VENTURA, Calif. – For the first time in nearly four decades, the Turkey Night Grand Prix will not be run on Thanksgiving night.
A combination of overnight rain and a 10 a.m. downpour on Thursday morning at Ventura Raceway forced the postponement of the 79th edition of the Turkey Night midget classic.
The event will now be run Friday, with the same schedule in effect at the fifth-mile beachside dirt oval. Pit gates will open at 11 a.m. PT, with the drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. and on-track action at 3:15 p.m.
It’s just the sixth time in the USAC era – which began in 1956 – that the Turkey Night Grand Prix has not been run on Thanksgiving. The last such occurrence was in 1983, when the event was also run Friday.
Prior to that, postponements also happened in 1981, 1975, 1973 and 1965.
Two-time event winner Kyle Larson (2012, 2016) is the lone past winner in the field, while sophomore Turkey Night competitor Jesse Colwell was fastest among 59 cars in practice on Wednesday night.
Defending event winner Christopher Bell is not expected to compete, as of Thursday night.