Speedway Digest Staff
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South Boston Speedway officials have announced updates to the track’s 2024 season schedule including a special event to kick off the season.
The speedway’s Saturday afternoon, March 23 season-opening event will feature the stars and the high-horsepower open-wheel cars of the SMART Modified Tour. Races for the track’s Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division and Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division will also be part of that event.
“We’re looking forward to kicking off our 2024 season with a huge event,” said South Boston Speedway General Manager Brandon Brown. “The SMART Modified Tour always puts on a great show, and when you pair them with our Sentara Health Late Models and Virginia State Police Heat Hornets, our fans are going to be treated to an incredible show to start the year. The level of competition on the SMART Modified Tour is at an all-time high, and the series has had great, exciting races over the years here at South Boston Speedway. Our Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division and Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division will kick off their chase for the 2024 division championships in style, too.”
South Boston Speedway will go under the lights for the first time in 2024 on Saturday night, April 13 to host its NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series opener featuring the track’s four NASCAR-sanctioned racing divisions, the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division, the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division, and the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
“There will be a lot of excitement as we bring our four NASCAR-sanctioned racing divisions together for the first time in 2024,” Brown remarked. “We saw a high level of competition and a lot of great racing throughout our four divisions last season, and everyone is excited and looking forward to see what is in store for 2024.”
The track’s four NASCAR-sanctioned racing divisions will return to action the following weekend, on Saturday night, April 20. It will be the first of two occasions when the track will host events on back-to-back weekends.
NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series racing will return to South Boston Speedway on Saturday night, May 4. Due to a schedule change, the speedway will host a NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series event a week later, on Saturday night, May 11. That will be the second instance of events on back-to-back weekends.
The May 11 event is an event that was originally scheduled for May 18.
“After the announcement of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule we learned May 18 was the date NASCAR set for the All-Star Race Weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway,” Brown explained.
“With the tremendous popularity and interest that surrounds the NASCAR All-Star Race and its accompanying events each year, we felt it would be in everyone’s best interest to move our event off of that weekend and host it a week earlier.”
South Boston Speedway officials have also announced that the track’s annual CARS Tour event that had been held in October in previous years, is moving to mid-September in 2024. The track will host the CARS Tour on Saturday night, September 14, and will feature the CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car Tour and the CARS Tour Pro Late Model Tour. A support class might be added as part of that event.
“The CARS Tour will again bring some of the most exciting action and personalities in Late Model racing to South Boston Speedway,” Brown said. “We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with the CARS Tour and bring another incredible event to our fans next year.”
Highlights of the 2024 season include the track’s showcase pre-Fourth of July 200-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division event, the first race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown, on Saturday night, June 29 and a 150-lap race for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division on Championship Night on Saturday night, August 31.
The season-opening event featuring the SMART Modified Tour on March 23, the 200-lap kickoff race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown on June 29, the Championship Night event on August 31 and the CARS Tour event on September 14 comprise the track’s four special events for the 2024 season.
In another schedule update, the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience has scheduled two visits to South Boston Speedway in 2024, the first on Sunday, April 21 and the second on Saturday, October 5.
The latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway can be found on the speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, and the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.
Ho Ho Ho! Speedway Christmas presented by Atrium Health is unwrapping up another week of holiday magic, rolling out a lineup of holiday festivities that will make a visit to America’s Home for Racing merry and bright. One of the country's largest drive-thru, lights-to-music events features much more than just the 5 million lights strung along this four-mile drive-thru course. On top of the eye-catching light show, this week’s lineup features festive film screenings and unique vendors, promising something special for each guest.
Christmas Short Films
SpeedwayTV will bring to life a variety of holiday treasures as everyone’s favorite Christmas short films presented by Food Lion, air this Thursday through Sunday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night. These Christmastime tales will surely put everyone in a merry spirit as “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland,” “Jack Frost” and more shine on the 16,000-square-foot big screen. Bring blankets and hot cocoa and prepare to be swept up in the magic of storytelling on the world’s second largest HDTV. Movie nights are free with Speedway Christmas admission.
Farm and Fleece Alpaca Ranch
Learn how to bundle up the right way this winter with our featured vendor of the week, Farm and Fleece. Known for their high-quality alpaca fleece products, Farm and Fleece will bring a touch of cozy warmth to the Christmas Village. Add a personal and unique touch this holiday season with the opportunity to purchase soft and warm garments available in the Speedway Christmas Village this Thursday through Sunday.
A Sweet Stroll Under the Stars
Take a leisurely stroll through our walking trail of delights filled with a life-sized candy land as oversized candy canes and giant lollipops fill the infield. It's more exciting than finding the golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory! This whimsical walking trail will be open nightly at 6 p.m. in the Christmas Village every week, Thursday through Sunday. Access to the Christmas Village is included with Speedway Christmas admission.
SEASON OF GIVING:
Queens City News Toy Drive
‘Tis the season of giving as Charlotte Motor Speedway teams up with Queen City News for a children’s Christmas toy drive. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and receive $5 off admission to Speedway Christmas presented by Atrium Health from Nov. 27 through Nov. 30.
Speedway Christmas presented by Atrium Health is open nightly through Jan. 7 (closed Christmas Eve). Tickets are sold per vehicle (up to 15 passengers) starting at $35 Monday through Wednesday and $45 Thursday through Sunday. For just $75, guests can skip the lines with the Fast Pass Lane, accessible off of Morehead Road at entrance P. The Fast Pass lane is only open Thursday-Sunday.
Tickets are available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or at the gate.
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Things just keep getting bigger and better for the CARS Tour Late Model Series as it embarks on its 10th season of competition as the Southeast’s premier asphalt late model series.
Today the CARS Tour ownership group, comprised of motorsports icons Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Justin Marks, announced the addition of zMAX® as the series’ new entitlement sponsor for the upcoming 2024 season and beyond. The group also rolled out the 2024 zMAX CARS Tour schedule and confirmed the renewal of FloRacing as its official streaming partner for all 19 events.
“This year we committed ourselves to helping grow an already-established CARS Tour, and regional asphalt racing as a whole,” said Harvick. “Having the opportunity to bring on a respected brand and partner like zMAX does so much for the health and professionalism of the zMAX CARS Tour.”
Produced in Harrisburg, N.C., zMAX Micro-lubricant® is used in thousands of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, outdoor equipment, airplanes and firearms to reduce carbon buildup, lubricate vital parts and extend engine life. Used by professionals and every-day car-lovers alike, the zMAX family of products has a prominent presence in a number of motorsports, including NASCAR, NHRA and USAC. zMAX is manufactured by Oil-Chem Research Corporation, a division of motorsports entertainment company Speedway Motorsports.
“A zMAX partnership with the CARS Tour is a grassroots commitment to building future competitors and fans in motorsports,” said Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports. “I’d like to thank Dale, Kevin, Jeff and Justin for this opportunity. We look forward to marketing zMAX from the garage to the grandstands and we’re thrilled to see the CARS Tour returning to North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2024.”
For the second consecutive season, all 19 of the zMAX CARS Tour events will be livestreamed on FloRacing. The video streaming service, which became the official streaming partner of zMAX CARS Tour earlier this year, is a subscription-based company dedicated to growing grassroots motorsports.
“We feel that CARS has truly become the premier short track asphalt tour in America, and we could not be happier to have the series back on FloRacing,” said General Manager of FloRacing, Michael Rigsby. “Dale and the entire team with CARS are committed to growing short track pavement racing, and that's truly evident by all they've done over the last year. 2024 is going to be a big, big year for CARS, and we are beyond thrilled to highlight that.”
In addition, the newly-minted zMAX CARS Tour released its 2024 season schedule, which kicks off at Southern National Motorsports Park (Kenly, N.C.) on Saturday, March 2, with Pro Late Models, the first of its two divisions. The Late Model Stock Car division will begin its season at the same track one week later, on March 9.
“There is a lot to unpack and a lot to be excited about this season – two trips to North Wilkesboro and adding Orange County to the schedule,” said Earnhardt Jr. “It’s going to be tough competition for the drivers and a great show for our fans in the stands, and for those watching on FloRacing. Our partnership with FloRacing has helped tremendously in building exposure and excitement around the zMAX CARS Tour. I’m looking forward to continuing that.”
Highlighting the series schedule are back-to-back PLM and LMSC races at North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 14 – 15. The zMAX CARS Tour will return to the .625-mile short track on Oct. 19 for the season finale, where it will crown both its series champions.
2024 zMAX CARS Tour Schedule:
- Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, N.C. (PLM) – March 2
- Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, N.C. (LMSC) – March 9
- New River All American Speedway, Jacksonville, N.C. (LMSC) – March 23
- Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – April 6
- Orange County Speedway, Rougemont, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – April 20
- Ace Speedway, Altamahaw, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Friday, May 3
- North Wilkesboro Speedway, Wilkesboro, N.C. (PLM) – Tuesday, May 14
- North Wilkesboro Speedway, Wilkesboro, N.C. (LMSC) – Wednesday, May 15
- Tri-County Speedway, Granite Falls, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – May 25
- Langley Speedway, Hampton, Va. (LMSC) – June 1
- Dominion Raceway, Thornburg, Va. (LMSC) – June 15
- Caraway Speedway, Sophia, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Wednesday, July 3
- Hickory Motor Speedway Throwback, Hickory, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – July 27
- Ace Speedway, Altamahaw, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Friday, Aug. 9
- Wake County Speedway, Raleigh, N.C. (LMSC) – Aug. 24
- Florence Motor Speedway, Florence, S.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Friday, Aug. 30
- South Boston Speedway, South Boston, Va. (LMSC/PLM) – Sept. 14
- Tri-County Motor Speedway, Granite Falls, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Oct. 12
- North Wilkesboro Speedway, Wilkesboro, N.C. (PLM) – Friday, Oct. 18
- North Wilkesboro Speedway, Wilkesboro, N.C. (LMSC) – Oct. 19
All races will take place on Saturdays unless otherwise noted. Schedule subject to change.
CARS Tour PR
“NASCAR is saddened by the passing of Norris McDonald, a true giant in motorsports journalism. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.” – NASCAR
Toyota revealed today a newly-designed NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Toyota Camry XSE race car that will make its debut in the 2024 NCS season. The Camry XSE Next Gen follows the Toyota Camry TRD Next Gen, which produced 18 victories and 25 poles during the last two seasons of competition.
Toyota, TRD (Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A.) and Calty Design worked together to ensure body styling characteristics replicated the recently unveiled 2025 Toyota Camry XSE as closely as possible. New features of the Toyota Camry race car include a distinctive hammerhead styling on the front facia with an upper grille slot that is tied into the updated slim and wide headlights.
The outside of the larger lower grille area also features C-shaped corner vents, while the hood features new character lines and new hood duct exits. The back facia of the car includes revised quarter panel styling and chamfered bumper corners on the back of the corner panels that blend into the rear bumper. These features, along with updated thinner taillights, give the new Camry race car a more sculpted appearance.
“The 2024 Camry XSE race car will properly highlight Toyota’s attention to detail as has been showcased in the new street version Toyota Camry. We are excited to bring this car to the race track and continue to achieve success with it for years to come,” said Paul Doleshal, group manager of motorsports, TMNA (Toyota Motor North America). “The amount of work put into this car’s production cannot be overstated, and we thank everyone at TRD and Calty Design for their efforts in creating a premier vehicle for our team partners to compete for wins and championships.”
Toyota continues to be the only manufacturer in NASCAR to showcase three nameplates across the three national series – the Camry in the NCS, the GR Supra in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and the Tundra TRD Pro in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS). Since joining the NCS and NXS in 2007, Toyota has earned 180 NCS wins and three NCS championships along with 201 NXS victories and four NXS titles. And since its entry into the NCTS in 2004, Toyota has claimed 228 wins and nine Truck Series championships.
“The foundation of Toyota’s presence in NASCAR is our commitment to continuous improvement on and off the race track. Our Camry XSE race car reinforces that mantra and accurately reflects the key design attributes of the all-new production Toyota Camry,” said David Wilson, president of TRD. “As we prepare for the 2024 season, we look forward to working closely with our race team partners to optimize the performance of the newly-designed Camry race car so we can continue our legacy of leading laps, winning races and competing for championships with the Camry nameplate.”
With the addition of LEGACY MOTOR CLUB for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, eight Toyota Camry XSE’s will compete on track every weekend, starting with the Clash at the Coliseum exhibition race in Los Angeles, California, in February.
For additional images of the newly-designed Toyota Camry race car, please visit ToyotaRacingMedia.com.
Kyle Cummins, one of the premier drivers on the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship tour, will compete on the full schedule in 2024 with the newly established Petty Performance Racing team.
The Princeton, Ind. driver will kick off the upcoming season in a ride owned by Jerry Petty of Litchfield Park, Ariz., CEO of Avanti Windows & Doors LLC which sponsored Cummins sprint car ride throughout the 2023 campaign.
In 2023, Cummins equaled his career high with four USAC National Sprint Car feature victories and finished sixth in USAC points for the Rock Steady Racing team with which he had driven for all but one season dating back to 2015.
Cummins’ USAC National Sprint Car win total stands at 18 entering the 2024 season which presents a new opportunity and challenge for the 36-year-old driver who made his USAC debut back in 2003.
“I’m grateful for Jerry providing me with this exciting and challenging opportunity as well as trusting me to be a part of his transition to a team owner and entrant into dirt track racing,” Cummins stated. “Jerry has offered up a lot of support to the sport in recent years and his commitment to becoming a team owner just shows his continued passion for the sport and his confidence in me. We are excited to build this team over the offseason and can’t wait to get to Florida and see what the rest of 2024 has in store.”
Cummins has been an ardent supporter of USAC Sprint Car racing, accumulating 227 career starts while ranking inside the top-40 all-time in both feature victories and starts. Meanwhile, Petty has been the primary sponsor for such events as Knoxville Raceway’s Corn Belt Clash and Cocopah Speedway’s Western World Championship in addition serving as the primary sponsor for multiple USAC Sprint Car teams.
Cummins and Petty Performance Racing’s debut will arrive in February of 2024 in the state of Florida where the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season will begin with seven events in the Sunshine State between February 9-17, and where Cummins was a feature winner in February of 2023 during the series’ most recent visit.
Leading off the 2024 season is the 15th annual edition of Winter Dirt Games at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park on Friday-Saturday, February 9-10, at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track with a practice night set to begin the festivities on Thursday night, February 8. The first night of racing in Ocala on Friday will pay $6,000-to-win while Saturday night’s weekend capper will pay $7,500-to-win.
USAC National Sprint Car action then moves on down the road to Volusia Speedway Park on Monday-Tuesday, February 12-13, for two consecutive nights of racing on the half-mile dirt oval as part of the DIRTcar Nationals, culminating in a $10,000-to-win finale on Tuesday. As a change from this past year, the Volusia events will be full points-paying events.
Rounding out the Sunshine State trip is a return to Bubba Raceway Park for three more consecutive nights of USAC National Sprint Car racing on February 15-16-17. The first two nights will pay $6,000-to-win with Saturday night’s finale paying $10,000-to-win.
Kyle Larson took the lead on lap 27 and led the final 72 laps, holding off Corey Day late to win the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ 82nd annual ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix in front of a sold-out crowd at Ventura Raceway, Saturday night.
Logan Seavey would lead the race early with a host of drivers trading the second position with Ryan Timms, Kale Drake and Wiedeman all in the mix. Eventually, Timms would claim the spot and begin to close on Seavey.
On lap 26, Timms would take the lead, only to see Seavey attempt to slide back across him heading into turn one on lap 27, forcing Timms to lock it up to avoid Seavey and come to a stop, collecting his Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate Drake in the process. Each was able to continue, but were forced to the back of the field, effectively eliminating them from contention.
On the restart, Larson would take the lead with a turn three slider on Seavey and would never relinquish the lead beating Corey Day to the finish line by .224 seconds.
Carson Macedo would finish third, followed by Bryant Wiedeman, Jacob Denney, Emerson Axsom and Buddy Kofoid as Toyota-powered drivers captured six of the top seven finishing positions on the night.
The Turkey Night Grand Prix officially closes out the 2023 campaign. The 2024 midget racing season will kick off in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the Chili Bowl Nationals, Jan. 8-13.
Toyota Notes and Season Highlights:
- Fifteen different Toyota-powered drivers from nine different teams combined to register 40 national midget feature wins during the 2023. In addition, Toyota Development driver Jade Avedisian became the first woman ever to win a national midget championship taking the Xtreme Outlaw crown on the strength of five wins, while KKM’s Gavin Miller earned USAC Rookie of the Year honors.
- Toyota-powered drivers have now won 14 Turkey Night Grand Prix events, with the first coming in 2007 with Dave Darland. Bobby Santos, Bryan Clauson, Caleb Armstrong, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Tanner Thorson, Logan Seavey and Justin Grant also earned victories Turkey Night victories with Toyota power.
Toyota-Powered Drivers USAC Turkey Night Grand Prix Feature Results
Kyle Larson – 1st
Carson Macedo – 3rd
Bryant Wiedeman – 4th
Jacob Denney – 5th
Emerson Axsom – 6th
Buddy Kofoid – 7th
Jesse Love – 9th
Cade Lewis – 10th
Gavin Miller – 13th
Mariah Ede – 15th
Kale Drake – 16th
Jade Avedisian – 18th
Spencer Bayston – 19th
Just in Grant – 20th
Cannon McIntosh 21st
Ryan Timms – 23rd
Taylor Reimer – 24th
Kyle Larson has few equals when it comes to Turkey Night Grand Prix success over the years, and on Saturday night at California’s Ventura Raceway, that fact remained true to form.
The Elk Grove, Calif. native punctuated the 2023 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season by becoming just the second driver in the 82-year history of the ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix Presented by the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame to win the famed race at least four times. Ron Shuman maintains the all-time record of eight Turkey Night victories between 1979-1993.
In the latest edition of Turkey Night, Larson made a beeline from his 10th place starting position straight to the lead by lap 27 before pacing the field for the remaining 72 laps to earn his third USAC National Midget triumph in three attempts over the past nine nights in the Golden State aboard his Kyle Larson Racing/HendrickCars.com – FloRacing/Eagle.
Overall, Larson has now reigned victorious at Turkey Night in 2012-2016-2019-2023, and has never finished outside the top-four in any of his 11 career starts in the event dating back to his debut in 2011.
“I’m happy to get another Turkey Night win,” Larson exclaimed. “We’re second on the all-time win list now, which is cool. Hopefully we can catch up someday and maybe be leading this thing. This is such a historic race with it being the 82nd running, which is incredible. it’s been a good event for us, and we’ve always run really well here.”
In addition to his $10,000 winning prize, Larson also earned a 1/4-scale replica of the J.C. Agajanian owned car that Parnelli Jones drove to victory at the Indianapolis 500 in 1963, a trophy which was handmade by Ventura Raceway promoter Jim Naylor. It’s among the rewards that brings Larson back each year in addition to the prestige of becoming a Turkey Night winner once again.
“All the Turkey Night trophies I have from Ventura are probably some of the coolest trophies I have in my collection,” Larson stated. “They get better and better every year and it’s probably the main reason why I come and do this race – just to come and win these awesome trophies. I need to get a little better at qualifying because I want to win some of those (trophies) too.”
Larson’s 27th career USAC National Midget win moved him past USAC Hall of Famers Tony Stewart and Gary Bettenhausen for sole possession of 15th on the series’ all-time win list, but this one required him to start outside the fifth row.
Up at the front of the 26-car pack, 2023 USAC National Midget champion and 2021 Turkey Night winner Logan Seavey established the lead early on from his outside front row starting position while pole sitter Ryan Timms gave chase after earlier winning the 30-lap USAC West Coast Sprint Car feature held prior to the midget race.
However, calamity came early on lap two as Taylor Reimer spun, which collected Michael Faccinto on the turn two infield berm. Meanwhile, up top, Mitchel Moles and Brody Fuson launched into orbit during a simultaneous somersault for both drivers, which ended with both drivers and cars upside down, thus ending their evenings prematurely.
Upon resumption, Seavey built himself a full straightway lead all while Larson was already breaking his way into the top-five. Larson went eighth to fifth in a span of two circuits between laps 17 and 18 past Chase McDermand, Spencer Bayston and Bryant Wiedeman. Moments later, on lap 22, Larson slid by defending Turkey Night winner Justin Grant in turn one to slot into fourth.
Seavey was working traffic by lap 26 when Timms suddenly clamped down and made his move for the lead with a turn one slide job that was successful. By turn four, Timms was in trouble as he ricocheted off the cushion, which opened the door underneath for Seavey to make a move entering turn one on the 27th go around.
Attempting to return the favor on Timms in turn one, Seavey slipped past, but in the process, Timms’ wheels locked up as he slid to a stop atop the cushion to bring out the caution and also collected third-running Kale Drake who was making his first career USAC National Midget start. For all intents and purposes, the incident ended Timms’ night with him soldiering on until lap 51 when he dropped out with a 23rd place result following an incident with Mariah Ede that damaged his header.
Seavey resumed at the point as the race leader coming to the green flag restart on lap 27. However, it was time to cue the Jaws music as Larson drew right to Seavey’s rear bumper. In this case – spoiler alert – the ending was much the very same as it has been of late for Larson in his home state of California in November. Larson delivered a turn three slider that put him at the front for good. Day followed suit with Larson to gain second from Seavey after starting 12th.
In that timeframe, Larson had to play it smart with the track conditions changing rapidly. As the wind picked up and the track began to dry out, one faulty move could’ve spelled doom.
“You just had to make good decisions,” Larson explained. “We were all kind of searching for the right lane at the right time. Thankfully, I put together some good laps around the bottom and got clear to the top and got rolling. The top of one and two was getting really wide around there and I figured Logan was running up there, so he was probably going to commit to that. I felt like if I could just poke the bottom, I could get a run and get by. It all worked out really well.”
Over the course of the next several laps, rubber began to rear its ugly head on the 1/5-mile dirt oval’s surface, and Larson knew full well when it was time for him to go to secure his spot before it was too late.
“I knew, shortly after that, the rubber was going to be coming,” Larson guesstimated. “I was just trying to hold the lead and peek to the left and I saw Corey inching toward me on the bottom a couple laps later. That’s when I knew it was time to get down.”
Yet, the battles raged on behind them as a furious fight for 11th on lap 64 resulted in contact between Jade Avedisian (12th) and Justin Grant (11th) off turn four, which pitched Avedisian sideways and collected Cannon McIntosh. McIntosh was the meat in the sandwich at the moment he got tagged in the bumper by Jake Andreotti, which sent McIntosh spinning into the infield. By lap 65, Grant was also out of competition, the victim of a broken front end.
In the final quarter, attrition (and rubber) started to become a concern as Spencer Bayston bowed out to the infield while running fourth on lap 75. Avedisian (11th) came to a halt with a flat right rear tire on lap 75 while Daison Pursley (7th) was stricken with the same fate on lap 86.
Throughout the final 12 lap stretch, Larson never turned a wheel wrong, and there was no room for error, as he railed the bottom right up against the infield berm with Day hanging right in there in second but was only able to close to within one to two car lengths of his back bumper down the stretch to the 98th and final lap.
In the end, Larson prevailed over Day by two car lengths with just a 0.224 second separation between the two as they crossed the stripe. Carson Macedo brought it home third while Bryant Wiedeman (Colby, Kan.) took fourth and Jacob Denney (Galloway, Ohio) advanced 17th to fifth to earn his best Turkey Night result yet.
Corey Day (Clovis, Calif.), the recently crowned NARC Sprint Car champion, posted the best finish of any Turkey Night first-timer in this year’s field. In his debut Turkey Night performance, he ran a strong second to earn Don Basile Rookie of the Race honors in his Wille Kahne/Sander Engineering – Four CCCC’s Construction – Durst/Bullet/Worth Mopar. The runner-up result for Day was the best finish by a Turkey Night Rookie since Cannon McIntosh in 2019.
“I grew up coming to this race as a kid where we made it a vacation and came down here to hang out at the beach and watch some racing,” Day reminisced. “It’s so cool to run it for the first time and then to run second and be Rookie of the Race. At the beginning, the middle slicked off really fast, then everybody kind of didn’t know where to be. I knew there was rubber under what they watered, so I was just kind of waiting on it and it came in fast. I was able to find it first, so that was good, but Kyle, he’s got way too many laps to not to know when it’s going to come in. When he moved down, that was kind of it.”
Carson Macedo (Lemoore, Calif.) certainly experienced the most unique finish of the night. After crossing the finish line in third, he slipped above the turn four cushion, tagged the outside wall and flipped – all of which occurred after the checkered flag had already been displayed. Nonetheless, Macedo still finished on the podium in his Dyson Motorsport/Complete Parts & Equipment – Tarlton & Son – Empire/King/Speedway Toyota for his best Turkey Night performance since his Rookie start in 2016 in which he also scored a third.
“That was a little embarrassing there,” Macedo admitted. “I didn’t have much right rear tire left and I got outside the rubber and gassed it up a little bit just to have fun I guess, and it never stopped sliding. I ended up plowing the cushion and turned it over. It was fun, though. I just wish it was a little bit different with it taking rubber and all. It wasn’t that ideal. Before that, the race was epic, and I was having a ton of fun and it was fun battling with a lot of good drivers.”
Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) started 23rd and finished sixth to earn his best career Turkey Night result, which came on the heels of a 24th to eighth run in the same race a year ago in 2022. Ken Clapp of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame was on hand to present Axsom with a $500 bonus for his efforts.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: November 25, 2023 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California – 1/5-Mile Dirt Track – 82nd ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix Presented by the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame
HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: (Top-10 locked into the feature) 1. Ryan Timms, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.059; 2. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-12.138; 3. Kale Drake, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.190; 4. Bryant Wiedeman, 81, CBI-12.203; 5. Justin Grant, 2, RMS-12.287; 6. Chase McDermand, 8w, Ford-12.289; 7. Mariah Ede, 71E, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.290; 8. Spencer Bayston, 9AU, Dyson-12.293; 9. Daison Pursley, 19, Reinbold/Underwood-12.306; 10. Kyle Larson, 1K, Larson-12.313; 11. Taylor Reimer, 25K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.320; 12. Cannon McIntosh, 86, CBI-12.334; 13. Buddy Kofoid, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.347; 14. Carson Macedo, 99AU, Dyson-12.356; 15. Corey Day, 4, Kahne-12.391; 16. Michael Faccinto, 14T, Graunstadt/Streeter-12.391; 17. Brody Fuson, 51, Carlile-12.427; 18. Mitchel Moles, 19T, Reinbold/Underwood-12.435; 19. Chance Crum, 68w, Six8-12.445; 20. Hayden Reinbold, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.469; 21. Jesse Love, 84, CBI-12.471; 22. Jake Andreotti, 00, Davis-12.491; 23. Jacob Denney, 25, Malloy-12.495; 24. Cade Lewis, 5K, Alexander-12.505; 25. Jade Avedisian, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.516; 26. Cole Wakim, 55, Lambert-12.521; 27. Ryan Timmons, 5v, Alexander-12.529; 28. Gavin Miller, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.539; 29. Peter Hunnibell, 65NZ, Covich-12.553; 30. Emerson Axsom, 68, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.566; 31. Max Adams, 15, Hart-12.568; 32. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-12.626; 33. Caden Sarale, 32, Sarale-12.687; 34. Ricky Lewis, 6A, Pedregon-12.694; 35. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-12.731; 36. Kyle Beilman, 31B, Beilman-12.764; 37. Jake Bubak, 27B, Bourke-12.768; 38. David Gasper, 73, Ford-12.774; 39. Braden Chiaramonte, 14J, Graunstadt/Streeter-12.831; 40. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-12.995; 41. Blake Bower, 9, Boscacci-13.020; 42. Jim Vanzant, 3v, Vanzant-13.073; 43. Ron Hazelton, 15ws, Hazelton-13.132; 44. Terry Nichols, 1p, Nichols/Peckfelder-13.220; 45. Bryan Drollinger, 71D, Drollinger-13.269; 46. A.J. Hernandez, 35H, MF-NT; 47. Dane Culver, 50, Knuckles Up-NT (Time of 12.641 disallowed due to missing the scales); 48. Joey Klemish, 35K, MF-NT (Time of 12.936 disallowed due to missing the scales).
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Carson Macedo, 2. Taylor Reimer, 3. Jacob Denney, 4. Brody Fuson, 5. Hayden Reinbold, 6. Cole Wakim, 7. David Gasper, 8. Randi Pankratz, 9. Peter Hunnibell, 10. C.J. Sarna, 11. Dane Culver, 12. Terry Nichols, 13. Blake Bower. 2:31.99
ROD END SUPPLY SECOND QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Corey Day, 2. Cannon McIntosh, 3. Mitchel Moles, 4. Jesse Love, 5. Emerson Axsom, 6. Cade Lewis, 7. Caden Sarale, 8. Kyle Beilman, 9. Braden Chiaramonte, 10. Bryan Drollinger, 11. Ryan Timmons, 12. Jim Vanzant, 13. Joey Klemish. NT
T.J. FORGED/CAR IQ THIRD QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Michael Faccinto, 2. Buddy Kofoid, 3. Gavin Miller, 4. Jade Avedisian, 5. Jake Andreotti, 6. Chance Crum, 7. Max Adams, 8. Jake Bubak, 9. Ricky Lewis, 10. Shannon McQueen, 11. A.J. Hernandez, 12. Ron Hazelton. 2:35.11
ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (15 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Emerson Axsom, 2. Hayden Reinbold, 3. Jake Andreotti, 4. Cade Lewis, 5. Chance Crum, 6. Max Adams, 7. Ricky Lewis, 8. Jake Bubak, 9. David Gasper, 10. Caden Sarale, 11. Cole Wakim, 12. Peter Hunnibell, 13. Braden Chiaramonte, 14. Randi Pankratz, 15. C.J. Sarna, 16. Bryan Drollinger, 17. Kyle Beilman, 18. Shannon McQueen. NT
FEATURE: (98 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kyle Larson (10), 2. Corey Day (12), 3. Carson Macedo (11), 4. Bryant Wiedeman (4), 5. Jacob Denney (17), 6. Emerson Axsom (23), 7. Buddy Kofoid (16), 8. Logan Seavey (2), 9. Jesse Love (21), 10. Cade Lewis (26), 11. Hayden Reinbold (24), 12. Jake Andreotti (25), 13. Gavin Miller (19), 14. Daison Pursley (9), 15. Mariah Ede (7), 16. Kale Drake (3), 17. Chase McDermand (6), 18. Jade Avedisian (22), 19. Spencer Bayston (8), 20. Justin Grant (5), 21. Cannon McIntosh (15), 22. Michael Faccinto (13), 23. Ryan Timms (1), 24. Taylor Reimer (14), 25. Mitchel Moles (18), 26. Brody Fuson (20). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-25 Logan Seavey, Lap 26 Ryan Timms, Laps 27-98 Kyle Larson.
**Jade Avedisian flipped during qualifying. Mitchel Moles & Brody Fuson flipped on lap 2 of the feature. Carson Macedo flipped after the checkered flag.
FINAL USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-1784, 2-Justin Grant-1504, 3-Bryant Wiedeman-1457, 4-Ryan Timms-1429, 5-Daison Pursley-1413, 6-Jade Avedisian-1407, 7-Jacob Denney-1363, 8-Gavin Miller-1227, 9-Cannon McIntosh-1190, 10-Taylor Reimer-1177.
FINAL OVERALL USAC NATIONAL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Daison Pursley-199, 2-Logan Seavey-173, 3-Justin Grant-142, 4-Emerson Axsom-136, 5-Shane Cottle-106, 6-Matt Westfall-105, 7-Robert Ballou-100, 8-Chase Stockon-95, 9-Brady Bacon-92, 10-Mitchel Moles-91.
CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS
Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Jesse Love (12.104)
Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Ryan Timms (12.059)
Simpson Race Products First Qualifier Winner: Carson Macedo
Rod End Supply Second Qualifier Winner: Corey Day
T.J. Forged/Car IQ Third Qualifier Winner: Michael Faccinto
Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: Emerson Axsom
Green APU Green Flag Challenge First Lap Leader: Jake Andreotti
Hard Charger: Bryant Wiedeman (21st to 12th)
Don Basile Rookie of the Race: Corey Day (2nd)
Emerson Axsom led all drivers in Friday night’s USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship practice at California’s Ventura Raceway.
The four practice sessions were used in preparation for Saturday night’s 82nd running of the ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix Presented By the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame on November 25.
Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) turned a top time of 12.082 seconds in the second practice session in his Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Curb Records - TRD/Lynk/Speedway Toyota, which was the fastest among the 46 drivers on hand Friday.
Taylor Reimer (Bixby, Okla.) and three-time Turkey Night winner Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) timed in second overall with equal times of 12.119. Jacob Denney (Galloway, Ohio) went fourth quickest at 12.136 while Jade Avedisian (Clovis, Calif.) rounded out the top-five at 12.156.
This year’s USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year Gavin Miller (Allentown, Pa.) was sixth fastest overall and was one of three Turkey Night Rookies who posted a lap among the top-10 fastest in the field along with Clovis, California’s Corey Day (9th) and Springfield, Illinois’ Chase McDermand (10th). All will be vying for Don Basile Rookie of the Race honors on Saturday.
Additionally, 2023 USAC National Midget champion and 2021 Turkey Night winner Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) was 12th fastest while 2021-22 series titlist Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) was 13th and 2017 USAC National Midget champ Spencer Bayston (Lebanon, Ind.) was 22nd.
One driver notably missing from the practice session was defending Turkey Night winner Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.). Of note, Grant was also absent from practice during the 2022 running of Turkey Night and went on to win the 98-lap feature event.
On Saturday, more than 50 midgets are expected to compete in the event which debuted in 1934. This year's edition will once again feature a doubleheader with the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars.
The pits open at 11am Pacific with the drivers meeting at 2:45pm, the grandstands opening at 3pm and cars on track at 3:30pm for Saturday's race.
All tickets that are not reserved are $35. Reserved seats are $45 for ages 13 and older and $25 for ages 12 and under. Pit passes are $40 for members and $50 for non-members on Saturday. Pit passes are $45 for members and $50 for non-members on Saturday. Race tickets are available in advance now at www.venturaraceway.com.
Saturday’s Turkey Night Grand Prix can also be watched LIVE on FloRacing at https://flosports.link/
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PRACTICE RESULTS: November 24, 2023 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California – 1/5-Mile Dirt Track – 82nd ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix Presented by the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame
PRACTICE: 1. Emerson Axsom, 68, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.082; 2. Taylor Reimer, 25K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.119; 3. Kyle Larson, 1K, Larson-12.119; 4. Jacob Denney, 25, Malloy-12.136; 5. Jade Avedisian, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.156; 6. Gavin Miller, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.181; 7. Daison Pursley, 19, Reinbold/Underwood-12.189; 8. Bryant Wiedeman, 81, CBI-12.218; 9. Corey Day, 4, Kahne-12.225; 10. Chase McDermand, 8w, Ford-12.243; 11. Jake Andreotti, 00, Davis-12.251; 12. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-12.253; 13. Buddy Kofoid, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.268; 14. Jesse Love, 84, CBI-12.280; 15. Hayden Reinbold, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.286; 16. Ryan Timms, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.289; 17. Cannon McIntosh, 86, CBI-12.296; 18. Kale Drake, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.309; 19. A.J. Hernandez, 35H, MF-12.352; 20. Max Adams, 15, Hart-12.383; 21. Carson Macedo, 99AU, Dyson-12.385; 22. Spencer Bayston, 9AU, Dyson-12.422; 23. Braden Chiaramonte, 14J, Graunstadt/Streeter-12.425; 24. Jake Bubak, 27B, Bourke-12.438; 25. Peter Hunnibell, 65NZ, Covich-12.447; 26. Chance Crum, 68w, Six8-12.460; 27. Cade Lewis, 5K, Alexander-12.480; 28. Mitchel Moles, 19T, Reinbold/Underwood-12.495; 29. Michael Faccinto, 14T, Graunstadt/Streeter-12.505; 30. Mariah Ede, 71E, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.544; 31. Kyle Beilman, 31B, Beilman-12.562; 32. Cole Wakim, 55, Lambert-12.595; 33. Blake Bower, 9, Boscacci-12.640; 34. Ricky Lewis, 6A, Pedregon-12.683; 35. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-12.725; 36. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-12.727; 37. Dane Culver, 50, Knuckles Up-12.764; 38. Caden Sarale, 32, Sarale-12.782; 39. Ryan Timmons, 5v, Alexander-12.824; 40. Gage Rucker, 21K, Kruseman-12.914; 41. David Gasper, 73, Ford-12.989; 42. Terry Nichols, 1p, Nichols/Peckfelder-13.087; 43. Jim Vanzant, 3v, Vanzant-13.135; 44. Bryan Drollinger, 71D, Drollinger-13.500; 45. Ron Hazelton, 15ws, Hazelton-13.535; 46. Joey Klemish, 35K, MF-NT.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-1730, 2-Justin Grant-1479, 3-Ryan Timms-1400, 4-Bryant Wiedeman-1393, 5-Jade Avedisian-1380, 6-Daison Pursley-1378, 7-Jacob Denney-1305, 8-Gavin Miller-1190, 9-Cannon McIntosh-1167, 10-Taylor Reimer-1154.
OVERALL USAC NATIONAL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Daison Pursley-199, 2-Logan Seavey-173, 3-Justin Grant-142, 4-Emerson Axsom-119, 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 25, 2023 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California – 1/5-Mile Dirt Track – 82nd ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix Presented by the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame