MITCHELL WINS MIDGET MAIN AT VENTURA RACEWAY VENTURA, Calif. (April 11, 2009) -- Matt Mitchell outran Cody Swanson during a thrilling last lap duel and won the USAC Midget main event at Ventura Raceway. ...
MITCHELL WINS MIDGET MAIN AT VENTURA RACEWAY
VENTURA, Calif. (April 11, 2009) -- Matt Mitchell outran Cody Swanson during a thrilling last lap duel and won the USAC Midget main event at Ventura Raceway.
The race marked the 120th time the USAC Midgets have raced at Ventura and none have been more exciting. The two young guns traded taking peaks at the lead over the final circuit of Ventura's clay oval.
"I didn't know if I had anything for him," Mitchell said. "But in (turns) one and two I thought it either stuck in three and four or it wouldn't, sort of a checkers or wreckers deal."
It was checkers. Mitchell's charge into the final corner paid off and he led as they streaked under the checkered flag. The winner, 22, took his first main event victory at Ventura.
"I just made a mistake," Swanson said. "It was mine to lose and I lost it." Swanson is 21.
The eight-class racing card drew 145 entries, the second-largest field of the season at Ventura. The other winners included Ojai's Troy Rutherford (Sprint Cars), Willey Miller of Yorba Linda (Senior Sprints), Ray Estrada of Yucaipa (Pro Dwarf Cars), Ethan Quinn of Yucaipa (Junior Ford Focus Midgets), Ventura's Nick Valenzuela (Junior Midgets), Zachery Gilmore of Woodland Hills (Mini Dwarfs -- Pistons) and Ricky Lewis of Oxnard (Mini Dwarfs -- Superchargers).
Rutherford and defending series champion Kevin Kierce swapped the lead on the last lap of the Sprint Car event. Only lead changes at the start-finish line count, so Rutherford was credited with leading every lap of the feature. Still, he was under heavy pressure from several drivers during the action-packed 30-lap event.