Alex Schutte
Alex Schutte

Alex Schutte
Rohnert Park, CA

Western Midgets Off Until Calistoga; Schutte Takes "Jack London Hall of Fame" Feature
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7/19/2016

7/19/2016

Sprint Source


Western Midgets Off Until Calistoga; Schutte Takes "Jack London Hall of Fame" Feature

USAC’s Western States Midgets are idle until September 3-4 when they resume action as part of Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway’s ninth annual “Louie Vermeil Classic.”

Ronnie Gardner continues to lead the series standings as he searches for a fourth consecutive title. He has a 40-point lead over Michael Faccinto going into the two-night Calistoga program which also features the USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Cars.

The Saturday feature event at the “Vermeil Classic” is part of the inaugural Jonathan Byrd’s “Indy Challenge,” which affords drivers unprecedented opportunities to achieve the goal of competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The challenge began in June at the Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway during “Indiana Midget Week” when Rico Abreu took the victory. Remaining events included in the seven-race challenge are the final night of the Belleville (Kans.) Midget Nationals on August 6; the August 17 “Pennsylvania Midget Week” race at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, PA.; the “Louie Vermeil Classic” Western States Midget race at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway on September 4; the “4-Crown Nationals” at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio September 24; the “Gold Grown Midget Nationals” finale at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill October 8 and the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway November 24.

Five wins in the “Byrd’s Challenge” would earn that driver a seat in the 2017 Freedom 100 Indy Lights race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Six victories would secure a seat for the full roster of oval races on the 2017 Indy Lights schedule, while a sweep of all seven USAC events would earn the driver the 2017 Indy Lights oval races mentioned, as well as propel the winner to a ride in the 2018 Indianapolis 500.

Alex Schutte of Redding, Calif. won Saturday night’s “Jack London Hall of Fame Night” USAC Western States Midget race at Petaluma (Calif.) Speedway. He passed Gardner on lap 17 and led the final 14 laps in his Proficio/Aircraft Electric Components Spike/Esslinger to beat Gardner, Shannon McQueen, Faccinto and Greg Bragg. The race was co-sanctioned by BCRA.

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