VENTURA’S “80TH TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX” STARTS FRIDAY
By Lance Jennings
NOVEMBER 23, 2021… The “80th Running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix” starts this Friday, November 26th, with two nights of action featuring the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midgets and the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Cars. The event will begin with a special non-point program for the 360 Sprints, capped off with a 10-car, $1,200-to-win dash and the midgets will have several practice sessions on Friday. On the following night, the sprint cars will return for their non-point semi-main and the $3,000-to-win main event, along with the complete midget show. For both days, the Pit Gates at the “The Best Little Dirt Track in America” will open at 11:00am, the Driver’s Meeting will be held at 2:45pm, the Spectator Gates open at 3:00pm, and practice starts at 3:15pm. The flag ceremony will be at 5:30pm with racing to follow. For more information, visit the track’s website at venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.
For those that cannot travel to the races, floracing.com will broadcast a live stream of the night’s action over the internet.
NOTICE TO RACERS:
– $50 (TOTAL) ENTRY FEE FOR BOTH NIGHTS OF THE SPECIAL EVENT.
– USAC LICENSE / MEMBERSHIPS ARE NOT REQUIRED.
– TRANSPONDERS ARE REQUIRED. THEY ARE AVAILABLE FOR RENT FOR $20 (TOTAL) FOR BOTH NIGHTS.
– TIRE RULE: Due to the current tire shortages, any Hoosier Right Rear Tire is legal for competition with the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars. All four corners must be Hoosier.
– ONE WAY DRIVER RADIOS ARE MANDATORY.
– 2021 ENGINE RULES: Legal ASCS spec cylinder head w/ 2 3/16 Injector/Restrictor; or 2 3/16 with any open legal head. All Open head must be within 1 degree of OEM Head. All heads ASCS and Open must be Chevy 23 degree plus or minus 1 degree. Ford 20 degree plus or minus 1 degree. Dodge 18 degree plus or minus 1 degree.
– 2021 WEIGHT RULE: 1,475 lbs. with driver for cars with an open cylinder head. Cars with an ASCS cylinder head must weigh 1,450 lbs. including driver.
– California state protocol calls for competitors, crews, officials, and anyone on the grounds to practice safe social distancing, proper sanitizing, and follow local regulations regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
– ANY WINGLESS SPEC SPRINT is invited to race with the USAC West Coast Sprints and can run their rules 100 percent, including the tire rule.
– FRONT AXLE TETHER SYSTEMS (2-Chassis, 1-King Pin to King Pin) ARE MANDATORY.
– FULL CONTAINMENT SEATS ARE MANDATORY.
– The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Rule Book can be found online at usacracing.com.
GRAND MARSHALLS: Robby Flock & Johnny Cofer.
– PILL DRAW: Racers will pill draw for heat race lineups.
– A PASSING POINTS SYSTEM WILL BE USED FOR HEAT RACES AND QUALIFIERS.
– HEAT RACES: There will be no more than 10 cars per heat race for ten (10) laps each.
– QUALIFYING RACES: Qualifying races will be twelve (12) laps each, lined up by passing points with a four (4) car inversion.
– DASH: The top-10 cars in points will make the fifteen (15) lap dash. The lineup will be straight up by points. The overall point’s leader after the dash will start on the pole position of Saturday’s main event.
– DASH PURSE: 1-$1200, 2-$750, 3-$500, 4-$400, 5-$300, 6-$250, 7-$200, 8-$150, 9-$150, 10-$150.
– SEMI-MAIN LINEUP: The lineup for the twelve (12) lap semi-main is based on total passing points from the Friday heat races and qualifiers. The lineup will be straight up by points.
– FEATURE: The main event will be thirty (30) laps with twenty-two (22) cars.
– FEATURE PURSE: 1-$3000, 2-$1500, 3-$800, 4-$750, 5-$700, 6-$650, 7-$600, 8-$500, 9-$400, 10-$300, 11-22-$200.
When the Turkey Night Grand Prix returned to Ventura Raceway in 2016, track promoter Jim Naylor added the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars to the program. “The Human Highlight Reel” Geoff Ensign claimed victory and the 360 Sprints have been a part of the prestigious event ever since. Chase Johnson topped the 2019 race and the show was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When the event was held at Irwindale Speedway in 2001, the USAC Western Pavement Sprint Cars joined the program. Tony Hunt took the checkered flag and NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart won the following year. Seven more drivers added the TNGP to their resume before the race was moved to the dirt at Perris Auto Speedway in 2012. A complete winner’s list for Sprint Cars at the Turkey Night Grand Prix is at the end of this release.
Since April 4, 2009, the Ventura County Fairgrounds has held eighteen (18) West Coast 360 events and twelve different drivers have claimed victory. Led by Tristan Guardino and Jake Swanson with three wins, Guardino also set the 1-lap track record of 11.958 on March 23, 2019. Troy Rutherford scored the June 26th main event and Ryan Timmons won the last Ventura appearance on October 16th.
After returning to USAC West Coast action in 2021, D.J. Johnson (Stockton, CA) won the series championship. The owner/driver of the #33 Bill’s Tire Service of Pacheco / The Halstead Realty Eagle did not post a feature win, but his title run came on the strength of four heat race victories, one Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, one Wilwood Disc Brakes Lucky 13 Award, eight top-five finishes, and 5 feature laps led. To date, the 2013 USAC Western Classic Rookie of the Year has two career West Coast triumphs, with both wins coming at Tulare in 2016.
Ryan Timmons (Pleasant Hill, CA) finished second in the chase for championship. Driving the family owned #29T Timmons Auto & Truck Repair / Evergood Fine Foods Maxim, Timmons opened his year by claiming the March 12th USAC/CRA 410 win at Kern County with an iron block 360 engine. In West Coast action, the 2016 Rookie of the Year had one feature win, one heat race victory, two Rod End Supply Hard Charger Awards and seven top-10 finishes, and 19 feature laps led on the season. With five career victories, Ryan is tied with Chase Johnson and Jake Swanson for thirteenth on the series win list.
By finishing third in the point chase, Jarrett Soares (Gilroy, CA) earned Rookie of the Year honors. Piloting the family owned #12 DenBeste Water Solutions / C&H Veteran Enterprises Maxim, Soares recorded one heat race victory, one Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, six top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led to his credit. Next year, the winged sprint car graduate will be looking to make a bid for the series championship.
Austin Liggett (Linden, CA) ranked fourth in the USAC West Coast 360 point standings. Racing the family owned #83 Excel Environmental / Liggett Trucking Maxim, Liggett posted has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, four top-10 finishes, and three feature laps led on the year. The 2018 Champion has twelve career victories and sits third on the series win list.
Tanner Boul (Auberry, CA) placed fifth in the championship point chase. In limited action, the driver of the family owned #99T King Racing Products / BR Motorsports Triple X had one heat race victory, one Rod End Supply Hard Charger Award, and four top-10 finishes to his credit. Tanner has been moving up the ranks and will have his sights on his first main event win.
After eleven point races, there were eight different winners on the USAC West Coast Sprint Car circuit. Chase Johnson led all drivers with three victories and Ryan Bernal scored two triumphs. Shawn Arriaga, “The Human Highlight Reel’ Geoff Ensign. Cody Fendley, “The Pride of Garden Grove” Brody Roa, Troy Rutherford, and Ryan Timmons had one win on the season.
Ventura Raceway is located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 West Harbor Blvd. in Ventura, California. Advance tickets are on sale and for more event information, visit the track’s website at venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.
The USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Chris Kearns Presents, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, FloRacing, Hoosier Racing Tire, Loudpedal Productions, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, Sway-A-Way Torsion Bars, 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
For more information on the series, visit usacracing.com and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content at the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
FloRacing.com has live, flag-to-flag coverage of the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series. You can catch the action by subscribing to FloRacing on a monthly or yearly basis to view their huge catalog of live and on-demand auto racing and sporting events.
USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS: 2009-Justyne Hamblin, 2010-Craig Stidham, 2011-Richard Vander Weerd, 2012-Bud Kaeding, 2013-Danny Faria Jr., 2014-Matt Mitchell, 2015-Danny Faria Jr., 2016-Brody Roa, 2017-Jake Swanson, 2018-Austin Liggett, 2019-Tristan Guardino, 2020-NO AWARD, 2021-D.J. Johnson.
TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX SPRINT CAR WINNERS: 2001-Tony Hunt, 2002-Tony Stewart, 2003-Michael Lewis, 2004-Michael Lewis, 2005-Dave Steele, 2006-Tony Hunt, 2007-Bobby Santos III, 2008-Tracy Hines, 2009-Cole Whitt, 2010-Kody Swanson, 2011-Tanner Swanson, 2016-Geoff Ensign, 2017-Tyler Courtney, 2018-Carson Macedo, 2019-Chase Johnson, 2020-CANCELLED. (*2001-2011 = USAC Western Pavement Sprints, 2016-Date = USAC West Coast Sprints)
VENTURA USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR TRACK RECORD: Tristan Guardino – 11.958 (03/23/19)
2021 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS: 3-Chase Johnson, 2-Ryan Bernal, 1-Shawn Arriaga, 1-Geoff Ensign, 1-Cody Fendley, 1-Brody Roa, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Ryan Timmons.
VENTURA USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR WINS: (Includes Non-Point Races) 3-Tristan Guardino, 3-Jake Swanson, 2-Ryan Bernal, 2-Troy Rutherford, 1-Brady Bacon, 1-Tyler Courtney, 1-Geoff Ensign, 1-Johnathon Henry, 1-Chase Johnson, 1-Austin Liggett, 1-Carson Macedo, 1-Ryan Timmons.
FINAL 2021 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS: 1. D.J. Johnson-658, 2. Ryan Timmons-532, 3. Jarrett Soares ®-451, 4. Austin Liggett-373, 5. Tanner Boul-353, 6. Kyle Edwards-342, 7. Jake Hodges-291, 8. Jacob Tuttle ®-266, 9. Kaleb Montgomery-257, 10. Brody Fuson ®-256, 11. Ryan Bernal-241, 12. Chase Johnson-240, 13. Brody Roa-229, 14. Trent Carter-215, 15. Cody Fendley ®-210, 16. Troy Rutherford-199, 17. James Herrera-182, 18. Travis Buckley-173, 19. Danny Faria Jr.-165, 20. Cody Smith-158.
2021 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SCHEDULE
DATE – TRACK – LOCATION
April 3: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (CANCELLED)
April 10: Keller Auto Speedway – Hanford, CA (Winner: Ryan Bernal)
April 17: Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (Winner: Brody Roa)
May 15: Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA (Winner: Geoff Ensign)
June 12: Thunderbowl Raceway – Tulare, CA (CANCELLED)
June 26: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Winner: Troy Rutherford)
July 9: Merced Speedway – Merced, CA (Winner: Ryan Bernal)
July 10: Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA (Winner: Cody Fendley)
July 31: Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA (Winner: Shawn Arriaga)
August 7: Merced Speedway – Merced, CA (Winner: Chase Johnson)
August 28: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA (CANCELLED)
September 18: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA (Winner: Chase Johnson)
September 19: Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park – Bakersfield, CA (Winner: Chase Johnson)
October 9: Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA (CANCELLED)
October 10: Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA (CANCELLED)
October 16: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Winner: Ryan Timmons)
November 26: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / SE)
November 27: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix / SE)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with VRA Sprints.
SE = Special Event / Non-Points.
This schedule is subject to change.