By Lance Jennings
DECEMBER 19, 2022… The upcoming schedule for the USAC Western States Midget Series has been released featuring sixteen (16) dates at eight (8) different racetracks. With one date to be announced, the “mighty midgets” will open their 2023 campaign on March 18th at Bakersfield Speedway (Bakersfield, CA) and the champion will be crowned on October 15th across town at The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park (KCRP).
Scott Schweitzer’s Bakersfield Speedway will host one date on the schedule. “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval” has been a regular stop since 1987 and will feature the “mighty midgets” at the March 18th season opener. Last April, Mitchel Moles joined the Bakersfield winner’s list that is led by multi-time champions Robby Flock and Sleepy Tripp with eight victories. On June 21, 1997, the series’ 1-lap track record of 12.339 was established by Ricky Shelton on his way to the title. Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California and for more details, visit bakersfieldspeedway.com or call 661.393.3373.
For the first time in series history, the USAC Western States Midgets will battle at Antioch Speedway. Promoted by Chad Chadwick and Chris Bennet, the 1/4-mile oval at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds will feature the series on March 25th and September 30th. Antioch Speedway is located at 1201 West 10th Street in Antioch, California and for more details, visit antiochspeedway.com or call 925.779.9220.
Located at the Merced County Fairgrounds, Merced Speedway has two events on the calendar. Promoted by Chris Shannon, Paul Stone, and Doug Lockwood, the 1/4-mile oval will host the April 15th and June 24th shows. Last season, “Sugar” Shane Golobic and Ryan Bernal joined Austin Liggett, Robert Dalby, Thomas Meseraull, Tanner Thorson, Chase Johnson, and Colby Johnson as Merced winners. Former NASCAR Champion, Kyle Larson posted the series’ 1-lap track record of 11.838 on November 21, 2020. Merced Speedway is located at 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Merced, California and for more information, visit mercedspeedway.net or call 209.600.8382.
After a successful debut last October, The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park (KCRP) will host two dates on the schedule. Promoted by Larry Collins, the 1/3-mile oval will host the “mighty midgets” along with the AMSOIL USAC/CRA 410 Sprints on April 29th and the champion will be crowned along with the USAC West Coast 360 Sprints at the October 7th “George Snider Classic.” Current plans are for both groups to celebrate their season after the “Championship Night” program with an awards banquet at the facility. Cade Lewis earned his first career win at KCRP and became the 190th winning driver with the series, while Jake Andreotti established the 1-lap track record of 15.490. The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park is located at 13500 Raceway Blvd. at the intersection of Interstate 5 and Enos Lane. For more information, visit kernraceway.com or call 661.835.1264.
Located at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Placerville Speedway has two shows on the calendar. Promoted by Scott Russell and Kami Arnold, the 1/4-mile oval will host the May 6th and July 8th dates. Last season, Jake Andreotti and Michael Faccinto joined the Placerville winner’s list that is led by “Sugar” Shane Golobic with two triumphs. On March 26th, Golobic lowered the 1-lap track standard to 11.663. Placerville Speedway is located at 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, California and for more information, visit placervillespeedway.com or call 530.344.7592.
Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura Raceway has three events on the schedule. Promoted by Jim Naylor, “The Best Little Dirt Track in America” has a long history with the series dating back to 1986 and will host the May 20th, June 10th, and August 26th shows. The USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars will also join the action packed card in August. Last season, Michael Faccinto, Chase Johnson, and Ben Worth topped Ventura main events, where multi-time champion Sleepy Tripp leads all drivers with eighteen wins. The 1-lap track record of 11.675 was posted by Johnny Cofer on November 18, 1995. Ventura Raceway is located at 10 West Harbor Boulevard in Ventura, California and for more details, visit venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.
Promoted by Nick Duggan and David Castenada, Santa Maria Raceway will host two dates on the calendar. The USAC Western States Midgets first tackled “The West’s Best Short Track” in 1985 and will return on August 5th and September 2nd. Last August, Michael Faccinto earned his third victory at the 1/3-mile oval, where Sleepy Tripp leads all drivers with six wins. The 1-lap track record of 13.667 was set by J.R. Lawson on August 26, 1995. Santa Maria Raceway is located at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California and for more details, visit santamariaraceway.com or call 805.710.4407.
Located at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, Petaluma Speedway has one event on the schedule. Promoted by Rick Faeth, “The Fastest 3/8-mile Dirt Oval in Northern California” first hosted the USAC Western States Midgets in 2012 and will feature the series on July 22nd. Last season, Brody Fuson took the checkered flags at Petaluma, where Maria Cofer, Ronnie Gardner, and Alex Schutte lead all drivers with three triumphs. Gardner established the current 1-lap track record of 14.200 on October 5, 2013. Petaluma Speedway is located at 100 Fairgrounds Drive in Petaluma, California and for more information, visit petaluma-speedway.com or call 707.763.7223.
If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email Stephanie Odom at Odom.Stephanie@me.com or Lance Jennings at email@example.com.
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-Michael Faccinto.
2022 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES SCHEDULE
March 18: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
March 25: Antioch Speedway – Antioch, CA
April 15: Merced Speedway – Merced, CA
April 29: The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park – Bakersfield, CA (With USAC/CRA Sprint Cars)
May 6: Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA
May 20: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
June 10: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
June 24: Merced Speedway – Merced, CA
July 8: Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA
July 22: Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA
August 5: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA
August 26: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (With USAC West Coast Sprint Cars)
September 2: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA
September 9: TBA
September 30: Antioch Speedway – Antioch, CA
October 7: The Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park – Bakersfield, CA (With USAC West Coast Sprint Cars / Championship Night / George Snider Classic / Awards Banquet)
TBA = To Be Announced.
SE = Special Event / Non-Points.
This schedule is subject to change.
By Lance Jennings