By Dick Jordan
The Honda USAC Western Midgets invade scenic Ventura (Calif.) Raceway Saturday night and point leader Ronnie Gardner of Norco, Calif. will try to again extend his margin over runner-up Jake Swanson.
Gardner won Friday night’s 30-lap race at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif., leading the final 21 laps of the “Howard Kaeding Classic” feature. Trailing Gardner’s Baldozier Racing/Esslinger Engineering Stewart were Johnathon Henry, Swanson, Taylor Simas and Shane Golobic. Randi Pankratz led the first nine laps.
Nick Chivello of Manteca, Calif. won Saturday’s 100-lap “Gerhardt Classic” Honda USAC Western/BCRA Midget race at Madera (Calif.) Speedway. He took the lead on lap 25 from Michael Snider and led the final 76 laps in the Cliff Blackwell Rod End Supply Stealth/Roush Ford. Kevin Morris was second ahead of Scott Pierovich, Dan Gundo and Darrin Snider. Western point leader Chad Nichols suffered bruises in an early-tangle with fast qualifier Tanner Swanson.
The Honda USAC Western Pavement Midget calendar resumes August 10 at Madera.
So far this year Gardner is undefeated at Ventura’s oceanside race track, having won features in April and May.
HONDA USAC WESTERN MIDGET DIRT POINTS: 1-Ronnie Gardner-626, 2-Jake Swanson-567, 3-David Prickett-474, 4-Shannon McQueen-306, 5-Cody Swanson-248, 6-Randi Pankratz-244, 7-Scott Pierovich-217, 8-Kyle Edwards-204, 9-Trey Marcham-200, 10-Terry Nichols-199.
HONDA USAC WESTERN MIDGET PAVEMENT POINTS: 1-Chad Nichols-187, 2-Scott Pierovich-182, 3-Dan Gundo-171, 4-Nick Chivello-165, 5-Tanner Swanson-164, 6-Ken Nichols-132, 7-Frankie Guerrini-108, 8-Kody Swanson-72.