AJ Bender Photo by MMRacingPhotos.com

By Lance Jennings

APRIL 11, 2022… This Saturday, April 16th, the USAC Western States Midgets will return to Bakersfield Speedway. Promoted by Scott Schweitzer, the third point race is co-sanctioned with the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) and will also feature Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks, Mod Lites, and the California Lightning Sprints. Located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California, the Spectator Gates will open at 4:00PM and Racing will start at 6:00PM. For more information at “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval,” visit bakersfieldspeedway.com or call 661.393.3373.

– 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 July 3, 1987, Bakersfield Speedway has hosted 114 USAC Western States Midget races and P.J. Jones claimed the inaugural victory. Former champions Sleepy Tripp and Robby Flock are tied for the series lead with eight Bakersfield wins and Ricky Shelton set the track record of 12.339 on June 21, 1997. Last March, Chase Johnson raced the famed Six8 Motorsports entry to victory at the only USAC Western appearance at the 1/3-mile oval. A complete Bakersfield series win list is at the bottom of this release.

After racing from seventh to fourth at Tulare on April 2nd, A.J. Bender (San Diego, California) has taken over the point lead. Piloting the LKK Racing #1X Josh Ford Motorsports / Rod End Supply Triple X, Bender has one heat race victory and two top-10 finishes on the season. The leading rookie contender will race double duty at Bakersfield with the California Lightning Sprints and will be looking for his first USAC Midget win.

Ben Worth (Coalinga, California) has climbed to second in the chase for the championship. Racing Dean Alexander’s #5K Walker Air Filtration / WFX Spike, Worth finished third at the Tulare County Fairgrounds after starting fifth. The 2019 Rookie of the Year has one top-10 finish and will have his sights on the third win of his career.

Jake Andreotti (Castro Valley, California) ranks third in the USAC Western States point standings. Driving Pete Davis’ #00 Hot Head Competition Heaters / Buchannan Automotive Stealth, Andreotti scored twelfth at Tulare and mechanical issues ended his night. To date, Jake has one feature win, one heat race victory, one top-10 finish, and 20 feature laps led on the season. Andreotti will be looking to regain the point lead with a Saturday night triumph.

Blake Bower (Brentwood, California) sits fourth in the championship point chase. Racing Tony Boscacci’s #9 Orland Public Auto Auction / Mountain Cascade Incorporated Spike, Bower ran second to Brody Fuson at Thunderbowl Raceway after starting eighth. At press time, the defending champion has two top-10 finishes in the campaign. Blake will have his sights on his first USAC victory at Bakersfield Speedway.

Travis Buckley (Auckland, New Zealand) ranks fifth in the point standings. Piloting the family owned #7NZ Buckley Systems / Esslinger Engineering Spike, Buckley scored fifth in the April 2nd main event at Tulare. With two top-10 finishes on the season, the rookie contender just raced in Oklahoma City and might miss the action at Bakersfield.

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

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Michael Snider, C.J. Sarna, Brody Fuson, Austin Liggett, Dylan Ito, Randi Pankratz, “The Panda” Terry Nichols, Zach Telford, and more.

Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California. Adult General Admission Tickets are $20, Senior (65 plus) and Military Tickets are $18, Kids Tickets (6 to 12) are $10, and Children Tickets (5 and under) are FREE. For more Bakersfield event information, visit the track’s website at bakersfieldspeedway.com or call 661.393.3373.

The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Ammonia Refrigeration Service Inc., AMSOIL, 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.

2022 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 1-Jake Andreotti, 1-Brody Fuson.


BAKERSFIELD USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 8-Robby Flock, 8-Sleepy Tripp, 7-Billy Boat, 6-Ronnie Gardner, 5-Jay Drake, 4-Jordan Hermansader, 3-Steve Paden, 3-Ron Shuman, 3-Jimmy Sills, 3-Danny Stratton, 3-Josh Wise, 2-Hank Butcher, 2-Bob Davison, 2-Ronnie Day, 2-Michael Faccinto, 2-Garrett Hansen, 2-P.J. Jones, 2-Page Jones, 2-Trey Marcham, 2-Wally Pankratz, 2-Frank Pedregon, 2-Alex Schutte, 2-Shane Scully, 1-Brady Bacon, 1-Bobby Boone, 1-Greg Bragg, 1-Larry Brown, 1-Tyler Brown, 1-Johnny Cofer, 1-Dave Darland, 1-Michelle Decker, 1-Larry Derwin, 1-Danny Ebberts, 1-Nic Faas, 1-Terry Farrar, 1-Billy Felts Jr., 1-Josh Ford, 1-Stan Fox, 1-Damion Gardner, 1-Scott Hansen, 1-Rick Hendrix, 1-Gary Howard, 1-Chase Johnson, 1-Ryan Kaplan, 1-Kasey Kahne, 1-Buddy Kofoid, 1-Cory Kruseman, 1-Brad Kuhn, 1-Josh Lakatos, 1-Kyle Larson, 1-Jason Leffler, 1-Thomas Meseraull, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Logan Seavey, 1-Graham Standring, 1-Cody Swanson, 1-Brad Sweet, 1-Rich Vogler, 1-Rip Williams, 1-Ben Worth.

2022 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS: 1. A.J. Bender ®-139, 2. Ben Worth-127, 3. Jake Andreotti-126, 4. Blake Bower-123, 5. Travis Buckley ®-114, 6. Michael Snider-98, 7. C.J. Sarna-94, 8. Anthony Esberg ®-83, 9. Brody Fuson-81, 10. Michael Faccinto-77, 11. Shane Golobic-75, 12. Thomas Esberg ®-71, 13. Shannon McQueen-68, 14. Austin Liggett-64, 15. Dylan Bloomfield ®-57, 16. Chase Johnson -55, –. Dylan Ito-55, 18. Ben Wiesz ®-49, 19. Randi Pankratz-45, 20. Kyle Beilman-40, 21. Danika Jo Parker-35, 22. Caden Sarale ®-32, 23. Floyd Alvis-31, 24. Dakota Albright-24, 25. Beau Lemire ®-23, 26. Colton Raudman ®-10.