CALISTOGA, Calif. – The Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Racing Team is headed for California this weekend.
The occasion is the sixth Louie Vermeil Classic at Calistoga Speedway featuring the Honda USAC Western Midgets and the AMSOIL USAC/CRA and Western Classic Sprint Cars. The racing is slated Saturday and Sunday nights at the half-mile dirt oval.
While Honda National Dirt Midget point leader Christopher Bell is preparing for his Traxxas USAC Silver Crown debut Sunday in DuQuoin, Ill., Kunz drivers Rico Abreu, Tanner Thorson and Kyle Larson are expected to tackle Calistoga in the midgets.
Bell led a spectacular Kunz team of the three podium spots at this year’s recent Belleville (Kans.) Midget Nationals, with Abreu and Thorson rounding out the trio.
Abreu, who hails from neighboring Rutherford, Calif., closed out last year’s Louie Vermeil Classic with his first-ever USAC feature victory and he is looking forward to getting back to the friendly confines of Calistoga.
Larson’s roots are also close-by, in Elk Grove, while Thorson hails from Minden, Nev. Larson, juggling a busy NASCAR slate this season, hopes to compete in Sunday’s midget race, while Abreu and Thorson are planning to compete both nights.
Incentive is plenty for the Kunz team, which has already claimed Indiana Midget Week and Belleville Midget Nationals trophies and owns four Indiana and three Kansas wins and one in Wisconsin in 2013. Each of this weekend’s Calistoga midget victories will be worth $10,000, making this the biggest weekend of the year for the Honda Western Midget Series.
Teams fielded by Kunz and Pete Willoughby have recorded an amazing 105 USAC feature wins plus six additional wins in regional USAC competition, involving 20 different drivers. So far only five of those have come in California but they hope to change that total this weekend.