By Lance Jennings
VENTURA, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 10, 2023… Starting sixth, Brody Fuson of Bakersfield, California claimed Saturday’s USAC Western States Midget Series return to Ventura Raceway. Piloting Rusty Carlile’s #51 Race Pa Motorsports / Van Meter Motorsports Spike, the point leader took command from Robby Josett on the twenty-first circuit and scored his fourth win of the season. Rookie David Gasper, Caden Sarale, T.J. Smith, and Cade Lewis rounded out the top-five drivers.
Rookie driver Samuel May of Oxnard, California started on the pole position and led the opening lap. May’s lead was short lived as veteran driver Robby Josett of Santa Clarita, California took over for the next nineteen laps.
Before earning the eighth win of his career, Fuson posted his sixth Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of the season with a time of 12.234 seconds. The Bakersfield driver scored third in his heat race and raced to his third straight win at the Ventura clay oval. The last time that happened, Billy Boat won four consecutive victories from November 1995 through April 1996. Brody left the Ventura County Fairgrounds with a 34-point advantage.
Atascadero, California’s Randi Pankratz raced to victory in the 10-lap Jordan Hanni Well Drilling First Heat Race. Piloting Wally Pankratz’s #8 HASA Pool Products / Sta-Rite Triple X, Pankratz qualified ninth overall and finished tenth in the main event. The veteran driver ranks sixth in the point chase.
David Gasper of Goleta, California topped the 10-lap Hot Head Competition Engine Heaters Second Heat Race. Driving Keith Ford’s #73 Naturipe / Surecan LLC Triple X, the rookie driver was second quick in time trials and finished second to Fuson in the main event after starting fifth. The California Lightning Sprint Champion has climbed to tenth in the point standings and third in rookie honors.
Starting ninth, Stockton, California’s Caden Sarale earned the night’s Ebbco Offroad Hard Charger Award after finishing third in the main event. Racing the Graunstadt Enterprises #14J T&T Trucking / Gary Silva Ranches Spike, Sarale was eighth fast in time trials and placed fourth in his heat race. The young driver heads to Antioch ranked seventh in points.
Jim Keene of Bakersfield, California made his first start of the year and opened the night by winning the “Lucky Pill Draw” to earn 10 gallons of fuel from High Tech Performance. Piloting Dennis Hart’s #15X Capital E Trucking Spike, Keene had mechanical issues in qualifying, finished sixth in his heat race, and charged from thirteenth to eighth in the main event. Jim also won the Brown & Miller Racing Solutions / Saldana Racing Products “lucky pill draw” and is twenty-ninth in the standings.
Leading Rookie, Ben Covich of Auckland, New Zealand won the Competition Suspension Incorporated / Brown & Miller Racing Solutions “lucky pill draw award.” The owner/driver of the #65 “Kiwi” Alexander / Matt Streeter Racing Spike qualified tenth overall, ran fifth in his heat race, and finished ninth in the main event. With two point races remaining, Ben is eighth in points and locked in a close rookie battle with Samuel May.
On Saturday, September 30th, the USAC Western States Midget Series will return to Antioch Speedway. For more event information, visit antiochspeedway.com.
The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks BR Motorsports, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Ebbco Offroad, Esslinger Engineering, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, Graunstadt Enterprises, High Tech Performance, Hoosier Racing Tires, Hot Head Competition Engine Heaters, Jordan Hanni Well Drilling, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Steve Lafond / Tear-Off Heaven Fotos, Tel Tac Digital Tachometers, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Wireless 101, and Woodland Auto Display for their support.
For more information on the USAC Western States Midget Series, visit 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 SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 9, 2023 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Brody Fuson, 51, Carlile-12.234; 2. David Gasper, 73, Ford-12.284; 3. T.J. Smith, 68, Six8-12.341; 4. Cade Lewis, 5K, Alexander-12.346; 5. Robby Josett, 73X, Ford-12.371; 6. Samuel May, 55, Lambert-12.417; 7. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-12.462; 8. Caden Sarale, 14J, Graunstadt-12.574; 9. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-12.662; 10. Ben Covich, 65, Covich-12.968; 11. Ron Hazelton, 15, Hazelton-14.513; 12. Billy Rayburn, 18K, Kruseman-14.613; 13. Jim Keene, 15X, Hart-NT.
JORDAN HANNI WELL DRILLING FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Pankratz, 2. Josett, 3. Fuson, 4. Smith, 5. Sarna, 6. Keene, 7. Hazelton. NT.
HOT HEAD COMPETITION ENGINE HEATERS SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gasper, 2. Lewis, 3. May, 4. Sarale, 5. Covich, 6. Rayburn. NT.
SAMMY BAHR FEATURE: (30 laps, With Starting Positions) 1. Brody Fuson (6), 2. David Gasper (5), 3. Caden Sarale (9), 4. T.J. Smith (4), 5. Cade Lewis (3), 6. Robby Josett (2), 7. C.J. Sarna (8), 8. Jim Keene (13), 9. Ben Covich (10), 10. Randi Pankratz (7), 11. Ron Hazelton (11), 12. Samuel May (1), 13. Billy Rayburn (12). NT.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 May, Laps 2-20 Josett, Laps 21-30 Fuson
EBBCO OFFROAD HARD CHARGER: Caden Sarale (9th to 3rd)
BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS PILL DRAW: Jim Keene
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED / BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS PILL DRAW: Ben Covich
HIGH TECH PERFORMANCE LUCKY PILL DRAW: Jim Keene
WILWOOD DISC BRAKES LUCKY 13: Billy Rayburn
NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Brody Fuson-671, 2-Cade Lewis-637, 3-Ron Hazelton-440, –C.J. Sarna-440, 5-Ben Worth-434, 6-Randi Pankratz-403, 7-Caden Sarale-332, 8-Ben Covich-319, 9-Samuel May-293, 10-David Gasper-264.
NEW WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY TOP QUALIFIER POINTS: 1-Brody Fuson-50, 2-Cade Lewis-30, 3-Caden Sarale-14, 4-Ben Worth-12, 5-C.J. Sarna-11, –David Gasper-11, 7-Jake Andreotti-9, 8-Robby Josett-8, 9-Blake Bower-7, –Randi Pankratz-7.
NEW SAMMY BAHR FEATURE POINTS: 1-Brody Fuson-563, 2-Cade Lewis-549, 3-Ron Hazelton-408, 4-C.J. Sarna-395, 5-Ben Worth-382, 6-Randi Pankratz-362, 7-Ben Covich-303, 8-Caden Sarale-287, 9-Samuel May-255, 10-David Gasper-232.
NEW PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Cade Lewis-33, 2-Brody Fuson-28, 3-Ron Hazelton-23, 4-Ben Covich-15, 5-Marvin Mitchell-10, –David Gasper-10, 7-C.J. Sarna-9, 8-Caden Sarale-8, 9-Steve Paden-7, –Robby Josett-7, –Samuel May-7.
NEXT USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE: September 30 – Antioch Speedway – Antioch, California – “Antioch Challenge Mini Series #2 Presented by Graunstadt Enterprises”