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Friday January 10, 2014


#05 Jake Swanson. 2nd in 2013 Honda USAC Western Midget Points.
Photo by Rob Hargraves.

By Lance Jennings

SANTA MARIA, CA – JANUARY 9, 2014… Celebrating their 32nd season, the Honda USAC Western Midgets are poised for twenty-one races in 2014. Starting February 28th with Canyon Speedway’s “Copper On Dirt,” the “mighty midgets” will showcase 16 races on dirt and 5 shows on pavement. Returning to Bakersfield, Madera, Santa Maria, Petaluma, Calistoga, Chico, Plaza Park, and Perris, the regional group has added Lake Havasu, Tulare, and Hanford to their schedule.

Canyon Speedway in Peoria, Arizona will host five races on the calendar. On February 28th, the season opening “Copper On Dirt” has two nights of action with the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds, and West Coast Late Models. Promoted by Kevin Montgomery, the fast 1/3-mile oval will also feature the USAC National Series for three nights in November at the “47th Annual Western World Championships.” Last season, Bryan Clauson scored three victories at Canyon, while Christopher Bell and Darren Hagen also won main events. For more details on the Peoria, Arizona shows, visit www.canyonspeedwaypark.com.

On March 15th, the Honda USAC Western Midgets will make their series debut at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu, Arizona. Promoted by Bill Rozhon, the 1/4-mile pavement oval will feature the “J.W. Mitchell Memorial” with USAC Ignite Midgets, Arizona Vintage Racing Association, and Factory Stocks. For more information on the Lake Havasu date, check out www.havasu95speedway.com.

The “mighty midgets” will make four appearances at Kenny Shepherd’s Madera Speedway in 2014. Co-sanctioned with the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA), the “Fastest 1/3-Mile in the West” will host the “Smokey Hanoian Classic” on March 29th, the June 7th “Pombo/Sargent Classic,” the “Gerhardt Classic” is July 12th, and the “Harvest Classic” on September 13th. Last season, Nick Chivello claimed three victories on the Madera pavement, while Kody Swanson, 2-time USAC Western Pavement Champion Chad Nichols, and Darin Snider also celebrated wins. For more details on the races at the Madera County Fairgrounds, visit www.racemadera.com.

Scott Schweitzer’s Bakersfield Speedway has two dates on the schedule. “The West’s Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval” will host the USAC Western Midgets on May 3rd and September 20th. Last March, Cody Swanson recorded his first series win, while Ronnie Gardner won the September feature on his way to the championship. For more details on the Bakersfield races, visit www.bakersfieldspeedway.com.

On May 31st, the regional series will make their only appearance at Tulare’s Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. On that night, Steve Faria’s lightning fast 1/3-mile oval will also spotlight the USAC West Coast and Western Classic Sprint Cars. Located on the Tulare County Fairgrounds, the facility last hosted the Western Midgets on November 13, 2010 when Tracy Hines won the Pacific Coast Nationals. For more information on the Tulare event, visit www.tularethunderbowl.com.

Leased by the United States Auto Club (USAC), Santa Maria Speedway has one race on the calendar. On July 5th, the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars and Mini Stocks will join the “Party At The Coast.” Last May, Jake Swanson earned his first series victory at the “The West’s Best Short Track.” For more details on the Santa Maria show, visit www.racesantamariaspeedway.com.

Scott Woodhouse’s Kings Speedway in Hanford will host one race on the schedule. Co-sanctioned with the BCRA Midget Series, the July 19th “Jim Evett Memorial” will also feature the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars. Located on the Kings County Fairgrounds, the 3/8-mile oval last hosted the Western Midgets on May 19, 2012 when Ryan Bernal claimed the main event. For more information on the Hanford show, check out www.kingsspeedway.net.

Promoted by Rick Faeth, Petaluma Speedway will host the “3rd Annual John Soares Classic” on August 9th. Co-sanctioned with the BCRA Midgets, “The Fastest 3/8-mile Dirt Oval in Northern California” will also showcase the Joe Hunt Wingless Sprints, BCRA Midget Lites, and Vintage Midgets. Last Season, Ronnie Gardner set a new 1-lap track record and won both features at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. For more details on the Petaluma event, check out www.petaluma-speedway.com.

The USAC Western Midgets will invade the scenic Calistoga Speedway for two nights of action at the Napa County Fairgrounds. Starting August 30th during Labor Day weekend, “7th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic” will also host the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, vintage cars, an autograph session, auctions, wine tasting, and more. Last season, Rico Abreu and Kyle Larson earned popular victories at the famed 1/2-mile oval. For more information on the Calistoga dates, visit www.calistogaspeedway.org or www.louievermeilclassic.net.

On Thursday, September 4th, the “mighty midgets” will return to Dennis Gage’s Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. Held during the “Gold Cup Race of Champions,” the BCRA co-sanctioned event will also showcase the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars. Last September, Ronnie Gardner added the popular 1/4-mile oval at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds to his win list. For more details on the Chico show, check out www.silverdollarspeedway.com.

The USAC Western Midgets will return Visalia’s Plaza Park Raceway on September 27th. Promoted by Scott Woodhouse, the 1/5-mile oval has showcased Micro Sprints for over twenty-five years. Last June, Ronnie Gardner joined Rusty Rasmussen and Wally Pankratz as series winners at the Central Valley facility. For more information on the Plaza Park race, check out www.plazaparkraceway.com.

Don Kazarian’s Perris Auto Speedway will showcase the “74th Turkey Night Grand Prix” on November 27th. Co-sanctioned with the USAC National Midgets, the Thanksgiving event will close out the racing season and the champions will be crowned. Last year, Dave Darland won the 98-lap race and joined Mel Kenyon and Stan Fox as the only drivers to win the event on both dirt and pavement. For more details on the Perris date, visit www.perrisautospeedway.com.

The Honda USAC Western Midget Series would like to thank Amsoil, Hoosier Tire, Rugged Radios, and Western Performance Parts for their support. For more information on the series, visit www.usacracing.com or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usacwsmidgets).

February 28: Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway (Copper On Dirt)
March 1: Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway Park (Copper On Dirt)
May 3: Bakersfield, CA – Bakersfield Speedway
May 31: Tulare, CA – Thunderbowl Raceway
July 5: Santa Maria, CA – Santa Maria Speedway (Party At The Coast)
July 19: *Hanford, CA – Kings Speedway (Jim Evett Memorial)
August 9: *Petaluma, CA – Petaluma Speedway (John Soares Classic)
August 30: Calistoga, CA – Calistoga Speedway (Louie Vermeil Classic)
August 31: Calistoga, CA – Calistoga Speedway (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 4: *Chico, CA – Silver Dollar Speedway (Gold Cup Race Of Champions)
September 20: Bakersfield, CA – Bakersfield Speedway
September 27: Visalia, CA – Plaza Park Raceway
November 20: #Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway (Western World Championships)
November 21: #Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway (Western World Championships)
November 22: #Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway (Western World Championships)
November 27: #Perris, CA Perris Auto Speedway (Turkey Night Grand Prix)

  • = Co-Sanctioned Event with BCRA Midgets.
    1. = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC National Midgets.
      This schedule is subject to change.

March 15: Havasu 95 Speedway – Lake Havasu, AZ (JW Mitchell Memorial)
March 29: *Madera Speedway – Madera, CA (Smokey Hanoian Classic)
June 7: *Madera Speedway – Madera, CA (Pombo/Sargent Classic)
July 12: *Madera Speedway – Madera, CA (Gerhardt Classic 100-laps)
September 13: *Madera Speedway – Madera, CA (Harvest Classic)

  • = Co-Sanctioned Event with BCRA Midgets.
    This schedule is subject to change.

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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.


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