FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOVEMBER 19, 2012
DICK JORDAN 12-216
HAGEN, McQUEEN, PRICKETT EYE 2012 USAC TITLES
Darren Hagen, Shannon McQueen and David Prickett are all eyeing USAC driving championships this Thursday as the 72nd “Turkey Night Grand Prix” unfolds at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway. Car owners Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian and McQueen/Eskesen/Rescino Racing are targeting 2012 USAC car owner titles as well.
Hagen and McQueen have wrapped up the 2012 USAC Mopar National and Western Midget crowns respectively, while Prickett sits 29 points ahead of McQueen in the Western Dirt standings with 66 points up for grabs Thursday. Kunz/Curb-Agajanian have a 40-point margin over RFMS Racing in the National Midget owner points, while McQueen/Eskesen/Rescino Racing has a more tenuous 17-point lead over Mason Cook in the Western car owner listing.
Hagen’s first-ever full USAC National Championship Series title will come in front of his home-town crowd, hailing from nearby Riverside. McQueen, from Tehachapi, Calif., will become USAC’s fifth female driving champion in its 57-year history! Prickett, of Fresno, Calif., is seeking his initial USAC title.
In addition to the regular USAC Mopar National and Western stars, drivers will have to contend with a bevy of infrequent Midget challengers as well. They include 2012 Hut Hundred winner Brady Bacon, 2011 West Coast Sprint Champ Richard Vander Weerd, 5-time USAC/CRA Sprint Car Champ Mike Spencer, 2006 USAC/CRA Sprint Champ Cory Kruseman, 26-time Perris USAC/CRA Sprint winner Damion Gardner, 2012 Victorville Western Midget winner R.J. Johnson, 2008 Belleville Midget Nationals winner Brad Sweet, three-time USAC National Midget Champ and two-time Turkey Night winner Jason Leffler, 2012 USAC/CRA Sprint runner-up Nic Faas, four-time New Zealand Midget Champ Michael Pickens and 2008 USAC Midget Rookie of the Year Chad Boat, whose dad Billy strung together three straight Turkey Night wins at three different tracks in the 1990s.
Thursday’s race could include five former race winners: Jason Leffler (1999 and 2005), Bryan Clauson (2009, 2010), Bobby East (2004), Dave Darland (2007) and defending winner Caleb Armstrong (2011).
Following qualifications, two 12-lap “qualifying races” will precede the 98-lap feature event, the distance honoring the late J.C. Agajanian, whose famous race cars bore the number 98 and whose sons carry on the tradition of this great race as the race organizers.
2012 MOPAR USAC WESTERN MIDGET POINT STANDINGS
1-Shannon McQueen-761, 2-David Prickett-610, 3-Nick Chivello-591, 4-Scott Pierovich-497, 5-Alex Schutte-449, 6-Frankie Guerrini-431, 7-Cole Carter-412, 8-Connor Kassik-380, 9-Randi Pankratz-352, 10-Jake Swanson-344.
2012 MOPAR USAC WESTERN MIDGET DIRT POINT STANDINGS
1-David Prickett-579, 2-Shannon McQueen-550, 3-Alex Schutte-397, 4-Connor Kassik-380, 5-Randi Pankratz-352, 6-Nick Chivello-335, 7-Cody Swanson-329, 8-Cole Carter-283, 9-Scott Pierovich-273, 10-Jake Swanson-260.
2012 MOPAR USAC NATIONAL MIDGET POINT STANDINGS
1-Darren Hagen-1,283, 2-Tracy Hines-1,084, 3-Bryan Clauson-1,038, 4-Caleb Armstrong-924, 5-Kyle Larson-863, 6-Brad Kuhn-822, 7-Rico Abreu-816, 8-Jerry Coons Jr.-737, 9-Bobby East-732, 10-Chris Windom-670.
2012 MOPAR USAC NATIONAL MIDGET DIRT POINT STANDINGS
1-Darren Hagen-850, 2-Jerry Coons Jr.-737, 3-Bryan Clauson-715, 4-Brad Kuhn-715, 5-Tracy Hines-700, 6-Chris Windom-670, 7-Kyle Larson-627, 8-Rico Abreu-579, 9-Caleb Armstrong-516, 10-Davey Ray-499.