Speedway Digest Staff
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Fifty-three (53) USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship drivers and cars will partake in the 82nd running of the ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix Presented By the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame.
They’ll all converge on California’s Ventura Raceway on Saturday night, November 25, for the next installment of the longest-running midget race of them all, a tradition which dates back to 1934.
At least three past Turkey Night Grand Prix winners are included in the driver lineup, namely defending victor Justin Grant (2022), Logan Seavey (2021) and Tanner Thorson (2015).
They’re among the 14 USAC National Midget feature winners in the field, 11 of which are vying for a first Turkey Night midget triumph. It’s a list which includes series champions Buddy Kofoid (2021-22) and Spencer Bayston (2017), plus Thomas Meseraull, Cannon McIntosh, Ryan Timms, Emerson Axsom, Carson Macedo, Jacob Denney, Daison Pursley, Bryant Wiedeman and Mitchel Moles.
Five past Turkey Night Rookies of the Race will be in the field: Thorson, Macedo, McIntosh, Moles and Jake Andreotti who finished fourth in 2022. This year’s class competing for Don Basile Rookie of the Race honors features 25 different drivers.
Leading USAC National Midget Rookie Gavin Miller will be a contender in his first ever Turkey Night run as will the likes of recently crowned ARCA Stock Car champion Jesse Love, plus 2023 NARC Sprint Car champ Corey Day, America’s winningest non-wing sprint car driver Ricky Lewis, New Zealand midget champ Peter Hunnibell, USAC regulars Hayden Reinbold and Chase McDermand, plus winged sprint car ace Jake Bubak, just to name a few.
Five women will compete at Turkey Night with full-time series drivers Jade Avedisian and Taylor Reimer shooting for their first ever USAC win on the big stage as will series Rookie Mariah Ede and veteran racers Randi Pankratz and Shannon McQueen.
McQueen is among the four USAC Western States Midget champions set to defend their home “turf,” so to speak, at Ventura. McQueen (2012) will be joined in that group by two-time titlist Michael Faccinto (2018 & 22), Blake Bower (2021) and newly crowned series king Brody Fuson (2023).
This year’s Turkey Night weekend will once again feature the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars, which also features an entry list that has already surpassed 50 drivers and cars.
Friday, November 24: Grandstands open at 3pm. Midget practice, plus sprint car hot laps, qualifying, heat races and main event.
Saturday, November 25: Grandstands open at 3pm. Sprint car semis and main events plus Turkey Night Grand Prix midget hot laps, qualifying, last chance qualifiers, semis and the 98-lap feature.
Advance tickets, priced from $22-45, can be purchased at www.venturaraceway.com. Additional information is available at 805-648-7223.
2023 TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX USAC MIDGET ENTRY LIST:
00 JAKE ANDREOTTI/Castro Valley, CA (Pete Davis)
1p ®TERRY NICHOLS/Delano, CA (Nichols-Peckfelder Motorsports)
2 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (RMS Racing)
3v ®JIM VANZANT/Prescott, AZ (Jim & Bonnie Vanzant)
4 ®COREY DAY/Clovis, CA (Willie Kahne)
5K CADE LEWIS/Bakersfield, CA (Dean Alexander)
5v ®RYAN TIMMONS/Pleasant Hill, CA (Dean Alexander)
6A ®RICKY LEWIS/Camarillo, CA (Cruz Pedregon)
7 SHANNON McQUEEN/Tehachapi, CA (McQueen Racing)
7x THOMAS MESERAULL/San Jose, CA (Tim Engler)
8 RANDI PANKRATZ/Atascadero, CA (Wally Pankratz)
9 ®BLAKE BOWER/Brentwood, CA (Tony Boscacci)
9AU SPENCER BAYSTON/Lebanon, IN (Dyson Motorsport)
14J ®BRADEN CHIARAMONTE/El Cajon, CA (Graunstadt Enterprises-Streeter Racing)
14T MICHAEL FACCINTO/Hanford, CA (Graunstadt Enterprises-Matt Streeter Racing)
15ws RON HAZELTON/Chatsworth, CA (TRC Transmission)
19 DAISON PURSLEY/Locust Grove, OK (Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports)
19AZ ®HAYDEN REINBOLD/Gilbert, AZ (Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports)
19T MITCHEL MOLES/Raisin City, CA (Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports)
20 C.J. SARNA/Palm Desert, CA (Sarna Motorsports)
21K ®GAGE RUCKER/Truxton, MO (Kruseman Enterprises)
25 JACOB DENNEY/Galloway, OH (Tom Malloy)
25K TAYLOR REIMER/Bixby, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
27 ®JAKE BUBAK/Arvada, CO (Bourke Motorsports)
31 CHASE JOHNSON/Penngrove, CA (Beilman Motorsports)
31B ®KYLE BEILMAN/Los Angeles, CA (Beilman Motorsports)
32 ®CADEN SARALE/Stockton, CA (Caden Sarale)
35H ®A.J. HERNANDEZ/Phoenix, AZ (MF Motorsports)
35K ®JOEY KLEMISH/Cortez, CO (MF Motorsports)
50 ®DANE CULVER/Riverside, CA (Knuckles Up Racing)
51 BRODY FUSON/Bakersfield, CA (Rusty Carlile)
55 ®COLE WAKIM/Simi Valley, CA (Steve Lambert)
57 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Abacus Racing)
58 DANIEL WHITLEY/Ferndale, CA (Abacus Racing)
65NZ ®PETER HUNNIBELL/Auckland, NZ (Ben Covich)
67 RYAN TIMMS/Oklahoma City, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
67K BUDDY KOFOID/Penngrove, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
68 EMERSON AXSOM/Franklin, IN (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
68w CHANCE CRUM/Snohomish, WA (Six8 Motorsports)
71 JADE AVEDISIAN/Clovis, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
71D ®BRYAN DROLLINGER/San Pedro, CA (Drollinger Bros.)
71E ®MARIAH EDE/Fresno, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
71K ®KALE DRAKE/Collinsville, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
73 ®DAVID GASPER/Goleta, CA (Josh Ford Motorsports)
73 TBA (Josh Ford Motorsports)
73x ®CHASE McDERMAND/Springfield, IL (Josh Ford Motorsports)
78 ®MARVIN MITCHELL/Madera, CA (Marvin Mitchell)
81 BRYANT WIEDEMAN/Colby, KS (CB Industries)
84 ®JESSE LOVE/Menlo Park, CA (CB Industries)
86 CANNON McINTOSH/Bixby, OK (CB Industries)
88 TANNER THORSON/Minden, NV (Tanner Thorson Racing)
97 ®GAVIN MILLER/Allentown, PA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)
99AU CARSON MACEDO/Lemoore, CA (Dyson Motorsport)
® Don Basile Rookie of the Race Contenders
Kyle Larson estimated that it had been the longest he’d gone without winning a midget race in his illustrious career.
As it turned out, the ingredients that made up his last victory just two days shy of two years ago turned out to be the same mix that led him to victory lane during Friday night’s Hangtown 100 opener at California’s Placerville Speedway.
Although Larson’s time spent behind the wheel of a midget is fewer and far between these days with all his other obligations, this was one he had long coveted, and of course, winning never becomes old hat, even for Larson.
“It was a lot of fun and it’s cool to get back into victory lane in a midget,” Larson stated. “Not that I race them a lot, but it’s been a couple years since I’ve won a midget race. I’ve run 10 or 12 midget races over the last couple of years and that’s probably the longest I’ve gone without winning a midget race.”
In fact, the most recent USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship dub for the Elk Grove, Calif. native came at the very same racetrack and in the very same racecar on this very same weekend in 2021, just less than two weeks after wrapping up that year’s NASCAR Cup Series title.
This time around, utilizing a decade-old Eagle chassis, Larson seemed to be in a class of his own as he raced from his sixth starting position and into the lead just six laps into the feature, then proceeded to glide his way through heavy traffic throughout the duration to win a non-stop, green-to-checker 30-lap main event that ran to completion in a staggering six minutes and 14.69 seconds in his Kyle Larson Racing/HendrickCars.com – FloRacing/Eagle.
“It was fun to go 30 laps non-stop,” Larson acknowledged. “That was pretty intense from my seat. Traffic was crazy and I was watching the board and trying to peek back when I could. I felt like I was putting together good laps. You just don’t know for sure when you get stuck like that.”
Larson’s win was the 26th of his USAC National Midget career, moving him past Darren Hagen, Parnelli Jones and Dave Strickland for sole possession of 17th place on the all-time list.
With that said, it took quite an effort just to even get to the point of celebrating his latest triumphant performance. Three separate rain delays disrupted the evening, and to boot, another visit by Mother Nature arrived not too long after the completion of the feature, making for a juiced up 1/4-mile dirt oval.
The driver who has been the most unstoppable on the USAC National Midget circuit all year long is series point leader Logan Seavey who earned the pole and led the initial five laps of the feature ahead of fellow front row starter Taylor Reimer.
A bit further back, Larson slung his ride to the outside and kept his wheel affixed there as he paraded around the outside of Justin Grant, Gavin Miller and Buddy Kofoid in rapid-fire succession. Encountering daylight on the bottom, Larson took the opportunity to drive underneath Taylor Reimer at the exit of turn four on lap five to take second.
All it took was one more lap for Larson to sail around the outside of Seavey in turn two for the lead, and from there, the war was focused on lapped traffic as Larson set a torrid pace, building a full straightaway lead by the halfway point as he powered around the back half of the field at will, a tone he set from the start of the night when he set quick time in qualifying.
“I knew my car was going to be good and I felt really good in the heat race too,” Larson acknowledged. “I just needed to clean some things up. The track was in-between, and we didn’t know what it was going to do with all the rain coming and going and tilling it and all that. When they reworked it before the semi, I could tell that the bottom wasn’t quite that good early, so I was just going to commit to the top and try and get some momentum built. The car just got through the holes well compared to everybody else. That allowed me to move around.”
Larson’s execution was just as perfect in the second half of the race as it was in the first, slicing through the chunky cushion with precision, which gave him the confidence he needed to enter with speed up there. Seemingly, every driver in front of him throughout the race had to enter slower and straighter than he did. Meanwhile, he could just bury it into the cushion and harbored no worries about biking or flipping. When you have a car you’re confident in, you can do a lot with it regardless of the lane, and Larson had exactly what he needed.
As he caught traffic, he was able to get by the first handful with relative ease because they were all running the bottom. Once he got into the thick of the back markers, the task became as tough as two-dollar steak due to this portion of the field running everywhere he wanted to be and making it more difficult to maintain that momentum.
Nonetheless, it didn’t deter Larson much, if at all, as he finished off his trouncing of the 24-car field by a 2.564 second margin over Logan Seavey, Buddy Kofoid and Jade Avedisian with Taylor Reimer rounding out the top-five.
Despite Larson’s victory in the same chassis a couple years prior, by and large, the car was a handful and didn’t produce the type of results night-in and night-out that they expected at the time. In 2023, it’s “so far, so good” with the car handling to perfection and ably maneuvering around every encounter on his way to victory with a crew led by ace wrench Paul Silva.
“We struggled with this thing a couple of years ago when we ran the west coast swing, the Chili Bowl and all that,” Larson recalled. “My car felt really good there; I could get through the holes really good, and I felt like we improved on it each time we hit the racetrack. It feels special after struggling with this thing a couple of years ago to come out and be that much better than the field. Logan’s been dominating the season, and I was able to pass him for the lead. Buddy, Grant, Reimer, everybody up there, they’re really good midget racers. To come in and win the first night out, it feels really great.”
The top-four finishers all represented the state of California at their home state track. Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) led the opening five laps and finished as the runner-up in his Abacus Racing/Honest Abe Roofing - Indy Custom Stone - Laura Kopetsky Tri-Ax/Spike/Stanton SR-11x. The USAC National Midget point leader is now one step closer to clinching the title. And get this. In his past 19 series starts, he’s accumulated 19 top-tens and 18 top-five finishes.
Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) took a third-place finish in his Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Mobil 1 – TRD – Curb Records/Lynk/Speedway Toyota. While the result did end his two-race winning streak with the USAC National Midgets at Placerville, he did continue another run. He's now finished on the podium in his last five Hangtown 100 event starts dating back to 2021.
In such a quick race that seemingly ended in just a few blinks of an eye, it was imperative for any driver to be up on the wheel from the get-go. In that slim time frame, Jade Avedisian (Clovis, Calif.) was the biggest mover, advancing from 12th to finish fourth in her Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Peelz Citrus – Fowler Packing Co./Lynk/Speedway Toyota.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: November 17, 2023 – Placerville Speedway – Placerville, California – 1/4-Mile Dirt Track – Hangtown 100
FIRST HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING GROUP: 1. Taylor Reimer, 25K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.212; 2. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-12.234; 3. Chase Johnson, 31, Beilman-12.293; 4. Thomas Meseraull, 7x, Engler-12.300; 5. Mitchel Moles, 19T, Reinbold/Underwood-12.308; 6. Emerson Axsom, 68, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.453; 7. Mariah Ede, 71E, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.495; 8. Jake Andreotti, 00, Davis-12.691; 9. Caden Sarale, 14T, Graunstadt/Streeter-12.731.
SECOND HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING GROUP: 1. Buddy Kofoid, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.296; 2. Corey Day, 4, Kahne-12.388; 3. Braden Chiaramonte, 14J, Graunstadt/Streeter-12.407; 4. Daison Pursley, 19, Reinbold/Underwood-12.425; 5. Jade Avedisian, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.469; 6. Cannon McIntosh, 86, CBI-12.945; 7. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-13.148; 8. Blake Bower, 9, Boscacci-13.275; 9. Kyle Beilman, 31B, Beilman-13.554.
THIRD HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING GROUP: 1. Justin Grant, 2, RMS-12.198; 2. Jacob Denney, 25, Malloy-12.262; 3. Gavin Miller, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.299; 4. Carson Macedo, 99AU, Dyson-12.406; 5. David Gasper, 73, Ford-12.438; 6. Ryan Timms, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.552; 7. Hayden Reinbold, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.584; 8. Bryant Wiedeman, 81, CBI-12.684; 9. Landon Brooks, 57w, Wood-12.753.
FOURTH HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING GROUP: 1. Kyle Larson, 1K, Larson-12.107; 2. Spencer Bayston, 9AU, Dyson-12.158; 3. Tanner Carrick, 98, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.172; 4. Jesse Love, 84, CBI-12.187; 5. Chris Windom, 89, CBI-12.218; 6. Tanner Thorson, 88, Thorson-12.299; 7. Brody Fuson, 51, Carlile-12.485; 8. Shane Golobic, 17w, Wood-12.568; 9. Chance Crum, 68w, Six8-12.679.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, winner + top-4 in points transfer to the feature) 1. Emerson Axsom (T), 2. Mitchel Moles (T), 3. Thomas Meseraull (T), 4. Jake Andreotti, 5. Logan Seavey (T), 6. Taylor Reimer (T), 7. Chase Johnson, 8. Mariah Ede, 9. Caden Sarale. 2:06.71
ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, winner + top-4 in points transfer to the feature) 1. Cannon McIntosh (T), 2. Jade Avedisian (T), 3. Blake Bower, 4. Daison Pursley (T), 5. Buddy Kofoid (T), 6. Braden Chiaramonte, 7. Corey Day (T), 8. Shannon McQueen, 9. Kyle Beilman. NT
T.J. FORGED THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, winner + top-4 in points transfer to the feature) 1. Jacob Denney (T), 2. Ryan Timms (T), 3. Gavin Miller (T), 4. Hayden Reinbold (T), 5. Justin Grant (T), 6. Landon Brooks, 7. Bryant Wiedeman, 8. Carson Macedo, 9. David Gasper. NT
CAR IQ FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, winner + top-4 in points transfer to the feature) 1. Shane Golobic (T), 2. Tanner Carrick (T), 3. Tanner Thorson (T), 4. Brody Fuson, 5. Kyle Larson (T), 6. Spencer Bayston (T), 7. Jesse Love, 8. Chance Crum, 9. Chris Windom. 2:03.09
ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Braden Chiaramonte, 2. Brody Fuson, 3. Jake Andreotti, 4. Carson Macedo, 5. Chase Johnson, 6. Chris Windom, 7. Bryant Wiedeman, 8. Jesse Love, 9. Mariah Ede, 10. Chance Crum, 11. Landon Brooks, 12. David Gasper, 13. Shannon McQueen, 14. Kyle Beilman, 15. Caden Sarale, 16. Blake Bower. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kyle Larson (6), 2. Logan Seavey (1), 3. Buddy Kofoid (4), 4. Jade Avedisian (12), 5. Taylor Reimer (2), 6. Gavin Miller (3), 7. Jacob Denney (8), 8. Justin Grant (5), 9. Tanner Carrick (7), 10. Spencer Bayston (14), 11. Shane Golobic (18), 12. Cannon McIntosh (13), 13. Ryan Timms (16), 14. Emerson Axsom (11), 15. Mitchel Moles (10), 16. Tanner Thorson (17), 17. Carson Macedo (23), 18. Brody Fuson (24), 19. Daison Pursley (15), 20. Jake Andreotti (22), 21. Corey Day (21), 22. Braden Chiaramonte (20), 23. Hayden Reinbold (19), 24. Thomas Meseraull (9). 6:14.69
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 Logan Seavey, Laps 6-30 Kyle Larson.
**Blake Bower flipped during the semi.
(T) represents a heat race transfer
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-1539, 2-Justin Grant-1309, 3-Bryant Wiedeman-1255, 4-Daison Pursley-1235, 5-Ryan Timms-1228, 6-Jade Avedisian-1212, 7-Jacob Denney-1163, 8-Gavin Miller-1101, 9-Cannon McIntosh-1072, 10-Taylor Reimer-1031.
OVERALL USAC NATIONAL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Daison Pursley-188, 2-Logan Seavey-152, 3-Justin Grant-120, 4-Emerson Axsom-117, 5-Shane Cottle-106, 6-Matt Westfall-105, 7-Robert Ballou-100, 8-Chase Stockon-95, 9-Brady Bacon-92, 10-Mitchel Moles-91.
NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: November 18, 2023 – Placerville Speedway – Placerville, California – 1/4-Mile Dirt Track – Hangtown 100
CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS
Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Cannon McIntosh (12.052)
Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Kyle Larson (12.107)
Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Emerson Axsom
Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Cannon McIntosh
T.J. Forged Third Heat Winner: Jacob Denney
Car IQ Fourth Heat Winner: Shane Golobic
Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: Braden Chiaramonte
Green APU Green Flag Challenge First Lap Leader: Logan Seavey
Hard Charger: Jade Avedisian (12th to 4th)
Saturday’s running of the Hangtown 100 has been postponed to Sunday, November 19, at California’s Placerville Speedway.
Morning rain and a forecast calling for a 100 percent chance of precipitation throughout the remainder of Saturday forced postponement of the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event.
On Sunday, pits will open at Noon Pacific and front gates open at 2pm with the drivers meeting set for 2:30pm and cars hitting the track for action at 3:30pm. The event will culminate with the only 100-lap USAC Midget event of the season.
During Friday night’s Hangtown 100 opener, Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) raced to the feature victory. Larson (2019) is also one of three past Hangtown 100 winners who’ll be in this Sunday’s lineup along with Justin Grant (2021) and Buddy Kofoid (2012).
Reserved and general admission ticket packages for the Hangtown 100, along with single night tickets, are available at www.hangtown100.com. Tickets will also be available at the gate on race day.
Kyle Larson took the lead on lap six and proceeded to run away from the field on night one of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ Hangtown 100 at Placerville Speedway, Friday.
While Larson stretched out more than a three-second lead up front, the biggest battle of the night was positions two through five. Buddy Kofoid battled second-place Logan Seavey for much of the night for the runner-up spot before having to hold off a late run by his Keith Kunz Motorsports teammates Jade Avedisian and Taylor Reimer for the third position. Kofoid would maintain his position and then began to close on Seavey in the final laps, but came up just short as Kofoid finished third, followed by Avedisian and Reimer to give Toyota-powered drivers four of the top-five finishing positions.
Toyota-powered drivers also earned positions six through ten as Gavin Miller placed sixth, followed by Jacob Denney, Justin Grant, Tanner Carrick, and Spencer Bayston.
Tonight’s victory marked the 37th national midget feature win by a Toyota-powered driver in 2023.
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series returns to Placerville Speedway Saturday night for the Hangtown 100’s 100-lap feature event. The event will mark the midway point of this year’s West Coast Swing featuring six events in 12 nights culminating in the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway, November 25.
Buddy Kofoid, Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota: “It was a dogfight for third. I got to racing with Logan for second and I tried to move up and then I was back racing for third and fourth. Then I got back to third and tried to get back to the bottom and try to take advantage if Logan made a mistake. KKM gave me a really good Mobil 1 Toyota 67K. Overall, not a bad day and it puts us in a good position for tomorrow. Hopefully, we can get another Hangtown 100.”
Toyota-Powered Drivers USAC Placerville Speedway Friday Feature Results
Kyle Larson – 1st
Buddy Kofoid – 3rd
Jade Avedisian – 4th
Taylor Reimer – 5th
Gavin Miller – 6th
Jacob Denney – 7th
Justin Grant – 8th
Tanner Carrick – 9th
Spencer Bayston – 10th
Cannon McIntosh – 12th
Ryan Timms – 13th
Emerson Axsom – 14th
Carson Macedo – 17th
Abacus Racing announced today that Indianapolis, Indiana native Tyler Courtney will pilot the #57 entry in the 2024 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl.
Courtney is the 2019 USAC National Midget champion, 2018 USAC National Sprint Car Champion and 2-time series champion of the All-Star Circuit of Champions (2021 and 2022). With an extensive resume that includes 26 USAC National sprint car wins, 13 USAC National midget wins and 2 USAC Silver Crown Wins, Courtney is excited to bring his experience to a team that is currently leading USAC National Midget series points.
“I have had a lot of success in racing, but until you get a Golden Driller, you will always feel that there is a void on your trophy shelf. To drive for Abacus (Racing) at the 2024 Chili Bowl Nationals with the year they are having, I know I have a good chance” said Courtney
Brent Cox, Team Principal for Abacus Racing, knew he was going to have a void to fill in the #57 car with current USAC National Midget Points leader Logan Seavey driving for Kevin Swindell in the 2024 Chili Bowl Nationals to defend his 2023 Chili Bowl Nationals win. Said Cox, “Logan let us know early in the year that he was committed to Kevin for the 2024 Chili Bowl Nationals, so we knew it was very important for us to find an experienced driver to fill that seat. We feel very confident we have done that with Tyler.”
The package that Abacus Racing will run for the Chili Bowl is one that Tyler is familiar with from his midget days with Clauson-Marshall Racing. “One plus is the year they are having, but another plus is that they run a Spike Chassis with CSI Shocks and a Stanton SR-11x engine so it is a package I am familiar with”, continued Courtney.
Primary sponsorship will come from long-time Courtney sponsor NOS Energy Drink. Other sponsors will include Carrington Homes, CG CPAs, Indy Custom Stone, Dozerz Nutz & Boltz and Forecheck Marketing.
“I have had some success at the Chili Bowl in prior years, winning rookie of the year in 2011 and a prelim(inary) night win in 2017, but the goal is to make that A-main on Saturday night and work to finish the night on the top step of the podium” continued Courtney. “I believe that Abacus (Racing) can give me that chance, but to get there a lot of things need to go your way along with having a great car. I look forward to getting to Tulsa to see what we can do as a team.”
The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals will begin on January 7, 2024 with practice with qualifying nights starting on January 8 and concluding with its feature events on January 13, 2024.
Abacus Racing is headquartered in Indianapolis, IN.
Abacus Racing PR
23-year-old Nathan Byrd of Litchfield Park, Ariz. will take on the inaugural Riskon360! Open Wheel Showdown with a triple-duty campaign, racing in the $50,000-to-win Winged Sprint Car, $10,000-to-win Midget, and $5,000-to-win Super Modified divisions at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Byrd will be making his Winged Sprint Car and Super Modified debuts during the event that runs from November 30 through December 2.
Byrd is a fourth-generation racer but the first in his family to pursue a professional driving career. His great grandmother started the Byrd Racing tradition of owning, preparing, and sponsoring race cars. Byrd Racing is most well-known for its exploits at the Indianapolis 500 and Nathan Byrd joins Davey Hamilton, Jr. and Sr. along with Arie Luyendyk, Jr. among entrants with ties to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The strong entry list and record-breaking purse have the Open Wheel Showdown set to be one of the biggest events in pavement open wheel racing in many years.
“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of a racing family and brand that has its roots in Indy,” Byrd said. “It’s cool because I’m technically the first Byrd racer that’s raced at a professional level.”
“It’s really awesome that (Davey Hamilton, Jr.) has been able to make this happen. It’s going to be the biggest Winged Sprint Car show ever and a really special event. I’m grateful to be a part of it,” Byrd said.
Byrd has had one of the most varied racing careers in North America over the last two or three years, racing road courses and short tracks in both open wheel and closed wheel machines. At the Open Wheel Showdown, he will test his adaptability in a Sprint Car fielded by Jimmy Waters, a Super Modified owned by Jim Birges, and a pavement Midget for the juggernaut Bertrand Motorsports.
“That’s been my whole training method, jumping back and forth with different cars,” Byrd said. “Working up the limits in a safe and proper manner. It usually takes me a few laps to adjust to the next car. (At the Open Wheel Showdown) there’s not going to be that much time to do that. I’m going to have to be on it really hard from the get-go.”
The young racer has set realistic expectations for himself, knowing the quality of equipment he will have underneath him against over 100 of the top Open Wheel drivers in the world.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see how I stack up among the Sprints and Super Modified since I’m going in as a newbie and relying on my adaptability,” Byrd said. “I think all the cars I’m driving are going to be very competitive and as long as I do my work as a driver, I definitely hope to be in the conversation and show I deserve to be there.”
Pit pass sales and assigned hauler parking opens on Wednesday before on-track activity begins on Thursday with Winged Sprint Car practice. Practice begins at 2pm and runs until 8pm. On Friday, pit gates open at 9am with grandstands opening at 12:30pm. Time trials for the Winged Sprint Cars are set for 2:45pm. Opening Ceremonies are at 5:00pm with the 12-lap Winged Sprint Car heat races to follow.
Saturday’s championship night includes qualifying for the Midgets and Super Modifieds and all features. Open Ceremonies are at 4:30pm followed by the Winged Sprint Car Dash, C- and B-Mains, and the 100-lap feature. It will also include the 50-lap Midget and 40-lap Super Modified features. Grandstands open at 12:30pm
General Admission Tickets are on sale though the Las Vegas Motor Speedway ticket office and online. Details can be found at both www.LVMS.com and the Open Wheel Showdown website. Adult tickets are $25 and kids 12 and under are free! More information is available at www.OpenWheelShowdown.com
Pit Pass sales will be available at the gates on race weekend and include access to the grandstands. Pit passes are $150 for a three-day pass or $105 for a two-day pass.
The event will be telecast through Speed Sport with a $24.99 access pass available to view both nights of the excitement live! For more info, visit www.SpeedSport.Live
Renee Wilm, CEO of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, and Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1, today issued the following statement:
“Our top priority at Formula 1 is the safety and security of our drivers, employees, and fans. Responsibility for the oversight of a Formula 1 event falls with Formula 1 as the commercial rights holder of the sport, the FIA as the regulatory body, and the local promoter, in this case the Las Vegas Grand Prix. This is important for those who are new to racing to understand.
“Last night, approximately nine minutes into the first Free Practice session, a water valve cover broke on the straight on Las Vegas Boulevard. At that time the FIA, which is responsible for the safe running of the activities on the circuit, stopped the session so that we could look at the broken water valve cover and inspect the track. This has happened on occasion at other tracks at other races around the world.
“The precautionary step of removing all of the water valve covers on the entire track and filling them with sand and asphalt was undertaken. The entire process, from determination of the issue to remediation, took approximately five hours. The decision to remediate in this way was taken out of an abundance of caution and because the safety of drivers, trackside marshals and officials and our fans is always our highest priority. We thank the contractors who worked expeditiously to resolve the situation so quickly.
“As a result, the first Free Practice ended early. We moved ahead with the second Free Practice session at approximately 2:30 AM PT for 90 minutes.
“The decision to run the second Free Practice session at 2:30 AM PT was supported by all parties to ensure the sporting integrity of the remainder of the event.
“We would like to thank the drivers, mechanics and all the teams for their patience and commitment last night to ensure that we could run the session successfully.
“Now, let us turn to the fan experience.
“The delay in the start of the second Free Practice session from midnight to 2:30 AM PT created risks for our employees and our fans.
“We made the decision to close the fan areas that are under LVGP’s purview at 1:30 AM PT and send fans home.
“Let us explain why.
“First, we were concerned about our public safety and security officials who had been in service for a long time and who are being asked to work for the next three nights. We thank Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Department of Public Works and other public safety officials for their incredible support during the event and also as we re-opened the track early this morning.
“Second, we were concerned about our transportation employees who are responsible for driving our fans back to hotels. By Federal law, they were bumping up against the amount of time they can legally and safely drive buses.
“Finally, our hospitality staff needed the ability to clean and resupply our guest areas to ensure that the fan experience is optimal for everyone over the coming days.
“We know this was disappointing. We hope our fans will understand based on this explanation that we had to balance many interests, including the safety and security of all participants and the fan experience over the whole race weekend.
“We have all been to events, like concerts, games and even other Formula 1 races, that have been cancelled because of factors like weather or technical issues. It happens, and we hope people will understand.
“So how will we address this tonight?
“We have worked overnight to adjust our staffing plans across security, transportation and hospitality to ensure that we can function and serve fans with the best possible experience in the event of an extended race schedule.
“We are excited about the racing today and thank our entire team and our fans for their support. We know this is going to be a great event. With that let’s get back to racing.”
Dean, the two-time ARCA Menards Series winner, will showcase his massive Mud Truck nicknamed “Vengeance” as the Bluffton, S.C. native looks to deliver another podium finish to close out a competitive 2023 Motorsports season.
“Twitty’s Trucks Gone Wild is such an exhilarating event to be a part of,” said Dean with a chuckle. “It is very competitive, but it’s also a day where people smile and have a great time everywhere you turn.”
Expected to be a packed house on Saturday afternoon, Dean said his Dean Racing team relishes in the compliments of his “Vengeance” vehicles and utilizes the events to compete and educate.
Dean also hopes Saturday leads the opportunity to set a new personal best-eclipsed lap around the unique course. The popular driver added the Mud Truck, which boasts more than 1800 horsepower, to his Motorsports platform less than two years ago.
“Even when I’m turning circles with Late Models or ARCA, I always tell everyone about our Mud Truck,” he explained. “It is something everyone has to experience at least once. The synergy these events bring reminds me of a NASCAR weekend.
“Lots of people, plenty of cheering, excellent competition, and most of all cool looking race vehicles. I am fortunate enough to have my own cheering section, whether competing on Daytona International Speedway’s high banks or getting dirty in the mud.
“That’s something I never take for granted, and I continue to appreciate all the support, especially when racing locally. This weekend is another opportunity to keep digging and continue getting faster.”
Saturday’s “Trucks Gone Wild” event will conclude Dean’s 2023 Motorsports schedule. This season, the South Carolinian participated in Late Models, the ARCA Menards Series and Mud Truck competition.
Dean experienced success in all three series, including a runner-up finish at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in April and followed it up with another runner-up finish at Michigan International Speedway in August.
No matter what happens on Saturday, Dean is thankful to continue a racing career and will soon be ready for 2024.
“It’s been a busy year, especially my first year being married to my wife and best friend, but we’ve had a very competitive racing season too,” Dean added. “Our speed with Venturini Motorsports carried over to
the 2023 season, and I think we turned some heads.
“We showed some speed with our Late Model and, of course, the success in the Mud Truck too. It’s all part of the journey; I would not change it for anything.”
Dean already knows some of his racing plans for next season, which include returning to the potent Venturini Motorsports for the season-opening ARCA Menards Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17, 2024.
“Things are coming together for next season,” added Dean. “We’ll announce more in the future, but it’s great to know that with our Daytona plans set, we can go to Twitty’s Mud Bog on Saturday and have fun!”
Gus Dean PR
The SRX Racing Series will return to Stafford Speedway for the 5th time next July. Stafford Speedway and SRX officials have announced that the 2024 SRX series will once again open their season in Stafford Springs, CT on Thursday, July 11th. This marks the 3rd time SRX has kicked off their season at Stafford.
“This is a testament to the Northeast race fans,” explained Stafford Speedway CEO Mark Arute. “We were honored to host the SRX series the first time in 2021, now we are on SRX's fifth visit to Stafford. Our fans continue to show how much they love short track racing. Each time the SRX series has come to town the atmosphere in the stands is incredible. The Northeast has always been overlooked when it comes to the national auto racing spotlight but SRX has proved that these fans deserve events like this.”
Past Stafford SRX winners include quite the mix of drivers with Ryan Newman winning twice in 2022 and 2023, Denny Hamlin taking home the win in his first SRX start in 2023, and local hero Doug Coby shocking the world and winning in the SRX series debut in 2021. If history is any indication, 2024 will be another event full of drama and surprises.
“I’ve known the Arute’s for a very long time, they wanted SRX back and we think it makes sense,” explained SRX CEO Don Hawk. “The ownership group, ESPN, and the drivers' reaction was similar - they run a first class race track and we pack the place every year. Why not reward that commitment and passion of the entire Arute Family with the return to CT.”
Tickets for the July 11th event will go on sale January 6, 2024. Season ticket holders can now purchase SRX tickets as an add-on with their annual season ticket renewal.
Full driver lineup will be announced in early 2024. Past drivers include Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Preece and more. See all past SRX results on srxracing.com.
SRX Racing PR