Jake Andreotti Photo by Lance Jennings

By Lance Jennings

MARCH 30, 2022… After a successful opener at Placerville, the USAC Western States and Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) Midgets are ready to clash this Saturday, April 2nd, at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California. Promoted by Steve Faria, the “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial” will also feature the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, winged Kings of Thunder 360 Sprint Cars, and Western RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars. Located on the Tulare County Fairgrounds, the Spectator Gates will open at 4:00PM, Hot Laps at 5:00PM, Time Trials at 6:00PM, with Racing scheduled at 7:00PM. For more Tulare information, visit the track’s website at tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.

– MEMBERSHIPS / TEMPORARY PERMITS: All racers MUST PURCHASE their USAC license / membership or temporary permit online PRIOR TO THE EVENT at usaclicense.com or usacracing.com. TPs are $25 and Memberships are $150. Season memberships come with extra insurance.
– ENTRY FEE: There is an entry fee due at registration / pill pick.
– TRANSPONDERS: Transponders ARE MANDATORY and will be available to rent.
– 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, 14272730-78 *Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
– RULE BOOK: The USAC Western States Midget Rule Book can be found online at usacracing.com.
– California state protocol calls for competitors, crews, officials, and anyone on the grounds to practice safe social distancing, proper sanitizing, and follow local regulations regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Since September 7, 1988, Thunderbowl Raceway has hosted ten USAC Western States Midget events and ten different drivers have claimed victory. Last season, Austin Liggett added his name to the winner’s list on April 17th over Ben Worth, Shannon McQueen, Jake Andreotti, and Mitchel Moles. Other drivers to have claimed victory at Tulare are Brady Bacon, Michael Faccinto, Robby Flock, Ronnie Gardner, Tracy Hines, P.J. Jones, Trey Marcham, Alex Schutte, and Sleepy Tripp. Bryan Clauson set the 1-lap track record of 15.628 on November 13, 2010.

After winning Placerville’s “Spring Fever Frenzy,” Jake Andreotti (Castro Valley, CA) has a slim 3-point lead over the competition. Driving Pete Davis’ #00 Hot Head Competition Heaters / Buchannan Automotive Stealth, Andreotti qualified fifth overall, won his heat race, and led all 20-laps of the main event. Jake has two career wins and will be looking to win the “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial.”

Michael Faccinto (Hanford, CA) is second in the chase for the championship. Racing Bobby Brown’s #14J T&T Trucking / Silva Ranches Spike, Faccinto was fourth fast in qualifying, ran second to Shane Golobic in his heat race, and finished second in the feature. The 2018 Champion will be a favorite to watch at the Tulare County Fairgrounds.

“Sugar” Shane Golobic (Fremont, CA) ranks third in the championship point standings. Piloting the Matt Wood Racing #17W NOS Energy Drink / Elk Grove Ford Spike, Golobic set a new series record in qualifying, won his heat race, and scored fourth in the Placerville main event. The versatile driver is running a limited Midget schedule and it is unknown if the fan favorite will be at Tulare.

Leading rookie contender A.J. Bender (San Diego, CA) is fourth in the USAC Western point chase. Driving the LKK Racing #1X Josh Ford Motorsports / Rod End Supply Triple X, Bender was seventh fast in time trials, placed third in his heat race, and finished third in the feature after starting seventh. The versatile driver will have his sights on his first victory this Saturday night.

Shannon McQueen (Bakersfield, CA) sits fifth in the chase for the point standings. Driving the McQueen Racing #7 Simpson Race Products / Lucas Oil Bullet, McQueen qualified third overall, ran third in her heat race, and scored fifth in the main event. The 2012 Champion will be looking to add a Tulare win to her resume.

While A.J. Bender leads the chase for rookie of the year, Dylan Bloomfield (Oakley, CA), Ben Wiesz (Colfax, CA), Travis Buckley (Auckland, NZ), Caden Sarale (Stockton, CA), Beau Lemire (Placerville, CA), and Colton Raudman (Redding, CA) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Ben Worth, Blake Bower, Randi Pankratz, C.J. Sarna, Kyle Beilman, Dylan Ito, Chase Johnson, and more.

Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California. Pit Passes are $45, Adult Grandstand tickets are $30, Adult Bleacher Tickets are $25, Senior Grandstand Tickets are $28, Senior Bleacher Tickets are $23, Kids (6-12) Grandstand Tickets are $15, Kids (6-12) Bleacher Tickets are $13, Kids tickets (5 and under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at thunderbowlraceway.com or call 559.688.0909.

The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Ammonia Refrigeration Service Inc., AMSOIL, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Elk Grove Ford, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, Hoosier Racing Tire, Jordan Hanni Well Drilling, Rod End Supply, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Wireless 101, 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 lwjennings@earthlink.net.

For more information on the USAC Western States Midget Series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at 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.
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-Robert Dalby, 2020-NO AWARD, 2021-Blake Bower.


TULARE USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 1-Brady Bacon, 1-Michael Faccinto, 1-Robby Flock, 1-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Tracy Hines, 1-P.J. Jones, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Trey Marcham, 1-Alex Schutte, 1-Sleepy Tripp.

2022 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS: 1. Jake Andreotti-80, 2. Michael Faccinto-77, 3. Shane Golobic-75, 4. A.J. Bender ®-70, 5. Shannon McQueen-68, 6. Austin Liggett-64, 7. Dylan Bloomfield ®-57, 8. Ben Worth-51, 9. Blake Bower-49, 10. Ben Wiesz ®-49, —. Travis Buckley ®-49, 12. Randi Pankratz-45, 13. C.J. Sarna-42, 14. Kyle Beilman-40, 15. Michael Snider-35, 16. Caden Sarale ®-32, 17. Floyd Alvis-31, 18. Anthony Esberg-28, 19. Danika Jo Parker-27, 20. Thomas Esberg-25, 21. Dakota Albright-24, 22. Beau Lemire ®-23, 23. Colton Raudman ®-10.

March 4: *Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Rained Out)
March 5: *Keller Auto Speedway – Hanford, CA (Rained Out)
March 26: *#Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA (Winner: Jake Andreotti)
April 2: *Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Chris & Brian Faria Memorial)
April 16: *Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
April 23: *#Merced Speedway – Merced, CA
May 7: *#Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA (Mother’s Day Madness)
May 21: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
June 18: *#Merced Speedway – Merced, CA
July 23: *Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA
August 13: TBA
August 27: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
September 24: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
October 1: TBA
October 15: *The Dirt Track at KCRP – Bakersfield, CA (Championship Night)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with BCRA Midgets.
# = Elk Grove Ford Mini-Series.
TBA = To Be Announced.
This schedule is subject to change.