How many 16-year-old race drivers have wheeled four different types of race cars in three straight weeks? The answer is, very few. One of the few who can say he did that is El Cajon, California’s Braden Chiaramonte. Two weeks ago the talented teen drove Hyper House cars in the winged and wingless 600cc micro classes in the Deuce’s Wild Shootout at Indiana’s US 24 Raceway. Last Saturday night, he wheeled Matt Streeter’s USAC Western Midget at the Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield. This Saturday he will be driving a 410 sprint car for the first time in his budding career when the USAC/CRA Series converges on Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway.
Last week’s race at Kern County saw Chiaramonte race a midget for the first time since the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma last January. In addition, it was the first time he had teamed up with noted car owner Streeter since June of 2022. All told, Chiaramonte and Streeter raced together three times last year. Showing poise from the start, the midget newcomer placed in the top 10 each time. The best finish of the three was a seventh at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway on May 21st.
For not having been in a midget for nine months, Chiaramonte did not miss a beat last week. Of the fifteen cars on hand, he was the fourth fastest qualifier with a time of 14.564. His qualifying effort was followed by an impressive run in his 10-lap heat race. Starting fifth, he turned some of the fastest laps in the race and drove all the way to a second-place finish. For the main, Chiaramonte started on the outside of the front row and placed fifth in the classy-looking black #14. It was his best finish to date in the California-based series.
This week, Chiaramonte will be making his debut in a 410 sprint car when he and the team make the journey to the USAC/CRA race at the Mohave Valley Raceway. While he has raced 360 sprint cars in the past, Saturday’s appearance in his 410 will mark a big step up in horsepower.
Chiaramonte has made previous appearances in the USAC/CRA Series and has raced at the Mohave Valley Raceway in the past. Driving a 360 in a field of USAC/CRA 410s at Perris Auto Speedway in March, he dazzled the crowd when he was 16th in the 30-lap main event and drove his way up to 11th. He was making the pass for 10th when the driver he was passing turned into him knocking him into the wall. A flat tire and bent wheel sent him to the work area. His crew quickly replaced the damaged wheel. He restarted at the back with only a handful of laps remaining and made a charge up to the 16th spot by the time the checkered flag came down.
Chiaramonte’s first trek to Mohave Valley came in March of 2021 when he placed fourth and fifth in a pair of POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series races. Earlier this year he was at the track to race his 360 in another “Davey vs Goliath” routine competing against the USAC/CRA 410s. Unfortunately, mechanical ills knocked him out of action before the main event.
Last Saturday’s race at Kern County was a preview of what is to come in November when Chiaramonte will be back in Streeter’s powerful car for the USAC National Midgets Western Swing. The swing will consist of races at Placerville, Merced, Bakersfield, and the Ventura Raceway. More details will be forthcoming.
For fans who want to see Chiaramonte make his 410 debut on the racy Grand Canyon State track on Saturday, the Mohave Valley Raceway is located at 2750 E. Laguna in Mohave Valley, Arizona. It is just minutes away from the Colorado River and only 20 minutes from Laughlin, Nevada. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. with racing at 7:00. Adult tickets are $25.00. For seniors 60 and over and active military with proper ID, it is $20.00. Kids 6-12 get in for $5.00. Children five and under are free and parking is free as well. It is cash only for tickets (no ATMs on site). Concessions, souvenirs, and the beer garden take cash or cards. For more information, the track website is https://www.mohavevalleyraceway.com/ and the office phone is (928) 346-6000.
Chiaramonte would like to thank all his sponsors who have made his racing efforts possible. RTL Traffic Control, AM Ortega, Hyper Racing, Chop Design, Adams Motors, Evil Plus Injection, King Racing Products, Tiner-Hirst Enterprises, and Keizer Wheels.
Chiaramonte and his team are in the midst of a busy racing season. If you are interested in becoming a marketing partner with one of the most talented and personable young drivers in the sport, please feel free to call or e-mail Daniel Chiaramonte mailto:[email protected] or (619) 988 7563.
Braden Chiaramonte PR
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