Wednesday, 24 July 2019


#8 Randi Pankratz #8 Randi Pankratz Photo by Lance Jennings


By Lance Jennings

JULY 23, 2019... After a hard fought clash at Petaluma, the chase for the USAC Western States Midget championship heads to Merced Speedway this Saturday, July 27th. Promoted by Chris Shannon and Paul Stone, the sixth point race is the last chance to catch the “mighty midgets” at the Merced County Fairgrounds. The event will also spotlight the IMCA Modifieds, Mini Stocks, and Valley Sportsman. The Spectator Gates will open at 5:00pm and Racing is scheduled for 7:00pm. For more event information, visit the track’s website at or call 209.600.8382.


- 2019 APPROVED/LEGAL MUFFLERS: B&B: FRAC-0375-S  w/side outlet, COAST FABRICATION: 300x625x17-2s, 350x625x17-2s, 400x625x17-2s, EXTREME: 3515-3030 (15” Long 5” round shell with 3”inlet & 3” outlet), 3615-3030 (15” Long 6” round shell with 3” inlet & 3” outlet), 3515-3030-8 (15” Long 5” round shell with 3”inlet & 3” outlet  with turnout), 3615-3030-8 (15” Long 6” round shell with 3” inlet & 3” outlet with turnout), FLOWMASTER: (BCRA Approved) 13009130, 13509130, 13509135, SCHOENFELD: 14272535 *Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.


- USAC MEMBERSHIPS can be purchased at the track or online at 

Saturday’s event will mark the second appearance of the USAC Western States Midgets at the Merced County Fairgrounds. On April 20th, point leader Austin Liggett topped the 30-lap feature and Dustin Golobic set the 1-lap track record of 12.622.

Entering the sixth point race, there have been four different winners. Making his first career start, Ben Worth won the Bakersfield season opener on April 6th. Point leader and rookie contender Austin Liggett topped the April 20th Merced debut and the Santa Maria feature on April 27th. Robby Josett claimed the Ventura checkered flags on June 22nd and Maria Cofer earned her first victory last Saturday at Petaluma.

Heading to Merced, Austin Liggett (Tracy, CA) holds a 45-point advantage over the competition. Racing the family owned Liggett’s #83 Excel Environmental Services / Liggett Trucking Spike, Liggett led the first eight laps before scoring fourth at Petaluma last Saturday night. To date, the defending USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion has two feature wins, one heat race victory, five top-10 finishes, and 21 feature laps led to his credit. The rookie point leader will be looking to add another Merced triumph to his resume.

After finishing third at Petaluma, Robert Dalby (Anaheim, CA) has climbed to second in the chase for the championship. Piloting the family owned #4D R-D Spring & Stamping / Monster Seal Spike, Dalby has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award and four top-10 finishes on the season. This Saturday night, the young driver will have his sights on his first series win at Merced.

Shannon McQueen (Bakersfield, CA) has risen to third in the USAC Western States Midget point standings. Driving the McQueen Racing #7 Simpson Race Products / Lucas Oil Bullet, McQueen raced from ninth to sixth in last Saturday’s feature at Petaluma. At press time, the 2012 Champion has five top-10 finishes and will miss this Saturday’s action at the Merced County Fairgrounds. 

Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, CA) sits fourth in the championship point standings. Driving the family owned #11E Capital E Trucking / Nagel Earthworks Spike, Elliott set fast time at Petaluma before engine problems ended his night. At press time, the 2015 Rookie of the Year has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, two heat race victories, four top-10 finishes, and 8 feature laps led on the season. Cory has two career wins and will have his sights on his first Merced triumph.

David Prickett (Fresno, CA) ranks fifth in the Western States point standings. Racing the Neverlift Motorsports’ #22Q Crysalli Artesian Water / Western Performance Spike, Prickett scored fourteenth at Petaluma after an early exit. To date, the 2012 Dirt Series Champion has two heat race victories, two Saldana Racing Products Hard Charger Awards, and four top-10 finishes to his credit. David will be looking for his first win of the year this Saturday night.

While Liggett leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors, Ben Worth (Coalinga, CA), Jackson Dukes (Clovis, CA), Troy Morris III (Bakersfield, CA), Mike Leach Jr. (Orange, CA), and Ricky Lewis (Oxnard, CA) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are C.J. Sarna, Randi Pankratz, Kyle Beilman, Marvin Mitchell, Cody Swanson, Gage Rucker, “Fireball” Maria Cofer, Beau Lemire, Frankie Guerrini, and more.

Merced Speedway is located on the Merced County Fairgrounds at 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Merced, California. Adult tickets are $15, Senior tickets are $13, Kids tickets (6-12) are $5, and Children (5 & Under) are FREE. For more event information, visit the track’s website at or call 209.600.8382.

The USAC Western States Midget Series thanks AMSOIL, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Butlerbuilt Professional Seat Systems, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Five Star Grafix, Hoosier Racing Tire, Loudpedal Productions, Pyrotect Racing Cells, Saldana Racing Products, Ultra Shield Race Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on the series, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC Western States Midget Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. 

FloSports has USAC Western States Midget live videos and on demand coverage available for purchase at


USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET CHAMPIONS: *1982-Jeff Heywood, 1983-Sleepy Tripp, 1984-Tommy White, 1985-Sleepy Tripp, 1986-Robby Flock, 1987-Sleepy Tripp, 1988-Sleepy Tripp, 1989-Robby Flock, 1990-Sleepy Tripp, 1991-Sleepy Tripp, 1992-Sleepy Tripp, 1993-Robby Flock, 1994-Johnny Cofer, 1995-Billy Boat, 1996-Jay Drake, 1997-Ricky Shelton, 1998-Rick Hendrix, 1999-Marc DeBeaumont, 2000-Wally Pankratz, 2001-Danny Ebberts, 2002-Robby Flock, 2003-Steve Paden, 2004-Johnny Rodriguez, 2005-Jerome Rodela, 2006-Jerome Rodela, 2007-Johnny Rodriguez, 2008-Nic Faas, 2009-Garrett Hansen, 2010-Alex Schutte, 2011-Cory Kruseman, 2012-Shannon McQueen, 2013-Ronnie Gardner, 2014- Ronnie Gardner, 2015-Ronnie Gardner, 2016-Ronnie Gardner, 2017-Ronnie Gardner, 2018-Michael Faccinto.

2019 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS: 2-Austin Liggett, 1-Maria Cofer, 1-Robby Josett, 1-Ben Worth.


2019 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS: 1. (R) Austin Liggett-357, 2. Robert Dalby-312, 3. Shannon McQueen-293, 4. Cory Elliott-283, 5. David Prickett-265, 6. C.J. Sarna-257, 7. Randi Pankratz-207, 8. Kyle Beilman-198, 9. Marvin Mitchell-197, 10. (R) Ben Worth-181, 11. Cody Swanson-173, 12. Jake Swanson-156, 13. Gage Rucker-139, 14. Michael Faccinto-138, --. Alex Schutte-138, 16. Maria Cofer-137, 17. Dylan Ito-114, 18. (R) Mike Leach Jr.-107, 19. (R) Troy Morris III-88, 20. (R) Jackson Dukes-85.



April 6: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA (Winner: Ben Worth)

April 20: Merced Speedway – Merced, CA (Winner: Austin Liggett)

April 27: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA (Winner: Austin Liggett)

June 22: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Winner: Robby Josett)

July 20: Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA (Winner: Maria Cofer)

July 27: Merced Speedway – Merced, CA

August 10: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA (Bud Stanfield Memorial)

September 14: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA

October 26: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA

November 15: *Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)

November 16: *Arizona Speedway – San Tan Valley, AZ (Western World Championships)

November 19: *Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA (Hangtown Hundred)

November 20: *Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA (Hangtown Hundred)

November 23: *Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA (November Classic)

November 28: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)


* = Co-Sanctioned Event with NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midgets.

This schedule is subject to change.