2017 USAC West Coast Midget Car Championship Preview and Schedule

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From Lance Jennings

(December 15, 2017) Heading to their 36th season, the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets are poised for fourteen races at eight racetracks. Starting March 11th at Bakersfield, the “mighty midgets” will close out the schedule with Ventura’s “77th Running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix” on November 23rd.

The USAC Western States Midgets will make three appearances at Bakersfield Speedway. Promoted by Scott Schweitzer, “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval” will host the March 11th, September 30th, and November 18th events. Last year, Ronnie Gardner claimed two Bakersfield features on his way to the championship and Michael Faccinto took the checkered flags in June. Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California and for more information, visit www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call 661.393.3373.

Located at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Placerville Speedway has one date on the calendar. Promoted by Scott Russell and Kami Arnold, the 1/4-mile oval is hosting the Wednesday, March 29th, event that also features the World of Outlaw Sprints. Last March, Ronnie Gardner opened the season at Placerville with his first of six wins during the campaign. Placerville Speedway is located at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, California and for more details, visit www.placervillespeedway.com or call 530.344.7592.

Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway will host the “mighty midgets” on April 8th. Promoted by Steve Faria, the lightning fast 1/3-mile oval will also showcase the USAC/CRA 410 Sprint Cars on that night. Last October, Ronnie Gardner earned his fifth victory at the Tulare County Fairgrounds after restarting at the back. The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California and for more information, visit www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.

Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura Raceway has four events on the schedule. Promoted by Jim Naylor, “The Best Little Dirt Track in America” will host the May 13th, September 16th, October 28th, and November 23rd events. Co-sanctioned with the USAC National Midgets, the “77th Running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix” will also feature the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars. Last year, Ronnie Gardner, Robby Josett, and Kyle Larson won at the seaside 1/5-mile oval. Ventura Raceway is located at 10 West Harbor Boulevard in Ventura, California and for more details, visit www.venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.

Petaluma Speedway will host the BCRA co-sanctioned “Jack London Hall of Fame Picnic Event” on July 15th. Promoted by Rick Faeth, “The Fastest 3/8-mile Dirt Oval in Northern California” has become a popular stop on the schedule. Last July, Alex Schutte earned his first win of the campaign at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. Petaluma Speedway is located at 100 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma, California and for more information, visit www.petaluma-speedway.com or call 707.763.7223.

On August 19th, the USAC Western States Midgets will travel to Santa Maria Raceway. Promoted by Mike Kappmeyer, “The West’s Best Short Track” first hosted the series in 1985. Last September, Cody Swanson charged to the 30-lap triumph at the 1/3-mile clay oval. Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California and for more details, visit www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232.

The scenic Calistoga Speedway will showcase two nights of action, starting on September 2nd. Promoted by Tommy Hunt and HMC Promotions, “10th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic” will also feature the USAC/CRA 410 Sprints, vintage cars, an autograph session, wine tasting, and more. Last season, Tanner Thorson and Michael Faccinto earned $10,000 victories at the Napa County Fairgrounds. 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.

On Thursday, September 7th, the “mighty midgets” will return to Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway. Promoted by Dennis Gage, the BCRA co-sanctioned event is held during the “Gold Cup Race of Champions” and will also showcase the USAC/CRA 410 Sprints. Last September, Alex Schutte claimed his second win of the year at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. Silver Dollar Speedway is located at 2357 Fair Street in Chico, California and for more details, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530.350.7275.

The USAC Western Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, January 28th at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The hotel will also host a Bowling Tournament the previous night at 8:00pm. Tickets for both the Awards Banquet and Bowling Tournament can be downloaded at www.westcoastsprintcars.com/banquet.pdf and orders must be received by January 19th. The Orleans Hotel and Casino is located at 4500 West Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas Nevada and for more information, visit www.orleanscasino.com or call 800.675.3267 for room reservations.

The Light Up The World Beverages 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. Series officials are looking for associate and contingency sponsors for the upcoming season. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget Facebook and Twitter pages.

Loudpedal Productions has Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
1982-*Jeff Heywood, 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-Ronnie Gardner, 2016-Ronnie Gardner.

March 11: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
March 29: Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA
April 8: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA
May 13: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
July 15: *Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA (Jack London Hall of Fame Picnic Event)
August 19: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA
September 2: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 3: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 7: *Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions)
September 16: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
September 30: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
October 28: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
November 18: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
November 23: #Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with BCRA Midgets.
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC National Midgets.
This schedule is subject to change.