United State Auto Club NOS Energy Drink National Midgets and California’s Bakersfield Speedway have a history that dates back six decades.
The history between the two roars back to life Saturday for the November Classic, co-sanctioned by the USAC Western States Midgets.
Davey Moses won the first trip by the USAC National Midgets in the summer of 1959. Over that period, 20 series races have been held at the lightning-quick 1/3-mile dirt oval with Jay Drake and Billy Vukovich serving as the winningest drivers with the series at Bakersfield.
This Saturday’s driver roster for the event features the defending November Classic winner at Bakersfield, Logan Seavey.
Seavey (Sutter native) won last year in grand style by driving around Rico Abreu in the fourth turn on the 30th and final lap to score the victory and lock up the series title in one fell swoop in his first start with the series at the track.
USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget point leader Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) has a large 171-point lead in the standings entering the final four-race stretch which began earlier this week at Placerville Speedway. The 2018 USAC National Sprint Car champ and 2019 runner-up was fourth at Bakersfield in 2017, then won his heat and took 22nd in 2018.
NASCAR and dirt track racing star Kyle Larson (Elk Grove) is one of 13 different winners on the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget campaign in 2019, the most since 2010, and is among those looking to return to victory lane Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway after picking up his 16th career series win earlier this June in Joliet, Ill. Zeb Wise (Angola, Ind.) made his first career USAC National Midget appearance in 2017 at Bakersfield where he won his heat and finished 19th. He took 20th in 2018 but is entering Bakersfield coming off two impressive runs at Western World, a second on the first night and third in the finale.
Tanner Carrick (Lincoln) made his debut midget run in 2017 a solid one with a 10th place finish. He upped his result to a sixth at Bakersfield in 2018 and is one of three expected entrants for Saturday’s race who’ve finished within the top-10 in each of the last two years along with Shane Golobic and Spencer Bayston.
Golobic (Fremont) was third at Bako in 2018 and sixth in 2017. The 2017 USAC National Midget points runner-up, one-time series winner and 2017 Indiana Midget Week champion is versatile, with a recent World of Outlaws win in September at Placerville Speedway to his credit.
Bayston (Lebanon, Ind.) the 2017 USAC National Midget champion, returns with Hayward Motorsports for the entirety of the California Midget swing this month. He collected a runner-up finish in 2017 and a fourth in 2018 in his two Bakersfield visits with the series.
Abreu (St. Helena), the 2014 USAC National Midget champ, took second a year ago in heartbreaking fashion at Bakersfield after leading 29 and ¾ circuits of the 30-lap main event.
Newly-crowned eight-time USAC/CRA Sprint Car champ Damion Gardner is entered for Bakersfield aboard Terry Klatt's No. 4. The Concord, Calif. driver has won each of the last two USAC/CRA Sprint Car features at Bakersfield in 2017 and 2019.
Like Golobic, Gio Scelzi (Fresno) is a winner on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car trail this year. His ride, the Tucker/Boat Motorsports No. 84, set fast time in qualifying at Bakersfield a year ago and finished fifth. Scelzi recorded his first top-ten USAC National Midget run last Saturday at Arizona, a ninth.
Seventh in series points, Jerry Coons, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) has extensive experience at Bakersfield, topping off with a third place run there in 1998. The USAC Triple Crown champ was also 15th in 1999 and 11th in 2018. Thomas Meseraull (San Jose) was a top-ten runner with the USAC National Midgets at Bakersfield in 2000, finishing seventh, and was 25th the year prior in 1999.
Two-time 2019 USAC National Midget winners Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) and Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.), a winner last Friday at Arizona Speedway, will make their Bakersfield USAC Midget debuts. Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Tucker Klaasmeyer (Paola, Kans.) each finished in the top-ten in their first visits to the track in 2018 with McDougal taking ninth and Klaasmeyer 10th.
Ben Worth (Coalinga) captured his first, and to date, only career USAC Western States Midget win earlier this April at Bakersfield, leading the final nine laps en route to victory.
The Western States Midget championship battle is tight with only 29 points separating point leader Robert Dalby and Cory Elliott. Dalby (Anaheim) finished 16th in 2018 and 20th in 2017 against National competition. Elliott (Bakersfield) is a four-time USAC Ford Focus Midget feature winner at Bakersfield between 2012-2014 while Randi Pankratz won there in a Focus Midget in 2015.
On Saturday, California Lightning Sprints and Hobby Stocks join the Midgets. Pits open at 2 p.m., gates at 3 p.m. and racing at 6 p.m. Adult general admission tickets are $16. Seniors 65 and older and military are $14. Kids 6-12 are $8. Kids 5 and under are free.
Watch all the action LIVE and on-demand on FloRacing and listen to LIVE audio on the USAC app. Follow along with live timing and scoring on the USAC and Race-Monitor apps.