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LA North: Jessica Clark makes Turkey Night Grand Prix debut

IRWINDALE -- Jessica Clark, a junior at Westlake High School, is making her second visit to Toyota Speedway at Irwindale for the Turkey Night Grand Prix, a Southern California tradition of USAC racing for 70 years.

Clark qualified 15th for the USAC Ford Focus Midget race. She qualified a Ford Focus Midget in last year’s race, but didn’t get to run in the main event because the car was “way out of whack.”

“I didn’t want to put it in a position where it might not come out in one piece,” the 16-year-old Clark said.

Clark said she wanted to qualify in the top 10. She was confident her car would be able to make some passes and give her a top-10 finish.

“I’m expecting to make quite a few passes,” Clark said.

Clark’s experience at Toyota Speedway isn’t limited to Ford Focus Midgets. She raced an S2 stock car at the track over the summer.

Her focus will be in open-wheel race cars for at least one more year in the Ford Focus Midgets.

“It’s been a pretty rough year,” Clark said. “We had numerous difficulties with the car. The last three races, the cars have been running well. It’s been nice.”

One of those races was a second-place finish at the Bullring in Las Vegas.