60 USAC Midget Entries for 81st Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway

60 USAC National Midgets are headed to Ventura Raceway for the 81st Turkey Night Grand Prix - Josh James Artwork photo
60 USAC National Midgets are headed to Ventura Raceway for the 81st Turkey Night Grand Prix - Josh James Artwork photo
60 USAC National Midgets are headed to Ventura Raceway for the 81st Turkey Night Grand Prix – Josh James Artwork photo

The official close of major motorsports competition takes place on November 26th at California’s Ventura Raceway. USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets take to the 1/5-mile seaside dirt oval for 98 laps in the prestigious ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix, an event that was held on Thanksgiving night for most of its 80 runnings. 

USAC states there are 60 entries for the Agajanian Promotions event at Jim Naylor’s oval. Among those are two past Turkey Night Grand Prix midget winners: defending 2021 race winner Logan Seavey (from Sutter, Calif.) and 2015 victor Tanner Thorson, of Minden, Nev. This duo comprise two of the five past USAC National Midget champions, together with 2017 champ Spencer Bayston of Lebanon, Ind., Indianapolis native Tyler Courtney, the 2019 champ, and Penngrove, Calif.’s Buddy Kofoid, who took the title in 2021.

Some of this year’s race winners making the trek to the Pacific Ocean-adjacent dirt track include Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, OK), Thomas Meserault of San Jose, Calif., Galloway, Ohio’s Jacob Denney, Mitchel Moles of Raisin City, Calif. and Oklahoma City’s Ryan Timms. Other race winners in the Turkey Night field include Corey Day, Clovis, Calif., Kevin Thomas Jr. of Cullman, Ala., Shane Geologic of Fremont, Calif., Franklin, Ind.’s Emerson Axiom, Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla) and Daiso Pursley, who hails from Locust Grove, Okla.

USAC’s Western States Midget category is represented by champions include Michael Faccinto (2012, 2022), Blake Bower, who won the title in 2021 and Steve Paden, the 2003 Western States champ. 

The all-female front row from last year’s Turkey Night Grand Prix returns for another opportunity to earn coveted space on the Agajanian trophy. Kaylee Bryson of Muskogee, Okla. was last year’s pole sitter, while Taylor Reimer of Bixy, Oikla took the outside front-row slot. 

Candidates for the Don Basile Rookie of the Race includes 23 drivers. Third-place 2021 finisher Mitchel Moles captured that award last season; the most recent Rookie driver to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix is Warren Mocker, who accomplished the feat in 1986 – 36 years ago!

Practice for the 81st ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix starts on Friday, November 25th; that night, there will also be racing action from USAC’s West Coast/VRA Sprint cars, with gates opening at 11, drivers meeting held at 2:30PM. Grandstands open Friday at 3PM with cars on track half an hour later. Friday tickets are $22 for adult general admission; $18 for seniors, military and students. Children under 12 may enter without fee. Pit passes are $45 for members ad $50 for non-members .

On Saturday’s race day, non-reserved tickets are $35, while reserved seats start at $45 ages 13 and up. Children 12 and under must pay $25. Pit pass prices remain the same on Saturday.

By Anne Proffit

Below are the entries thus far, together with a list of former winners:

TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX ENTRY LIST: (60 ENTRIES)

00 ®JAKE ANDREOTTI/Castro Valley, CA (Pete Davis)

01 BRYANT WIEDEMAN/Colby, KS (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

08 CANNON McINTOSH/Bixby, OK (Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports)

1 ®BRYON WALTERS/Beaver Dam, WI (Bill Rose Racing)

1EM TBA (NP Motorsports)

1NP ®TERRY NICHOLS/Delano, CA (NP Motorsports)

1x ®A.J. BENDER/San Diego, CA (LKK Motorsports)

2J JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (RMS Racing)

3v ®JIM VANZANT/Prescott, AZ (Jim Vanzant)

4 ®JAKE HODGES/Camarillo, CA (Jake Hodges)

5J ®JOSH HODGE/Brownsburg, IN (Bill Rose Racing)

5K BEN WORTH/Coalinga, CA (Dean Alexander)

5T KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL (Dean Alexander)

6 ®BILL ROSE/Plainfield, IN (Bill Rose Racing)

7NZ ®TRAVIS BUCKLEY/Auckland, NZ (BSL Racing)

7x THOMAS MESERAULL/San Jose, CA (RMS Racing)

8 RANDI PANKRATZ/Atascadero, CA (Wally Pankratz)

8w ®TROY RUTHERFORD/Templeton, CA (Woodland Autosports)

9 ®BLAKE BOWER/Brentwood, CA (Tony Boscacci)

9AU SPENCER BAYSTON/Lebanon, IN (Dyson Motorsport)

10 ®BLAZE BENNETT/Parker, CO (Blaze Bennett)

11K ®NATHAN BYRD/Goodyear, AZ (Kruseman Motorsports)

14J MICHAEL FACCINTO/Hanford, CA (Graunstadt Enterprises)

14T DYLAN BLOOMFIELD/Oakley, CA (Graunstadt Enterprises)

17B ®AUSTIN BARNHILL/Wilmington, NC (Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports)

17w SHANE GOLOBIC/Fremont, CA (Matt Wood Racing)

19 ®ALEX BRIGHT/Collegeville, PA (Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports)

19AZ ®HAYDEN REINBOLD/Gilbert, AZ (Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports)

20 C.J. SARNA/Palm Desert, CA (C.J. Sarna)

22G ®ZACH TELFORD/Middleton, ID (GR Motorsports)

25 TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Tom Malloy)

25K TAYLOR REIMER/Bixby, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

25m ®JACOB DENNEY/Galloway, OH (Tom Malloy)

25x EMERSON AXSOM/Franklin, IN (Tom Malloy)

26 CHANCE CRUM/Snohomish, WA (Rudeen Racing)

45 ®JOEY BISHOP/Camarillo, CA (Bishop Motorsports)

51 ®BRODY FUSON/Bakersfield, CA (Rusty Carlile)

56 STEVE PADEN/Downey, CA (Steve Paden)

57 ®DANIEL WHITLEY/Ferndale, CA (Abacus Racing)

57x ®STEVE HIX/Ventura, CA (Steve Hix)

58 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Abacus Racing)

67 BUDDY KOFOID/Penngrove, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

68 JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK (Six8 Motorsports)

71 KAYLEE BRYSON/Muskogee, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

71E ®MARIAH EDE/Fresno, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

71K ®DOMINIC GORDEN/Clovis, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

71m ®CADE LEWIS/Bakersfield, CA (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

71p DAISON PURSLEY/Locust Grove, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

73 JAKE SWANSON/Anaheim, CA (Josh Ford Motorsports)

73T ®TONY GOMES/Modesto, CA (Josh Ford Motorsports)

73x CHASE JOHNSON/Penngrove, CA (Josh Ford Motorsports)

84 JADE AVEDISIAN/Clovis, CA (CB Industries)

86 ®JONATHAN BEASON/Broken Arrow, OK (CB Industries)

88 TANNER THORSON/Minden, NV (Tanner Thorson Racing)

88x ®SCOTT ORR/Columbia City, IN (Bill Rose Racing)

89 MITCHEL MOLES/Raisin City, CA (CB Industries)

91 ®LANCE BENNETT/Aurora, CO (Cappy Mason)

97 BRENHAM CROUCH/Lubbock, TX (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

97K RYAN TIMMS/Oklahoma City, OK (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports)

99AU CARSON MACEDO/Lemoore, CA (Dyson Motorsport)

® Represents a Don Basile Rookie of the Race Contender

TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX MIDGET WINNERS:

1934: Bob Swanson | Gilmore Stadium

1935: Ted Sizemore | Gilmore Stadium

1936: Ronney Householder | Gilmore Stadium

1937: Ronney Householder | Gilmore Stadium

1938: Bob Swanson | Gilmore Stadium

1939: Mel Hansen | Gilmore Stadium

1940: Roy Russing | Gilmore Stadium

1941: Roy Russing | Gilmore Stadium

1942: No Race

1943: No Race

1944: No Race

1945: Danny Oakes | Gilmore Stadium

1946: Perry Grimm | Gilmore Stadium

1947: Johnny McDowell | Gilmore Stadium

1948: Bill Vukovich | Gilmore Stadium

1949: Perry Grimm | Gilmore Stadium

1950: Bill Zaring | Gilmore Stadium

1951: No Race

1952: No Race

1953: No Race

1954: No Race

1955: Johnnie Parsons | Gardena Stadium

1956: Edgar Elder | Gardena Stadium

1957: George Amick | Gardena Stadium

1958: Joe Garson | Gardena Stadium

1959: Tony Bettenhausen | Gardena Stadium

1960: A.J. Foyt | Ascot Park

1961: A.J. Foyt | Ascot Park

1962: Billy Cantrell | Ascot Park

1963: Mel Kenyon | Ascot Park

1964: Parnelli Jones | Ascot Park

1965: Dick Atkins | Ascot Park

1966: Parnelli Jones | Ascot Park

1967: Gary Bettenhausen | Ascot Park

1968: Sammy Sessions | Ascot Park

1969: George Benson | Ascot Park

1970: Gary Bettenhausen | Ascot Park

1971: Billy Engelhart | Ascot Park

1972: Tony Simon | Ascot Park

1973: Billy Engelhart | Ascot Park

1974: Danny McKnight | Ascot Park

1975: Mel Kenyon | Speedway 605

1976: Bubby Jones | Ascot Park

1977: Gary Patterson | Ascot Park

1978: Rick Goudy | Ascot Park

1979: Ron Shuman | Ascot Park

1980: Ron Shuman | Ascot Park

1981: Ron Shuman | Ascot Park

1982: Ron Shuman | Ascot Park

1983: Kevin Olson | Ascot Park

1984: Ron Shuman | Ascot Park

1985: Brent Kaeding | Ascot Park

1986: Warren Mockler | Ascot Park

1987: Ron Shuman | Ascot Park

1988: Chuck Gurney | Ascot Park

1989: Chuck Gurney | Ascot Park

1990: Stan Fox | Ascot Park

1991: Stan Fox | Saugus Speedway

1992: Ron Shuman | Bakersfield Speedway

1993: Ron Shuman | Bakersfield Speedway

1994: Jordan Hermansader | Bakersfield Speedway

1995: Billy Boat | Bakersfield Speedway

1996: Billy Boat | Perris Auto Speedway

1997: Billy Boat | Ventura Raceway

1998: Jay Drake | Bakersfield Speedway

1999: Jason Leffler | Irwindale Speedway

2000: Tony Stewart | Irwindale Speedway

2001: Dave Steele | Irwindale Speedway

2002: Michael Lewis | Irwindale Speedway

2003: Dave Steele | Irwindale Speedway

2004: Bobby East | Irwindale Speedway

2005: Jason Leffler | Irwindale Speedway

2006: Billy Wease | Irwindale Speedway

2007: Dave Darland | Irwindale Speedway

2008: Bobby Santos | Irwindale Speedway

2009: Bryan Clauson | Irwindale Speedway

2010: Bryan Clauson | Irwindale Speedway

2011: Caleb Armstrong | Irwindale Speedway

2012: Kyle Larson | Perris Auto Speedway

2013: Dave Darland | Perris Auto Speedway

2014: Christopher Bell | Perris Auto Speedway

2015: Tanner Thorson | Perris Auto Speedway

2016: Kyle Larson | Ventura Raceway

2017: Christopher Bell | Ventura Raceway

2018: Christopher Bell | Ventura Raceway

2019: Kyle Larson | Ventura Raceway

2020: No Race

2021: Logan Seavey | Ventura Raceway

About Anne Proffit 1010 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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