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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Kyle Larson won Tuesday night's Indiana Midget Week opener at Paragon Speedway.
(Rich Forman Photo)



UNSTOPPABLE LARSON WINS PARAGON INDIANA MIDGET WEEK OPENER

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Paragon, Indiana (June 16, 2020).........When you're hot, you're hot, and Kyle Larson is absolutely untouchable at the moment.

Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) won Tuesday's opening round of the 16th annual Indiana Midget Week at Paragon Speedway with a late-race pass of Tanner Thorson four laps from the finish to claim his sixth consecutive win behind the wheel between World of Outlaws, All Star and USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget competition over the past couple of weeks.

The victory also marked Larson's sixth-straight victory when competing in a midget inside the United States, with victories in the final three USAC National Midget features to conclude the 2019 season in California at Placerville, Bakersfield and Ventura. He then promptly won his first two starts of 2020 in January with a prelim win and a final night triumph at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla.

Larson's sixth career Indiana Midget Week win, which ranks second all-time behind Bryan Clauson's nine, was also the 20th of his USAC National Midget career, tying him with A.J. Foyt for 32nd all-time. And it came in the first USAC National Midget race held at Paragon since 1985.

Prior to Tuesday night, only once had Larson visited Paragon Speedway. That occasion came as a spectator of a sprint car race at the 3/8-mile several years ago.

"I've been waiting a long to come here to Paragon to get my chance to race," Larson said. "I'm glad I could add my name to the winner's list here."

In Fatheadz Eyewear qualifying, Larson laid down a new one-lap track record for the series at Paragon in his Tucker-Boat Motorsports/Pristine Auction - K & C Drywall/Spike/Speedway-powered machine, setting the new mark of 14.813 seconds and shattering the former record held by seven-time USAC National Midget champ Mel Kenyon for three-and-a-half decades at 16.442.

That placed Larson in the third row for the 30-lap feature while pole sitter Gio Scelzi, the last driver to beat Larson head-to-head in a USAC Midget race, jut out to an early five-car length lead in the beginning stages over outside front row starter Thorson.

Thorson closed the gap on Scelzi, and on lap six, made his first attempted slider for the lead in turn one, to no avail. The move ultimately cost Thorson substantial ground in the immediate aftermath, dropping him back 10 lengths before regrouping and incrementally began to reel Scelzi back in.

On the 11th lap, Thorson hit the slide to perfection on his second shot, slinging past Scelzi to take over the race lead.

One lap later, USAC western standout Chase Johnson flipped off the turn two banking in his first series start of the year. He walked away without injury.

One lap into the ensuing restart, now third-running Larson put Scelzi on notice with a slider on both ends of the racetrack, in both turn one and three. Each time, however, Scelzi masterfully cut back under to retain the position while Thorson opened up his advantage at the head of the field.

A yellow on lap 14 for a Brady Bacon turn two spin reset the deck, and on the following lap, Larson stuck the slider in turn one to corral the second position from Scelzi. At that point - the halfway mark - Thorson's advantage was 1.1 second, but that margin dwindled with each tick of the clock down to half a second when third-running Scelzi met his race's demise when he flipped in turn two, emerging uninjured.

Kyle Larson's sixth career Indiana Midget Week win, which ranks second all-time behind Bryan Clauson's nine, was also the 20th of his USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget career, tying him with A.J. Foyt for 32nd all-time.
(Lonnie Wheatley Photo)

With just nine to go, leader Thorson went on the defensive, sliding himself into turn one, thus trying to prevent Larson from doing the job himself. But Larson stuck to his instincts and went even lower than Thorson in turn one and the two made very slight contact as they drifted in unison to the top of turn two.

The pair kept each other in check, and with six to go, Larson took another run at Thorson in turn one, diving to the bottom and sliding up in front of Thorson by the time the two reached the second turn. Thorson ducked underneath and there, Thorson's right rear wheel and Larson's left front wheel had a meeting of the minds, knocking Larson askew and allowing Thorson to open his lead back up to 10 car lengths.

It took but just one lap before Larson was right back on Thorson's tail tank, following the 2016 series champ for a full circuit before changing up his approach.

There, Larson utilized a line which he had found just a few laps earlier as he drove it in a bit over the turn one cushion, then drove downhill off the banking and met wheel-to-wheel with Thorson exiting turn two, likewise leaving Thorson little room off the corner as they made slight contact similar to what had transpired just two laps prior with the roles now reversed.

From there, Larson quest for victory was undisputedly undenied as he extended the interval to 1.696 seconds over Thorson at the checkered to win his first Indiana Midget Week event since the 2018 opener at Montpelier Motor Speedway.

Thorson finished second ahead of NASCAR Cup Series regular Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chris Windom with Justin Grant rounding out the top-five.

"That was a fun race there," Larson exclaimed. "(Turns) one and two were a lot of fun, throwing slide jobs like that and getting to race hard with a lot of my friends was cool. My car just kept getting better and better throughout the race, especially there at the end when it got a little bit of patchiness of rubber at the exit of both ends. I happened to open my entry there on the last restart in one and could make up a lot of time on Tanner there. I threw a slider on him with four or five laps to go, and he didn't leave me much room, so when I got my opportunity, I didn't leave him any at all either."

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USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 16, 2020 - Paragon Speedway - Paragon, Indiana - Indiana Midget Week

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Kyle Larson, 86, Tucker/Boat-14.813 (New Track Record); 2. Rico Abreu, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.089; 3. Buddy Kofoid, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.159; 4. Tanner Carrick, 35, Petry-15.359; 5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 17s, Clauson/Marshall-15.401; 6. Tanner Thorson, 19, Hayward-15.441; 7. Chris Windom, 89, Tucker/Boat-15.495; 8. Gio Scelzi, 84, Tucker/Boat-15.519; 9. Justin Grant, 4A, RAMS-15.574; 10. Ethan Mitchell, 19m, Bundy Built-15.744; 11. Brady Bacon, 4B, Klatt-15.793; 12. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5, Petry-15.816; 13. Jake Neuman, 3N, Neuman-15.816; 14. Shane Golobic, 17w, Wood-15.829; 15. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-15.853; 16. Chase Johnson, 25, Malloy-15.878; 17. Noah Gass, 08, Dave Mac-15.894; 18. Cannon McIntosh, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-16.001; 19. Jason McDougal, 21KS, Reynolds-16.022; 20. Ryan Hall, 2, Bush-16.023; 21. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-16.077; 22. Dave Darland, 2ND, Harris-16.083; 23. Steve Buckwalter, 25B, Buckwalter-16.097; 24. Jadon Rogers, 4J, 4J-16.130; 25. Clinton Boyles, 98, RMS-16.162; 26. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-16.198; 27. Ronnie Gardner, 7R, Iron Dome/Moonshine-16.205; 28. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-16.236; 29. Dylan Ito, 73, Ford-16.295; 30. Kyle Cummins, 3G, Yeley-16.297; 31. Jake Swanson, 73T, Ford-16.316; 32. Daison Pursley, 9, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-16.380; 33. Max McLaughlin, 97K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-16.432; 34. Ace McCarthy, 28, Dave Mac-16.461; 35. Thomas Meseraull, 7x, RMS-16.504; 36. Andrew Layser, 82, Tucker/Boat-16.574; 37. Kaylee Bryson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-16.599; 38. Robert Dalby, 4, Dalby-16.605; 39. Russ Gamester, 46, Gamester-16.654; 40. Jeff Wimmenauer, 15J, Wimmenauer-16.686; 41. Hayden Reinbold, 19A, Reinbold/Underwood-16.833; 42. Brody Roa, 7m, Iron Dome/Moonshine-16.942; 43. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-17.181; 44. Shane Cottle, 86c, Stamper-17.440; 45. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-NT; 46. Zeb Wise, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Kyle Larson, 3. Noah Gass, 4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 5. Logan Seavey, 6. Clinton Boyles, 7. Max McLaughlin, 8. Cole Bodine, 9. Dylan Ito, 10. Jake Neuman, 11. Kaylee Bryson, 12. Hayden Reinbold. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Cannon McIntosh, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Shane Golobic, 4. Zach Daum, 5. Rico Abreu, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Kyle Cummins, 8. Robert Dalby, 9. Ethan Mitchell, 10. Ace McCarthy, 11. Brody Roa. NT

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Steve Buckwalter, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. Buddy Kofoid, 5. Chris Windom, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Jason McDougal, 8. Ronnie Gardner, 9. Justin Dickerson, 10. Jake Swanson, 11. Russ Gamester. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Tanner Carrick, 3. Gio Scelzi, 4. Daison Pursley, 5. Zeb Wise, 6. Jadon Rogers, 7. Ryan Hall, 8. Chase Johnson, 9. Maria Cofer, 10. Andrew Layser, 11. Jeff Wimmenauer. NT

C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Jake Swanson, 3. Ace McCarthy, 4. Zeb Wise, 5. Russ Gamester, 6. Andrew Layser, 7. Kaylee Bryson, 8. Dylan Ito, 9. Jeff Wimmenauer, 10. Brody Roa, 11. Hayden Reinbold, 12. Justin Dickerson, 13. Max McLaughlin, 14. Kyle Cummins, 15. Robert Dalby. NT

INDY METAL FINISHING SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Chase Johnson, 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Rico Abreu, 6. Jake Neuman, 7. Clinton Boyles, 8. Ethan Mitchell, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Jadon Rogers, 11. Cole Bodine, 12. Jason McDougal, 13. Jake Swanson, 14. Zeb Wise, 15. Ronnie Gardner, 16. Ace McCarthy, 17. Ryan Hall, 18. Maria Cofer. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kyle Larson (6), 2. Tanner Thorson (2), 3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (3), 4. Chris Windom (12), 5. Justin Grant (7), 6. Tanner Carrick (4), 7. Tyler Courtney (9), 8. Logan Seavey (22), 9. Buddy Kofoid (5), 10. Kevin Thomas Jr. (8), 11. Thomas Meseraull (21), 12. Rico Abreu (11), 13. Zach Daum (19), 14. Shane Golobic (15), 15. Jake Neuman (14), 16. Daison Pursley (20), 17. Cole Bodine (24), 18. Brady Bacon (13), 19. Noah Gass (17), 20. Gio Scelzi (1), 21. Andrew Layser (23), 22. Chase Johnson (16), 23. Steve Buckwalter (18), 24. Cannon McIntosh (10). NT

**Cannon McIntosh flipped during practice. Zeb Wise flipped during qualifying. Jake Swanson flipped during the third heat. Robert Dalby flipped during the C-Main. Max McLaughlin flipped during the C-Main. Chase Johnson flipped on lap 12 of the feature. Gio Scelzi flipped on lap 22 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Gio Scelzi, Laps 11-26 Tanner Thorson, Laps 27-30 Kyle Larson.

NEW USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tyler Courtney-409, 2-Chris Windom-408, 3-Tanner Thorson-369, 4-Buddy Kofoid-350, 5-Kevin Thomas Jr.-328, 6-Cannon McIntosh-312, 7-Andrew Layser-308, 8-Tanner Carrick-305, 9-Cole Bodine-283, 10-Daison Pursley-280.

NEW INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Kyle Larson-83, 2-Tanner Thorson-75, 3-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.-71, 4-Justin Grant-66, 5-Chris Windom-65, 6-Tanner Carrick-65, 7-Tyler Courtney-60, 8-Buddy Kofoid-55, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-51, 10-Logan Seavey-50.

NEW INDIANA MIDGET WEEK PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-14, 2-Thomas Meseraull-10, 3-Chris Windom-8, 4-Zach Daum-6, 5-Kyle Larson-5, 6-Daison Pursley-4, 7-Justin Grant-2, 8-Tyler Courtney-2, 9-Shane Golobic-1.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-43, 2-Chris Windom-31, 3-Andrew Layser-31, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-25, 5-Tanner Thorson-23, 6-Daison Pursley-22, 7-Brady Bacon-20, 8-Mario Clouser-19, 9-Tyler Courtney-18, 10-Tyler Thomas-16.

NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 17, 2020 - Gas City I-69 Speedway - Gas City, Indiana - Indiana Midget Week

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Kyle Larson

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Justin Grant

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Cannon McIntosh

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Tyler Courtney

Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner: Kevin Thomas Jr.

Indy Metal Finishing Semi Winner: Chris Windom

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Clinton Boyles

KSE Racing Products/B & W Auto Mart Hard Charger: Logan Seavey (22nd to 8th)

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Zach Daum

ProSource Hard Work: Logan Seavey

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The United States Auto Club.

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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. making his first Indiana Midget Week appearance in 13 years is one of the plethora of storylines to take note of as the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets head into a weeklong set of races in the Hoosier state June 16-21. (Rich Forman Photo)



THE STORYLINES: INDIANA MIDGET WEEK

Speedway, Indiana (June 15, 2020).........With six races in a six-night span, the storylines and scenarios run rampant with the possibilities of what can and will transpire over this next week of USAC Nos Energy Drink National Midget racing June 16-21, Tuesday at Paragon, Wednesday at Gas City, Thursday and Friday at Lincoln Park, Saturday at Lawrenceburg and Sunday at Kokomo.

That's why we love it, and that's why we watch. One of the ultimate tests of racing, the 16th annual edition of Indiana Midget Week, has finally arrived.

THE OUTSIDERS

Okay, okay, they're not really outsiders, per se. But what makes Indiana Midget Week competition so grand is witnessing those individuals who are regulars in series outside of USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget competition battling against those who run with the series on a regular basis.

For instance, Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.), who will compete in all six events of 2020 Indiana Midget Week for Tucker-Boat Motorsports as he aims for his first career title in the mini-series. He's arguably the hottest driver in all of racing right now with five consecutive wing sprint car wins between the World of Outlaws and All Stars. But, likewise, he's won the three most recent USAC Midget races he's entered as well, as well as the only two he's run in the state this year at the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Okla.

Daryn Pittman, the 2013 World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car champion, will compete in a single event at Gas City, the same place he made his last Indiana Midget Week start eight years earlier in 2012.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., a former USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year and Talladega and Daytona 400-mile NASCAR Cup series winner, will compete in the first four events of IMW, his first appearance in the weeklong series since 2007.

Carson Macedo, he too a past USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year and also a World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year, will compete in three of the six IMW events at Gas City, Lincoln Park Night #1 and the final night at Kokomo.

FIELD FILLED TO THE BRIM

In a taxing mini-series such as Indiana Midget Week, it's a pleasure to see how many teams can weather the heat, the elements, the long nights and the mechanical and emotional hardships that can come with traveling and racing night-after-night. Entering this year's IMW, 36 teams have announced their intentions to compete on the full trail throughout the Hoosier state.

WHO'S GOT NEXT

Four USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget regulars have all won feature events with the series in 2020, all of whom have had their share of total victories with the series in their careers: Tanner Thorson (15), Tyler Courtney (14), Justin Grant (5) and Chris Windom (3), and all of whom are aiming to win their first career Indiana Midget Week championship. With all having stellar seasons thus far across the board, perhaps this is their year.

BACON & KLATT

Brady Bacon is the dirt driver on Terry Klatt's 2019 USAC Silver Crown owner championship team. This time, however, Bacon will wheel a midget for the successful Nebraska car owner whose teams have won 17 career USAC National Midget races, but none since 2012 with Bobby East on the pavement at North Carolina's Ace Speedway.

THOMAS' NEW DIGS

Kevin Thomas Jr. and Petry Motorsports have switched over to the DRC chassis for Indiana Midget Week after recent results that have placed the six-time career series winner outside of the top-ten in each of the past three races after producing two top-seven results in the first two events of 2020 in Ocala, Fla.

HERE COME THE CHAMPS

Four past Indiana Midget Week champs have intentions of competing during the week including the champ of the first two years in 2005 and 2006, Shane Cottle, who has pre-entered to race in the Paragon opener on Tuesday. Another two-time IMW champ, Rico Abreu (2014-15) will compete in the first three at Paragon, Gas City and Lincoln Park Night #1 before returning for the finale at Kokomo.

Shane Golobic has made it a tradition in making the annual cross-country trek to Indiana Midget Week, where he'll contest the full series and try to repeat his 2017 IMW title. Only Cottle and Abreu have previously gone back-to-back with consecutive IMW championships, and Logan Seavey intends to become the next to accomplish the feat this year with the team that claimed the other Indiana USAC weeklong championship race last year, Indiana Sprint Week.

J-MAC IS BACK

Jason McDougal revealed his plans to move back to the state of Indiana to resume his driving career after briefly stepping back from full-time driving at the conclusion of the 2019 season. He showed little rust in his one series start at Port City this past May, qualifying 4th before ultimately falling back to 13th at the checkered and now will get plenty of extra work in behind the wheel for all six nights of Indiana Midget Week in Steve Reynolds' and Flea Ruzic's No. 21KS.

FORMER WINNERS

Of the 29 different drivers who've won an Indiana Midget Week feature since its inaugural year in 2005, 14 of them are entered to compete this coming week. Kyle Larson leads all active drivers with 5 victories, four behind the all-time mark of 9 set by Bryan Clauson. With the streak Larson is on at the moment, who knows? That record may very well be attainable in this six-race set. Rico Abreu has four, while Shane Cottle, Tyler Courtney and Tanner Thorson each have three. Nine different drivers possess at least one IMW triumph, including Brady Bacon, Steve Buckwalter, Dave Darland, Zach Daum, Justin Grant, Logan Seavey, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Thomas Jr. and Chris Windom.

WHAT'S ON ORDER FROM THE VENUE

This year's Indiana Midget Week slate has taken a slightly different look than in recent years with Paragon Speedway becoming the first new track addition to IMW since Montpelier in 2016. Not only that fact, but no drivers on this year's list have any midget experience at Paragon, creating a new ballgame for all. Forged out of necessity is the first-ever occasion in the 16-year history of IMW that a single track has hosted multiple races within the same week, Lincoln Park Speedway on Thursday, June 18, and Friday, June 19. This situation came about due to Friday's original venue, Bloomington Speedway, being restricted to holding no fans due to COVID-19.

THE ROOKS

Indiana Midget Week can be a grind. And when it comes to those attempting the week for the first time, it can be the ultimate challenge in many respects. We've seen the potential from a few who could be contenders for a victory, and possibly a championship with the likes of Gio Scelzi, a World of Outlaws winner and USAC National Midget victor late last year at Placerville (Calif.) Speedway, plus top series Rookie Buddy Kofoid, who's third in the overall standings after five events and has had no finish worse than 11th in that span. Daison Pursley, too, a Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate to Kofoid who has shown flashes in limited runs thus far but resided 9th in the points.

WESTERN CONTINGENT

A mass of western contingent is on its way to IMW to compete throughout the entire week, namely USAC Western series champions Ronnie Gardner (2013-14-15-16-17 Western States Midget), Brody Roa (2009 California Dirt Focus Midget, 2016 West Coast Sprint and 2019 Southwest Sprint) and Jake Swanson (2017 West Coast Sprint), Western series winners Chase Johnson and Maria Cofer, plus Dylan Ito, nephew of longtime TQ Midget success George Ito.

All Indiana Midget Week events will follow state guidelines, limiting seating capacity to 50 percent at all venues. Tickets are expected to sell fast and will only be available online at www.usactickets.com while they last. In fact, the Paragon and Gas City events have already sold out.

There, you will be provided the option to upgrade to a pit pass. You will also have the option to purchase tickets for the full week of Indiana Midget Week events.

On the screen, there will also be a space to reserve children's tickets. All children's ticket prices will be based on each track's policies. Children's tickets will count toward the capacity level and we can keep track of all the numbers to stay within the 50 percent capacity guideline.

There's also an option to order an Indiana Midget Week shirt that you can pick up at one of the Indiana Midget Week events you are attending.

All nights of IMW, along with all USAC National events in 2020, will be live on FloRacing.

2020 INDIANA MIDGET WEEK SCHEDULE

Tue., June 16: Paragon Speedway - Paragon, Indiana
Pits open at 4pm Eastern, grandstands at 5pm and hot laps at 6:30pm

Wed., June 17: Gas City I-69 Speedway - Gas City, Indiana
Pits open at 3pm Eastern, grandstands at 5pm and hot laps at 6:45pm

Thu., June 18: Lincoln Park Speedway - Putnamville, Indiana
Pits open at 3pm Eastern, grandstands at 4:30pm and hot laps at 6:30pm

Fri., June 19: Lincoln Park Speedway - Putnamville, Indiana
Pits open at 3pm Eastern, grandstands at 4:30pm and hot laps at 6:30pm

Sat., June 20: Lawrenceburg Speedway - Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Pits open at 3pm Eastern, grandstands at 5pm and hot laps at 6pm

Sun., June 21: Kokomo Speedway - Kokomo, Indiana
Pits open at 3pm Eastern, grandstands at 5pm and hot laps at 6pm

INDIANA MIDGET WEEK CHAMPIONS: (2005-2019)

2005: Shane Cottle
2006: Shane Cottle
2007: Jerry Coons, Jr.
2008: Tracy Hines
2009: Bryan Clauson
2010: Tracy Hines / Brad Kuhn
2011: Bryan Clauson
2012: Darren Hagen
2013: Christopher Bell
2014: Rico Abreu
2015: Rico Abreu
2016: Bryan Clauson
2017: Shane Golobic
2018: Spencer Bayston
2019: Logan Seavey

ALL-TIME INDIANA MIDGET WEEK WINS: (2005-2019)

1. (9) Bryan Clauson
2. (5) Christopher Bell & Kyle Larson
4. (4) Rico Abreu
5. (3) Spencer Bayston, Shane Cottle, Tyler Courtney, Darren Hagen, Brad Kuhn, Michael Pickens & Tanner Thorson
12. (2) Jerry Coons, Jr., Davey Ray & Brad Sweet
15. (1) Brady Bacon, Chad Boat, Steve Buckwalter, Dave Darland, Zach Daum, Jay Drake, Justin Grant, Tracy Hines, Levi Jones, Johnny Rodriguez, Logan Seavey, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Kevin Swindell, Kevin Thomas, Jr. & Chris Windom

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

#61m Stephen Schnapf, a first-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winner Sunday night at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. (Rich Forman Photo)



SCHNAPF SHOT:
IT'S A FIRST-TIME USAC SPRINT WINNER AT TRI-STATE!

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Haubstadt, Indiana (June 14, 2020).........Stephen Schnapf knew he had the speed at Tri-State Speedway. He just had to finish that final third.

After last year's oh-so-close second-place finish in midsummer to Kyle Cummins in which Schnapf led all but the final four laps, the Evansville, Ind. native felt a victory on the big stage was just within reach, but just needed to close it out Mariano Rivera style.

"I knew last year we were fast," Schnapf remembered. "I knew we were able to get out and roll early, but Cummins got us every time last year. That last third of the race, he'd always be quicker and was able to get around us and we just couldn't quite hang on."

Sunday night, Schnapf finally found that final third to finish off his first career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory in the Midwest Sprint Car Series co-sanctioned "Showdown" at Haubstadt, Indiana's Tri-State Speedway, a monumental victory for the 31-year-old just one day shy of his 32nd birthday.

"This is like 22 or 23 years I've been racing now," Schnapf recalled. "We've won local championships, state championships, and have run well. I've been close to a feature win on the national level and this is honestly, truly, my first ever national feature win in any type of race car. It's taken so many years to finally get it, and I've had so many great people behind me over those years, and things just weren't quite able to work out. Finally, tonight, the stars just lined up for me. Tonight, it was kind of destiny, and it was going to be hard to be beaten."

Right from the get go, Schnapf was on point. Despite Schnapf starting from the pole, Cummins, who swept all nine Sprint Car feature victories in USAC and MSCS competition at the ¼-mile dirt oval track in 2019, was the odds-on favorite from the third starting spot and was already challenging Schnapf for the lead at the conclusion of lap one.

Schnapf withstood Cummins' challenge and burst off the top of turn four to beat Cummins to the line and, from there, extended his lead lap-after-lap, eventually carving out a half-straightaway lead in the first half of the 30-lapper.

As Schnapf fenagled his way through the back half of the field, Cummins began to reel him in, shaving a second off Schnapf's 1.6 second lead. On the 20th lap, Schnapf encountered Max Adams, attempting to put him a lap down, but Schnapf was caught up just enough to nearly allow Cummins to take full advantage of the door he left open underneath.

However, Schnapf secured his grasp, denying what ultimately became Cummins' last shot. Leading USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie Anton Hernandez slowed moments later to bring out the caution, thus putting the intensity of traffic and the immediate pressure of Cummins' presence off Schnapf for the time being.

With that said, Schnapf was in a rhythm, and some drivers loathe the thought of restarts. Not so much for Schnapf, who considered it a blessing in a way with how well he could launch each time he saw the green.

Cummins was able to stay within a couple car lengths of Schnapf in the ensuing laps following the last restart, which started the final, crucial third of the race, but Cummins wasn't quite able to get a run. With six to go, however, any thought of Cummins making a run at a 10th consecutive Tri-State victory vanished.

Cummins was disposed of by Donny Brackett for second off turn four on the 24th lap, then a half-lap later, was overtaken for third by Robert Ballou. Suddenly, it was apparent something was amiss as Cummins slowed dramatically and pulled into the infield with an engine issue, ending his astounding winning streak with a 22nd place finish.

With the victory, Schnapf became the initial first-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winner of 2020, and the first since Logan Seavey at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway in August of 2019. Schnapf was also the first first-time USAC Sprint winner at Tri-State since Carson Short in 2016. (Rich Forman Photo)

Schnapf stretched his lead out over Brackett and Ballou and appeared headed for surefire victory when 16th running Kendall Ruble spun to a stop in turn two, presenting a green-white-checkered finish, and another instance of Schnapf having to display his prowess this night on another restart.

"I knew I could restart," Schnapf confidently stated. "The motor was firing really good and I knew that just getting a restart, we got an opportunity to put three or four car lengths between us. I was happy to see that one, but with two go, I really wasn't as excited to see the caution. But I knew that, even there, just get a good start and don't miss the bottom, and it was ours."

And it was. Schnapf zipped away from the pack, leaving the battle to be fought for the runner-up position. Insanity ensued on the final corner of the final lap behind Schnapf when second-running Brackett, headed for his best career USAC finish, spun sideways in turn four, recovering only by driving through the infield and soldiering on to an 11th place result while Ballou, Kevin Thomas Jr., Carson Short and Justin Grant freight-trained by to take the remainder of the top-five spots at the checkered.

Following a relatively tough start to the night, Schnapf credits his ongoing building of experience to help him forge forward in diagnosing changes to take his ride from a good car to a winning car.

"Tonight, we actually came in way too tight; I couldn't keep the front end down on the ground," Schnapf admitted. "But, now with a few years of experience, we were able to keep traction and make a few tweaks just to make it driveable. That's where it was. It was hard to see Kyle drive away last year. All year, we searched to find that extra speed and we were never able to find it. Even though we didn't find it last year, we finally found that little bit of extra speed we needed here."

With the victory, Schnapf became the initial first-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winner of 2020, and the first since Logan Seavey at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway in August of 2019. Schnapf was also the first first-time USAC Sprint winner at Tri-State since Carson Short in 2016.

Dave Darland's 61st career fast qualifying time during Fatheadz Eyewear time trials moved him past Tracy Hines for second all-time in series history. Darland, the all-time winningest driver in series history now ranks just four behind Tom Bigelow's record of 65 fast qualifying times.

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 14, 2020 - Tri-State Speedway - Haubstadt, Indiana - "The Showdown" - 1/4-Mile Dirt Oval - Co-Sanctioned by the Midwest Sprint Car Series

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR/ADDICTION SOLUTIONS VINCENNES QUALIFYING FLIGHT ONE: 1. Donny Brackett, 4B, Brackett-13.749; 2. Carson Short, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-13.770; 3. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.816; 4. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-13.843; 5. Kendall Ruble, 17, Ruble/Martin-13.939; 6. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.948; 7. Jadon Rogers, 14, Rogers-13.963; 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-13.989; 9. Shane Cottle, 74x, Hodges-14.128; 10. Brayden Fox, 53, Fox-14.158; 11. Jonathan Vennard, 54, KO-14.193; 12. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-14.224; 13. Stan Beadles, 84, Beadles-14.392; 14. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin-14.490; 15. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-14.543; 16. Mario Clouser, 6, Clouser-14.662; 17. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-14.732; 18. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.926; 19. Harley Burns, 16, Burns-14.938; 20. Mitchell Davis, 56, Davis-15.406; 21. Sam Scott, 7, Scott- 15.648; 22. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-16.490; 23. Eric Perrott, 45, Perrott-16.984.

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR/ADDICTION SOLUTIONS VINCENNES QUALIFYING FLIGHT TWO: 1. Dave Darland, 36d, EZR/Curb-Agajanian-13.647; 2. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.717; 3. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.787; 4. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-13.904; 5. Dakota Jackson, 17G, On The Gass-14.003; 6. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-14.078; 7. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.159; 8. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-14.184; 9. Chayse Hayhurst, 20, Hayhurst-14.243; 10. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.276; 11. Max Adams, 5m, Adams-14.314; 12. Critter Malone, 5s, KO-14.363; 13. Aric Gentry, 10, GBR-14.407; 14. Brady Short, 11p, Short/Pottorff-14.484; 15. Chris Phillips, 6p, Phillips-14.492; 16. Brandon Morin, 98, Morin-14.610; 17. Dustin Smith, 77, LG-14.623; 18. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-14.638; 19. Kurt Gross, 1x, Gross-15.050; 20. Ryan Bond, 7R, Bond-15.282; 21. Anthony D'Alessio, 01, D'Alessio/Parallax-15.655; 22. Steve Thomas, 27, Thomas-16.495.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Donny Brackett, 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Jadon Rogers, 4. Jonathan Vennard, 5. Shane Cottle, 6. Jarett Andretti, 7. Logan Seavey, 8. Harley Burns, 9. Sam Scott, 10. Eric Perrott, 11. Kendall Ruble, 12. Stan Beadles. 2:21.816

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. C.J. Leary, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Dustin Clark, 4. Carson Short, 5. Kevin Thomas Jr., 6. Anton Hernandez, 7. Brayden Fox, 8. Mario Clouser, 9. Mitchell Davis, 10. Matt Westfall, 11. Robert Bell. 2:23.946

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kyle Cummins, 2. Aric Gentry, 3. Chase Stockon, 4. Dakota Jackson, 5. Dave Darland, 6. Max Adams, 7. Chris Phillips, 8. Dustin Smith, 9. Kurt Gross, 10. Chayse Hayhurst, 11. Anthony D'Alessio. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Stephen Schnapf, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Brandon Mattox, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Kent Schmidt, 6. Charles Davis Jr., 7. Brandon Morin, 8. Brady Short, 9. Ryan Bond, 10. Steve Thomas, 11. Critter Malone. NT

C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Mario Clouser, 2. Kent Schmidt, 3. Brandon Morin, 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Mitchell Davis, 6. Dustin Smith, 7. Kurt Gross, 8. Matt Westfall, 9. Anthony D'Alessio, 10. Sam Scott, 11. Steve Thomas, 12. Eric Perrott, 13. Ryan Bond, 14. Robert Bell. 2:26.686

INDY METAL FINISHING SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Kendall Ruble, 3. Charles Davis Jr., 4. Max Adams, 5. Brady Short, 6. Anton Hernandez, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Brandon Morin, 9. Mario Clouser, 10. Shane Cottle, 11. Kent Schmidt, 12. Critter Malone, 13. Stan Beadles, 14. Brayden Fox, 15. Chayse Hayhurst, 16. Chris Phillips, 17. Logan Seavey, 18. Jarett Andretti. 2:56.830

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Stephen Schnapf (1), 2. Robert Ballou (2), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (15), 4. Carson Short (4), 5. Justin Grant (5), 6. Chris Windom (9), 7. Chase Stockon (11), 8. Brady Bacon (10), 9. Jadon Rogers (12), 10. Brady Short (21), 11. Donny Brackett (6), 12. C.J. Leary (7), 13. Brandon Mattox (16), 14. Charles Davis Jr. (14), 15. Kendall Ruble (13), 16. Max Adams (17), 17. Aric Gentry (20), 18. Kent Schmidt (24), 19. Dustin Clark (19), 20. Logan Seavey (23), 21. Dakota Jackson (8), 22. Kyle Cummins (3), 23. Anton Hernandez (22), 24. Jonathan Vennard (18), 25. Dave Darland (25), 26. Chayse Hayhurst (26). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Stephen Schnapf.

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-368, 2-Chris Windom-353, 3-Brady Bacon-344, 4-C.J. Leary-320, 5-Kevin Thomas Jr.-291, 6-Chase Stockon-283, 7-Carson Short-270, 8-Logan Seavey-253, 9-Dave Darland-234, 10-Robert Ballou-207.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Andrew Layser-31, 2-Logan Seavey-29, 3-Kevin Thomas Jr.-25, 4-Tanner Thorson-23, 5-Chris Windom-23, 6-Brady Bacon-20, 7-Mario Clouser-19, 8-Daison Pursley-18, 9-Tyler Courtney-16, 10-Tyler Thomas-16.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 26, 2020 - Plymouth Speedway - Plymouth, Indiana - 3/8-Mile Dirt Oval

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear/Addiction Solutions Vincennes Fast Qualifier: Dave Darland

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Donny Brackett

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: C.J. Leary

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Kyle Cummins

Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner: Stephen Schnapf

Indy Metal Finishing Semi Winner: Kevin Thomas Jr.

KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Brady Short (21st to 10th)

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Brandon Mattox

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Dave Darland

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Justin Grant was victorious for the second time in as many nights in Sunday's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
(Rich Forman Photo)



DÉJÀ VU: GRANT COMPLETES WEEKEND SWEEP WITH I-55 WIN

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Pevely, Missouri (June 7, 2020).........Less than 24 hours after driving to his first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory of the season, Justin Grant did the deed again, sweeping the weekend capper Sunday night at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri.

Grant led wire-to-wire on Saturday night at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa after starting from the outside of the front row and leading all 30 laps in his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink - TOPP Industries - The Bow Foundation/Maxim/Claxton Chevy. On Sunday, he was once again in the same position, outside the front row in the feature starting lineup.

Grant drew the last pill in the qualifying draw, but the Ione, Calif. native went against the grain, shunning conventional wisdom and instilling the idea within that the track would slow him up just enough to eventually put him on the front row for the feature. He believed it, and that's just how it played out after qualifying third fastest in flight two.

After snaring the lead from polesitter Chase Stockon at the line on the second go-around, Grant led the remainder of the 29 laps to score his 18th career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory, moving him past Jerry Coons Jr., Parnelli Jones and Bud Kaeding for sole possession of 30th all-time.

Grant's fountain of confidence in current times is quite apparent, and he readily admits a successful run such as this after mighty struggles on occasions, is pretty sweet.

"When you're hot, you're hot. It's like you can't miss," Grant exclaimed. "Car's always perfect. Everything always works out. It's pretty magical when it's like this. It's not always like this, and I've done this enough to know that it can swing back the other way, but we'll work our butts off to make sure it doesn't for as long as we can."

The two Sprint victories come just two weeks after Grant won back-to-back Midget races over consecutive nights, including the final night of the T-Town Midget Showdown at Tulsa, Oklahoma's Port City Raceway on May 23.

Once Grant took the lead Sunday at I-55, from basically the get-go, the race was just as much a race against the ever-changing preferred line as it was against anybody else in the 22-car field. Grant swapped from top to bottom on both ends of the 1/3-mile dirt oval while Brady Bacon, winner of the first two series races in Ocala, Fla. in February, slotted into second and posted a challenge to Grant.

"Early on, the top was dirty," Grant recalled. "The curb hadn't really formed up yet and there was enough moisture on the bottom in three and four that I was running the top, and thought it's pretty dirty up there and looks pretty wide down there, so I dropped to the bottom. A couple of times, I saw Brady's nose down the back stretch. I ran the bottom in three and four until I felt like it was getting slow. I had to slow a fair bit to get off four. I thought I'd be better off blazing around the fence. I was pretty happy about that because I like blazing around the fence."

While Grant was busy searching for happiness against the fence, Matt Westfall became the unhappy one who found misfortune against the turn two wall on the sixth lap, flipping upside down, an incident from which the Pleasant Hill, Ohio driver walked away unscathed.

'Three and four got pretty ledgy,' Grant continued. 'But you'd make really good time getting into the ledge hard exiting four, but it would get you tight if you weren't careful. I got tight a couple times at the fence off four. That was a lot of fun. That's how sprint cars are supposed to race, cowboy up, banging the fence and trying to keep yourself from crashing.'
(Rich Forman Photo)

Grant and Bacon remained right against the wall, albeit of the inside variety, while Chris Windom and Tyler Courtney clung to the high line to make their surge to the front. And when a caution for a Mitchell Davis spin on lap 16 cleared the traffic and the path for the leaders, Grant took off, while Windom and Courtney, in quick succession on laps 17 and 18, powered around Bacon on the topside for the second and third spot, respectively.

Grant then went back to the top while sliding himself on entry into turns one and two. At one point, with it being slick on entry at the top of turn one, he admitted he about backed it into the fence, so he recalculated and changed up his approach. When his tires held their grip across the center, he thought he'd be hard to beat if that component of the track's surface remained.

"It was kind of sketchy because there was a hole on the bottom of one and two where the moisture was," Grant recalled. "I'd come blazing through there wide open and it'd get to bucking and it would bounce all the way across the slick in the middle of one and two, then bash into the cushion off two. Sometimes it'd blow through and bash into the wall."

"Three and four got pretty ledgy," Grant continued. "But you'd make really good time getting into the ledge hard exiting four, but it would get you tight if you weren't careful. I got tight a couple times at the fence off four. That was a lot of fun. That's how sprint cars are supposed to race, cowboy up, banging the fence and trying to keep yourself from crashing."

After a yellow involving Carson Short on the 19th lap, the top-two of Grant and Windom broke away with Grant jetting out to a 1.824 second advantage that was erased when Logan Seavey slowed with seven laps remaining, a victim of a flat left rear tire.

An outstanding restart from Grant on the lap 24 resumption was the final nail for the rest of the field, though Robert Ballou used the moment to split through the gap in turn three to jump from fifth to third.

All the while, Grant put the race on ice, taking the checkered with a 1.639 second advantage over Windom, Ballou, Tyler Courtney and Dave Darland.

Grant elevated himself to the series point lead with the victory. For Windom, it was his second runner-up finish of the season. He and Grant are the only two with top-five finishes in all four series starts. A third for Ballou equaled his third place run at I-55 from two years prior. Courtney's fourth place run in his season debut with the series came one night after finishing third in Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway's weekly wing sprint car racing program. Dave Darland's fifth-place finish was his best with the series since November 2018 at Arizona Speedway where finished second on the final night of the Western World Championships.

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 7, 2020 - Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 - Pevely, Missouri - 1/3-Mile Dirt Oval

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FLIGHT ONE: 1. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-12.971; 2. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-13.182; 3. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.241; 4. Dave Darland, 36d, EZR/Curb-Agajanian-13.277; 5. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.313; 6. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.410; 7. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-13.476; 8. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin-13.499; 9. Jonathan Vennard, 54, KO-13.535; 10. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-13.558; 11. Dustin Smith, 77, Smith-13.558; 12. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-13.589; 13. Mario Clouser, 6, Clouser-13.613; 14. Anthony Nicholson, 16, Nicholson-13.704; 15. Anthony D'Alessio, 01, D'Alessio/Parallax-13.729; 16. Blake Vermillion, 73, Vermillion-13.746; 17. Chris Phillips, 6p, Phillips-13.772; 18. Korey Weyant, 99, Weyant-14.446; 19. Patrick Budde, 90, Budde-14.554; 20. Steve Thomas, 27, Thomas-14.611; 21. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-14.723.

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FLIGHT TWO: 1. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.430; 2. C.J. Leary, 5K, KO-13.642; 3. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.797; 4. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-13.849; 5. Brayden Fox, 53, Fox-14.077; 6. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-14.096; 7. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.149; 8. Wyatt Burks, 11w, Burks-14.207; 9. Carson Short, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-14.239; 10. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.266; 11. Tyler Kendall, 20, Kendall-14.315; 12. Jesse Vermillion, 5v, Vermillion-14.320; 13. Kory Schudy, 28K, Sawyer-14.322; 14. Kurt Gross, 1x, Gross-14.375; 15. Jadon Rogers, 14, Rogers-14.411; 16. Zach Daum, 57, Artz-14.460; 17. Scotty Weir, 22, Goodnight-14.467; 18. Terry Babb, 88, Babb-14.540; 19. Braydon Cromwell, 4x, Cromwell-14.587; 20. Mitchell Davis, 56, Davis-14.684; 21. Scott Evans, 118, Evans-14.952.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Chase Stockon, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Jonathan Vennard, 4. Mario Clouser, 5. Dustin Smith, 6. Anthony D'Alessio, 7. Chris Phillips, 8. Patrick Budde, 9. Robert Bell, 10. Logan Seavey, 11. Dustin Clark. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Anton Hernandez, 3. Robert Ballou, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Dave Darland, 6. Anthony Nicholson, 7. Blake Vermillion, 8. Korey Weyant, 9. Steve Thomas, 10. Isaac Chapple. NT

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Carson Short, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Kory Schudy, 6. Jadon Rogers, 7. Scotty Weir, 8. Tyler Kendall, 9. Brayden Fox, 10. Scott Evans, 11. Braydon Cromwell. 1:56.879

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. C.J. Leary, 2. Brandon Mattox, 3. Sterling Cling, 4. Mitchell Davis, 5. Jesse Vermillion, 6. Zach Daum, 7. Wyatt Burks, 8. Terry Babb, 9. Matt Goodnight, 10. Kurt Gross. 1:59.453
C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-5 transfer to the semi) 1. Jadon Rogers, 2. Korey Weyant, 3. Zach Daum, 4. Terry Babb, 5. Scotty Weir, 6. Blake Vermillion, 7. Scott Evans, 8. Braydon Cromwell, 9. Chris Phillips, 10. Robert Bell, 11. Steve Thomas, 12. Patrick Budde. 2:29.867 (New Track Record)

INDY METAL FINISHING SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Logan Seavey, 3. Brayden Fox, 4. Wyatt Burks, 5. Dustin Clark, 6. Dustin Smith, 7. Matt Goodnight, 8. Isaac Chapple, 9. Anthony D'Alessio, 10. Anthony Nicholson, 11. Tyler Kendall, 12. Zach Daum, 13. Kory Schudy, 14. Jadon Rogers, 15. Scotty Weir, 16. Korey Weyant, 17. Jesse Vermillion, 18. Terry Babb. 2:40.932 (New Track Record)

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (2), 2. Chris Windom (4), 3. Robert Ballou (11), 4. Tyler Courtney (6), 5. Dave Darland (9), 6. C.J. Leary (3), 7. Brady Bacon (5), 8. Anton Hernandez (15), 9. Kevin Thomas Jr. (7), 10. Mario Clouser (21), 11. Dustin Smith (20), 12. Wyatt Burks (16), 13. Jonathan Vennard (17), 14. Chase Stockon (1), 15. Brandon Mattox (19), 16. Brayden Fox (10), 17. Sterling Cling (12), 18. Dustin Clark (13), 19. Logan Seavey (8), 20. Carson Short (18), 21. Mitchell Davis (22), 22. Matt Westfall (14). NT

**Matt Westfall flipped on lap 6 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Chase Stockon, Laps 2-30 Justin Grant.

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-300, 2-Chris Windom-291, 3-Brady Bacon-288, 4-C.J. Leary-273, 5-Logan Seavey-230, 6-Chase Stockon-225, 7-Kevin Thomas Jr.-223, 8-Dave Darland-205, 9-Carson Short-201, 10-Anton Hernandez-173.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Andrew Layser-31, 2-Logan Seavey-29, 3-Tanner Thorson-23, 4-Chris Windom-20, 5-Mario Clouser-19, 6-Brady Bacon-18, 7-Daison Pursley-18, 8-Tyler Courtney-16, 9-Tyler Thomas-16, 10-Anton Hernandez-14.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 14, 2020 - Tri-State Speedway - Haubstadt, Indiana - 1/4-Mile Dirt Oval

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Tyler Courtney

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Chase Stockon

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Kevin Thomas Jr.

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Justin Grant

Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner: C.J. Leary

Indy Metal Finishing Semi Winner: Dave Darland

KSE Racing Products / American Motor Racing Podcast Hard Charger: Mario Clouser (21st to 10th)

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Jonathan Vennard

Saldana Racing Products / The Frolic Bar & Grill First Non-Transfer: Matt Goodnight

Lakeland Square Laundry Heat Race Winner Bonus: Chase Stockon, Kevin Thomas Jr., Justin Grant & C.J. Leary

Everything Dirt Racing Hard Luck Award / First Car Out: Matt Westfall

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Justin Grant celebrates Saturday's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. (Brendon Bauman Photo)



GRANT GETS BACK INTO THE GROOVE AT 34 RACEWAY USAC SPRINT RETURN

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

West Burlington, Iowa (June 6, 2020).........The return to racing has been very kind to Justin Grant over the past two weeks. With a pair of midget wins in recent weeks, a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory was next on the serving tray Saturday night at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa as the Ione, Calif. native led wire-to-wire in the first series event in 112 days.

With his 17th career series victory, Grant moved into a tie for 30th on the all-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win list alongside Jerry Coons, Jr., Parnelli Jones and Bud Kaeding.

Grant started from the outside of the front row and utilized the top side to surge past C.J. Leary on the initial aborted start. On the second try, Grant rinsed and repeated to get to the point ahead of Leary, who was making his debut in the KO Motorsports No. 5K normally driven by Kent Schmidt.

Leary's intended ride, the family owned No. 30, was heavily damaged in a high-flying, guardrail-clearing crash Friday night in a POWRi WAR Sprint Car race just a little down the road at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. A last-minute deal was struck late Friday night to put Leary in the seat for Saturday.

Grant extended his advantage ahead of Leary to over a second just six laps in as the leaders were already approaching traffic. That allowed Leary to close the gap and get within three-quarters of a second of Grant as they both waded their way through the throng.

Early on, the drivers on the tail end of the lead lap utilized the low line, but by the 10th lap, Grant's torrid pace had brought into the thick of battles for position in the pack, which occupied the lines on both the bottom and middle. As Dakota Jackson and Jonathan Vennard tussled side-by-side for position, Grant got briefly caught behind Vennard, who was making his first USAC National Sprint Car start since 2006, then swung high to get around both as Leary closed to within three car lengths of Grant's rear bumper.

Grant continued the forward march in his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink - TOPP Industries - The Bow Foundation/Maxim/Claxton Chevy, sliding by to put Dustin Smith a lap down as the track surface began to take rubber following a hot, sun-baked afternoon. Grant ran his - at the time - fastest lap of the race at midway, pulling away to a 1.5 second lead over Leary once again.

With the heaviest of traffic still lying in wait out in front of him, and using lines top to middle to bottom, Grant found it to be tough sledding finding a spot to find his way into even though he knew he had the car on this night to do whatever he needed it to do. Yet, patience, conservation and more patience was the name of the game.

"I was plenty good enough to get a run to slide a lapper and get back to the rubber," Grant recalled. "But it was gridlock, there was nowhere to slip into. I tried it a couple times and about banged wheels with a guy. You can get your right front to their nerf bar, but you can spin yourself out, so you've got to be careful."

"I figured, just get nose-to-tail and nobody else can slide in, I guess, unless they run in and bash somebody," Grant continued. "So, I settled in and figured I'll just stay tight here, and if a hole opens up, I'll take it. If not, I'll just try to fend off what I can. There's not much you can do in that situation except not beat yourself."

With his 17th career series victory, Grant moved into a tie for 30th on the all-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win list alongside Jerry Coons, Jr., Parnelli Jones and Bud Kaeding. (Brendon Bauman Photo)

With five to go, Grant entered turn one on the bottom, then drifted up to the middle, allowing Leary to stick a nose to the inside of Grant for the race lead. When Leary became fully beside him, that caught Grant's attention.

"I saw a right front poke up underneath me and thought it's probably not a lapper trying to drive up alongside me."

It certainly wasn't, and Grant was able to fend Leary off, driving back around the outside off turn two to retain the lead. One lap later, the deck was reshuffled when 16th running Brandon Mattox slowed in turn three with a flat right rear tire, setting up a four-lap dash to the finish, albeit now without the throes of traffic.

"Once the yellow came out, it's like okay, let's get the tires cooled down," Grant said. "Then, you want to keep air in them; you've got to keep them cool, but you also got to keep them hot enough so they keep air in them. I'm trying to do that and not wear them out. When it went back green, I smoked two or three hard ones to get the air back up in the tire, and thought, 'let's get a cushion, settle in and start rolling on the right front through the center.' Once it got quiet, I went back into tire conservation mode."

Grant admitted he's usually not too excited being the leader when the track lays rubber and the yellow comes out, but it was fixing to be a dogfight down the stretch, and this time, he didn't have a problem with the stoppage.

"I was glad to see the yellow come out and get us some open track," Grant said. "Rubber's always nerve wracking because a small miss can cost you a half-second, three quarters of a second a lap. It can be locked in here and an inch and a half over, it's dead slick."

Grant found the groove theoretically, figuratively and literally in the last stint, completing the fastest lap of the race on the final circuit, to reign victorious for the first time with the series in 2020 by 0.845 sec. over Leary, Kevin Thomas Jr., Brady Bacon and Chris Windom.

For fourth-place finisher Bacon, it was his 334th career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature start, moving him into the top-ten all-time past 1977-81-82 series champion Sheldon Kinser.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Brady Bacon

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Justin Grant

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Carson Short

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Logan Seavey

Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner: Robert Ballou

Indy Metal Finishing Semi Winner: Mario Clouser

KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Kory Schudy (21st to 14th)

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Dave Darland

Saldana Racing Products / The Frolic Bar & Grill First Non-Transfer: Matt Goodnight

Top California Finisher Courtesy of Stephanie Odom: Justin Grant

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 6, 2020 - 34 Raceway - West Burlington, Iowa

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FLIGHT ONE: 1. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-14.982; 2. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-15.131; 3. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-15.198; 4. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-15.439; 5. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-15.531; 6. Carson Short, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-15.574; 7. Wyatt Burks, 11w, Burks-15.585; 8. Dustin Smith, 77, Smith-15.663; 9. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-15.751; 10. Slater Helt, 24, Simon-15.808; 11. Jonathan Vennard, 54, KO-15.824; 12. Mitch Wissmiller, 29, RMB-15.831; 13. Terry Babb, 88, Babb-15.920; 14. Dakota Jackson, 17, On The Gass-15.987; 15. Kory Schudy, 28K, Sawyer-15.995; 16. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-16.193; 17. Blake Vermillion, 73, Vermillion-16.201; 18. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-16.236; 19. Ben Knight, 16K, Knight-16.296; 20. Braydon Cromwell, 4x, Cromwell-16.348; 21. Steve Thomas, 27, Thomas-17.244.

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FLIGHT TWO: 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-15.229; 2. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-15.493; 3. C.J. Leary, 5K, KO-15.611; 4. Dave Darland, 36d, EZR/Curb-Agajanian-15.722; 5. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-15.725; 6. Anthony D'Alessio, 01, D'Alessio/Parallax-15.783; 7. Mario Clouser, 6, Clouser-15.923; 8. Jadon Rogers, 14, Rogers-16.042; 9. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-16.134; 10. Mitchell Davis, 56, Davis-16.139; 11. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-16.165; 12. Scotty Weir, 22, Goodnight-16.238; 13. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin-16.253; 14. Zach Daum, 57, Artz-16.315; 15. Chris Phillips, 6p, Phillips-16.475; 16. Anthony Nicholson, 16, Nicholson-16.548; 17. Terry Richards, 18, TR's Tool Service-16.943; 18. Logan Faucon, 52F, Faucon-16.979; 19. Patrick Budde, 90, Budde-17.115; 20. Jesse Vermillion, 5v, Vermillion-17.487; 21. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-17.710.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Jonathan Vennard, 4. Brandon Mattox, 5. Wyatt Burks, 6. Matt Goodnight, 7. Kory Schudy, 8. Ben Knight, 9. Terry Babb, 10. Blake Vermillion, 11. Steve Thomas. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Carson Short, 2. Dustin Smith, 3. Chase Stockon, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Dakota Jackson, 6. Mitch Wissmiller, 7. Slater Helt, 8. Dustin Clark, 9. Isaac Chapple, 10. Braydon Cromwell. 2:12.911

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3. Matt Westfall, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Mario Clouser, 6. Anton Hernandez, 7. Chris Phillips, 8. Terry Richards, 9. Patrick Budde, 10. Robert Bell, 11. Sterling Cling. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Jadon Rogers, 4. Mitchell Davis, 5. Logan Faucon, 6. Jesse Vermillion, 7. Anthony D'Alessio, 8. Scotty Weir, 9. Anthony Nicholson, 10. Zach Daum. NT

C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Anthony Nicholson, 2. Blake Vermillion, 3. Terry Richards, 4. Dustin Clark, 5. Logan Faucon, 6. Jesse Vermillion, 7. Ben Knight, 8. Steve Thomas, 9. Braydon Cromwell, 10. Patrick Budde. NT

INDY METAL FINISHING SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Mario Clouser, 2. Wyatt Burks, 3. Anton Hernandez, 4. Zach Daum, 5. Dakota Jackson, 6. Kory Schudy, 7. Matt Goodnight, 8. Slater Helt, 9. Terry Babb, 10. Chris Phillips, 11. Scotty Weir, 12. Anthony Nicholson, 13. Dustin Clark, 14. Blake Vermillion, 15. Anthony D'Alessio, 16. Isaac Chapple, 17. Terry Richards, 18. Mitch Wissmiller. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (2), 2. C.J. Leary (1), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (5), 4. Brady Bacon (6), 5. Chris Windom (4), 6. Logan Seavey (7), 7. Robert Ballou (3), 8. Wyatt Burks (10), 9. Carson Short (8), 10. Chase Stockon (9), 11. Mario Clouser (11), 12. Matt Westfall (16), 13. Dave Darland (14), 14. Kory Schudy (21), 15. Jadon Rogers (13), 16. Zach Daum (20), 17. Mitchell Davis (17), 18. Jonathan Vennard (18), 19. Chris Phillips (22), 20. Matt Goodnight (24), 21. Brandon Mattox (15), 22. Dustin Smith (12), 23. Dakota Jackson (19), 24. Anton Hernandez (23). NT

**Sterling Cling flipped during the third heat.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Justin Grant.

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-229, 2-Justin Grant-222, 3-Chris Windom-214, 4-C.J. Leary-210, 5-Logan Seavey-198, 6-Chase Stockon-180, 7-Carson Short-172, 8-Kevin Thomas Jr.-169, 9-Dave Darland-140, 10-Kyle Cummins-130.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Andrew Layser-31, 2-Logan Seavey-29, 3-Tanner Thorson-23, 4-Brady Bacon-18, 5-Chris Windom-18, 6-Daison Pursley-18, 7-Tyler Thomas-16, 8-Kevin Thomas Jr.-13, 9-Tyler Courtney-10, 10-Cannon McIntosh-9.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 7, 2020 - Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 - Pevely, Missouri

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

Justin Grant captured the victory in Saturday's night two of the Werco Manufacturing T-Town Midget Showdown presented by B & H Contractors at Port City Raceway, his first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget victory of 2020. (Rich Forman Photo)



FAST TIMES AT PORT CITY;
GRANT RIDES WAVE TO T-TOWN MIDGET SHOWDOWN VICTORY

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Tulsa, Oklahoma (May 23, 2020).........In any instance, you take inspiration from anywhere you can gather it up.

For Justin Grant, it was he who channeled his inner Jeff Spicoli from the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High to score Saturday night's USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature win in the inaugural Werco Manufacturing T-Town Midget Showdown presented by B & H Contractors at Tulsa, Oklahoma's Port City Raceway.

"This track was a ton of fun, just right on the fence, banging the curb," Grant colorfully explained. "We were watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High this morning and Spicoli said, 'It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, hey bud, let's party.' That's how I felt tonight. You always want it to end when you're leading, but I almost wish that thing was 80 laps, I was having such a good time."

To steal (paraphrase) another line from Spicoli while we're at it, "Racing's not merely a sport, it's a way of life, it's no hobby." Grant has made winning a way of life in USAC competition, but this was just the fifth career series win for the Ione, Calif. native and second for the RAMS Racing team with whom he joined at the beginning of the 2019 season.

"About time I got this (car) back in victory lane," Grant exclaimed after wheeling the RAMS Racing/NOS Energy Drink - Rockwell Security - Veterans Community Projects/Bullet/Stanton SR-11 to his first triumph of the season. These guys have been spending money like crazy and I haven't been getting them to victory lane. Glad I could, finally."

Grant began the 40-lap feature from the third spot as a flurry of activity surrounded him on the racy 1/8-mile dirt oval. Pole sitter Kevin Thomas Jr. led the opening lap on the bottom, but Chris Windom rode the rim up top, then split across and between both Thomas and Grant to scurry to the bottom of turn one, sliding up in front of Thomas to put his name on top of the leaderboard while Grant secured the low lane to move to second.

Following a restart due to sixth-running Daison Pursley getting sideways and stopping in turn one, the 11th lap saw Grant make his move to slip by Windom, leading at the stripe by a mere car length. Windom wasted no time trying to return the favor as he slid past Grant utilizing the bottom entering turn one. Nearing turn two, the pair made contact, with Grant's right front wheel hopping over Windom's left rear.

The duo kept the train a rollin' and Grant recovered a half-lap later when he took his chances on a turn three slider that successfully prevailed and instantly jettisoned Grant to an advantage he wasn't soon going to lose, that is if it went clean and green the rest of the way.

The story for Grant became as repetitive as the lyrics to "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen. Grant got a great start, steadily built up his lead while an incredible race for position occurred behind him between Windom, Thomas, Jason McDougal, Cole Bodine and Thomas Meseraull, among others, in a relentless boxing match where the combatants traded jab after jab. Then, a yellow flag would ultimately fly for a caution, erasing Grant's lead.

'This track was a ton of fun, just right on the fence, banging the curb,' Grant colorfully explained. 'We were watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High this morning and Spicoli said, 'It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, hey bud, let's party.' That's how I felt tonight. You always want it to end when you're leading, but I almost wish that thing was 80 laps, I was having such a good time.'
(Rich Forman Photo)

On the 26th lap, Kevin Thomas Jr. reloaded and went on the attack for second, trying to slide past Windom entering turn one. However, halfway up the banking, the car locked up and Thomas skidded to a stop, ending his fine run, and relegating him to a 14th place finish at race's end.

That dismantled Grant's two-second lead, and on the ensuing restart, he reconstructed a 1.6-second advantage before Presley Truedson, making her first career series start, stopped along the wall in turns three and four.

Grant got back on the horse again, and within two laps, had another gargantuan 1.879 lead. Gargantuan, considering Cannon McIntosh's track record run in qualifying stopped the watches at a ripping 9.398 second clip. Speaking of McIntosh, he was the subject of the next yellow on the 31st lap as he jumped the cushion and got into the turn four wall and stopped while contesting for the second position with Windom.

In just five more laps after the lap 31 restart, Grant's lead ballooned to over three seconds when series Rookie Jesse Love flipped in turn two on the 36th circuit. That reset and re-racked the lineup once more as Grant shot away on the restart and was primed and headed for the promised land, but as he approached the white flag, Clinton Boyles took a second tumble in as many nights in the fourth turn. He was uninjured.

In the final two-lap sprint, Windom took a run at Grant, but didn't have enough oomph to slide past Grant who ripped the lip to pull away for a 1.322 second victory over Windom who did his best Teflon impression to withstand every single challenge thrown at him throughout the feature. Tyler Courtney, Cole Bodine and Logan Seavey rounded out the top-five.

Priority Aviation added $1,000 to Grant's winner's share to make it a $4,000 night for the victor. Beaver Stripes also stepped up with an extra $1,000 added to the night's total prize money.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear/MSW Motorsports Fast Qualifier: Cannon McIntosh

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Cole Bodine

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Tyler Courtney

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Clinton Boyles

Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner: Buddy Kofoid

Indy Metal Finishing / DDR / L & T's Bar & Grill Semi Winner: Cannon McIntosh

Saldana Racing Products / Gary Phillips First Non-Transfer: Blake Hahn

KSE Racing Products / Jerry Medlin Hard Charger in Memory of Donnie Ray Crawford: Andrew Layser (21st to 6th)

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Jason McDougal

ProSource Hard Work: Trey Marcham

Jerry Medlin Last Car Running in Honor Of Leon Gentry: Ethan Mitchell

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USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: May 23, 2020 - Port City Raceway - Tulsa, Oklahoma - Werco Manufacturing T-Town Midget Showdown presented by B & H Contractors

FATHEADZ/MSW MOTORSPORTS QUALIFYING: 1. Cannon McIntosh, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.398 (New Track Record); 2. Thomas Meseraull, 7x, RMS-9.507; 3. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-9.534; 4. Jason McDougal, 21KS, Reynolds-9.580; 5. Daison Pursley, 9, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.585; 6. Justin Grant, 4A, RAMS-9.615; 7. Chris Windom, 89, Tucker/Boat-9.622; 8. Jesse Love, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.629; 9. Robert Dalby, 4, Dalby-9.660; 10. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5, Petry-9.688; 11. Tanner Thorson, 19, Hayward-9.711; 12. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-9.712; 13. Noah Gass, 20G, Gass-9.719; 14. Tanner Carrick, 35, Petry-9.722; 15. Presley Truedson, 71x, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.724; 16. Ethan Mitchell, 19m, Bundy Built-9.733; 17. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-9.749; 18. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-9.752; 19. Clinton Boyles, 98, RMS-9.795; 20. Buddy Kofoid, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.796; 21. Kaylee Bryson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.800; 22. Gage Rucker, 19G, Hayward-9.826; 23. Jonathan Beason, 8K, Hard Eight-9.832; 24. Andrew Layser, 82, Tucker/Boat-9.842; 25. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-9.858; 26. David Budres, 31, Manic-9.869; 27. Dave Darland, 2ND, Harris-9.874; 28. Blake Hahn, 52, Hahn-9.904; 29. Matt Sherrell, 10J, Hunt-9.914; 30. Emilio Hoover, 21K, Reynolds-10.084; 31. Tyler Nelson, 88, Nelson-10.151; 32. J.D. Black, 7JR, SevenJR-10.221; 33. Curtis Spicer, 4s, Spicer-10.329; 34. Hayden Reinbold, 19A, Reinbold/Underwood-10.376; 35. Matt Moore, 85, Central-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Cole Bodine, 2. Daison Pursley, 3. Kaylee Bryson, 4. Trey Marcham, 5. Cannon McIntosh, 6. Robert Dalby, 7. Noah Gass, 8. Matt Sherrell, 9. Curtis Spicer. 1:41.943

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr. 3. Justin Grant, 4. Thomas Meseraull, 5. Tanner Carrick, 6. Hayden Reinbold, 7. David Budres, 8. Emilio Hoover, 9. Gage Rucker. NT

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Clinton Boyles, 2. Jonathan Beason, 3. Presley Truedson, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Tanner Thorson, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Tyler Nelson, 8. Tyler Thomas. 1:43.246

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Buddy Kofoid, 2. Ethan Mitchell, 3. Andrew Layser, 4. Jason McDougal, 5. Blake Hahn, 6. Logan Seavey, 7. Jesse Love, 8. J.D. Black. NT

INDY METAL FINISHING SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Cannon McIntosh, 2. Tyler Thomas, 3. Tanner Thorson, 4. Robert Dalby, 5. Logan Seavey, 6. Jesse Love, 7. Blake Hahn, 8. Dave Darland, 9. Matt Sherrell, 10. J.D. Black, 11. Tanner Carrick, 12. Tyler Nelson, 13. Emilio Hoover, 14. Curtis Spicer, 15. Gage Rucker, 16. Noah Gass, 17. Hayden Reinbold, 18. David Budres. NT

FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (3), 2. Chris Windom (2), 3. Tyler Courtney (8), 4. Cole Bodine (7), 5. Logan Seavey (16), 6. Andrew Layser (21), 7. Thomas Meseraull (6), 8. Buddy Kofoid (10), 9. Daison Pursley (4), 10. Tanner Thorson (15), 11. Tyler Thomas (12), 12. Tanner Carrick (23), 13. Jason McDougal (5), 14. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1), 15. Robert Dalby (14), 16. Trey Marcham (22), 17. Emilio Hoover (24), 18. Cannon McIntosh (11), 19. Clinton Boyles (9), 20. Kaylee Bryson (19), 21. Presley Truedson (17), 22. Ethan Mitchell (18), 23. Jesse Love (13), 24. Jonathan Beason (20). NT

**Noah Gass flipped during the semi. Jesse Love flipped on lap 36 of the feature. Clinton Boyles flipped on lap 39 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Kevin Thomas Jr., Laps 2-10 Chris Windom, Lap 11 Justin Grant, Lap 12 Chris Windom, Laps 13-40 Justin Grant.

NEW USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tyler Courtney-349, 2-Chris Windom-343, 3-Buddy Kofoid-295, 4-Tanner Thorson-294, 5-Andrew Layser-285, 6-Cannon McIntosh-281, 7-Kevin Thomas Jr.-277, 8-Cole Bodine-254, 9-Daison Pursley-244, 10-Tanner Carrick-240.

FINAL PROSOURCE T-TOWN MIDGET SHOWDOWN PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-29, 2-Andrew Layser-22, 3-Matt Sherrell-16, 4-Blake Hahn-15, 5-Tanner Carrick-13, 6-Tyler Courtney-12, 7-Tanner Thorson-9, 8-Tyler Thomas-9, 9-Jonathan Beason-9, 10-Justin Grant-7.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Andrew Layser-31, 2-Logan Seavey-28, 3-Tanner Thorson-23, 4-Chris Windom-18, 5-Daison Pursley-18, 6-Brady Bacon-16, 7-Tyler Thomas-16, 8-Tanner Carrick-13, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-11, 10-Tyler Courtney-10.

NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 16, 2020 - Paragon Speedway - Paragon, Indiana - Indiana Midget Week

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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Friday's Werco Manufacturing T-Town Midget Showdown presented by B & H Contractors USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature winner, Tyler Courtney.
(Rich Forman Photo)



COURTNEY CORRALS PORT CITY'S
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK NATIONAL MIDGET DEBUT

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Tulsa, Oklahoma (May 22, 2020).........It's been quite awhile since Tyler Courtney and the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship were last in competition - 76 nights to be exact.

A little rust here and a few cobwebs to knock out there, the quarantine period during the COVID-19 pandemic around the world has knocked anybody and everybody off their normal routines.

But what has become routine over the last several years is a Courtney feature victory and the defending champ once again nestled into that routine Friday night for his first series victory of the year in the inaugural Werco Manufacturing T-Town Midget Showdown presented by B & H Contractors at Port City Raceway in Tulsa, Okla.

While it wasn't exactly a rough start to the season by any stretch for the Indianapolis, Ind. driver with a 4th, a 2nd and a 20th in his first three series starts, Courtney and the Clauson-Marshall Racing team dug deep during the time off to find that little bit of "extra" to propel them back to victory lane where they had resided eight times a year ago, including three of the first four, with the series.

"We made a few changes during quarantine and I think we found some stuff," Courtney admitted after capturing the victory in is NOS Energy Drink Turbo - ZMax/Spike/Stanton SR-11x. "I was a little rusty on the cushion there at the end of the race, and I need to get a little better at that. I saw those guys coming on the bottom, but I was kind of committed to the top by that point."

Courtney was referring to his late-race execution there, but first, he had to charge from the sixth starting position after establishing a track record earlier in the night during Fatheadz Eyewear/MSW Motorsports time trials, a lap of 9.444 seconds around the 1/8-mile dirt bullring, the first sub 10-second qualifying quick time lap in a USAC National Midget points race since John Andretti at the Toronto Skydome in 1993.

It was Courtney's CMR teammate Cole Bodine who established the early lead from the pole after an early side-by-side scuttle with outside front starter Chris Windom. Windom remained up top and eventually drove by on lap five for the race lead.

Courtney moved into the top-five on lap 10, passing second quickest qualifier Thomas Meseraull for the position. Moments later, Meseraull's bid for a frontrunning result came to an abrupt halt when he contacted Courtney's rear bumper and slid to a stop. Meseraull restarted and finished 13th.

Nearing midway, Courtney had closed in on a three-car tussle for second, which also involved Tanner Thorson and Buddy Kofoid. On the 21st lap, Courtney emerged from the herd with the runner-up spot, although Windom still held a hefty lead of nearly two seconds ahead of him.

That advantage was erased on the following lap when 15th running Daison Pursley stopped at the top of turn four, thus bringing out the yellow flag and bunching up the field for the restart. Courtney gripped low while Windom ran the top, but on the 25th lap, Windom's slight stumble on the turn one curb gave Courtney the crack in the door he needed to get through as he jolted to the race lead.

Windom remained in touch with his former CMR teammate Courtney just prior to a yellow for first-time USAC starter Emerson Axsom who spun between turns three and four.

Following a restart with 10 to go, Windom ultimately recharged the figurative batteries and made his bid to overtake Courtney, successfully sliding past in turn two with eight laps remaining. Courtney instantly ducked to the inside of Windom exiting turn two, and to Courtney's left, both Logan Seavey and Thorson created two more lanes of space on the bottom to briefly make it four-wide for the lead.

Courtney escaped the jam and entered turn three on the bottom with the lead with Windom going topside back to second and Thorson and Seavey getting momentarily shuffled out. Windom took one more run at Courtney in turn three to no avail just as the red flag flew on lap 34 when Hank Davis and Clinton Boyles made contact in turn one, sending Boyles flipping near the outside wall. He was uninjured.

In addition to scoring the night's feature victory, during Fatheadz Eyewear/MSW Motorsports time trials, Tyler Courtney turned a lap of 9.444 seconds around the 1/8-mile dirt bullring, the first sub 10-second qualifying quick time lap in a USAC National Midget points race since John Andretti at the Toronto Skydome in 1993. (Richard Bales Photo)

On the ensuing restart, Courtney utilized a quality start on the opening lap to carve out some distance between he and Windom. A hard-charging Seavey, who started all the way back in 19th, picked his way to second past Windom on the bottom with four to go and tried to hunt down Courtney, but time was short his hourglass was out of sand.

The checkered flag was Courtney's for the 14th time in his USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget career, tying him with Chuck Arnold, Jack Turner and Leroy Warriner for 49th all-time.

"It feels really good, especially being the first time back," Courtney said. "It's cool to come to these races when your friends Xia Xianna and Brady (Bacon) are promoting it, and stepping up, especially in a hard time like this. Thanks to them and Mike and Megan Eubanks who've done a hell of a job with this place."

Courtney competed in a micro sprint in his only previous Port City racing experiences, but this marked his first visit in a midget at the track, and after Friday's triumph, he's looking for even more on Saturday night.

"Tomorrow's going to be a tough one," Courtney continued when speaking of Saturday's night two of the T-Town Midget Showdown. "All these guys are going to keep getting better, so you can't slouch off. Hats off to my whole team who've worked their tails off with nothing really to do; they haven't backed down."

Sutter, California's Seavey made his debut in the Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports Midget a memorable one, driving from 19th to 2nd to earn Hard Charger honors courtesy of KSE Racing Products and Jerry Medlin in his AME Electrical Contracting - ZMax/Spike/Stanton SR-11x.

"We just had a heck of a racecar there," Seavey exclaimed. "I feel like we've struggled the past couple of days, but finally got the car gripped up to where I could drive through the slick and keep the car straight. That's really what you need on a track like this."

"I feel so good," the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champ stated. "I really wish we could've gotten by Sunshine (Courtney) there. He's passed me a lot driving through the slick while I'm up there pounding the curb, and I was hoping we could reverse the roles tonight but didn't quite get it done. I needed to make a few better moves once I got into the top-five; I just wasn't quite pouncing on the opportunities like I needed to. That's kind of what ended it for me once Sunshine got out to a little bit of a lead, I could close a little bit, but I knew there wasn't enough to get all the way there."

Windom (Canton, Ill.) led a race-high 20 laps, and after losing the lead with 16 laps remaining, came back with a strong second effort, although he fell to third at the conclusion after admitting to needing to "make a few less mistakes" in his Tucker-Boat Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink - Pristine Auction - K & C Drywall/Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"We got the lead and I started hitting the curb a little bit and getting tight on entry and Tyler got by us," Windom recalled. "We had a hell of a race back to the lead, but (Courtney) was just a little better at the end than I was. Obviously, we've got a really fast racecar and these guys are at the top of their game."

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear/MSW Motorsports Fast Qualifier: Tyler Courtney

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Kevin Thomas Jr.

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Clinton Boyles

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Justin Grant

Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner: Cannon McIntosh

Indy Metal Finishing Semi Winner: Daison Pursley

KSE Racing Products / Jerry Medlin Hard Charger in Memory of Donnie Ray Crawford: Logan Seavey

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Thomas Meseraull

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Trey Marcham

ProSource Hard Work: Tanner Carrick

Jerry Medlin Last Car Running in Honor Of Leon Gentry: Ethan Mitchell

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USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: May 22, 2020 - Port City Raceway - Tulsa, Oklahoma - Werco Manufacturing T-Town Midget Showdown presented by B & H Contractors

FATHEADZ/MSW MOTORSPORTS QUALIFYING: 1. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-9.444 (New Track Record); 2. Thomas Meseraull, 7x, RMS-9.448; 3. Jesse Love, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.481; 4. Buddy Kofoid, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.486; 5. Daison Pursley, 9, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.502; 6. Andrew Layser, 82, Tucker/Boat-9.508; 7. Tanner Thorson, 19, Hayward-9.520; 8. Chris Windom, 89, Tucker/Boat-9.558; 9. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-9.615; 10. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-9.619; 11. Emerson Axsom, 15, Petry-9.629; 12. Dave Darland, 2ND, Harris-9.635; 13. Ethan Mitchell, 19m, Bundy Built-9.652; 14. Clinton Boyles, 98, RMS-9.686; 15. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-9.687; 16. Hank Davis, 42, Franklin-9.700; 17. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5, Petry-9.703; 18. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-9.706; 19. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-9.707; 20. Cannon McIntosh, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.727; 21. Jonathan Beason, 8K, Hard Eight-9.742; 22. Ace McCarthy, 28, Dave Mac-9.743; 23. Justin Grant, 4A, RAMS-9.745; 24. Tanner Carrick, 35, Petry-9.759; 25. Emilio Hoover, 21K, Reynolds-9.773; 26. Robert Dalby, 4, Dalby-9.788; 27. Matt Moore, 85, Central-9.810; 28. Trey Gropp, 00, Mounce-9.815; 29. Kaylee Bryson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.870; 30. Noah Gass, 20G, Gass-9.872; 31. Matt Sherrell, 10J, Hunt-9.880; 32. Tyler Nelson, 88, Nelson-9.882; 33. Blake Hahn, 52, Hahn-9.887; 34. Jake Neuman, 21KS, Reynolds-9.892; 35. David Budres, 31, Manic-9.912; 36. Presley Truedson, 71x, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-9.953; 37. Gage Rucker, 19G, Hayward-10.166; 38. Cody Brewer, 96, Central-10.240; 39. Hayden Reinbold, 19A, Reinbold/Underwood-10.348; 40. Curtis Spicer, 4s, Spicer-10.488.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Ethan Mitchell, 3. Cole Bodine, 4. Tyler Courtney, 5. Daison Pursley, 6. Kaylee Bryson, 7. Blake Hahn, 8. Emilio Hoover, 9. Gage Rucker. 1:38.966 (New Track Record)

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Clinton Boyles. 2. Ace McCarthy, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Zach Daum, 6. Andrew Layser, 7. Robert Dalby, 8. Cody Brewer, 9. Jake Neuman, 10. Noah Gass. NT

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Tyler Thomas, 3. Tanner Thorson, 4. Emerson Axsom, 5. Trey Marcham, 6. Jesse Love, 7. Matt Moore, 8. Hayden Reinbold, 9. David Budres, 10. Matt Sherrell. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Cannon McIntosh, 2. Buddy Kofoid, 3. Tanner Carrick, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Hank Davis, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Presley Truedson, 8. Trey Gropp, 9. Curtis Spicer, 10. Tyler Nelson. NT

C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Blake Hahn, 2. Jake Neuman, 3. Matt Sherrell, 4. Tyler Nelson, 5. Presley Truedson, 6. Cody Brewer, 7. Gage Rucker, 8. Curtis Spicer, 9. Hayden Reinbold. NT

INDY METAL FINISHING SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Daison Pursley, 2. Hank Davis, 3. Jesse Love, 4. Jonathan Beason, 5. Andrew Layser, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Trey Marcham, 8. Robert Dalby, 9. Blake Hahn, 10. Trey Gropp, 11. Matt Sherrell, 12. Jake Neuman, 13. Kaylee Bryson, 14. Noah Gass, 15. Tyler Nelson, 16. Emilio Hoover, 17. Zach Daum, 18. Matt Moore. NT

FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (6), 2. Logan Seavey (19), 3. Chris Windom (2), 4. Tanner Thorson (3), 5. Cannon McIntosh (9), 6. Andrew Layser (13), 7. Justin Grant (10), 8. Cole Bodine (1), 9. Tanner Carrick (22), 10. Tyler Thomas (17), 11. Buddy Kofoid (4), 12. Kevin Thomas Jr. (8), 13. Thomas Meseraull (5), 14. Dave Darland (15), 15. Jonathan Beason (20), 16. Kaylee Bryson (23), 17. Hank Davis (18), 18. Jake Neuman (24), 19. Daison Pursley (12), 20. Emerson Axsom (14), 21. Jesse Love (11), 22. Ethan Mitchell (16), 23. Clinton Boyles (7), 24. Ace McCarthy (21). NT

**Matt Sherrell flipped during the third heat. Clinton Boyles flipped on lap 34 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Cole Bodine, Laps 5-24 Chris Windom, Laps 25-40 Tyler Courtney.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/JERRY MEDLIN IN HONOR OF DONNIE RAY CRAWFORD HARD CHARGER: Logan Seavey (19th to 2nd)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Thomas Meseraull

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Trey Marcham

PROSOURCE HARD WORK: Tanner Carrick

JERRY MEDLIN LAST CAR RUNNING IN HONOR OF LEON GENTRY: Ethan Mitchell

NEW USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tyler Courtney-277, 2-Chris Windom-271, 3-Tanner Thorson-249, 4-Cannon McIntosh-244, 5-Buddy Kofoid-238, 6-Kevin Thomas Jr.-235, 7-Andrew Layser-223, 8-Tanner Carrick-201, 9-Daison Pursley-189, 10-Cole Bodine-185.

NEW PROSOURCE T-TOWN MIDGET SHOWDOWN PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-17, 2-Tanner Carrick-13, 3-Matt Sherrell-12, 4-Jonathan Beason-12, 5-Tyler Thomas-8, 6-Blake Hahn-8, 7-Andrew Layser-7, 8-Tyler Courtney-6, 9-Cannon McIntosh-5, 10-Hank Davis-5.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tanner Thorson-18, 2-Daison Pursley-18, 3-Chris Windom-18, 4-Logan Seavey-17, 5-Brady Bacon-16, 6-Andrew Layser-16, 7-Tyler Thomas-15, 8-Tanner Carrick-13, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-11, 10-Cannon McIntosh-9.

NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: May 22-23, 2020 - Port City Raceway - Tulsa, Oklahoma - Werco Manufacturing T-Town Midget Showdown presented by B & H Contractors

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