From Lance Jennings
TULARE, Calif. (April 17, 2021) — After a furious battle with Mitchel Moles, Austin Liggett (Linden, CA) inherited the lead on lap 15 and streaked to victory at Thunderbowl Raceway. Driving the family owned #83 Excel Environmental Services / Liggett Trucking Spike, Liggett earned his third career $1,200 USAC Western States Midget win over fast qualifier Ben Worth, Shannon McQueen, hard charger Jake Andreotti, and Moles.
From the pole position, Dylan Ito was looking for his first win and led the opening circuit. Up from fourth, last week’s winner Moles took command from Ito on the next lap. Within a few laps, the fifth starting Liggett began to apply pressure and the battled back and forth with Moles for the lead. A red flag halted the action on lap fourteen for flips by Alex Schutte and Ito who were running in the top five. Both drivers walked away, but their night was over.
On the restart, Moles set the pace, but spun in the first turn on the tricky surface. Everyone avoided contact and the Hanford “Open Wheel Madness” winner restarted at the tail of the field. Liggett was now in control and got a great jump on the field. While positions shuffled behind him and attrition became a factor, Austin escaped from all challengers and took the checkered flags at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. With the 30-lap win, Liggett extended his point lead over the competition.
Worth, the 2019 Rookie of the Year, opened the night by setting the top mark in Woodland Auto Display Qualifying with a time of 15.803 over the 15-car roster.
Slated to start fifteenth, Jake Andreotti overcame early mechanical issues and scored the night’s Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award / Best Passing Job honors with a fourth place finish.
The 10-lap heat race victories went to Liggett (Extreme Mufflers First Heat), and Moles (Competition Suspension Incorporated / Rod End Supply Second Heat).
The “mighty midgets” of the USAC Western States Series will take a break before returning to action at Petaluma Speedway (Petaluma, CA) on Saturday, May 15th. The fourth point race will also feature the popular USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars.
The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks AMSOIL, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing.com, Hoosier Racing Tire, Loudpedal Productions, Rod End Supply, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support.
For more information on the series, visit usacracing.com and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC Western States Midget Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
FloRacing.com has live, flag-to-flag coverage of the USAC Western States Midget Series. You can catch the action by subscribing to FloRacing on a monthly or yearly basis to view their huge catalog of live and on-demand auto racing and sporting events.
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES RACE RESULTS: April 17, 2021 – Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, California
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Ben Worth, 5K, Alexander-15.803; 2. Alex Schutte, 28, Schutte/McElwee-15.958; 3. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-15.993; 4. Tony Gualda, 73X, Ford-16.070; 5. Brody Fuson, 51, Carlile-16.179; 6. Mitchel Moles, 21, Tarlton-16.283; 7. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-16.378; 8. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-16.416; 9. Kyle Beilman, 31B, Beilman-16.541; 10. Terry Nichols, 1NP, Nichols-16.599; 11. Dylan Ito, 73, Ford-16.698; 12. David Prickett, 22Q, Neverlift-17.407; 13. Ron Hazelton, 15, Hazelton-17.666; 14. Blake Bower, 9, Boscacci-NT; 15. Jake Andreotti, 00, Davis-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Liggett, 2. Ito, 3. Beilman, 4. McQueen, 5. Worth, 6. Hazelton, 7. Fuson. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Moles, 2. Schutte, 3. Bower, 4. Prickett, 5. Sarna, 6. Nichols, 7. Gualda. NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps, with starting positions) 1. Austin Liggett (5), 2. Ben Worth (7), 3. Shannon McQueen (3), 4. Jake Andreotti (15), 5. Mitchel Moles (4), 6. Brody Fuson (9), 7. C.J. Sarna (10), 8. Kyle Beilman (2), 9. Terry Nichols (11), 10. Alex Schutte (6), 11. Dylan Ito (1), 12. Ron Hazelton (13), 13. David Prickett (12), 14. Blake Bower (14). NT
**Gualda flipped on lap 9 of the second heat. Schutte and Ito flipped on lap 14 of the feature. Gualda did not start feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Ito, Laps 2-8 Moles, Lap 9 Liggett, Laps 10-14 Moles, Laps 15-30 Liggett.
ROD END SUPPLY HARD CHARGER: Jake Andreotti (15th to 4th)
NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Austin Liggett-228, 2-Shannon McQueen-205, 3-Ben Worth-176, 4-Blake Bower-167, 5-David Prickett-159, 5-Ben Worth-99, 6-Mitchel Moles-148, 7-Brody Fuson-139, 8-Kyle Beilman-133, 9-Dylan Ito-130, 10-C.J. Sarna-124.
NEXT USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE: May 15 – Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, California