Latest News

Larson Looks to go Back-To-Back at Turkey Night

Kyle Larson. (David Sink photo)

From Richie Murray

VENTURA, Ca. (November 17, 2017) — The number 1 is an apt number for Kyle Larson to carry on his USAC Midget’s tail tank in this year’s 77th running of the “Turkey Night Grand Prix.” After all, number 1 is the finishing result we’ve become accustomed to in practically every racecar we’ve seen him strap into, whether it’s Monday, Friday, Sunday or any day of the week that ends in the letter “y” for that matter.

Twice over the last five seasons late in the month of November, Thursday night has been kind to Yung Money’s racing career. More on the point, a Thanksgiving night spent at a racetrack has served the Elk Grove, California native well.

As Larson steps into the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports No. 1 on Thanksgiving night 2017, Nov. 23rd, at California’s Ventura Raceway, the 2012 and 2016 race winner has an opportunity to be included on a few exclusive lists that not even some of the best USAC and AAA Midget drivers of their era can boast about.

With another win in the TNGP featuring USAC’s National and Light Up the World Beverages Western States Midgets, Larson would become just the third driver to win at least three Turkey Night midget races in his career. It’s something that’s only been accomplished twice over the 76 runnings of the prestigious event, first by Ron Shuman, whose incomparable record at Turkey Night includes eight wins in a 15-year span between 1979 and 1993. Billy Boat was the last to do so when he won his third in three years in 1997, the last of which, coincidentally enough, came at Ventura.

Eight drivers have gone back-to-back at “Turkey Night.” Just four years into its beginning, Ronney Householder became the first to do the deed in 1936-37 at Gilmore Stadium in Los Angeles, now the home to CBS Television City where such shows at the Price is Right is filmed. Roy Russing repeated the roar at Gilmore in 1940-41. It would be another 20 years before A.J. Foyt christened the new Ascot Park with victories in 1960-61.

Ron Shuman was Grover Cleveland-esque in his dominance for a decade-in-a-half beginning in the late-70s and running through the early-to-mid-nineties, serving two distinct, non-consecutive terms as the man in charge. The “Flying Shu” from Tempe, Arizona won four-straight from 1979-82, picked up two more wins in 1984 and 1987, then put together another two-straight years of victories for his final two in 1992-93.

Chuck Gurney was the first of two drivers to win consecutively near the turn of the decade to the 1990s. Gurney, of Livermore, California, won in 1988-89. Janesville, Wisconsin’s Stan Fox closed out Ascot in grand style by winning the finale in 1990, then dominated Saugus Speedway one year later in 1991 to become the first and only driver thus far to win consecutively on dirt and pavement surfaces. Phoenix, Arizona’s Billy Boat, whose son Chad will be competing at Turkey Night this year, is the only driver to win consecutively at three different venues: Bakersfield, Perris and Ventura. Bryan Clauson, of Noblesville, Indiana was the last to get the job done in 2009 and 2010.

In 2016, Larson, the reigning winner of the 98-lap race, became the sixth driver to win the TNGP at two different venues following his 2012 score at Perris Auto Speedway, joining the ranks of Mel Kenyon (Ascot & 605), Stan Fox (Ascot & Saugus), Ron Shuman (Ascot & Bakersfield) and Dave Darland (Irwindale & Perris). No one has touched Billy Boat’s record of three-straight at three different tracks between 1995 and 1997 (Bakersfield, Perris & Ventura).

Despite a limited USAC Midget schedule over the past few years due to his regular duties as one of Chip Ganassi’s top NASCAR pilots, Larson always takes to the dirt like a duck to water when he jumps behind the wheel of a midget. Though he lacks a tally in the USAC win column for 2017, he was the ProSource Fast Qualifier at both of his appearances this season during the first two rounds of Indiana Midget Week at Montpelier and Gas City. He was in contention to win both, finishing 3rd at Montpelier and battling for the lead at Gas City when he spun with 10 laps remaining, ultimately finishing 18th.

The November 23rd “Turkey Night Grand Prix” will be streamed LIVE on http://www.SpeedShiftTV.com/. Watch it again a day later, on-demand, at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/.

2017 “TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX” ENTRY LIST

CAR# / DRIVER / HOMETOWN / ENTRANT / SPONSOR / CHASSIS / ENGINE

1 KYLE LARSON/Elk Grove, CA
Keith Kunz Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Walker Filtration Systems/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota

® 1K BRAYTON LYNCH/Springfield, IL
Rusty Kunz Racing/Adam Lopez Country Financil – Snap Fitness/Spike/Stanton SR-11

® 1p TERRY NICHOLS/Delano, CA
Terry Nichols/BSC – Masters Design & Construction/Spike/Chevy

2 ROBBY JOSETT/Santa Clarita, CA
Robby Josett/RL & Sons Construction – JHC Heating & Air/Spike/Esslinger

® 2JD TYLER EDWARDS/Salina, OK
Shenanigans-Neverlift Motorsports/Shenanigans Bar & Grill – Western Performance Parts/Spike/AMS Chevy

® 3F GEOFF ENSIGN/Sebastopol, CA
Ted Finkenbinder/Western Industrial X-Ray/ Bullet/Warrior

® 4A LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA
RAMS Racing/Rockwell Security/BOSS/Speedway Toyota

4D ROBERT DALBY/Anaheim, CA
Ken Dalby/R-D Spring & Stamping – Monster Seal/Spike/Esslinger

® 5 CHASE BRISCOE/Mitchell, IN
Chase Briscoe/Big Tine – Tex-a-Con Cut Stone/Spike/Honda

® 7BC TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN
Clauson-Marshall Racing/Driven 2 Save Lives – Indiana Donor Network/Spike/Stanton SR-11

® 7R CLAYTON RUSTON/Upland, CA
CR Motorsports/S & J Service Inc. – Alumin/Spike/Esslinger

8 RANDI PANKRATZ/Atascadero, CA
Wally Pankratz/HASA Pool Products – Trench Shoring/Edmunds/Fontana

9D MICHAEL FACCINTO/Hanford, CA
Sean Dodenhoff/Torco Oil – Rocket Sports & Entertainment/Spike/Fontana

® 9E MACK DeMAN/Mississauga, ON
Sean Dodenhoff/Torco Oil – Rocket Sports & Entertainment l/Spike/Fontana

11E CORY ELLIOTT/Bakersfield, CA
Mitch Elliott/Capital E Trucking – FK Indy/Spike/Esslinger

17 CODY SWANSON/Covina, CA
Swanson Family/West Evans Motorsports – Lucas Oil/Spike/Esslinger

17w SHANE GOLOBIC/Fremont, CA
Clauson-Marshall-Matt Wood Racing/Elk Grove Ford – Driven 2 Save Lives/Spike/Stanton SR-11

® 20AZ SHON DESKINS/Waddell, AZ
Shon Deskins Racing/Performance Plus Engines – Simpson Racing/Spike/Chevy

21 CHRISTOPHER BELL/Norman, OK
Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/DeWalt – TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota

22Q DAVID PRICKETT/Fresno, CA
Neverlift Motorsports/Crysalli Artesian Water – Mt. Rose Cocktail Mixes/Spike/AMS Chevy

25 KEVIN THOMAS, JR./Cullman, AL
Petry-Goff Motorsports/Petry Excavating – Gray Auto/Spike/Stanton Toyota

25c COURTNEY CRONE/Corona, CA
Jerome Rodela/Trench Shoring – Ed Pink Racing Engines/Breka/Ed Pink Toyota

25x MICHAEL PICKENS/Auckland, NZ
Jerome Rodela/Trench Shoring – Ed Pink Racing Engines/King/Ed Pink Toyota

27 TUCKER KLAASMEYER/Paola, KS
Dale Klaasmeyer/WCI – Boss Chassis/Boss/Speedway Toyota

® 31 KYLE BEILMAN/Santa Monica, CA
Bill Beilman/Stong Surety/Beast/Mopar

® 33m MASON DANIEL/Visalia, CA
Scott Daniel/Young’s Racing – Dylon Risk Management/Spike/Esslinger

® 39 ZEB WISE/Angola, IN
Clauson-Marshall Racing/ Driven 2 Save Lives – Priority AviationSpike/Stanton SR-11

® 39BC JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA
Clauson-Marshall Racing/NOS Energy – Driven 2 Save Lives/Spike/Stanton SR-11

® 47 TYLER NELSON/Kansas City, KS
Cappy Mason/IMM – Wilwood Disc Brakes/Spike/Mopar

® 55 TONY EVERHART/El Cajon, CA
Tony Everhart/Everhart Construction/Ellis/Ford

® 56 DANIEL ROBINSON/Wayne City, IL
Fifty6x Racing/Automatic Garage Door, Inc. – Precision Driveline & Fabrication/Boss/Fontana

® 56x MARK CHISHOLM/Cheyenne, WY
Fifty6x Racing/Automatic Garage Door, Inc. – Precision Driveline & Fabrication/Boss/Stanton Toyota

57 MARIA COFER/Macdoel, CA
Johnny Cofer/Tule Vista Ranches – Edmunds Auto Research/Spike/Esslinger

63 BRAD SWEET/Grass Valley, CA
Dooling-Hayward Motorsports/Dooling Machine/Spike/Stanton SR-11

63x FRANKIE GUERRINI/San Rafael, CA
Frank Guerrini/F & F Racing – Davis Motorsports/Spike/Esslinger

67 TANNER THORSON/Minden, NV
Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/JBL Audio – TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota

67K HOLLY SHELTON/Sacramento, CA
Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Black & Decker – TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota

68 RONNIE GARDNER/Riverside, CA
Six8 Motorsports/PAC Springs – Wilwood Brakes/Stewart/Esslinger

71 RYAN ROBINSON/Foresthill, CA
Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Abreu Vineyards – TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota

® 71K TANNER CARRICK/Lincoln, CA
Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Spike Chassis – CVC Concrete/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota

® 71x BRYAN DROLLINGER/Lomita, CA
Drollinger Bros. Racing/Simpson Race Products – Walker Air Filtration/Stealth/Arias

73 JAKE SWANSON/Anaheim, CA
Keith Ford/Walker Filtration Systems – King Racing Products/TCR/Esslinger

73T CARSON MACEDO/Lemoore, CA
Keith Ford/Walker Filtration Systems – King Racing Products/TCR/Esslinger

73x DAVE DARLAND/Lincoln, IN
Keith Ford/Walker Filtration Systems – King Racing Products/TCR/Esslinger

75 MATT MITCHELL/Yorba Linda, CA
Wiley Miller/Roy Miller Freight Lines – Campbell Bros. Storage/TCR/Esslinger

76m BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK
FMR Racing/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions – Black Watch Farms/Beast/Toyota

84 CHAD BOAT/Phoenix, AZ
Tucker-Boat Motorsports/PristineAuction.com – K & C Drywall/Spike/Speedway Toyota

® 87 JAKE VERMEER/Bakersfield, CA
Johnny Vermeer/Richmar Farms – Mobile AG/TCR/Esslinger

97 SPENCER BAYSTON/Lebanon, IN
Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Curb Records – TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota

98 DANNY STRATTON/Riverside, CA
Ron Blondel/American Motorsports – Orange County Muffler/Edmunds/Fontana