiming Santa Maria’s 30-lap main event.

Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, California) ranks third in the USAC Western States Midget point chase. Racing the family owned #63 F&F Racing / Davis Motorsports Spike, Guerrini led the first sixteen laps at Chico before running second to Alex Schutte. At press time, last year’s BCRA Champion has one heat race victory, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi-Main win, and eight top-10 finishes in the campaign. This Saturday, Frankie will have his sights on moving up the standings by earning his second career USAC win.

Cory Elliot (Bakersfield, California) sits fourth in the championship point standings. Piloting the family owned #11E FK Indy / Oilwize Spike, Elliott scored third in Chico’s “Gold Cup Race of Champions.” To date, last season’s Rookie of the Year has posted three heat race victories and seven top-10 finishes to his credit. At Santa Maria, Cory will be looking to claim his second career USAC Western States Midget triumph.

Courtney Crone (Corona, California) has climbed to fifth in the USAC Western States Midget point standings. Driving Jerome Rodela’s #25 Trench Shoring / Ed Pink Racing Engines Breka, Crone ran fifth at Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway. At press time, the leading rookie contender has posted two Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Awards and four top-10 finishes on the season. This Saturday, Courtney will have her sights on claiming her first series win at Santa Maria Raceway.

Other drivers expected to compete are Randi Pankratz, Robert Dalby, Maria Cofer, Cody Swanson, Tyler Dolacki, Shannon McQueen, Ashley Hazelton, Terry Nichols, Nate Waite, and more.

Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $11 and for more event information, visit the track’s website at or call 805.922.2232.

The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Hoosier Tire, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Competition Suspension Incorporated, DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Rod End Supply, Stand 21 Racer Goes Safer Foundation, 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

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

Loudpedal Productions has USAC Western States Midget DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at and 805.407.7229.