A hotly contested midget race on a hot night at Marysville Speedway

From the desk of Kevin Triplett

The mighty midgets of the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) made their only appearance of the 2017 season at Marysville Raceway on a steaming hot Saturday night July 22. The track was in excellent condition for single-car qualifying and Bakersfield’s Cory Elliott eclipsed the old track record of 14.312 seconds which he set last year with an even faster lap of 14.176 seconds.

Second fastest qualifier Alex Schutte also wheeled his #28 midget around the Marysville ¼-mile clay oval faster than the old track record as well with a best lap of 14.269 seconds. BCRA point’s leader Maria Cofer was third-fastest in time trials at 14.588 seconds and Nate Wait debuted a new chassis with a lap of 14.796 seconds.

Mason Daniels’ engine troubles with the #33M midget continued and he surrendered his scheduled pole position starting position in the heat race as pulled into the Marysville infield before the green flag. Daniels’ troubles moved Michael Faccinto in Mike Sala’s #19 midget to the pole position and at the drop of the green flag, Michael shot into the lead and fellow front row starter

Wait held down second place as Schutte and Cofer dueled for third place as Elliott’s car intermittently stopped running which left him in fifth place. Behind Elliott, JR Williams and Floyd Alvis staged a spirited duel over the entire eight lap distance. Faccinto led the field to the checkered flag by ten car lengths over Wait, Cofer, Schutte, Elliott, Williams and Alvis.

The re-draw for starting positions for the 25-lap feature placed Wait and Faccinto on the front row with Cofer and Schutte side-side in row two. At the drop of the green flag, once again Faccinto, the winner of the last race at Petaluma Speedway roared into the lead, as Wait ran over the wheel of another car in traffic in turn two and fell back to fifth place at the end of the first lap behind Faccinto, Cofer, Schutte and Elliott.

Cofer and Schutte dueled for position for several laps until both Alex and Cory Elliott slipped past Cofer’s red-white and black #57 machine. On lap 4, Mason Daniels pulled his #33M into the infield done for the night, and then entering turn three on lap 6, Schutte’s #28 midget bicycled onto two wheels and veered into the outer retaining wall. The damage to the right front of Alex’s machine was too severe to continue and his battered machine was towed into the infield.

Schutte’s retirement moved Cory Elliott into second place for the restart and a few laps later, Nate Wait moved into third place after he passed Maria Cofer. Unfortunately for Nate, his third place only lasted a few laps before his car suffered mechanical troubles and he was forced to pull into the infield trailed by JR Williams’ #74 midget.

On lap 16 the Esslinger engine in the #19 Sala midget broke a valve and Michael Faccinto rolled to a stop in the third turn and was done for the night. Faccinto’s retirement left Elliott in the lead trailed by Cofer and Alvis. The green flag came out with night lap to go, and Elliott appeared to have the race well in hand, but on the last lap, Elliott’s engine troubles reappeared and Cofer closed the gap and Maria followed Cory by less than a car length across the finish line.

The finishing order for the 25-lap feature was Elliott, Cofer, and Alvis with the non-finishing cars in order: Faccinto, Wait, Williams, Schutte and Mason Daniels.

The BCRA midgets return to action of Saturday night July 29 at the 3/8-mile dirt Fernley 95A Speedway in Fernley Nevada in a program with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:45 PM followed by racing at 7 PM. Hope to see you there!