Austin Liggett. (Lance Jennings photo)

By Lance Jennings

APRIL 23, 2019… After a successful debut at Merced, the USAC Western States Midgets are back in action this Saturday, April 27th, at Santa Maria Raceway. Promoted by Nick Duggan, the third point race is the first of two events at the newly renovated 1/3-mile oval. The action packed card will also feature the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars, IMCA Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks, NMRA TQ Midgets, and Santa Maria Dwarf Cars. Located in Nipomo, California, the front gates at “The West’s Best Short Track” will open at 4:00pm, time trials at 5:00pm, and racing will begin at 5:30pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at or call 310.493.4900.

– 2019 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: B&B: FRAC-0375-S w/side outlet, COAST FABRICATION: 300x625x17-2s, 350x625x17-2s, 400x625x17-2s, EXTREME: 3515-3030 (15″ Long 5″ round shell with 3″inlet & 3″ outlet), 3615-3030 (15″ Long 6″ round shell with 3″ inlet & 3″ outlet), 3515-3030-8 (15″ Long 5″ round shell with 3″inlet & 3″ outlet with turnout), 3615-3030-8 (15″ Long 6″ round shell with 3″ inlet & 3″ outlet with turnout), FLOWMASTER: (BCRA Approved) 13009130, 13509130, 13509135, SCHOENFELD: 14272535 *Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
– USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased at the track or online at

After earning his first career win at Merced, Austin Liggett (Tracy, CA) has taken over the point lead. Holding a 20-point advantage, the pilot of the family owned Liggett’s #83 Excel Environmental Services / Liggett Trucking Spike also has one heat race victory, two top-10 finishes, and 8 feature laps led to his credit. The defending USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion will be looking to add a Santa Maria winning trophy to his collection.

Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, CA) has climbed to second in the chase for the championship. Driving the family owned #11E Capital E Trucking / Nagel Earthworks Spike, Elliott charged to fourth at Merced after starting seventh. To date, the 2015 Rookie of the Year has posted two heat race victories and two top-10 finishes on the season. Cory has two career wins and will have his sights the 30-lap victory at Santa Maria.

David Prickett (Fresno, CA) ranks third in the USAC Western States Midget point chase. Piloting Drea Prickett’s Ecotec powered #22Q Crysalli Artesian Water / Western Performance Spike, Prickett earned his second Saldana Racing Products Hard Charger Award with a thirteenth to ninth place run at Merced. At press time, the 2012 Dirt Series Champion has two top-10 finishes and will be looking to gain valuable points with the Saturday night victory.

C.J. Sarna (Palm Desert, CA) sits fourth in the championship point standings. Racing his #20 Cactus Jacks Bar & Grill / Final Final Clothing Spike, Sarna claimed an eighth place finish last Saturday night from tenth. To date, the 2007 Co-Rookie of the Year has two top-10 finishes and will have his sights the second win of his career.

Shannon McQueen (Bakersfield, CA) is fifth in the Western States point standings. Driving the McQueen Racing #7 Simpson Race Products / Lucas Oil Bullet, Shannon placed tenth in the Merced debut. At press time, the 2012 Champion has two top-10 finishes and will be looking to claim the victory at Santa Maria Raceway.

Ben Worth (Coalinga, CA) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Jackson Dukes (Clovis, CA), Troy Morris III (Bakersfield, CA), Mike Leach Jr. (Orange, CA), and Ricky Lewis (Oxnard, CA) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Robert Dalby, Randi Pankratz, Marvin Mitchell, Jake Swanson, Michael Faccinto, Alex Schutte, “Fireball” Maria Cofer, Kyle Beilman, Cody Swanson, Dylan Ito, Terry Nichols, and Bryan Drollinger.

Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $17, Kids Tickets (6-12) are $6, and Kids (5 & Under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at or call 310.493.4900.

The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks AMSOIL, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Hoosier Racing Tire, Loudpedal Productions, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes, 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 and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC Western States Midget Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

FloSports has USAC Western States Midget live videos and on demand coverage available for purchase at
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET CHAMPIONS: *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, 2017-Ronnie Gardner, 2018-Michael Faccinto.

2019 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Ben Worth.

SANTA MARIA USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 6-Sleepy Tripp, 3-Rusty Rasmussen, 2-Billy Boat, 2-Michael Faccinto, 1-Mario Bringetto Jr., 1-Tyler Brown, 1-Johnny Cofer, 1-Cory Elliott, 1-Tommie Estes Jr., 1-Nic Faas, 1-Terry Farrar, 1-Robby Flock, 1-Damion Gardner, 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-Chase Stockon, 1-Danny Stratton, 1-Cody Swanson, 1-Jake Swanson, 1-Richard Vander Weerd, 1-Tommy White, 1-Josh Wise.

2019 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES POINT STANDINGS: 1. Austin Liggett-152, 2. Cory Elliott-132, 3. David Prickett-115, 4. C.J. Sarna-106, 5. Shannon McQueen-105, 6. Robert Dalby-94, 7. Randi Pankratz-83, 8. Marvin Mitchell-79, 9. Jake Swanson-78, 10. Michael Faccinto-73, 11. Alex Schutte-58, 12. Maria Cofer-55, 13. Jackson Dukes-53, 14. Troy Morris III-48, 15. Kyle Beilman-47, 16. Cody Swanson-44, 17. Dylan Ito-43, 18. Terry Nichols-33, 19. Mike Leach Jr.-30.