Darland Driving For Kruseman At Turkey Night

RaceChaser Staff Featured, USAC 0 Comments

Dave Darland (center) will drive for Cory Kruseman in Thursday’s Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway. (Rich Forman photo)

VENTURA, Calif. – Kruseman Motorsports has entered a trio of drivers for the sprint car portion of Wednesday and Thursday’s 77th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway.

Dave Darland, the all-time USAC leader in sprint car wins, off-road racing star Sterling Cling and recording artist Tyler Williams will comprise the three-car effort that is being sponsored by Lucas Oil, Sander Engineering, K&N, ARP Fasteners, KWIK Change and K1 Race Gear.

The two-night show will feature the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars along with the USAC National and Western Midgets on fifth-mile dirt track located adjacent to the beach on the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Darland, who resides in Lincoln, Indiana, is no stranger to the Turkey Night Grand Prix. The popular driver, who is known as ‘The People’s Champ’ to his fans, has contested the race more than 20 times.

He has won the midget portion of the show two times and is one of only three drivers in the first 76 years of the race who has won it on both pavement and dirt. Darland’s first triumph in the Turkey Night Grand Prix came on the pavement at Irwindale Speedway in 2007. He backed up that win when he won on the famous Perris Auto Speedway half-mile clay oval driving for Keith Ford Motorsports in 2013.

This season Darland ended up 10th in USAC National Sprint Car points, 11th in the Silver Crown standings and 15th in the USAC National Midget championship standings. In addition to driving for Kruseman this week, Darland will be seeking his third win in the midget portion of the program driving for Ventura locals Ford Motorsports.

Unlike Darland, this week’s two-night show will be the first Turkey Night Grand Prix for Cling and one of the few times he has competed in a sprint car at Ventura Raceway. The Tempe, Ariz., racer owns a resume that is highlighted by gaudy statistics in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.

In 2016, Cling ended up seventh in the Pro Buggy point standings.  The accomplished off-road star upped the ante in 2017 by placing third in the class. In 13 rounds of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series this year, Cling had two wins and only finished out of the top-five two times.  In addition to the wins, he finished second four times, ended up third twice, fourth one time and he placed fifth on two occasions.

Rounding out the Kruseman Motorsports trio of drivers will be Stone Mountain, Ga., native Williams. A recording artist and actor by trade, Williams is no stranger to the fairgrounds that first saw auto racing in 1924. He has been a regular at the Cory Kruseman Sprint Car Driving School and has turned in many laps under the watchful eye of Kruseman.

Five weeks ago, Williams took one of Kruseman’s cars to an eighth-place finish in the VRA Sprint Car main event at Ventura.

CREDIT: Kruseman Motorsports

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