New Zealand National Midget Car Champion Hayden Williams and BSL Racing teammate Travis Buckley finished first and second in the 30-Lap USAC Western States Midget Series Feature race at Ventura Raceway in California.
After struggling with motor issues which beset their Mid-West racing stint, last weekend the Kiwi pair finally fond form back in California an hour and a half from the teams Esslinger Engineering based workshop.
Teenager Buckley qualifying 6th in his Bullet by Spike Chassis – Esslinger Engineering Midget then went on to finish second from grid 4 behind Robby Josett in his 10-Lap heat race.
Williams, in a similar car, winning heat 2 after starting 5th and qualifying 5th fastest. The Kiwi duo a front row lock out with Buckley on pole in the pair’s first USAC Western States start.
Williams leading green to chequered for his first Feature win State-side and calming the $1200 winners purse. “Conditions were slick early on but they re-worked the track before the feature. It was locked down around the bottom for about the first 10 or so laps before the top groove came in in turns 3 and 4.” Said Williams of the track that was similar in configuration to tracks back home.
“The feature was fairly smooth sailing. I just got out front, got to work and tried to make no mistakes. I managed to lead all 30 laps and win by over 6 seconds.
“It was an awesome feeling and extremely satisfying on a track I’ve never raced on before. Especially after the amount of hard-work that’s gone on behind the scenes and with [Crew Chief] Calvin Worthington gone, looking after and running two cars ourselves with limited resources, it was a pretty awesome feeling getting both BSL cars finishing 1 and 2.
“To have a USAC Feature winner’s medal to my name is pretty special.” Said Williams savouring the win.
Buckley is enjoying his second visit to the USA “I try to make the most of every lap I turn in the USA so I can hit the group running in the upcoming season in New Zealand.
“Cory Kruseman who helped crew for us, Hayden and Esslinger all played a massive part in giving me the best car possible to hit the track that night for the feature at Ventura.
“Racing In the USA has been a blast, on and off the race track. I’ve learnt more than I could ever imagine in what feels like a very short 6 months. It has gone so fast!
“I’m very grateful for all the help from Mum, Dad and Calvin and I’m happy to finally have a good result not only for myself but for BSL.
“I’m very excited to hit the ground running in the upcoming season in New Zealand” Said Buckley.
The team are planning to race a BCRA, $2000 to win event at Kern Speedway this Saturday night near Bakersfield, California before winding down and getting ready for back to New Zealand.