BAKERSFIELD HOSTS USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET OPENER THIS SATURDAYbakersfield
This Saturday, March 11th, the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets will open their 2017 campaign at Bakersfield Speedway. Promoted by Scott Schweitzer, “The BULL 97.3 Night at the races!” will also feature Sport Mods, IMCA Stock Cars, ModLites, and NMRA TQ Midgets. The Pit Gates will open at 2:00pm, the Front Gates will open at 4:00pm, and Racing is scheduled for 6:00pm at “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval.”
Since July 3, 1987, Bakersfield Speedway has hosted 105 USAC Western States Midget races and P.J. Jones claimed the inaugural victory. Ronnie Gardner won the April 30th and November 19th races and Michael Faccinto claimed the June 4th victory. Former champions Sleepy Tripp and Robby Flock are tied for the series lead with eight Bakersfield triumphs, followed by Billy Boat (7), Jay Drake (5), Ronnie Gardner (4), and “Flash” Jordan Hermansader (4). Heading into Saturday’s race, Ricky Shelton holds the 1-lap qualifying track record of 12.339, set on June 21, 1997.
Last November, Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) clinched his fourth consecutive series crown. Piloting the Six8 Motorsports’ #68 Baldozier Racing / Esslinger Engineering Stewart, Gardner posted six feature wins, five Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, eight heat race victories, two hard charger awards, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 116 feature laps led. Ronnie is tied with Wally Pankratz for fourth on the series win list with nineteen triumphs and will be looking for another Bakersfield victory.
Michael Faccinto (Hanford, California) ran second in the chase for the championship. Racing the MF Motorsports’ #35F OSV / Lucas Oil Spike, Faccinto earned two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and 67 feature laps led to his credit. The Louie Vermeil Classic winner has four series victories and will have his sights on the 30-1ap triumph.
Cory Elliot (Bakersfield, California) had a solid season and placed third in the championship point chase. Driving the family owned #11E FK Indy / Oilwize Spike, Elliott posted five heat race victories, twelve top-10 finishes, and 24 feature laps led to his credit. The 2015 Rookie of the Year has one career win and will be looking to score the hometown victory.
Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, California) finished fourth in the Western Midget point standings. Racing the family owned #63 F&F Racing / Davis Motorsports Spike, Guerrini had two heat race victories, one semi-main win, eleven top-10 finishes, and 36 feature laps on the year. The former BCRA Champion has one career USAC victory and will have his sights on the Bakersfield main event win.
Courtney Crone (Corona, California) closed out her campaign ranked fifth in the point chase. Driving Jerome Rodela’s #25 Trench Shoring / Ed Pink Racing Engines Breka, Crone had one heat race victory, two hard charger awards, and eight top-10 finishes. The 2016 Rookie of the Year will be looking to earn her first USAC Midget victory this Saturday night.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Maria Cofer, Robert Dalby, Randi Pankratz, Cody Swanson, Tyler Dolacki, Shannon McQueen, Nate Wait, “The Panda Express” Terry Nichols, Robby Josett, David Prickett, C.J. Sarna, and more.
Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California. Advance tickets are on sale and for more event/ticket information, visit the track’s website at www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call 661.393.3373.