Wally Pankratz USAC Photo

Ventura, California (October 6, 2022)………Dick Woodland and Wally Pankratz have been named co-Grand Marshals of this year’s 81st running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at California’s Ventura Raceway.

The USAC Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix will be held on Friday-Saturday, November 25-26, 2022 at the seaside oval on the Ventura County Fairgrounds and will feature the legendary 98-lap USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship feature as well as the USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Cars.

Dick Woodland
USAC Photo

Dating back to 1934, the Midget Grand Prix is the longest running auto race west of the Mississippi River and this year will feature two of the all-time greats serving a prominent role in the event’s festivities.

“We like honoring two people at a time because there are so many worthwhile candidates out there,” said Ventura Raceway’s Jim Naylor. “Dick and Wally, in this case, have participated in different ways over many years. Anything we can do to recognize them in front of today’s fans is good for the sport.”

Richard (Dick) Woodland is a Vietnam-era veteran, businessman and race car owner. He raced sprint cars at Ascot Park for some time before deciding that life as car owner/mechanic better fit with his business and family priorities.

Woodland founded the Woodland Auto Display museum in Paso Robles after closing his race shop and has seen it grow to over 20,000 square feet in size. The Woodland Auto Display recently joined forces with the Estrella War Birds Museum to create a must see collection of race cars and aircraft.

Wally Pankratz has been driving race cars since he was old enough to reach the pedals and remains a fixture on the Southern California racing scene.

Pankratz competed with the USAC Western States Midget Series since inception four decades ago, finally claiming the driving championship in 2000 – at age 55! He finished as high as third in the Turkey Night Grand Prix (1991), besting his father’s top effort of fourth (1947) in the event. The versatile Pankratz was good on both dirt and pavement and was always a factor in midgets, sprint cars and super modifieds. Both Bob and Wally Pankratz are in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Tickets for the Turkey Night Grand Prix can be purchased at www.venturaraceway.com or by calling 805-648-RACE.