HONDA USAC WESTERN MIDGETS BATTLE AT BAKERSFIELD SATURDAY
by Lance Jennings
SANTA MARIA, CA – SEPTEMBER 17, 2013… This Saturday, September 21st, the Honda USAC Western Midget Series their final appearance of the year at Scott Schweitzer’s Bakersfield Speedway. The showcase will also include the Honda USAC Western Ignite Midgets, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Vintage Hard Tops. The Front Gates will open at 4:00pm with Racing set for 6:00pm at “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval.”
Saturday’s event will mark the 95th appearance of the USAC Western Midgets at the Bakersfield clay oval. P.J. Jones claimed the inaugural race on July 3, 1987 and since then, Sleepy Tripp and Robby Flock are tied for the series lead with eight Bakersfield victories. On March 30th, Cody Swanson added his name to the winner’s list by scoring the 30-lap feature win.
Heading to Bakersfield, Norco’s Ronnie Gardner leads both the overall and dirt series point standings. Racing the Six8 Motorsports’ #68 Baldozier Racing / Esslinger Engineering Stewart, Gardner claimed his sixth win of the campaign at Chico on September 5th. In addition, the 2011 Most Improved Driver with USAC/CRA has four fast time awards, two heat race victories, one heat race victory, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 123 feature laps led to his credit. On Saturday, Ronnie will be looking to continue his championship bid with a victory at Bakersfield.
Jake Swanson of Anaheim is second in both the overall and dirt championship points. Piloting the Van Dyne / Swanson owned #05 Ram Bull Racing / Goodwine Glass Edmunds, Jake ran second to Gardner at Silver Dollar Speedway. To date, the May 11th Santa Maria winner has one fast time award, four heat race victories, twelve top-10 finishes, and 43 feature laps led in 2013. Last season’s USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year will be looking to gain valuable points with a Bakersfield feature win.
On the strength of his fifth place run on the Madera pavement last Saturday, Alamo’s Scott Pierovich has vaulted to third in the overall point chase. Driving the family owned #35 Mid Coast Trans / Good Guys Spike, Pierovich is currently sixth in the dirt series. The veteran driver has yet to win a USAC main event this year, but has one fast time award, three heat race victories, ten top-10 finishes, and 28 feature laps led on the season. At Bakersfield, Scott will have his sights on his fourth career USAC Western Midget victory.
David Prickett of Fresno is fourth in overall standings and third in the dirt series point chase. Racing the Neverlift Motorsports’ #15 Crysalli Water / Mt. Rose Cocktail Mixes Spike, Prickett ran eleventh in Chico’s “Cavalcade of Gold Cup Memories.” To date, last year’s Dirt Series Champion has yet to win a USAC feature in 2013, but has one fast time award, five heat race victories, one semi-main win, and seven top-10 finishes. On Saturday, David will have his sights on adding a Bakersfield main event trophy to his collection.
After running second last Saturday at Madera, Manteca’s Nick Chivello has climbed to fifth in the overall point standings. Piloting the family owned #27 Vic Hubbard’s Auto Parts / Red Top Electric Spike, Chivello is also eighteenth in the dirt series. Currently, the hard charger has three feature wins, four heat race victories, four top-10 finishes, and 108 feature laps led on the season. Nick will be looking to claim his first dirt win of the year at Bakersfield Speedway.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Shannon McQueen, Cody Swanson, Randi Pankratz, Johnathon Henry, Kyle Edwards, Terry Nichols, Trey Marcham, Alex Schutte, and more.
Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California. Adult tickets are $15, Kids tickets are $5, and Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. The Pit Gate will open at 2:00pm and for event information, visit the track’s website at www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call (661) 393-3373.