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If you’re going to make a first impression, make it a big one!
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets makes their debut at California’s Placerville Speedway on Tuesday (Nov. 19) for the inaugural Elk Grove Ford Hangtown 100, the richest event in the history of the series with a total purse of over $150,000 for the two-night spectacular.
Tuesday’s main event will pay $5,000 to the 30-lap winner and features the top-12 cars in combined points throughout the night, starting inverted on the grid.
Wednesday night’s 100-lap Royal Truck Body feature 20 will pay a whopping $20,000 to the victor on the 1/4-mile red clay oval. The overall points champion throughout the two nights will take home a $12,000 bonus.
Sixty (60) USAC NOS Energy Drink National and Western States Midgets are on the entry list for the event, many of whom have never competed in a USAC-sanctioned midget event at Placerville.
Shane Golobic (Fremont, Calif.) has won in both a midget and sprint car at Placerville, wining most recently with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars in September. He also was a victor with the USAC Western States Midgets at Placerville in 2013 and 2017. He had a 2nd place Western States run in 2016 with an additional midget win this past June at his self-described “favorite racetrack in the world.”
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup star Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) has won twice in a midget at Placerville this year alone in both August and September, and finished 7th with WoO in September. He picked up his 16th career USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget victory this past June at The Dirt Oval at Route 66.
Eleven-time USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget winner and 2019 World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion, Brad Sweet (Grass Valley, Calif.), won the WoO round at Placerville in 2018 and, in September, picked up wins in his dash and heat race.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) captured last Saturday’s Western World Championships midget race at Arizona Speedway. He took 7th in a USAC Western States Midget race at Placerville in 2016.
Carson Macedo (Lemoore, Calif.), the 2016 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Rookie of the Year and 2019 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year, led a race-high 23 laps in September’s WoO feature at Placerville before finishing 2nd behind Golobic.
Rico Abreu (St. Helena, Calif.), the 2014 USAC National Midget champion, ran 8th in September with WoO at Placerville. Tanner Carrick (Lincoln, Calif.), who picked up his first career USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature win in July at Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex, finished 19th with WoO at Placerville in September.
The top-nine in the NOS Energy Drink National Midget point standings will all be making their USAC debuts at Placerville this week, including point leader Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.), who carries a hefty 171-point lead into the event ahead of 2018 series champ Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.), two-time USAC National champion Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.), 2014 USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) and 2019 BC39 winner Zeb Wise (Angola, Ind.), all of whom are within the top-five in series points.
Carrick, along with USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.), two-time 2019 series winner Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and ninth-place points holder Tucker Klaasmeyer (Paola, Kans.) will join top series Rookie Andrew Layser (Collegeville, Pa.), 2016 USAC National Midget titlist Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) and 2007 BCRA Midget champ Justin Grant among those making USAC Midget debuts at Placerville.
First-time Placerville USAC Midget combatants include:
Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.): 2019 Shamrock Classic winner
Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.): 2019 Hoosier Auto Racing Fans Driver of the Year
Michael Pickens (Auckland, New Zealand): international racing stars
Dave Darland (Lincoln, Ind.): USAC National champions
Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.): USAC Sprint and Midget winner
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Olive Branch, Miss.): two-time NASCAR Cup winner; two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champ
Aaron Reutzel (Clute, Texas): 2019 Wolrd of Outloaws Sprint winner Gio Scelzi (Fresno, Calif.); two-time Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car titlist
2019 USAC Western States Midget feature winners Ben Worth (Coalinga, Calif.)
Chase Johnson (Penngrove, Calif.)
Kaidon Brown (Sydney, Australia)
Spencer Bayston (Lebanon, Ind.)
Several of the West Coast contingent have extensive experience at Placerville behind the wheel of a midget, including Maria Cofer (Macdoel, Calif.), a BCRA winner at the track in 2018. Her father, 1994 Western States Midget champion Johnny Cofer finished 6th in the first USAC Western States Midget event at Placerville in 1996.
Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) took home a 5th place result in the Western States Midget stop at Placerville in 2013 and was 5th again this past August with BCRA. Randi Pankratz (Atascadero, Calif.) was 19th with Western States in 2013, 6th in 2016 and 14th in 2017. Michael Faccinto (Hanford, Calif.), the 2018 USAC Western States Midget champion, has been a consistent front runner at Placerville with the series, earning finishes of 5th in 2016 and 6th in 2017. He’s had finishes of 4th in August and 5th in September in a pair of 2019 Placerville midget starts.
Current USAC Western States Midget point leader Robert Dalby (Anaheim, Calif.) leads the standings over Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, Calif.) by just 29 markers entering the event, which will pay appearance points only, 50 each night. Dalby took 19th in 2016 USAC action at Placerville and 9th in 2017. He was 2nd in June of this year in a midget at the track. Elliott, meanwhile, was 17th in 2016, a solid 3rd in 2017, and was 4th in June and 3rd in August of this year.
Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, Calif.) finished 10th in both 2016 and 2017 with the USAC Western States Midgets. Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) the 2019 Fremont (Ohio) Speedway Sprint Car track champion who made his USAC National Midget debut this past weekend at Arizona, finished 11th in a 2017 USAC Western States Midget race at Placerville. Two-time USAC Western Classic Sprint Car champion (2013-14) Ryan Bernal (Hollister, Calif.) took 18th in that 2017 round. Jake Morgan (Fair Oaks, Calif.), meanwhile, earned a 3rd place result in a midget at Placerville in June. The versatile Colby Copeland (Roseville, Calif.) competed in both a midget and with WoO in September, scoring a 3rd in the midget and 20th in the sprint car.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tyler Courtney-1,851, 2-Logan Seavey-1,680, 3-Chris Windom-1,679, 4-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-1,619, 5-Zeb Wise-1,579, 6-Tanner Carrick-1,406, 7-Jerry Coons, Jr.-1,384, 8-Jason McDougal-1,309, 9-Tucker Klaasmeyer-1,263, 10-Chad Boat-1,255.
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Robert Dalby-647, 2-Cory Elliott-618, 3-Shannon McQueen-524, 4-David Prickett-466, 5-Austin Liggett-458, 6-Ben Worth-450, 7-C.J. Sarna-433, 8-Kyle Beilman-372, 9-Marvin Mitchell-370, 10-Jake Swanson-348.