By Lance Jennings
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 18, 2022… Last Saturday night, the USAC West Coast Sprint Car and USAC Western States Midget Series celebrated their 2022 season. Starting approximately 30 minutes after the final checkered flag at “The George Snider Classic & Championship Night,” the racers and families gathered at Kern County Raceway Park’s banquet room. With over 120 people in attendance, the event was sold out and deemed a success.
KCRP announcer Steve Hughes served as master of ceremonies. The event gave recognition to the top-five in driver points, rookies of the year, newly crowned champions, and special awards. Series champions, Trent Carter and Michael Faccinto will also be honored at the December 9th “USAC Night of Champions” in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Tyler Hatzikian (Murrieta, California) earned the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Rookie of the Year honors after a hard fought battle with Joey Bishop and Brent Yarnal. The owner/driver of the #27 Original Roadhouse Bar & Grill / ZARP Incorporated Triple X had one BR Motorsports / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award and seven top-10 finishes on the season. After eight point races, Hatzikian recorded his best finish at Ventura with a seventh place run on June 4th. The top rookie climbed to fifth in the chase for the championship and fourth in passing masters points.
Trent Carter (Terra Bella, California) claimed the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Championship. The pilot of the family owned #13 Porterville Lock & Safe / Porterville Collision Center Maxim posted two heat race victories and seven top-10 finishes in the campaign. The 2014 Co-Rookie of the Year scored his best finish at the February 26th season opener at Kern County, where he was a runner-up to Chase Johnson. The 3-time Santa Maria Sprint Car Champion became the second driver in series history to earn both rookie and champion honors.
A.J. Bender (San Diego, California) earned Rookie of the Year honors with the USAC Western States Midget Series by a narrow margin over Travis Buckley. Driving the LKK Racing owned #1X Josh Ford Motorsports / Rod End Supply Triple X, Bender posted four heat race victories, one Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, and eight top-10 finishes on the season. The CLS and USAC/CRA driver had his best finish on September 24th at Ventura where he ran second to Ben Worth. After scoring seventh in the “George Snider Classic,” A.J. climbed to fourth in the point chase and fifth in the passing master standings.
Michael Faccinto (Hanford, California) claimed his second USAC Western States Midget Championship and joined Sleepy Tripp, Robby Flock, Johnny Rodriguez, Jerome Rodela, and Ronnie Gardner as multi-time champions. The pilot of the Graunstadt Enterprises owned #14J Gary Silva Ranches / T&T Trucking Spike recorded three feature wins, three Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, seven heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and 86 feature laps led to his credit. In addition, the series “Top Qualifier” won the four-race Elk Grove Ford Mini-Series. Faccinto left KCRP after the “Championship Night” main event to compete in Lemoore.
Lance Jennings earned a Special Appreciation Award from the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series for his dedication to the sport. The PR Director was hired by series founder Chris Kearns in 2010 and has done a lot of work behind the scenes, including gathering sponsorship and contingency awards.
Dean “Kiwi” Alexander was recognized with a Special Appreciation Award from the USAC Western States Midget Series. In addition to fielding a car for Ben Worth and sometimes a second entry, the former driver is a heat race sponsor with his company Wireless 101, found other cash heat race sponsors, added purse money for special events, and brought tires to the races from Hoosier for his fellow competitors.
A special thanks goes to Larry Collins, Sean Killion, Steve Hughes, and the staff at Kern County Raceway Park for their hospitality and opening the doors to their amazing banquet room.
Thanks to Series Director Stephanie Odom for her efforts throughout the year and organizing the season ending banquet. Thanks to Joseph Odom, Jesse Odom, Cody Jameson, Diane, and Lance Jennings for their help in setting up the banquet room. Thanks to Brandon Mathews for his help at the races.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car and USAC Western States Midget Series thanks their race teams, car owners, drivers, families, and fans, United States Auto Club, Larry Collins (Kern County Raceway Park), Nick Duggan & David Castaneda (Santa Maria Raceway), Rick Faeth (Petaluma Speedway), Steve Faria (Thunderbowl Raceway), Peter Murphy (Keller Auto Speedway), Jim Naylor (Ventura Raceway), Scott Russell & Kami Arnold (Placerville Speedway), Scott Schweitzer (Bakersfield Speedway), Chris Shannon, Paul Stone, Doug Lockwood (Merced Speedway), Matt Wood (Elk Grove Ford), SCRAFAN.COM, Bill Little, Kelly Sawyer & Push Truck Crew, Loudpedal Productions, Tim Truex, Mike Truex, A.J. Johnson, Steve Lafond, Mark Sublett, Matt Sublett, Doug Bushey, John Candy, Scott Daloisio, Bobby Gerould, Steve Hughes, Ron Lingron, Gary Thomas, and the Bay Cities Racing Association for a great season.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, BR Motorsports, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing.com, High Tech Performance, Hoosier Racing Tire, Rod End Supply, ROW Signs and Graphics, Saldana Racing Products, Steve Lafond/Tear-Off Heaven Fotos, Vahlco Wheels, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. Over $8,700 in product certificates and bonuses were awarded.
The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Ammonia Refrigeration Service Incorporated, AMSOIL, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Elk Grove Ford, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, High Tech Performance, Hoosier Racing Tire, Hot Head Competition Engine Heaters, Jim and Bob’s Tire Service, Jordan Hanni Well Drilling, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Steve Lafond / Tear-Off Heaven Fotos, T&T Trucking, Vahlco Wheels, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Wireless 101, Woodland Auto Display, and Woodworks Unlimited for their support. Over $9,000 in product certificates and bonuses were awarded.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series will return to action on November 25 and 26 for the “81st Running of the Turkey Night Grant Prix” at Ventura Raceway. The prestigious non-point events will also showcase the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series. For more event information, visit venturaraceway.com.
FINAL USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS: 1. Trent Carter-531, 2. Troy Rutherford-504, 3. Kyle Edwards-485, 4. Tanner Boul-423, 5. Tyler Hatzikian ®-390, 6. Joey Bishop ®-386, 7. Brent Yarnal ®-350, 8. Hannah Mayhew-348, 9. Ricky Lewis-329, 10. Camie Bell ®-325, 11. Steve Hix-303, 12. Brody Fuson-295, 13. James Herrera-274, 14. Chase Johnson-242, 15. Elexa Herrera ®-224, 16. Cody Majors-212, 17. Rick Hendrix-185, 18. Travis Buckley-155, 19. Logan Calderwood ®-149, 20. Jake Andreotti ®-143, 21. Brody Roa-135, 22. Ryan Timmons-109, 23. Jacob Tuttle-107, 24. Ben Worth ®-104, 25. Nathan Byrd-98, 26. Daniel Whitley ®-81, 27. Jarrett Soares-76, –. Charlie Butcher-76, 29. Matt Day-74, –. Sterling Cling-74, 31. Dawson Faria ®-64, 32. Randy Nelson-63, 33. Troy DeGaton ®-53, 34. Chris Ennis-51, 35. Christopher Muraoka-49, 36. Bryan Whitley-48, 37. Gage Rucker-46, 38. Todd Pratt-45, 39. Jonas Reynolds-35, 40. Dale Curran-33, 41. Tuesday Calderwood ®-13.
FINAL USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS: 1. Michael Faccinto-854, 2. Brody Fuson-745, 3. Ben Worth-708, 4. A.J. Bender ®-654, 5. Travis Buckley ®-651, 6. Jake Andreotti-563, 7. Blake Bower-539, 8. Caden Sarale ®-397, 9. C.J. Sarna-389, 10. Randi Pankratz-345, 11. Chase Johnson-343, 12. Michael Snider-324, 13. Cade Lewis-293, 14. Thomas Esberg ®-289, 15. Anthony Esberg ®-286, 16. Austin Liggett-251, 17. Danika Jo Parker-247, 18. Robby Josett-235, –. Jake Hodges ®-235, 20. Zach Telford ®-194, 21. Terry Nichols-161, 22. Shane Golobic-159, –. Braden Chiaramonte ®-159, 24. Dylan Bloomfield ®-133, 25. Ryan Bernal-116, 26. Steve Paden-111, 27. Cody Williams-110, 28. Matt Mitchell-104, 29. Kyle Beilman-103, 30. Ben Wiesz ®-101, –. Colton Raudman ®-101, 32. Racin Silva ®-99, –. Nathan Byrd-99, 34. Steve Hix-98, 35. Daniel Whitley-92, –. Mike Leach Jr.-92, 37. Mitchel Moles-84, 38. Sage Bordenave ®-81, 39. Dave Stoltz-77, 40. Floyd Alvis-75, 41. Samuel May-74, 42. Shannon McQueen-68, –. Troy Rutherford-68, 44. Dawson Faria-65, –. T.J. Smith-65, 46. Danny Sheridan-63, 47. Beau Lemire ®-62, 48. Jake Morgan-60, –. Kevin Gray ®-60, 50. Dylan Ito-55, 51. Brandon Wiley-54, 52. Cole Schroeder-47, 53. Nick Velasquez ®-42, –. Billy Rayburn-42, 55. Gage Rucker-40, 56. Dale Curran-36, –. David Gasper-36, 58. Tyler Edwards-32, 59. Jason McDougal-31, 60. Tres Van Dyne-28, 61. Greg Edenholm-26, 62. Jim Vanzant-25, 63. Dakota Albright-24, 64. Darin Snider-12.