FANS SPEAK AND GET NEW FORMAT AT TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX!
(Perris, CA, November 23, 2015) When the historic 75th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix rolls into Perris Auto Speedway on Thanksgiving Night, fans will be treated to a format change that they had requested with more action on the night for the Honda USAC National and Western States Midgets. In addition to the traditional qualifying, B main and 98-lap championship main, drivers will also have to run heat races giving fans more bang for their racing buck.
“Normally we qualify all of the cars and half the field gets seeded into the main event by their qualifying times,” promoter Don Kazarian told the crowd on the final night of the 20th Annual Oval Nationals. “Then we would run a couple of B mains to seed the rest of the field into the 98-lap main event. This year everybody is going to have to qualify and nobody gets seeded into the main event through qualifying. They will have to get into the main the old fashioned way by transferring from the heat races. If they do not transfer from their heat race, they will have to go to the B main and try to transfer from there. It is a whole new ball game and the fans are going to see a lot more racing.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, California, defending Turkey Night winner Christopher Bell of Norman, Oklahoma, 4-time USAC/CRA Sprint Car champion Damion Gardner of Concord, California, USAC National Midget point leader Tracy Hines of New Castle, Indiana, 3-time Western Midget champion Ronnie Gardner of Corona, California and Rutherford, California’s Rico Abreu are just a handful of the racing stars who will be on hand to try and get their name inscribed on the historic “Aggie Trophy.”
Kyle Larson with Cary Agajanian (left) and J.C. Agajanian Jr. as he accepts the famous Aggie Trophy after winning the 98-lap Turkey Night Grand Prix at Perris Auto Speedway in 2012. Please give photo credit to Doug Allen.
Spectator gates will open at 3:00 PM and fans can meet, get autographs and take photos with all of the competing drivers on the front straightaway from 3:30 to 4:15. At the same time, some of the legends of Turkey Night, including 8-time winner and 2015 Grand Marshal Ron Shuman, will be signing autographs in the track’s sports bar.
Fast qualifier on the night will receive the beautiful, one of a kind Jason Leffler Fast Time Award.
Wheel packing will begin at 5:15 with qualifying at 6:00. The first heat race will take the green flag at 7:00.
For fans wanting turkey dinner, the track will have turkey dinners available at the concession stand.
For fans who want a sneak peek at the competition, there will be a practice session ONLY for Turkey Night Grand Prix cars on Wednesday night that will be free to watch from the grandstands. $2.00 pizza, soda and beer will be available. The practice will begin between 5:00 and 6:00 PM.
Star-Studded Leffler Memorial Entry List Continues to Grow
Friday, October 23rd
Millstadt, IL - The pre-entry list for the Third Annual Jason Leffler Memorial sponsored by Great Clips continues to grow as the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series quickly approaches the highest paying midget event of the year. Set for Friday, October 23rd at Wayne County Speedway in Wayne City, Illinois the Jason Leffler Memorial is expected to produce one of the most memorable races of the 2015 season. Drivers from all across the United States are entered to chase the $20,000 to WIN event in honor of the late NASCAR and open wheel driver, Jason Leffler, with front gate proceeds benefiting Leffler's son, Charlie Dean. The list of drivers is headed up by none-other-than inaugural Jason Leffler Memorial winner, Zach Daum.
Starting the 2015 season off with a rocky start after being injured overseas, the former POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series champion was sidelined for a majority of the 2015 season. But it took less than a handful of races for the Dauminator to knock the rust off and return to his winning ways, claiming events at Lincoln Speedway, Tri-State Speedway, and Macon Speedway. Not only running midgets, Daum has dabbled in various open wheel machines ranging from winged and non-winged sprint cars to micros.
Winning the 2014 Jason Leffler Memorial, World of Outlaws Sprint Car driver Daryn Pittman took home the $10,000 check and bragging rights for the year. Only stepping into a midget a handful of times per year, Pittman's victory was anything but a fluke, as the Pittsboro, Indiana driver had to hold off Christopher Bell and Bryan Clauson for the victory.
Other notable entries include Rico Abreu (2015 Chili Bowl Nationals Champion), Darren Hagen (2015 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Champion), Christopher Bell, and Damion Gardner.
Stringer Holdings, owned by Wayne County Speedway track owner, Doug Stringer, manages the NASCAR, World of Outlaws, and POWRi partnerships for Great Clips. Leffler represented the world's largest salon brand in the NASCAR Nationwide Series from 2006-2011. As a tribute to him, Great Clips is proudly serving as title sponsor of the Jason Leffler Memorial race.
Kevin Thomas Jr.
Thorson Takes Night One of Shaheen's Super Weekend
Friday, October 10th
Jacksonville, IL - Taking the action-packed opening night of the Shaheen's Super Weekend at the ¼ mile Jacksonville Speedway, Tanner Thorson claimed his third POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series victory of 2015.
While Bryan Clauson started on the pole of the 30 lap feature event, it would be Justin Peck from the second position getting the jump off turn four for the initial lead. Setting a solid pace reminiscent of his Spoon River victory, Peck's stride would be slowed with four laps in the books as Ryan Robinson would get upside down in turn three, collecting Terry Babb. Coming back to green, Peck would take right back to rim-riding the slick quarter mile with Clauson in tow. Entering turn three, Clauson would dive to the bottom as the duo began to exchange the top position, until Clauson would barely edge ahead for lap seven.
One lap later, Austin Prock would get into the turn one wall, resulting in Kyle Schuett making contact and spinning around, collecting Alex Sewell in the process. With both drivers lined back up at the tail end of the field, Clauson would show the way as both he and Peck would rip the cushion. On lap 11 the red flag would fly after Justin Peck went in deep for the slide job, ending with the Duracoat Products-Esslinger-powered DRC #5X hopping up the track and into the #91T driven by Tyler Thomas, sending the BT Machine-Esslinger-powered Spike for a ride, collecting Zach Daum.
Returning back to green, Clauson would take the green, only to lose power off turn four coming back around and appear to start to pull off the track, but making the last-minute decision to stay on the track, making contact with Thomas Messeraul sending the 5ive-6ix, Inc. Esslinger-powered Triple X for a ride into the turn one wall. Messeraul would collect Tucker Klaasmeyer, Austin Prock, and Kevin Thomas, Jr.
Inheriting the lead, Darren Hagen would lead the field back to green with Tanner Thorson in tow, followed by Spencer Bayston. On lap 14, Rico Abreu would move in the third positon, but it wouldn't be until lap 20 for Thorson's Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports Toyota-powered Bullet to power around the outside of Hagen exiting turn two for the lead. Even with lap traffic, Hagen would be unable to get within striking distance of Thorson to challenge for the lead. Rico Abreu would bring home third, while Spencer Bayston finished fourth. Zach Daum would finish fifth after coming from the tail due to an early race incident with 11 laps down.
"I can't thank this team enough," said Thorson. "They work their butts off. Keith was unable to make it tonight, but Big Al, Pete, and Chuckie gave me an awesome car to take home the win. Every time we've been here, I seem to lead every single lap until the last five laps and then Rico and Bell get by me every single time. We were able to start in the back tonight and win and that's pretty cool."
"I've got to thank everybody here on my race team," said Hagen. "Without this team, I wouldn't be here. This is my seventh midget championship. It's been a lot of fun with this race team. It's one of the most fun I've been a part of. "
"Hat's off to Tanner, he drove his butt off," said Abreu. "Congratulations to Darren on his championship. We just need to start a little farther up front in these races. It's pretty difficult to start run the cushion there at the end, but all in all, it was a good night."
Feature (30 laps): 1. Tanner Thorson, 2. Darren Hagen, 3. Rico Abreu, 4. Spencer Bayston, 5. Zach Daum, 6. Daniel Robinson, 7. Andy Malpocker, 8. Payton Pierce, 9. Austin Brown, 10. Andrew Felker, 11. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 12. Alex Sewell, 13. Kyle Schuett, 14. Keith Rauch, 15. Austin Prock, 16. Justin Peck, 17. Bryan Clauson, 18. Tyler Thomas, 19. Thomas Messeraul, 20. Kevin Thomas, Jr, 21. Terry Babb, 22. Ryan Robinson.
Bad Boy Indy Invitational Brings Dirt Racing Indoors to Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Bankers Life Fieldhouse to become the site of Indy’s first indoor
Dirt Midget and Outlaw Kart races on Saturday, December 12
INDIANAPOLIS – History will be made as the first indoor Dirt Midget and Outlaw Kart races in Indianapolis will take place inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the Bad Boy Indy Invitational on Saturday, December 12, 2015, as part of a massive motorsports weekend downtown.
After the Indiana Pacers close out their home game against the Miami Heat on Friday, December 11, a dirt-oval track race will be formed inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse overnight using 50 loads of premium dirt and 800 feet of steel barrier and fencing.
40 of the biggest names in Dirt Midget Racing will compete for a $10,000 prize and an opportunity to etch their name in the record books. In addition, an Outlaw Kart race featuring 40 of the most elite competitors in the country will take place with $5,000 awarded to the winner. Competitors will be invited via social media over the coming weeks with an updated list available at www.indyindoors.com.
Tickets start at $20 and go on sale beginning Friday, October 16 at 10 a.m. ET.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE:
ONLINE at www.Ticketmaster.com
VIA PHONE through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000
IN PERSON at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Box Office or any Ticketmaster Outlets
Thomas Claim 11th Annual Meents Memorial, Hagen Seals Championship
Friday, October 2nd
Belleville, IL - Tyler Thomas of Owasso, Oklahoma claimed the 11th Annual Charlene Meents Memorial at Belle-Clair Speedway after a hard fought battle with Zach Daum for his sixth career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series victory, while Darren Hagen's podium finish sealed the championship.
Earning his first-career pole, and in a brand Spike Chassis with Stanton-Fontana power under the hood, Jake Neuman of New Berlin, Illinois led the field to green with Zach Daum to his outside. At the drop of the green flag Daum would take point coming off turn two as Neuman struggled to keep the front wheels on the ground. With one lap in the books, a nine care pile up would occur off turn four involving Tanner Thorson, Austin Brown, Justin Peck, Daniel Adler, Dereck King, Kevin Thomas, Jr., Eric Fenton, Tim Siner, and Joe B. Miller.
Coming back to green, Tyler Thomas would move to the topside and quickly dispatch of Neuman for second. By lap five Thomas was all over Daum for the lead waiting for the right moment to pounce. Entering turn three, Thomas would make his move sliding for the lead only for the caution to fly for Austin Prock and Justin Peck. Resuming racing with nine laps down, Thomas would be all over Daum going down the back stretch and slide for the lead entering turn three, but Daum powered back around, while Darren Hagen took third from Tucker Klaasmeyer.
With 14 laps in the books, the caution would fly as Jake Neuman slowed on the front stretch with a flat left rear tire. On lap 15, Spencer Bayston would move past Tucker Klaasmeyer for the fourth position, only for the red flag to fly one lap later as Terry Babb tipped over on the front stretch after contact with Austin Brown. Coming back to green, Thomas would dive to the bottom of turns three and four, sliding Daum for the lead, but Daum never flinched and drove right around the outside holding onto control. Entering turn one, Thomas would again slide for the lead and briefly take point down the back stretch, only for Daum to retake control coming to the line.
The action would be slowed on lap 20 as Tucker Klaasmeyer slowed on the back stretch. Coming back to green, Thomas would pounce and again slide Daum for the lead entering turn three, but this time the #5D machine would be unable to return as Thomas would hold the lead down the front stretch. Try as he might, Daum would be unable to get close enough to Thomas to make a move as Thomas would securely cross the line for the 11th Annual Charlene Meents Memorial victory. Darren Hagen would come in third, securely becoming the 2015 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Champion. Tanner Thorson took fourth, while Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.
"When we first started coming here, I was the B-main bandit," said Tyler Thomas. "I've wadded a racecar up here and I never had the best luck here, but man it's really been a good one for us lately. Three wins since SPEED Week last year here. First of all, I've got to thank my dad. He did a really good job setting up the car tonight. It was fun racing with Zach. To race this hard with these guys up here and shake hands about it after the race is pretty awesome."
"We broke a valve spring or retainer, something in the valve train broke there," said Zach Daum. "Something was wrong from the get go. Kind of in a hard spot there; you're leading the thing and you don't want to pull off. It got to the point where we had to bury the right rear in there to get off and it just wouldn't pull itself back off. It was a fun little Belleville race; I never thought I'd say that."
"This team, without these guys this wouldn't be possible," said newly crowned 2015 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Champion, Darren Hagen. "All my sponsors, everybody back at the shop, my car owner Austin Brown, my crew Flea and Corey, without their hard work, we wouldn't have pulled off this championship. It's really a testament to how good the car is, and how good our chemistry is as a team."
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1. Tyler Thomas, 2. Zach Daum, 3. Darren Hagen, 4. Tanner Thorson, 5. Spencer Bayston, 6. Ryan Robinson, 7. Kevin Thomas, 8. Andy Malpocker, 9. Dereck King, 10. Kyle Schuett, 11. Terry Babb, 12. Joe B. Miller, 13. Tim Siner, 14. Daniel Adler, 15. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 16. Austin Brown, 17. Payton Pierce, 18. Austin Prock, 19. Jake Neuman, 20. Andrew Felker, 21. Justin Peck, 22. Eric Fenton.
Daum "Dauminates" Ford EcoBoost Challenge at Tri-State Speedway
Saturday, September 27th
Haubstadt, IN - Zach Daum of Pocahontas, Illinois claimed his second POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series victory of 2015, "Dauminating" the Ford EcoBoost Challenge at Tri-State Speedway. Recovering from a violent wreck overseas earlier in 2015, Daum was sidelined for a better part of the 2015 season hindering his bid to defend his POWRi championship titles.
Starting on the pole for the 30 lap feature event, Andrew Felker of Carl Junction, Missouri paced the field in the Sixty-Six Truck and Foreign Salvage-Stanton SR-11 powered-BOSS Chassis # 11A, sharing the front row with Justin Peck of Monrovia, Indiana. At the drop of the green flag, Felker would narrowly lead Peck to turn one as Peck took the lead entering the backstretch, only for the yellow to fly as Darren Hagen and Scott Hatton ended up tangled in turn one. Lined back up for a complete restart, Felker would again get the jump going down the front stretch, only for Peck's Duracoat Products-Esslinger-powered-DRC Chassis to power into the lead coming off turn two and set a torrid pace as Zach Daum moved past Felker for second. As Peck worked the high-side of the high-banked ¼ mile, stretching his lead by the lap, Zach Daum worked to put space between himself and Felker.
With six laps in the books, Ryan Criswell would bring out the caution and bunch the field back up. As Peck led the field back to green, Zach Daum would take advantage of the opportunity and slide Peck for the lead entering turn one, fully taking the position down the back stretch. On lap eight Austin Brown and Critter Malone would move past Felker, as Justin Peck took to the infield one lap later.
Daum craftily worked his way through lap traffic, sticking mainly to the high side and dispatching of cars lap after lap. On lap 20, Critter Malone worked past Austin Brown for second. Daum set a blistering pace, lapping all the way up to seventh. However Daum hit a sticking point as his Daum Crop Insurance-Toyota-powered Eagle #5D came upon the Esslinger-powered BOSS Chassis #17 driven by Darren Hagen. Finally dispatching of Hagen on lap 29, Daum captured his second victory of 2015, while Critter Malone took second and Austin Brown, third. Andrew Felker brought home fourth and Dereck King rounded out the top five.
"I freaking love this place," said Zach Daum. "I won my first big midget race here; the Hut Hundred. We did 100 laps on the bottom here and won that, and we put about 25-30 together on the top. This thing ran flawlessly tonight. I'm so happy. This is big right now. We've worked really hard on this team. We stepped our program up; we try to do better every week. I'd like to finish the year out strong."
"We've raced the midget twice in the last ten years and both times have been here and run second," said second place finisher Critter Malone. "I'm not sure what our plans are right now [regarding future midget races]. We were planning on going sprint car racing, but I need to see how bad that was from tonight. We'll see what happens. We might show up there."
"We had a pretty good run," said third place finisher Austin Brown. "Flea and Corey gave me a good car tonight. I think the driver tailed off a little bit at the end. I should have adjusted my line on the track, but Critter wound up getting by us and that was my fault. But, we had a good run tonight and I'm happy to be here. It was an awesome track tonight, so hopefully it was good for the fans. The preparation on this facility is awesome, I always love coming here. It's definitely one of the best tracks to run at."
Feature (30 laps): 1. 5D - Zach Daum 2. 7C - Critter Malone 3. 7 - Austin Brown 4. 11A - Andrew Felker 5. 91 - Dereck King 6. 17 - Darren Hagen 7. 3N - Jake Neuman 8. 11C - Chett Gehrke 9. 27 - Tucker Klaasmeyer 10. 9K - Kyle Schuett 11. 41 - Austin Prock 12. 11R - Ryan Criswell 13. 4A - Ted Kirkpatrick 14. 50 - Daniel Adler 15. 1 - Scott Hatton 16. 5X - Justin Peck
Bell Takes Herb Barlow Memorial Victories
Friday, September 11th
Jacksonville, IL - Christopher Bell of Norman, Oklahoma dominantly earned his sixth POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series victory of 2015, taking the lead early on and never looking back, while Nathan Benson of Concordia, Missouri won his fifth POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series victory of 2015.
Austin Brown of Millstadt, Illinois started on the pole in the Toyota-powered #7 BOSS Chassis, sharing the front row with Christopher Bell. At the drop of the green flag, Brown jumped into the early lead, keeping Bell and Ryan Robinson at bay. But on lap four, Bell would dive the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports Toyota-powered Bullet to the bottom of the track entering turn one, and slide up in front of Brown to take the top spot. Coming off turn two, Brown would try to challenge, but Bell closed the door on any hopes of a challenge, taking off and setting a torrid pace.
With Bell comfortably out front, eyes would shift towards the Collinsville, Oklahoma native of Tyler Thomas as the he maneuvered the #91T through traffic with the goal of making it to the front. By lap 10 Thomas already piloted the BT Machine Esslinger-powered Spike into the sixth position from 14th. By lap 20 Thomas was knocking on the door of the top three, setting his sights on the duo of Brown and Robinson. Two laps later, Thomas would make his move, attempting a slide job on Robinson, only to fall short and clip Robinson's front end, sending Robinson into the wall, spinning. Robinson would collect Payton Pierce and Dalton Camfield, bringing out the caution.
Coming back to green, Bell would have a comfortable margin of lap cars between himself and Austin Brown. On lap 25, Thomas would move past Brown and work to get within striking distance of Bell, only for action to be slowed as the red flag flew for Gage Walker's upside down machine in turns three and four. Walker would be alright, but done for the remainder of the event. Jake Neuman and Mark Chisholm were also collected in the red flag incident.
After getting the field lined back up, one lap car sat between Tyler Thomas and a five lap assault on Bell. At the wave of the green flag, Bell lurched away from the field as Thomas quickly dispatched of the lap car and tried to work towards Bell, with no luck to catch him. As laps would down, Kevin Thomas, Jr. would move the #67 Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports Toyota-powered Bullet in the third position by lap 28 to round out the top three. Darren Hagen would bring the Austin Brown # 17 Esslinger-powered BOSS Chassis home in the fourth spot, while Spencer Bayston rounded out the top five in the Priority Aviation, BCI, Esslinger-powered Spike Chassis.
"This place is so much fun to run on," Christopher Bell explained. "You can only put on a good show if the surface allows you to and that's what's so fun about coming to Jacksonville. You know you'll always get a good racetrack that can produce good racing. I've learned this years ago: that you're only as good as the racecar underneath you. So I'm just really fortunate to be in good rides."
"I've got to give a shout out to my dad and Duane Moore," said Tyler Thomas. "They got me going really good on the cushion here. That was a lot of fun. The car was working really well, thanks to them. I didn't have enough for Bell; he was pretty much on kill. But, 'shoulda, coulda, woulda,' if we would have started up front, I think I could have worked on him a little bit. We'll just go onto tomorrow and try to get a W."
"It wasn't bad," said Kevin Thomas, Jr. "Here these past few weeks, I've wrecked everything in this midget, so tonight I just wanted to finish. We ended up third and got a few cars there at the end."
Features (30 laps): 1. Christopher Bell, 2. Tyler Thomas, 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 4. Darren Hagen, 5. Spencer Bayston, 6. Justin Peck, 7. Austin Brown, 8. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 9. Kyle Schuett, 10. Andy Malpocker, 11. Robby Parish, 12. Mark Chisholm, 13. Dalton Camfield, 14. Brayton Lynch, 15. Devin Camfield, 16. Gage Walker, 17. Jake Neuman, 18. Ryan Robinson, 19. Payton Pierce, 20. Andrew Felker, 21. Dave Camfield, Jr., 22. Andy Huston, 23. Brad Loyet.