NOVEMBER 21, 2016… Charging from sixth, Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) sliced his way past Frankie Guerrini on lap 21 and claimed last Saturday’s win at Bakersfield Speedway. For Gardner, the 30-lap victory was his sixth triumph of the campaign. Guerrini, hard charger Chad Boat, Cory Elliott, and Courtney Crone followed the point leader to the checkered flags.
Driving the Six8 Motorsports’ #68 Baldozier Racing / Esslinger Engineering Stewart, Ronnie Gardner nearly swept the Bakersfield show and has a lock on his fourth straight title. Scoring his fifth Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, Ronnie bested the eighteen car field and ran second to Chad Boat in his heat race. Heading to Thursday’s Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura, Gardner has 155-point lead on the strength of eight heat race victories, two Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Awards, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 116 feature laps led.
Starting on the outside of the front row, Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, California) led the first twenty laps but had to settle for second. Piloting the family owned #63 F&F Racing / David Motorsports Spike, Guerrini was eighth quick in time trials and placed third in his heat race. Last year’s BCRA Champion left Bakersfield ranked fourth in points with two heat race victories, one Competition Suspension Inc. / Rod End Supply Semi Main win, eleven top-10 finishes, and 36 feature laps led.
Primarily running the outside line, Chad Boat (Phoenix, Arizona) earned the night’s Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Rod End Supply “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a third place run from ninth. Racing the Tucker/Boat Motorsports owned #84 Pristine Auction / K&C Drywall Spike, Boat qualified seventh overall and won the night’s Extreme Mufflers Heat Race #1. Tuning up for Turkey Night, the National Series driver is twenty-eighth in western points with two heat race victories and one top-10 finish.
Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) had a solid night in front of his hometown fans and scored fourth. Piloting the family owned #11E FK Indy / Oilwize Spike, Elliott was second fast in time trials and ran second to Michael Faccinto in his heat race. Last season’s Rookie of the Year is currently third in the point standings with five heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and 24 feature laps led to his credit.
Courtney Crone (Corona, California) continues to impress with a fifth place run at Bakersfield Speedway. Driving Jerome Rodela’s #25 Trench Shoring / Ed Pink Racing Engines Breka, Crone qualified third overall and won the night’s Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Heat Race #3. At press time, the leading rookie contender is fifth in points with one heat race victory, two Keizer Aluminum Wheels / Rod End Supply Hard Charger Awards, and eight top-10 finishes on the year.
Michael Faccinto (Hanford, California) raced to victory in the night’s DJ Safety Heat Race #2. Racing the MF Motorsports’ #35F OSV / Lucas Oil Spike, Faccinto was fifth quick in time trials and was running second in the feature before a lost muffler resulted in a twelfth place run. To date, the Louie Vermeil Classic winner is second in the point chase with two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and 67 feature laps led on the season.
On Thursday, November 24th, the USAC Western States Midgets will close out their season at Ventura Raceway for the “76th Annual Turkey Night Grand Prix.” Located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 West Harbor Blvd. in Ventura, California, the event is co-sanctioned with the USAC National Midgets and will also feature the USAC West Coast and VRA Sprint Cars. More event and ticket information can be found at www.venturaraceway.com or calling 805.648.RACE.
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES RACE RESULTS:
November 19, 2016 – Bakersfield California – Bakersfield Speedway
WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Six8-12.869; 2. Cory Elliott, 11E, Elliott-12.940; 3. Courtney Crone, 25, Rodela-12.951; 4. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-13.001; 5. Michael Faccinto, 35F, MF-13.014; 6. Tyler Dolacki, 18, Dolacki-13.051; 7. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-13.099; 8. Frankie Guerrini, 63, Guerrini-13.221 9. Troy Rutherford, 11B, Brutton-13.299; 10. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13.308; 11. Nate Wait, 35W, MF-13.669; 12. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-13.703; 13. Ron Hazelton, 15, Hazelton-13.821; 14. David Prickett, 122Q, Nichols/Neverlift-13.904; 15. Tim Barber, 3T, Finkenbinder-13.917; 16. Brennan Rogers, 20, Rogers-14.347; 17. Quintin Crye, 15X, Crye-14.520; 18. Terry Nichols, 1P, Nichols-NT.
EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Boat, 2. Gardner, 3. Dalby, 4. Pankratz, 5. Rogers, 6. Hazelton. NT.
DJ SAFETY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Faccinto, 2. Elliott, 3. Guerrini, 4. Wait, 5. Crye, 6. Prickett. NT.
BROWN & MILLER RACING SOLUTIONS THIRD HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Crone, 2. Cofer, 3. Rutherford, 4. Dolacki, 5. Barber, 6. Nichols. NT.
LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positions)
1. Ronnie Gardner (6th), 2. Frankie Guerrini (2nd), 3. Chad Boat (9th), 4. Cory Elliott (5th), 5. Courtney Crone (7th), 6. Maria Cofer (4th), 7. Robert Dalby (3rd), 8. Tyler Dolacki (12th), 9. Troy Rutherford (1st), 10. Tim Barber (15th), 11. David Prickett (17th), 12. Michael Faccinto (8th), 13. Randi Pankratz (10th), 14. Quintin Crye (14th), 15. Ron Hazelton (16th), 16. Brennan Rogers (13th), 17. Nate Wait (11th), 18. Terry Nichols (18th). NT
**Waite, Hazelton, Crye, Prickett, and Dalby flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-20 Guerrini, Laps 21-30 Gardner
KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / ROD END SUPPLY HARD CHARGER: Chad Boat (9th to 3rd)
WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS:
1. Ronnie Gardner-1005, 2. Michael Faccinto-850, 3. Cory Elliott-790, 4. Frankie Guerrini-749, 5. Courtney Crone-690, 6. Maria Cofer-585, 7. Robert Dalby-582, 8. Randi Pankratz-573, 9. Cody Swanson-564, 10. Tyler Dolacki-475, 11. Shannon McQueen-356, 12. Alex Schutte-319, 13. Nate Wait-262, 14. Sean Dodenhoff-242, 15. Terry Nichols-228, 16. Robby Josett-201, 17. Dylan Ito-200, 18. Darren Hagen-195, 19. Ashley Hazelton-178, 20. Taylor Simas-177.
2016 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SCHEDULE
November 24: #Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC National Midgets.
#68 Ronnie Gardner and Crew in Bakersfield Victory Lane. Photo by Scott Sheldon / SprintCarScotty.com.