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USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 11, 2017 - Kokomo, Indiana - Kokomo Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-13.373; 2. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.449; 3. Rico Abreu, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.505; 4. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.532; 5. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.601; 6. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.700; 7. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-13.850; 8. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-13.915; 9. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.935; 10. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-14.006; 11. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Seamount-14.011; 12. Ronnie Gardner, 25x, Rodela-14.021; 13. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.033; 14. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-14.075; 15. Steve Buckwalter, 9P, Ronk-14.082; 16. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-14.095; 17. Tyler Nelson, 88, Nelson-14.119; 18. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-14.154; 19. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-14.189; 20. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-14.302; 21. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.342; 22. Courtney Crone, 25c, Rodela-14.394; 23. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-14.410; 24. Jimi Quin, 8GQ, Quin-14.509; 25. Adam Pierson, 76E, Mancini-14.521; 26. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-15.041; 27. Chris Baue, 2, Baue-15.146; 28. Robert Bell, 71-1/2, Bell-16.130.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bayston, 2. Shelton, 3. Golobic, 4. Carrick, 5. Robinson, 6. Pierson, 7. Nelson. 2:17.65

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Thorson, 2. Coons, 3. Ray, 4. Grant, 5. Crone, 6. Walker, 7. Dickerson. 2:20.14

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Abreu, 3. Pickens, 4. Bright, 5. Buckwalter, 6. Baue, 7. Marcham. 2:20.23

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Boat, 3. Quin, 4. Darland, 5. Gardner, 6. Bell, 7. Bacon. 2:20.66

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Walker, 2. Gardner, 3. Robinson, 4. Bacon, 5. Pierson, 6. Crone, 7. Buckwalter, 8. Dickerson, 9. Baue, 10. Bell. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Spencer Bayston, 2. Shane Golobic, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Rico Abreu, 7. Michael Pickens, 8. Chad Boat, 9. Tanner Thorson, 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 11. Alex Bright, 12. Tanner Carrick, 13. Gage Walker. 14. Adam Pierson, 15. Dave Darland, 16. Ronnie Gardner, 17. Courtney Crone, 18. Tyler Thomas, 19. Jimi Quin, 20. Holly Shelton, 21. Davey Ray,22. Ryan Robinson. NT
**Pickens flipped during practice. Robinson flipped on lap 16 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Bayston, Laps 11-12 Courtney, Laps 13-19 Bayston, Laps 20-21 Courtney, Laps 22-30 Baydton.


NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-588, 2-Bayston-559, 3-Golobic-551, 4-Grant-540, 5-Courtney-507, 6-Thorson-496, 7-Boat-428, 8-Coons-426, 9-Pickens-380, 10-Thomas-362.

FINAL USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Golobic-400, 2-Courtney-394, 3-Pickens-380, 4-Abreu-376, 5-Bayston-373, 6-Bacon-372, 7-Grant-372, 8-Thorson-321, 9-Boat-321, 10-A.Bright-267.


Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media /


By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Lawrenceburg, Indiana....... June 10, 2017 - When you drive for Keith Kunz, you're expected to win. No excuses.

Time and time again, the Columbus, Indiana-based team has provided the machinery that has led to 89 career feature victories and eight championships as a USAC Midget National Championship car entrant. However, throughout the series' first eight events, the venerable team had yet to find victory lane and seemed to be reeling after only one of its five drivers was able to scrape into the top-10 the night prior at Bloomington.

It had been eight years since a Keith Kunz-led team had gone winless this far into the season, but Saturday night at Lawrenceburg Speedway was the night Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports had finally arrived in 2017, and in a big way, as the trio of Rico Abreu, Tanner Thorson and Holly Shelton duplicated Clauson/Marshall Racing's feat from the night before by recording a 1-2-3 to sweep of the top-three spots.

After an unforgettable, dare-devilish race-long battle that saw slide-job after slide-job thrown at Shelton by two of her teammates - Abreu and Spencer Bayston - Abreu was finally able to prevail with three laps remaining to earn his 16th career USAC National Midget win and third straight at Lawrenceburg in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Walker Filtration - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"This week has had a lot of ups and downs, but this is when it all pays off," said a thrilled Abreu. "We were getting dicey up front and I didn't know how I was going to get past them since it was so easy to do a crossover. Once I got my momentum going, I made sure I kept my tires spinning every time I hit the cushion just to help not bog down the engine. These motors are the best in the business. It's a lot of fun to drive these cars when they're on point and tonight, we capitalized on that. We didn't qualify great, though, because I changed up my line in qualifying and that hurt us. I enjoy every moment racing with Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby. They've been doing it for a long time. It makes it a lot of fun when we get up here and win."

All five of the Kunz/Curb-Agajanian cars occupied the first five rows of Saturday's feature starting lineup, including both spots on the front row with Ryan Robinson on the pole and Holly Shelton outside.

The transcendent story of the night from lap one was Shelton, who rode the cushion through turns one and two, then split between the cars of Justin Grant and Ryan Robinson off turn two to take the lead on the opening lap.

Action stalled at the conclusion of lap one as Indiana Midget Week point leader Michael Pickens got sideways at the top of turn one while battling Rico Abreu for the ninth position. As Pickens sat idle in the middle of the track, Alex Bright, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Adam Pierson plowed into the fracas, ending the night for all four drivers and throwing a monkey wrench into Pickens' quest for a first Indiana Midget Week title.

On lap nine, Bayston began his trail to the front as he slid Justin Grant for second entering the first turn. Grant hit the cush, sending him sideways into a half-spin through the second turn before regaining control. However, Bayston had secured the spot and began making strides toward the direction of race leader Shelton.

With Pickens out of the night's picture, USAC National Midget point leader Brady Bacon was poised to put his stamp on overtaking the Kiwi for the IMW lead. However, misfortune would befall Bacon on the 11th lap when he slowed to a halt to bring out a yellow. He would finish 16th.

Bayston took a run at the lead on the ensuing restart with a turn one slider across the nose of Shelton, but Shelton countered underneath, crossing over to maintain her race lead.

Meanwhile, the Kunz/Curb-Agajanian car that started furthest back in the pack, driven by Abreu, had subsequently advanced his way from tenth to fifth prior to the yellow. On the 13th lap, Abreu poked his nose to the outside on the front straight before tearing between the two Clauson/Marshall cars of Tyler Courtney and Grant at the entry of one to take third.

Shelton and Bayston remained the main players of the contest further ahead. Bayston was relentless, refusing to stay content and ride around on a rail behind Shelton. The second half of the 30-lapper began with Bayston throwing another jab at Shelton in one as he slid up to take away Shelton's line on the brim. Shelton appeared unfazed and unafraid to keep her foot on the gas as she escaped from Bayston around the outside by the width of a strand of hair off turn two to stay atop the pylon.

The duel at the front allowed Abreu to rapidly join in on the high-speed team meeting between Shelton and Bayston. Bayston tried with all his might, but time-after-time, the second verse was the same as the first on both ends of the racetrack as Bayston's repeated sliders came up empty handed and Shelton calmly steered back under to take the lead right back.

On the 22nd lap, Bayston finally found enough speed off the fourth corner to nip Shelton by mere inches at the line. Immediately, the two entered turn one side-by-side, yet both simultaneously met in the middle. Both Shelton and Bayston collided, sending each gliding backward toward the outside wall. Somehow, someway, both miraculously found a way to avoid the concrete and a major catastrophe as Rico got on the binders to avoid T-Boning Bayston atop the cushion. Shelton began to distance herself once again, but, unfortunately for Bayston, the smacking of wheels between he and Shelton resulted in a flat left rear tire for which he would have to replace and rejoin the field, albeit out of contention for the win.

"I got a pretty poor restart," Shelton recalls. "I saw Spencer slide me and we crossed each other over a few times. Heading into one, we were both going to run the slider line and, unfortunately, I think my right rear tagged him a little bit. I guess he hopped over the cushion. I felt bad about it. I hate hitting anybody, let alone my teammate."

With the absence of Bayston, Abreu aptly succeeded in the role of aggressor. On lap 25, Shelton tripped over the turn two cushion, allowing Abreu to get a fantastic run on the back straight into three, but Shelton once again was a stone cold assassin as she snared the lead back once again with five to go.

The tension was pulsating from underneath the covered gransdtand as the raucous crowd was on needles and pins with the realization that they could be a witness to racing history and the first ever female USAC National feature winner. Excitement was palpable as the throng of fans stood and pumped their fists, the roar reverberated off the metal roof and the showdown between the relative newcomer and the confident veteran came down to the quick.

Rico's daring attempt on Shelton with three to go was the golden ticket. It repeatedly appeared that the slider could not stick with Shelton so consistently strong, but Rico stuck to his guns and the move paid off once and for all. Shelton tried to counter, but was only able to muster enough speed off two to pull even alongside Rico on the back straight. Rico carried the torch to the lead into turn three as Thorson outgunned Shelton for second on the white flag lap with a counter-steer of his own off turn two.

For the final two circuits, Rico was scot-free - and Shelton-free, as he extended a tradition of his own as a Lawrenceburg USAC Midget winner for the third time in his last three tries over Thorson, Shelton, Shane Golobic and Tyler Courtney.

Over the years, Abreu has become a certified master of the slide job. The Lawrenceburg surface fits his fearless style like a glove, but knowing when and exactly how to go for the slider is an art form that requires impeccable timing and maintaining a balance of aggressiveness and finesse that keeps one on the edge without going over.

"The bottom was too slow to roll by," Abreu explained. "When you're running that close to other cars and the leader's there, it's easy to make mistakes on the cushion when you don't have anything to compare it to besides the speed of the car in front of you. I love doing slide jobs and running the high side like that. It's all timing. You don't want to be too short on them or shoot too far past the cushion. I just made sure my wheels were spinning every time I got to the cushion. I finally got clear enough of Holly to where I could slide myself in three and four and just break her momentum."

After humble beginnings to his night, defending USAC National Midget champion Tanner Thorson of Minden, Nevada, scored his best finish of Indiana Midget Week Saturday night at Lawrenceburg with a second-place run, sandwiched between his two teammates in the Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/JBL Audio - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"I was kind of sluggish on the start, but we got really good there at the end," Thorson said. "KKM is back. Any car owner that runs top three in one night is going to be pretty happy. The crew has been working really hard to get us better and better and tonight it showed.

Holly Shelton nearly pulled off one of the major milestones in USAC history that has yet to be checked off: a female USAC National feature winner. Shelton, of Sacramento, CA, took a career-best third in her Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Black & Decker - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota, joining Sarah McCune and Stephanie Mockler as the third female driver to record multiple top-five finishes in a USAC National Midget event. Shelton finished 5th at Eldora in September of 2016.

Victory lane was a reunion of sorts for the top-three finishers in Saturday night's feature. Shelton, Thorson and Abreu grew up throwing sliders on each other in Outlaw Kart competition at Cycleland Speedway in Oroville, California.

Shelton shared that there wasn't any specific meeting to get the crew's and drivers' attention after a disappointing start to the season by Keith Kunz standards. The team responded by example, and the results indicate that fact with all six of the team's entries finishing within the top-11.

"We stepped up," Shelton said as matter of fact. "Every time we're out there, the crew gives us amazing cars. it's the drivers job to drive them. After last night, we knew we needed a good night."

Michael Pickens maintains a lead of the slimmest of margins heading into Sunday's finale at Kokomo Speedway. He leads Shane Golobic by one and Tyler Courtney by three as the top-five are separated by a mere 12 points. Nine drivers remain mathematically eligible to win Indiana Midget Week: Pickens, Golobic, Courtney, Brady Bacon, Rico Abreu, Justin Grant, Spencer Bayston, Tanner Thorson and Chad Boat.

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Lawrenceburg Speedway include Tanner Carrick (ProSource Fast Qualifier & Indy Race Parts Semi Winner), Rico Abreu (Simpson Race Products 1st Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. 2nd Heat Winner), Jerry Coons, Jr. (Chalk Stix 3rd Heat Winner), Shane Golobic (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Ryan Greth (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Chad Boat (ProSource Hard Work Award Winner).


USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 10, 2017 - Lawrenceburg, Indiana - Lawrenceburg Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.588; 2. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.629; 3. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-14.664; 4. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-14.692; 5. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.698; 6. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.814; 7. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.820; 8. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-14.857; 9. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-15.006; 10. Rico Abreu, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.038; 11. Ronnie Gardner, 25x, Rodela-15.041; 12. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Seamount-15.096; 13. Steve Buckwalter, 9p, Ronk-15.157; 14. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-15.164; 15. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-15.215; 16. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-15.253; 17. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-15.284; 18. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-15.411; 19. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-15.420; 20. Adam Pierson, 76E, Mancini-15.544; 21. Kyle Jones, 04, Hefler-15.720; 22. Chance Morton, 7MF, Morton-15.813; 23. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-15.835; 24. Kade Morton, 8m, Morton-16.087, 25, Robert Bell, 71-1/2, Bell-NT. (Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-15.122-Time disallowed).

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Abreu, 2. Grant, 3. Robinson, 4. Golobic, 5. Boat, 6. Greth, 7. C. Morton, 8. Buckwalter, 9. Carrick. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Darland, 3. Bayston, 4. Gardner, 5. Thorson, 6. Marcham, 7. Bright, 8. Pierson, 9. Bell. 1:59.95

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Coons, 2. Pickens, 3. Bacon, 4. Thomas, 5. Shelton, 6. Lynch, 7. K. Morton, 8. Jones. 2:02.26

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Carrick, 2. Buckwalter, 3. Bright, 4. Marcham, 5. Greth, 6. Lynch, 7. Pierson, 8. K. Morton, 9. Bell, 10. C. Morton. 3:09.40

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Rico Abreu, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Holly Shelton, 4. Shane Golobic, 5. Tyler Courtney, 6. Ryan Robinson, 7. Justin Grant, 8. Spencer Bayston, 9. Ronnie Gardner, 10. Chad Boat, 11. Tanner Carrick, 12. Tyler Thomas, 13. Ryan Greth, 14. Trey Marcham, 15. Dave Darland, 16. Brady Bacon, 17. Steve Buckwalter, 18. Brayton Lynch, 19. Michael Pickens, 20. Jerry Coons Jr., 21. Alex Bright, 22. Adam Pierson. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Shelton, Lap 22 Bayston, Laps 23-27 Shelton, Laps 28-30 Abreu.


NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-529, 2-Bayston-479, 3-Golobic-472, 4-Grant-469, 5-Thorson-441, 6-Courtney-432, 7-Coons-376, 8-Boat-372, 9-Robinson-335, 10-Thomas-327.
NEW USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Pickens-322, 2-Golobic-321, 3-Courtney-319, 4-Bacon-313, 5-Abreu-310, 6-Grant-301, 7-Bayston-293, 8-Thorson-266, 9-Boat-265, 10-Shelton-224.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 11 - Kokomo (IN) Speedway - "13th Indiana Midget Week"

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 9, 2017 - Bloomington, Indiana - Bloomington Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-11.764; 2. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-11.767; 3. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-11.865; 4. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-11.897; 5. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Seamount-11.920; 6. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-11.936; 7. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-11.965; 8. Tyler Nelson, 88, Nelson-12.017; 9. Rico Abreu, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.019; 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-12.041; 11. Ronnie Gardner, 25x, Rodela-12.066; 12. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-12.110; 13. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-12.196; 14. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.223; 15. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.224; 16. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.255; 17. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.284; 18. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-12.333; 19. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-12.338; 20. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-12.372; 21. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-12.391; 22. Cole Fehr, 15F, Live Loud-12.442; 23. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.482; 24. Kade Morton, 8m, Morton-12.508; 25. Chance Morton, 7MF, Morton-12.510; 26. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-12.543; 27. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-12.559; 28. Kyle Jones, 04, Hefler-12.590; 29. Adam Pierson, 76E, Mancini-12.720; 30. Michael Koontz, 17K, Koontz-12.731; 31. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-12.894; 32. Dan Biner, 7x, Seven-13.041; 33. Brent Beauchamp, 11B, B & B-NT; 34. Brenden Bright, 92, Bright-NT; 35. Ryan Secrest, 8, Morton-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bayston, 2. Boat, 3. Pickens, 4. Walker, 5. Marcham, 6. Pierson, 7. C. Morton, 8. Beauchamp. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Coons, 2. Bacon, 3. A. Bright, 4. Thorson, 5. Courtney, 6. Fehr, 7. Greth, 8. Koontz. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Carrick, 2. Shelton, 3. Grant, 4. Darland, 5. Daum, 6. Lynch, 7. Gardner, 8. Dickerson. 2:09.59

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Golobic, 2. Thomas, 3. Robinson, 4. Ray, 5. Jones, 6. K. Morton, 7. Nelson, 8. Biner. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Abreu, 3. Daum, 4. Gardner, 5. Nelson, 6. Marcham, 7. C. Morton, 8. Lynch, 9. Beauchamp, 10. Greth, 11. K. Morton, 12. Dickerson, 13. Jones, 14. Biner, 15. Fehr, 16. Pierson. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Shane Golobic, 4. Jerry Coons, Jr., 5. Chad Boat, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Gage Walker, 8. Rico Abreu, 9. Michael Pickens, 10. Zach Daum, 11. Holly Shelton, 12. Tyler Thomas, 13. Ronnie Gardner, 14. Ryan Robinson, 15. Tanner Thorson, 16. Spencer Bayston, 17. Dave Darland, 18. Trey Marcham, 19. Tanner Carrick, 20. Alex Bright, 21. Tyler Nelson, 22. Davey Ray. 6:57.95 (New Track Record)
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-17 Coons, Laps 18-30 Courtney.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Tyler Courtney (7th to 1st)



NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-488, 2-Bayston-419, 3-Grant-407, 4-Golobic-406, 5-Thorson-368, 6-Courtney-366, 7-Coons-345, 8-Boat-325, 9-Pickens-290, 10-A. Bright-289.

NEW USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Pickens-290, 2-Bacon-272, 3-Golobic-255, 4-Courtney-253, 5-Grant-239, 6-Bayston-233, 7-Abreu-232, 8-Boat-218, 9-A. Bright-196, 10-Thorson-193.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 10 - Lawrenceburg, Indiana - Lawrenceburg Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

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The United States Auto Club.









Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media /


By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Putnamville, Indiana......June 8, 2017 - A standing ovation is reserved for a performance that transcends the ordinary.

What is considered the common or run-of-the-mill may be admirable, but when an individual witnesses one of those handful of instances when the stars align to create a lasting image that will be ingrained in memory, the event is elevated to a status above the norm.

Michael Pickens performance in the final laps of Thursday's Indiana Midget Week round at Lincoln Park Speedway was certainly not ordinary and the audience responded in kind by rising to their feet and applauding the New Zealand driver who captivated them in a mesmerizing five-lap sequence.

One night after bringing a healthy contingent of supporters from his homeland to their feet with a victory at Gas City, Pickens directed an academy award winning performance. In true dramatic fashion, Pickens kept the large crowd in suspense as he saved his best performance for the final act, swapping the race lead back-and-forth between he and Spencer Bayston in a dramatic finish that's fate wasn't decided until the final corner.

Pickens' victory brought race fans to a fever pitch as the veteran driver finally begins to receive his due as one of the top drivers in the sport of midget racing and an international racing star with his electric stage act that has the U.S. midget racing scene abuzz.

Pickens' night began in a completely different light after pulling off in the first practice session without taking a single lap at speed. Apparently, two laps were all that were necessary as the 34-year-old from Auckland set ProSource Fast Qualifying time in his Brett & Leigh Morris/Seamount Racing - Tony Elliott Foundation/King/GRD Toyota.

Funny enough, after being docked two rows in Wednesday night's feature at Gas City for arriving late to pre-race staging, Pickens was the first car to hit the track Thursday at Lincoln Park, making sure that he wouldn't have to make his job any more difficult than it already was.

Pickens would start six, but for the third consecutive night, USAC/ARDC point leader Alex Bright began the feature event from the pole and, as he did in the IMW opener at Montpelier, would jump his way out to the lead on the opening lap.

Back a handful of positions behind Bright was fifth-running Pickens who, on the fifth lap would find himself nearly running into trouble as he got sideways and airborne after elevating all four wheels off the ground. He would gather it up and ride on, but not without losing a position to drop to six.

While much of the field remained on the bottom, Bayston was the top front runner to venture to the outside and pass at will in the first third of the 30-lap event. Sure enough, those dues he paid up top would pay off as he entered the top-three on the eighth lap around the outside of Chad Boat, then swooped to the bottom to swipe Boat's line away on the bottom entry into turn one.

Bayston's crew had replaced the powerplant of the No. 97 prior to the feature event after finishing second in the third heat race. The engine was a songbird as Bayston stuck to his guns to complete the same move on Brent Beauchamp for second into the first turn on lap 11 and, a lap later, the lead would be his own after utilizing another outside pass around A. Bright.

Immediately, Bayston opened up a substantial gap for the lead until a lap 15 yellow for a Tyler Thomas/Brayton Lynch turn two tangle brought out the yellow at the halfway point. Shortly after the ensuing restart, eighth-running Gage Walker received contact to the rear bumper that sent him sideways at the entrance of turn three, collecting Lynch, as another yellow flag hit the speedway.

Time and again, Bayston was a force on the restarts and, on the lap 17 resumption, the 2015 series Rookie of the Year would jump out to an eight car-length lead over Bright. With 12 to go, the push was on as Bright slid up the track in turn two, allowing Boat to squeeze underneath for second.

Meanwhile, Pickens began to pound the cushion entering turn one with the right rear, then instantly flicked the steering wheel to the left and used the momentum from diamonding down the hill to blast around Bright for third.

Following a caution for the stoppage of reigning Putnamville Indiana Midget Week winner Tanner Thorson and Ronnie Gardner, Pickens continued to hold down his own patented line, entering turn one higher than any man or woman had ventured as he kept tabs on Bayston.

An outside backstretch pass for second around Boat moved Pickens to second on the leaderboard with just eight laps remaining. With anticipation building and senses working overtime, the decreasing gap between the two was increasingly visible as voices from the crowd began to murmur in excitement about the potential finish with the tension so evident, you could feel it seeping into your pores.

Pickens had closed to the tail of Bayston with five to go when sixth-running Brent Beauchamp attempted to exit the track after losing power, but was not able to get far away enough off the racing surface to set up one final shootout for the win.

The final five laps will be remembered for those in attendance as one of the most exciting midget racing duels in Lincoln Park Speedway's history, immediately bringing to mind Kyle Larson and Bryan Clauson's savage duel in 2011. Yet again, though, Bayston was strong enough on the restart to gap Pickens who stayed true to the top and his diamonding pattern off turns one and three to find any extra ounce of speed he could get like a downhill skier.

On laps 26, 27 and 28, Pickens was able to get a big enough launch from the turn one berm, but the momentum would cease off the exit where Bayston was strong enough to keep Pickens an arm's distance away. Through turns three and four, Bayston took the high road as Pickens followed suit.

Coming to the white flag, Pickens attacked the cushion like a rabid animal, lifting the left side wheels off the ground as he flat-footed the turn three cushion and countered underneath off of four to beat Bayston to the stripe with one to go. Pickens, who had so spectacularly executed the entry into turn one time-after-time, wasn't so graceful on his final entry as he bounced his way through the corner, getting completely with a half-spin that caused a slight disruption in his rhythm before pointing his car in the right direction as Bayston pulled alongside underneath.

Amazingly, little ground was lost as Pickens regained control and stood on the pedal to pull even with Bayston halfway down the back straight. Both entered the high line in three with Bayston a couple car lengths ahead, but Pickens had his plan stapled to his mind as he countered below Bayston in a wheel-to-wheel drag race to the line that Pickens prevailed in by a single car length.

It was Pickens fourth-career USAC National Midget victory and his second in as many nights to become the first driver to win consecutive races in a single Indiana Midget Week since Bryan Clauson in 2009! By virtue of finishes of 2nd, 1st and 1st in the first three Indiana Midget Week feature, Pickens now holds a 31-point lead over Brady Bacon at the midway point of the six-race series.

Lebanon, Indiana's Spencer Bayston just narrowly missed his second career USAC win and his second straight year with an Indiana Midget Week victory, coming home second in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Curb Records - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

Tyler Courtney's crew had to swap out the engine overnight after mechanical trouble sidelined the Montpelier winner the previous night at Gas City. A rough start and a 20th place starting position would not hold back Courtney as he raced to a third-place finish to earn KSE Racing Products Hard Charger of the Race in his Clauson-Marshall Racing/Driven 2 Save Lives - Indiana Donor Network/Spike/Stanton SR-11.

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Lincoln Park Speedway include Michael Pickens (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Ronnie Gardner (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Tanner Carrick (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Alex Bright (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Zach Daum (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Dave Darland (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Holly Shelton (ProSource Hard Work Award).


USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 8, 2017 - Putnamville, Indiana - Lincoln Park Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Seamount-13.036; 2. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-13.133; 3. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.150; 4. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.159; 5. Rico Abreu, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.218; 6. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-13.227; 7. Steve Buckwalter, 25B, Buckwalter-13.262; 8. Chance Morton, 7MF, Morton-13.322; 9. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-13.349; 10. Brent Beauchamp, 11B, B & B-13.360; 11. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-13.369; 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-13.375; 13. Courtney Crone, 25c, Rodela-13.379; 14. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.387; 15. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-13.394; 16. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.424; 17. Ronnie Gardner, 25x, Rodela-13.485; 18. Brenden Bright, 92, Bright-13.486; 19. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-13.508; 20. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-13.545; 21. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.546; 22. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-13.566; 23. Michael Koontz, 17K, Koontz-13.574; 24. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-13.587; 25. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.588; 26. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-13.602; 27. Jake Neuman, 3N, Neuman-13.646; 28. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-13.659; 29. Jimi Quin, 8GQ, Quin-13.702; 30. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.731; 31. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-13.946; 32. Kade Morton, 8m, Morton-14.286; 33. Cole Fehr, 15F, Live Loud-14.464; 34. Kyle Jones, 04, Hefler-14.773; 35. Paul Raynes, 7x, Seven-15.095; 36. Andrew Felker, 37, Felker-NT; 37. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-NT

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Gardner, 2. Abreu, 3. Thorson, 4. Pickens, 5. Courtney, 6. Boat, 7. Quin, 8. Fehr, 9. Crone. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Carrick, 2. Beauchamp, 3. Bacon, 4. Greth, 5. Golobic, 6. B. Bright, 7. Shelton, 8. Lynch, 9. Jones. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. A. Bright, 2. Bayston, 3. Walker, 4. Thomas, 5. Koontz, 6. Buckwalter, 7. Neuman, 8. Marcham, 9. Raynes. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Daum, 2. Grant, 3. Darland, 4. Coons, 5. Robinson, 6. C. Morton, 7. K. Morton, 8. Ray. 2:17.52

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Golobic, 2. Courtney, 3. Boat, 4. Shelton, 5. Robinson, 6. Lynch, 7. B. Bright, 8. Quin, 9. Neuman, 10. Jones, 11. Fehr, 12. Raynes, 13. Koontz, 14. Buckwalter, 15. Marcham, 16. K. Morton, 17. C. Morton. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Michael Pickens, 2. Spencer Bayston, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Rico Abreu, 5. Justin Grant, 6. Shane Golobic, 7. Chad Boat, 8. Brady Bacon, 9. Alex Bright, 10. Jerry Coons, Jr., 11. Ryan Robinson, 12. Zach Daum, 13. Dave Darland, 14. Holly Shelton, 15. Tyler Thomas, 16. Tanner Carrick, 17. Brayton Lynch, 18. Ronnie Gardner, 19. Brent Beauchamp, 20. Tanner Thorson, 21. Gage Walker, 22. Ryan Greth. NT
**Felker flipped during qualifying. Crone flipped during the first heat.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 A. Bright, Laps 13-28 Bayston, Laps 29-30 Pickens

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Tyler Courtney (20th to 3rd)



NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-421, 2-Bayston-380, 3-Golobic-331, 4-Grant-330, 5-Thorson-330, 6-Courtney-291, 7-Coons-276, 8-A. Bright-260, 9-Boat-254, 10-Thomas-237.

NEW USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Pickens-236, 2-Bacon-205, 3-Bayston-194, 4-Golobic-180, 5-Courtney-178, 6-Abreu-178, 7-A. Bright-167, 8-Grant-162, 9-Thorson-155, 10-Boat-147.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 9 - Bloomington, Indiana - Bloomington Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.









Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media /


By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Montpelier, Indiana.........June 6, 2017 - Just four nights ago, Tyler Courtney had yet to break into the win column in USAC competition for 2017.

A mere four nights later, the Indianapolis, Indiana native is two victories richer following last Friday night's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car score at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska, before the latest triumph - his very first USAC National Midget points-paying victory - in Tuesday's opener for the 13th installment of Indiana Midget Week at Montpelier Motor Speedway.

The 23-year-old driver used the bottom to slip past Alex Bright for the lead on the fifth lap, then immediately fended off a slider thrown by hard-charging Brady Bacon. Courtney then mastered a late-race restart to drive away for a commanding win to become the first driver ever to earn both his first USAC National Midget and National Sprint Car wins in Indiana Midget Week and Indiana Sprint Week.

The 2016 Gas City "Sprint Week" winner began Tuesday night's race from the fifth spot, but quickly became a challenger after moving to third on the opening lap. Meanwhile, up front, pole sitter Alex Bright held the point as Zach Daum pursued. On lap four, Daum scampered to the high side to complete the pass of race leader Bright exiting turn two, but the yellow flag fell for a spinning Tanner Carrick before the lap could be scored, thus negating Daum's good fortune.

On the restart, the battle at the front became a three-car dance as the trio stacked up wheel-to-wheel-to-wheel with Bacon, Courtney and Bright even-Steven exiting the second turn. One lap later, Courtney skimmed the bottom lane to take ownership of the lead between turns one and two.

"With how many good guys we had up front like Michael (Pickens) and (Kyle) Larson, I knew we had to go to the bottom at the beginning," Courtney recalls. "I knew those guys were able to stay with me up top, so once I got past them, I knew I was going to have to get back to the top. I did that and, luckily, it started cleaning off and getting dark, so I knew I needed to stay up there because it was going to take rubber pretty soon. I feel like I had my own line in (turns) three and four by going in high and coming across the bottom. That worked for me in the heat race and I stuck with it in the feature."

Following the same trail as Courtney was Bacon, who slid across the bottom of turn three to the top of four in front of Bright for second. He then immediately pointed his arrow squarely in the direction of race leader Courtney. Brady took a run at Courtney, serving up a slider exiting turn two on the sixth lap. Bacon came up short, and lost a tad of momentum, allowing Courtney to break away.

"In conditions like that, you just have to stay in it and hope he knows well enough not to just keep going and take both he and you out, especially when both of us are racing for a championship. Brady's a smart racer, obviously. There was a little bit of worry, but you just have to make sure you pull your belts tight and keep going after it. The race is just 30 laps and you have to get going when you have guys like that behind you and you know they're coming after you. You must play defense with these guys because they'll be playing offense when you're in the lead."

With 20 laps remaining, Courtney's burst saw him expand his lead to a full-straightaway as he attacked lapped traffic with authority until a yellow with three to go slowed his pace for the stopped car of Tyler Thomas. By rule, the lapped cars between first and second moved to the tail of the field at that point, erasing the substantial gap that Courtney had constructed.

When the green dropped, a mad scramble ensued for the runner-up spot as Michael Pickens, Bacon, Bright and defending Montpelier winner Kyle Larson all wagered for the runner-up spot. All that did was allow Courtney to pull away unchallenged and unscathed on the final circuits to land his first USAC Midget points win in his Clauson-Marshall Racing/Driven 2 Save Lives - Indiana Donor Network/Spike/Stanton SR-11 over Pickens, Larson, Bacon and Bright.

"I knew it was going to be tough when they took those lapped cars out. That's the rule and, I know when I'm running second, I'm excited when they take the lapped cars out because it gives you a fresh chance at the leader. Luckily, we were good enough tonight to where we didn't have to battle anybody there at the end. It made my job a little bit easier."

The win snapped Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports' seemingly unrelenting grasp on the Indiana Midget Week series in which his drivers had won seven feature events in a row dating to 2015 coming into Tuesday night's event. The name Clauson has its fingerprints on the bookends surrounding KKM's IMW winning streak. Bryan Clauson raced to victory in the last event prior to the KKM's lengthy succession of wins, while Tuesday's was captured by a car fielded by Bryan's father, Tim Clauson.

The Clauson-Marshall Racing team has already proven themselves to be a formidable foe to challenge Kunz/Curb-Agajanian's reign of supremacy in its first full-year of existence, with Justin Grant also nabbing a win in the season opener at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin.

"I think we're definitely on our way," Courtney believes. "With that said, Keith has one heck of a lineup. They've definitely proven what they've got. Our goal this year was to come in and make them get up on their heels. I feel like we've got them a little bit against the ropes right now, but I know they're going to dig deep and they're going to come back at us just like we're going at them right now. It's going to be fun. It's not easy to win these races and you have to take advantage of them every chance you get. You can never take them for granted. That's what we love about racing and competition. I have a ton of respect for Pete and Keith and all those guys over there. They've got a hell of a group over there racing against us. It's going to be tough, but this is why we race. This is why we do what we do."

Auckland, New Zealand's Michael Pickens returned to the Indiana Midget Week tour for the first time since 2014, taking second-place honors in his Brett & Leigh Morris/Seamount Racing - Tony Elliott Foundation/King/GRD Toyota.

Kyle Larson used a rare day off between Monster Energy NASCAR Cup duties to play in the dirt where he made a late-race charge to run third in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Walker Filtration - TRD/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

Contingency award winners Tuesday night at Montpelier Motor Speedway include Kyle Larson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Shane Golobic (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner & KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Tanner Thorson (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Tanner Carrick (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Spencer Bayston (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Davey Ray (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Jerry Coons, Jr. (ProSource Hard Work Award).


USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 6, 2017 - Montpelier, Indiana - Montpelier Motor Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kyle Larson, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.965; 2. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Wood-14.102; 3. Michael Pickens, 1nz, Morris-14.346; 4. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-14.386; 5. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-14.419; 6. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-14.429; 7. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.456; 8. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-14.466; 9. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-14.578; 10. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.586; 11. Rico Abreu, 97k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.591; 12. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.622; 13. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-14.625; 14. Steve Buckwalter, 25B, Buckwalter-14.679; 15. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-14.690; 16. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-14.718; 17. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson/Marshall/Wood-14.769; 18. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-14.886; 19. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-14.922; 20. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-14.947; 21. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-14.949; 22. Ronnie Gardner, 25x, Rodela-14.965; 23. Tanner Carrick, 71lk, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.997; 24. Holly Shelton, 67k, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-15.009; 25. Justin Peck, 7k, Irwin-15.013; 26. Kyle Jones, 04, Hefler-15.053; 27. Brayton Lynch, 1k, Kunz-15.084; 28. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-15.093; 29. Chris Baue, 2, Baue-15.240; 30. Jimi Quin, 8GQ, Quin-15,256; 31. Michael Koontz, 17k. Koontz-15.323; 32. Kade Morton, 8M, Morton-15.436; 33. Brad Kraus, 6B, Knaus-15.445; 34. Justin Dickerson, 21D, Dickerson-15.514; 35. Chance Morton, 7MF, Morton-15.538; 36. Jake Neuman, 3N, Neuman-15.608; 37. Ryan Secrest, 17o, Koontz-15.753; 38. Courtney Crone, 25c, Rodela-15.770; 39. Tylar Rankin, 95, Rankin-16.236; 40. Gage Walker, 47, Mason-NT; 41. Tyler Nelson, 88T, Nelson-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Golobic, 2. Ray, 3. Larson, 4. Thomas, 5. Bright, 6. Marcham, 7. Peck, 8. Baue, 9. Kraus, 10. Seacrest. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Thorson, 2. Courtney, 3. Gardner, 4. Windom, 5. Buckwalter, 6. Greth, 7. Crone, 8. Quin, 9. Jones, 10. Dickerson. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Carrick, 2. Pickens, 3. Grant, 4. Boat, 5. Abreu, 6. Chance Morton, 7. Robinson, 8. Lynch, 9. Koontz, 10. Rankin. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bayston, 2. Daum, 3. Coons, 4. Bacon, 5. Shelton, 6. Darland, 7. Neuman, 8. DiMattia, 9. Kade Morton. 2:55.38

C-MAIN: (10 laps) 1. Chance Morton, 2. Neuman, 3. Crone, 4. Dickerson, 5. Kraus, 6. Seacrest. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Robinson, 3. Abreu, 4. Ray, 5. Darland, 6. Shelton, 7. Buckwalter, 8. Chance Morton, 9. Jones, 10. Koontz, 11. Crone, 12. Dickerson, 13. Neuman, 14. Lynch, 15. Greth, 16. DiMattia, 17. Quin, 18. Lynch. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Michael Pickens, 3. Kyle Larson, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Alex Bright, 6. Shane Golobic, 7. Justin Grant, 8. Tanner Thorson, 9. Ryan Robinson, 10. Spencer Bayston, 11. Chad Boat, 12. Tanner Carrick, 13. Davey Ray, 14. Rico Abreu, 15. Chris Windom, 16. Justin Peck, 17. Zach Daum, 18. Dave Darland, 19. Holly Shelton, 20. Ronnie Gardner, 21. Jerry Coons Jr., 22. Jake Neuman, 23. Tyler Thomas. NT
**Quin flipped during the semi.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Bright, Laps 5-30 Courtney.




NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-285, 2-Bayston-237, 3-Thorson-232, 4-Grant-226, 5-Golobic-214, 6-Coons-198, 7-Robinson-162, 8-Bright-157, 9-Boat-153, 10-Darland-148.

NEW USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Courtney-82, 2-Pickens-78, 3-Larson-77, 4-Bacon-69, 5-Bright-64, 6-Golobic-63, 7-Grant-58, 8-Thorson-57, 9-Bayston-51, 10-Robinson-49.

NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 7 - Gas City (IN) I-69 Speedway - 13th "Indiana Midget Week"

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.









Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media /


By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

A glance at the calendar indicates that the month of June has arrived. The temps have begun to rise and the intensity has multiplied as the thick of the USAC racing schedule is upon us.

As the first of 16 scheduled USAC National events this month were completed last weekend, it's crystal clear the urgency has increased. For this upcoming stretch of races can set the tone on a quest for a season championship. It can also break you when you're least suspecting it.

Indiana Midget Week is one of those tests. It's a test of endurance and a trial by fire. It's what racers hunger for - the opportunity to overcome the most daunting of tasks by proving to others, and themselves, that they can achieve anything no matter how challenging the scenario.

USAC's biggest week of midget racing arrives in the Hoosier state beginning this Tuesday night, June 6th with the first of six consecutive nights of the 13th annual edition of Indiana Midget Week.

Elk Grove, California's Kyle Larson sure hasn't forgotten his short track roots. The current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' standings second-place driver and two-time Cup winner won last year's Indiana Midget Week opener at Montpelier. He plans to compete in the first two rounds of this year's Indiana Midget Week - Tuesday at Montpelier and Wednesday at Gas City.

Rico Abreu of St. Helena, California, always brings the excitement when he gets behind the wheel of any type of racecar, but when he's at the control of a USAC Midget, he becomes Superman. The two-time Midget Week champ in 2014 and 2015 won the finale a year ago at Kokomo and is back to compete in all six races of this year's series.

Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports took all five rounds of Midget Week in 2016 with Spencer Bayston at Gas City, Tanner Thorson at Putnamville and Christopher Bell at Bloomington rounding out the remainder of KKM's sweep. All but Bell will return for this year's IMW.

But the team has been shut out of victory lane thus far in 2017 by Ione, California's Justin Grant (5th in points), who seeks his first career Midget Week win, and point leader Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, who won his first career USAC feature as a 16-year-old in 2006 during Indiana Midget Week at Kokomo. Tucson, Arizona's Jerry Coons, Jr. was a Midget Week champ in 2007, but the USAC Triple Crown champ, who stands fourth in series points, aims to earn his first win of any kind with the series since 2010!

Following Tuesday's Montpelier round, Indiana Midget Week picks up Wednesday, June 7 at Gas City (one of two remaining original Midget Week tracks from the series inception in 2005). Thursday, June 8 takes you to Putnamville's Lincoln Park Speedway while Friday, June 9 brings the red clay of Bloomington Speedway. The penultimate round heads to the second of the originals, Lawrenceburg Speedway, on Saturday night, June 10. Sunday's finale on June 11 hits one of USAC's most regularly-visited tracks in Kokomo Speedway.

As if a week straight of USAC midget racing isn't enough of a mouthwatering enticement, all six nights will feature sprint car racing as an addition to each night's festivities.

Wednesday's round at Gas City and Sunday's event at Kokomo will be streamed LIVE on You can catch flag-to-flag coverage of each and every Indiana Midget Week event, plus much, much more, a day following the event, on-demand at http://www.Loudpedal.TV/!

Tue., June 6: Montpelier Motor Speedway - Montpelier, IN
Wed., June 7: Gas City I-69 Speedway - Gas City, IN (
Thu., June 8: Lincoln Park Speedway - Putnamville, IN
Fri., June 9: Bloomington Speedway - Bloomington, IN
Sat., June 10: Lawrenceburg Speedway - Lawrenceburg, IN
Sun., June 11: Kokomo Speedway - Kokomo, IN (

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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