Will be presenting sponsor of USAC Midget Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway
BAKERSFIELD, California (September 11, 2023) – The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame will be the presenting sponsor of the United States Auto Club-sanctioned 82nd Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix to be held Nov. 24-25 at Southern California’s Ventura Raceway.
The USAC Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix is the longest running West Coast auto race event, dating to 1934. It began as the traditional season ending event at Gilmore Stadium in Los Angeles and was held on Thanksgiving Day.
After calling many Southern California tracks home – including a 30-year run at Ascot Park – the event is midget racing’s most prestigious outdoor race and is second only to Tulsa’s Chili Bowl.
JC Agajanian Sr revived the Midget Grand Prix as the Gilmore Grand Prix in 1956. “Turkey Night” was adopted in 1975. Agajanian Promotions handles promotional duties regardless of venue. The race has been held at Ventura Raceway since 2016.
“To be the presenting sponsor for the oldest, most exciting motor sports event in the United States other than the Indianapolis 500 is a huge honor for the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame,” said Ken Clapp, Chairman and CEO of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame. “The ‘Hall’ is totally committed to being a part of making the 82nd running of Turkey Night the biggest midget and sprint car combo show of the year.
“Since the ‘Hall’ expanded its areas of recognition to include various forms of open wheel racing, we have become engaged with a greater number of high achieving persons for induction. This has propelled the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame to the position of most desired and recognized motor sports hall of fame west of the Mississippi River.”
Indianapolis 500 winners who also won Turkey Night are Johnnie Parsons, Parnelli Jones, and A.J. Foyt. Other notable winners include Tony Bettenhausen, Gary Bettenhausen, Bubby Jones, Chuck Gurney, Stan Fox, Jason Leffler (two), Tony Stewart, Dave Darland, and Bryan Clauson.
Ron Shuman has the most wins with eight. Bob Swanson, Billy Boat, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell have three apiece.
NASCAR Cup Series champion Larson is expected to compete in 2023, along with fellow NASCAR premier series competitor Bell. Justin Grant won last year’s Grand Prix.This year’s weekend also features USAC West 360 sprint cars.
Friday, Nov. 24. Grandstands open at 3 p.m. Midget practice. USAC sprint car hot laps, qualifying, heat races and main event.
Saturday, Nov. 25. Grandstands open at 3 p.m. USAC sprint car semis and main events.
Turkey Night Grand Prix midget hot laps, qualifying, heat races, semis and 98-lap feature.
Advance tickets, priced from $22-45, can be purchased at Eventbrite.com. Additional information is available at 805-648-7223.
About the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame:
The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame was conceived in 2001 as a means of recognizing significant contributors and contributions to the sport of stock car/motorsports competition. The mission of the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame is founded to preserve history and heritage of the important role west coast stock car and motorsports figures have played in the sport’s development and continuation and to recognize, through annual enshrinement, of outstanding individuals and groups within the sport such as, but not limited to, designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media.
The Hall is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, dedicated to supporting a variety of organizations and groups from coast to coast. During its tenure, the Hall has raised more than $800,000 in the past five of its 22 years for youth, health and safety, hospitals, animal rescue, military and other charitable causes.
For more information on the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame visit: www.WestCoastStockCarHallofFame.com
Owen A. Kearns