By Lance Jennings
JUNE 14, 2022… After a break in the schedule, the USAC Western States and Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) Midgets will invade Merced Speedway this Saturday, June 18th. Promoted by Chris Shannon and Paul Stone, the fourth and final round of the Elk Grove Ford Mini Series will also feature Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, and IMCA Modifieds. Located at the Merced County Fairgrounds at 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Merced, California, the pit booth will open at 2:00pm, the spectator gates will open at 5:00pm, and racing will start at 7:00pm. For more information, visit the track’s website at mercedspeedway.net or call 209.600.8382.
For those that cannot travel to the races, floracing.com will broadcast a live stream of the night’s action over the internet.
NOTICE TO RACERS:
– 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. 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.
– ONE WAY RADIOS / RACECEIVERS: One way radios ARE MANDATORY.
– FULL CONTAINMENT SEATS: Full containment seats ARE MANDATORY.
– 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 April 20, 2019, seven USAC Western States Midget events have been held at the Merced County Fairgrounds. Austin Liggett scored the inaugural victory and is tied with Robert Dalby, Shane Golobic, Thomas Meseraull, Tanner Thorson, Chase Johnson, and Colby Johnson with one Merced triumph. When the series last visited the 1/4-mile oval on April 23rd, Shane Golobic added his name to the record books. Kyle Larson set the 1-lap qualifying record of 11.838 on November 21, 2020 and a complete series win list at Merced is at the bottom of this release.
Heading to the seventh point race, Michael Faccinto (Hanford, California) has a 53-point lead over the competition. Driving the Graunstadt Enterprises #14J T&T Trucking / Gary Silva Ranches Spike, Faccinto has won the last two races, including the May 21st event at Ventura. To date, the 2018 Champion has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, three heat race victories, five top-10 finishes, and 38 feature laps led to his credit. Michael has eleven career victories and is tied with Josh Wise for fifteenth on the series win list. Faccinto also leads the Elk Grove Mini-Series point standings and will be looking for his first win at Merced.
A.J. Bender (San Diego, California) ranks second in the championship point chase. Piloting the LKK Racing #1X Josh Ford Motorsports / Rod End Supply Triple X, Bender finished seventeenth at Ventura on May 21st. To date, the leading rookie contender has one heat race victory, one Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, and four top-10 finishes on the season. A.J. also ranks fourth in the Elk Grove Ford Mini-Series and will be looking for his first USAC Midget win.
Brody Fuson (Bakersfield, California) is third in the USAC Western Midget point standings. Racing Dean Alexander’s #5K Walker Air Filtration / WFX Spike, Worth placed eleventh at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. At press time, the 2019 Rookie of the Year has one heat race victory, two top-10 finishes and sits eighth in mini-series points. With two career wins, Ben will have his sights on adding a Merced triumph to his resume.
Ben Worth (Coalinga, California) is fourth in the championship point chase. Piloting Dean Alexander’s #5K Walker Air Filtration / WFX Spike, Worth won his heat race and scored fourteenth at Bakersfield. To date, the 2019 Rookie of the Year has one top-10 finish and is tied with Shane Golobic for fifth in the mini-series points. With two career wins, Ben will have his sights on adding a Merced trophy to his collection.
Travis Buckley (Auckland, New Zealand) ranks fifth in the point standings. Driving the family owned #7NZ Buckley Systems / Esslinger Engineering Spike, Buckley raced to sixth at Ventura after starting eighth. The rookie contender has posted one heat race victory, one Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, six top-10 finishes, and 18 feature laps led on the year. Currently ranked second in rookie points and eighth in Elk Grove Ford standings, Travis will contend his first win at Merced.
While A.J. Bender leads the chase for rookie of the year, Travis Buckley (Auckland, New Zealand), Caden Sarale (Stockton, California), Thomas Esberg (Kelseyville, California), Anthony Esberg (Kelseyville, California), Dylan Bloomfield (Oakley, California), Braden Chiaramonte (El Cajon, California), Ben Wiesz (Colfax, California), Racin Silva (Henderson, Nevada), Dawson Faria (Tipton, California), Beau Lemire (Placerville, California), Zach Telford (Boise, Idaho), and Colton Raudman (Redding, California) are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Blake Bower, Jake Andreotti, Michael Snider, C.J. Sarna, Austin Liggett, Danika Jo Parker, Randi Pankratz, “The Panda” Terry Nichols, Jake Hodges, Floyd Alvis, and more.
Merced Speedway is located on the Merced County Fairgrounds at 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Merced, California. Adult tickets (12 and up) are $17, Senior and Military tickets are $15, Kids tickets (6-14) are $5, and Children (5 & Under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at mercedspeedway.net or call 209.600.8382.
The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Ammonia Refrigeration Service Inc., AMSOIL, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Elk Grove Ford, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, High Tech Performance, Hoosier Racing Tire, Jordan Hanni Well Drilling, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Vahlco Wheels, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: 2-Michael Faccinto, 1-Jake Andreotti, 1-Brody Fuson, 1-Shane Golobic, 1-Mitchel Moles.
MERCED USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET TRACK RECORD: Kyle Larson – 11.838 (11/21/20)
MERCED USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 1-Robert Dalby, 1-Shane Golobic, 1-Chase Johnson, 1-Colby Johnson, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Thomas Meseraull, 1-Tanner Thorson.
2022 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS: 1. Michael Faccinto-389, 2. A.J. Bender ®-336, 3. Brody Fuson-333, 4. Ben Worth-330, 5. Travis Buckley ®-329, 6. Blake Bower-318, 7. Jake Andreotti-254, 8. Michael Snider-211, 9. C.J. Sarna-205, 10. Austin Liggett-179, 11. Caden Sarale ®-176, 12. Thomas Esberg ®-172, 13. Danika Jo Parker-167, 14. Randi Pankratz-165, 15. Shane Golobic-159, 16. Anthony Esberg ®-149, 17. Robby Josett-136, 18. Dylan Bloomfield ®-133, 19. Terry Nichols-132, 20. Chase Johnson -121, 21. Cade Lewis-116, 22. Braden Chiaramonte ®-109, 23. Matt Mitchell-104, 24. Ben Wiesz ®-101, 25. Jake Hodges-89, 26. Mitchel Moles-84, 27. Racin Silva ®-69, 28. Shannon McQueen-68, 29. Dawson Faria-65, 30. Beau Lemire ®-62, 31. Zach Telford ®-61, 32. Jake Morgan-60, 33. Troy Rutherford-57, 34. Colton Raudman ®-56, 35. Dylan Ito-55, 36. Sage Bordenave-45, 37. Cody Williams-43, 38. Nick Velasquez ®-42, 39. Kyle Beilman-40, 40. Dave Stoltz-38, 41. Ryan Bernal-37, 42. Floyd Alvis-31, 43. Greg Edenholm-26, 44. Steve Hix-25, –. Steve Paden-25, 46. Dakota Albright-24, –. Mike Leach Jr.-24.
2022 ELK GROVE FORD MINI-SERIES POINT STANDINGS: 1. Michael Faccinto-241, 2. Austin Liggett-179, 3. Jake Andreotti-169, 4. A.J. Bender ®-161, 5. Shane Golobic-159, –. Ben Worth-159, 7. Blake Bower-152, 8. Travis Buckley ®-149, 9. Dylan Bloomfield ®-133, 10. Caden Sarale ®-123, 11. Brody Fuson-117, 12. Danika Jo Parker-114, 13. Michael Snider-113, 14. Ben Wiesz ®-101, 15. Randi Pankratz-100, 16. Thomas Esberg ®-83, 17. Anthony Esberg ®-69, 18. Shannon McQueen-68, 19. Chase Johnson-66, 20. Dawson Faria-65, 21. Beau Lemire ®-62, 22. Jake Morgan-60, 23. Colton Raudman ®-56, 24. Cade Lewis-53, 25. Jake Hodges-52, 26. C.J. Sarna-42, 27. Kyle Beilman-40, 28. Terry Nichols-38, —. Dave Stoltz-38, 30. Ryan Bernal-37, 31. Floyd Alvis-31, 32. Zach Telford ®-26, 33. Dakota Albright-24.