After race leader Damion Gardner lost a wheel with four laps to go, Dave Darland went on to take the checkered flag in the 73rd running of the USAC midgets’ Turkey Night Grand Prix at California’s Perris Auto Speedway.
Starting sixth on the grid, Darland made his way to the front of the field at Lap 50 and was able to hold it through multiple restarts before Gardner took the lead from him at Lap 82.
But with only a handful of circuits to go on the dirt oval, Gardner suffered his misfortune and was forced to replace a left-rear wheel. The lost wheel relegated him to a 12th place finish.
Darland, 47, is now a two-time Turkey Night winner after his 2007 triumph on the pavement at Irwindale Speedway. The list of champions for this USAC midget racing mainstay is an impressive one, boasting names such as Tony Bettenhausen, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, the late Jason Leffler, and Tony Stewart.
Now, Darland is setting his sights on competing in the ARCA stock car series for its season opener this coming February at Daytona International Speedway. Fans can help him get there by donating to his effort at DaveDarlandRacing.com.