Slipping past a bicycling Ronnie Gardner on the lap 23 restart, Michael Faccinto (Hanford, California) scored last Saturday’s “Jack London Hall of Fame Race” at Petaluma Speedway. Co-sanctioned with BCRA, the 30-lap triumph was Faccinto’s first Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget victory of the season. Frankie Guerrini, Alex Schutte, Shannon McQueen, and Danny Carroll rounded out the top-five drivers.
With four official lead changes and four different leaders, the main event showcased torrid battles for position on the heavy Petaluma surface. Second starting Frankie Guerrini grabbed the early lead and quickly felt pressure from Courtney Crone. As Guerrini’s mount wheelied several times on the hooked up adobe clay, Crone managed to grab the top spot on the lap fourteen. Looking for her first series win, Courtney’s lead was taken by Ronnie Gardner six laps later.
While most racers chose the bottom line, the eighth starting Gardner preferred the top groove against a stout cushion. Several caution flags slowed the action and Gardner, who earlier won the companion winged 360 sprint car main, lost the lead to Faccinto on a restart. Saving his mount and losing a few positions, Gardner made his way back to third, only to flip along with the second running Crone on the backstretch. Both drivers were ok as Gardner returned to action and a shaken Crone was done for the night. Faccinto ran away from the competition and won his second Petaluma “Hall of Fame Race.”
Racing the MF Motorsports’ #35 CP Carrillo / OZV Spike, Michael Faccinto earned his fifth career series win after starting sixth. Qualifying second out of 23 racers, the 2016 Louie Vermeil Classic winner placed third in his heat race. To date, Michael ranks fifth in the point chase with one Woodland Auto Display Top Qualifier Award, three top-10 finishes, and 7 feature laps led.
After leading the opening 13 laps, a resurging Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, California) took second in the Petaluma feature. Driving the family owned #63 F&F Racing / Davis Motorsports Spike, Guerrini was seventh quick overall and ran second to Danny Carroll in his heat race. The 2015 BCRA Champion is currently third in the standings with four top-10 finishes.
Alex Schutte (Redding, California) charged from fifth to third in the “Jack London Hall of Fame Race.” Piloting the Schutte/McElwee #28 Proficio / Aircraft Electrical Components Spike, Schutte qualified fourth overall and took fourth in his heat race. The 2010 Champion is eleventh in points with two top-10 finishes and 12 feature laps led to his credit.
After a last corner scramble, Shannon McQueen (Bakersfield, California) emerged with a fourth place finish from ninth at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. Driving the McQueen Racing #7 Simpson Race Products / Lucas Oil Boss, McQueen was ninth fast in time trials and scored third in her heat race. The 2012 Champion is tenth in the point chase with one top-10 finish on the season.
Danny Carroll (Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia) took fifth at the Petaluma checkered flags after starting twelfth. Racing Sean Dodenhoff’s #9C Lightning Medical / Rocket Sports & Entertainment Spike, Carroll qualified thirteenth overall and won the night’s Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1.
J.R. Williams (Carson City, Nevada) earned the night’s Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger / Best Passing Job honors with a twelfth place run from twenty-third. Piloting his #74 Carson City Dodge-Chrysler / Les Schwab Tire Spike, Williams was twenty-third fast in time trials and scored eighth in his heat race.
Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) earned his second Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of the campaign. Driving the Six8 Motorsports’ #68 PAC Springs / Wilwood Brakes Stewart, Gardner took third in his heat race and rebounded to score sixth in the main event. To date, the point leader has two feature wins, two heat race victories, four top-10 finishes, and 40 feature laps led.
Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) raced to victory in the Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #2. Racing the family owned #11E FK Indy / Oilwize Spike, Elliott qualified fourteenth overall and ran seventh in the feature after slowing through the last corners. At press time, the 2015 Rookie of the Year is second in points with three heat race victories and four top-10 finishes in the campaign.
Robert Dalby (Anaheim, California) won the night’s Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Saldana Racing Products Heat Race #3. Piloting the family owned #4D R-D Spring & Stamping / Monster Seal Spike, Dalby was twelfth fast in time trials and scored fifteenth in the main event. To date, Robert is sixth in the point chase with two heat race victories, one Esslinger Engineering Hard Charger Award, and two top-10 finishes.
The Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets will take a break before returning to action on Saturday, August 19th, at Mike Kappmeyer’s Santa Maria Raceway. The fifth point race will also feature the Western RaceSaver 305 Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, American Stocks, Mini Stocks, and WRA Vintage Cars. Santa Maria Raceway is located 1/4-mile north of the 101/166 interchange at 1900 Hutton Road in Nipomo, California. Adult tickets are $16 and for more event information, visit the track’s website at www.santamariaraceway.com or call 805.922.2232.
The Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget Series thanks Hoosier Tire, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Esslinger Engineering, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midget Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Loudpedal Productions has USAC Western States Midget DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229
2017 LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SCHEDULE
August 19: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA
September 2: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 3: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 7: *Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions)
September 16: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
September 30: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
October 14: Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA
October 28: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
November 18: #Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
November 23: #Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)