Turkey Night Grand Prix roars back in Ventura

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Cannon McIntosh (08) fights Kyle Larson during Turkey Night Grand Prix 2019. (Richard Bales photo)

VENTURA, California – After a year of absence, the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix returns for its 80th edition on November 27th.

Star power abounds at this year’s Turkey Night Grand Prix with newly crowned NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson to steer Kyle Larson’s Open Wheel No. 1K in the event as he tries to defend his victory in the 2019 race. Larson, from Elk Grove, California, has previously won the race in 2012, 2016 and 2019. His three Turkey Night Midget victories are right in second place through the ages, just behind Ron Shuman’s eight.

Traditionally, the Turkey Night Grand Prix has been held on Thanksgiving night, but after years of deliberation on the subject, and with the cancellation of the event in 2020 due to COVID-19, promoters JC Agajanian Jr., Cary Agajanian and Ventura Raceways have Jim Naylor decided it was time to move on to a new Saturday night at the beach.

“For the past 20 years, we’ve been discussing moving the event,” JC Agajanian Jr. acknowledged. ‘Things are changing, families are changing and we would like to continue the tradition that it was held on Thursday night. But once the virus came through, we discussed it with Jim Naylor and decided that if we were to move the event, this would be the year to do it. All the signs pointed to doing so this year, and I believe it will bring more local talent to the race and put more people in the stands. “

The Agajanian family is legendary in the racing world and especially with the promotion of USAC racing events through most of the last century. The family, with family patriarch JC Agajanian Sr. at the helm, has annually promoted the event since 1955, a tradition which continued with his sons JC Agajanian Jr. and Cary Agajanian after the death of their father in May 1984.

Naylor, meanwhile, has been the sole promoter of Ventura Raceway ever since he personally funded the construction of the fairgrounds in 1978. No group of individuals has more of a penchant for the Turkey Night Grand Prix or as much of a stake in games as these three individuals , and it did not go without extensive conversation about whether to stand pat or take action by making Saturday the new Turkey Night race day.

“Cary, Jim and I are traditionalists,” admits JC Agajanian Jr. “Night, where they eat turkey from their trailers and motorhomes in the racetrack’s parking lot, and it’s a lot of fun. But there’s always been the thought that it might be a good idea to move it for the weekend.”

A feather in the cap at the end of a long season still evokes the emotion and excitement of USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget racing’s finest, and came Saturday night, November 27, 98 laps, a check for $ 10,000, a kiss of it. Aggie hat trophy and racing immortality are all that matters at Ventura Raceway.

Turkey Night weekend begins Friday night, November 26 with USAC West Coast / VRA 360 Sprint Car racing at Ventura along USAC Midget training. Saturday night’s finals will also include the 360 ​​sprint cars associated with the dwarves.

Visit www.venturaraceway.com and www.usacracing.com for tickets, info and more information on the 80th round of the Turkey Night Grand Prix.

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