Seventeen Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA)/United States Auto Club (USAC) Western States mighty midgets were on hand Saturday night October 24th for the second and final round of the West Coast Stock Car / Motorsports Hall of Fame (WCSCMHOF) Challenge. At the start of the evening, 2015 BCRA champion Frankie Guerrini III held a slim one-point lead in the Challenge over 2017 BCRA champion Maria Cofer with New Zealand’s Scotty Farmer in third place, a scant five markers out of the lead.
In time trials, Alex Schutte powered his Profico-sponsored Toyota-powered Spike midget around the Petaluma 3/8-mile speedway in 15.039 seconds to edge out Shannon McQueen in her #7 Stanton powered Bullet chassis with a best lap of 15.167 seconds.
The third fastest qualifier was Michael Faccinto in the second John Cofer entry the Marcie Campbell Realtor #57X, while Frankie Guerrini timed in fourth to lead the WCSCMHOF Challenge competitors. Jake Andreotti was fifth fastest in Pete Davis’s #00 with Blake Bower and Brody Fuson rounding out the top seven qualifiers.
The evening’s pair of 10-lap heat races delivered a historic first, as female racers grabbed victory in both races. In the first heat race, Maria Cofer led Schutte, Andreotti, CJ Sarna, Faccinto Jarrett Soares and Sparky Howard to the checkered flag, as Fuson and Randi Pankratz failed to finish. Shannon McQueen of Bakersfield topped the second heat race over Guerrini, Bower, Kyle Beilman and Robert Carson, rookie Blake Brannon, Floyd Alvis and Kyle Beilman.
Blake Bower and Jake Andreotti shared the front row for the start of the thirty-lap feature with Frankie Guerrini and Michael Faccinto in row two and McQueen and Schutte in row three. At the drop of the green Bower sped into the lead trailed by Andreotti, Guerrini Faccinto and McQueen,
On lap five Schutte brought out the red flag to stop the race when he flipped hard in turn two – Alex walked away but his car was finished for the night. On lap after the restart, Faccinto spun in turn two and collected McQueen. Both cars restarted at the tail of the field. On lap seven, Sparky Howard’s Dave Thurston-owned midget stopped on track and brought out another caution flag.
On lap eight after the restart, Frankie Guerrini swept past Bower into the lead and quickly began to pull away from the field, and soon held a straightaway advantage over Bower in second as Cofer and Andreotti battled for third place. On lap 25, Cofer used Soares’ #12 midget as a pick in turn three and took second place from Bower but she made no headway on Guerrini’s massive lead, which was 11 seconds at the drop of the checkered flag.
Blake Bower finished a close third behind Cofer, and Shannon McQueen completed an amazing drive back through the field to finish fourth ahead of Andreotti, Faccinto and Scotty Farmer in seventh place. CJ Sarna crossed the finish line in eighth ahead of Carson, and Blake Brannon who rounded out the top ten. Sparky Howard claimed eleventh place, followed, by Alvis, Soares, Beilman, Pankratz, Schutte, and Fuson.
Frankie Guerrini, on the strength of his victory, captured the West Coast Stock/Motorsports Hall of Fame Challenge $1000 top prize with 160 points. Maria Cofer finished second with 154 points to earn the $700 runner-up prize. Scotty Farmer held on for third place in the Challenge over Blake Bower, with Kyle Beilman earning $250 for his consistent fifth place finish.
Many thanks go out from all the BCRA and USAC racers to Ken Clapp and the West Coast Stock Car / Motorsports Hall of Fame for their support of this two- race Challenge. Petaluma’s checkered flag brought to end of the difficult 2020 BCRA midget racing season. Best wishes to all BCRA midget racers, fans, and officials for a safe and productive off-season.
Be sure to follow the BCRA midget lites as take part in the Hangtown 100 at Placerville Speedway from November 19th through the 21st