Thursday, November 24, 2011
Tanner Swanson keeps Turkey Night Grand Prix championship in the family
The 71st running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale didn't start out very clean.
A five-car crash at the start of the USAC Sprint Car race took out the leader in the Western Sprint Car standings and a former Turkey Night Grand Prix champion.
Tanner Swanson spun out before the start of the 40-lap Sprint Car race. Audra Sasselli, who entered the race with a 20-point lead in the Western Sprint Car standings, had her car overturned in the crash.
Tracy Hines, who won the Sprint Car race at the Turkey Night Grand Prix in 2008, was also collected in the crash.
Cody Gearhardt was taken to a nearby hospital for observation. Jo Jo Helberg and Bobby East also crashed at the start of the race and did not return.
Tanner Swanson escaped the crash and went on to win the Sprint Car race. He was followed by his brother, Kody Swanson, in second. Kody Swanson won the Turkey Night Grand Prix Sprint Car race last year.
Caleb Armstrong from New Castle, Ind., won the 98-lap, crash-filled USAC Midget race.
Bryan Clauson, who won the previous two Midget races at the Turkey Night Grand Prix, was third.
Ross Rankine won the USAC Ford Focus Midgets race, the first of his career. Nick Drake was second, followed by Garrett Peterson in third.
Jessica Clark, a senior at Westlake High School, won the USAC Ford Focus Western Pavement and Southern California championship. She finished in 13th place in the 23-car Turkey Night Grand Prix field.