Michael Faccinto scored perhaps the biggest win of his racing career Sunday night at Calistoga Speedway.
The Hanford driver won night two of the Louie Vermeil Classic for U.S. Auto Club Western States midgets. The victory was worth $10,000 and kept Faccinto in the hunt for the season points championship.
Corona’s Ronnie Gardner came into the weekend with a 40-point lead over Faccinto. Gardner, gunning for a record fourth straight Western States title, posted two fourth-place finishes at Calistoga against a stellar field that included the Keith Kunz Motorsports five-car stable.
Faccinto finished seventh Saturday night before rallying for his second series victory of the season in Sunday’s 30-lapper on the half-mile clay oval. Gardner led the first five laps before Faccinto took over for seven laps. Tanner Thorson, one of the Kunz drivers, led laps 13-27 but Faccinto got past and led the last three laps.
Faccinto, USAC’s 2006 National Ford Focus champion, is a 2009 Hanford High School graduate.
Lemoore’s Carson Macedo had a busy weekend racing in both the midgets and the USAC/California Racing Association wingless 410-cubic-inch sprint cars. Macedo was third Saturday night and fifth Sunday in the Kunz midget that has been his primary ride this season while racing in the Midwest.
In the sprint car series, Macedo jumped into the Easton-based Tarlton Racing car he drove to last season’s King of the West championship as a 19-year-old. Macedo was third Saturday and leading Sunday on lap 25 of 30 when he flipped, ending his night.
Visalia’s Richard Vander Weerd enjoyed a good weekend, too, with finishes of fourth and second in the sprint cars. He led five laps early Sunday. His brother Jace had finishes of 13th and 20th. Hanford native Chad Boespflug, who transplanted to the Midwest soon after graduating from Hanford High in 2006, jumped into a Northern California car and posted finishes of 22nd and fifth.
Madera Speedway – Matt Erickson of La Grange won Saturday night’s Late Model 40-lap stock car main event. Jason Aguirre of Atwater passed both rookie Dillon Tucker of Madera Ranchos and Rick Thompson of Fresno on a late-race restart for second place. Aaron Mullins rounded out the top five.
Other feature winners were Thomas Suarez (Hobby Stocks), Erik Woods (Toyota Sedans), Kevin Thompson (MSTs) and 14-year-old Jaden Rocha, becoming the first girl to win in the new Jr. Late Model series.