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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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The United States Auto Club.

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

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

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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May
14

EASTERN STORM

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE---THANK YOU

THUNDER ON THE HILL RACING SERIES

MAY 13, 2020

CONTACT: BOB MILLER 443 513 4456

USAC EASTERN STORM POSTPONED

Speedway, Indiana (May 13, 2020)………Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 regulations with the three states involved in Eastern Storm, originally scheduled for June 9-14, USAC and the track promoters have made the decision to postpone the popular weeklong event featuring the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series.

In accordance with the planning involved for traveling teams and fans from all across the nation for the 14th annual swing in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, USAC and Eastern Storm’s host tracks have been forced to seek out possible future dates for the event later this year.

Eastern Storm’s host tracks include Pennsylvania’s Grandview Speedway, BAPS Motor Speedway, Port Royal Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway, New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway and New York’s Weedsport Speedway.

Stay tuned for future announcements regarding Eastern Storm’s postponement dates for 2020 on USAC’s website at www.usacracing.com and social media channels at www.facebook.com/usacracing, www.twitter.com/usacnation and on Instagram @usacnation.

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USAC STATEMENT REGARDING POSTPONEMENT OF MARCH RACES

Speedway, Indiana (March 16, 2020) - Given the uncertainty and ever-rapidly changing situation of the coronavirus pandemic in our country, the USAC management team is working cohesively with race promoters and track operators for races scheduled over the next 30 days. Decisions on each race will be made according to local, state and federal mandates that ensure the safety of all our fans and teams.

As of now, races scheduled for the CRA and West Coast Sprint Cars, as well as the Western Midget Series and Eastern SpeeD2 Midgets have been postponed through the end of March. At this time only those events have been affected.

We highly recommend that all USAC-sanctioned events adhere to the restrictions placed by local, state, and federal authorities, along with making every effort to follow guidelines and recommendations to help our fans, teams and competitors stay safe and healthy.

These are unprecedented times that we all are facing. We want to race just as much as anyone, but it will take us all working together to get back on track.

As we move forward USAC will continue to provide timely updates on all of our social channels:

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Tanner Thorson's drive from 15th to 1st Saturday at the Shamrock Classic was the furthest back in the field a winning driver has started with the series since himself, also from 15th, at Indiana's Lincoln Park Speedway in June of 2019. (Rich Forman Photo)



THORSON THRILLS WITH 15TH TO 1ST CHARGE AT SHAMROCK CLASSIC

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Du Quoin, Ill. (March 7, 2020).........As Tanner Thorson recollected over his first three starts of the 2020 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season, one of his first thoughts was, "we should be three for three."

Instead, the 2016 series champ has had to settle for winning two out of three on the year thus far following Saturday night's Shamrock Classic victory at the Southern Illinois Center. And like a common refrain from a song you might've heard in the past, 'two out of three ain't bad.'

After capturing a season opening victory in Ocala during February, then dominating the second night at Ocala until an engine issue stifled a surefire victory, Thorson entered the Shamrock Classic with a plan to return to his winning ways, but that plan and the confidence went slightly askew early in the evening.

"After the qualifier, I thought I was about to load this thing up and get out of here," Thorson admitted. "This place has never been really too good to me."

Yet, Thorson and team remained tactful and honed in on the details that allowed him to drive from his 15th starting spot to victory lane, the furthest back in the field a winning driver has started with the series since himself, also from 15th at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind. in June of 2019.

"We just kept at it all night," Thorson said. "I was really fast the last time I was here and we kind of brought the same set up here, but it didn't work. We just had to change some things and go through some stuff and it paid off."

In doing so, Thorson kept the streak intact of consecutive different USAC Midget winners to emerge at the Southern Illinois Center to nine and the run of different Shamrock Classic victors to five years running.

Furthermore, Thorson's 15th career series win elevated the Minden, Nev. driver to 46th all-time on the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature win list, equaling him with Don Branson and Larry Rice.

The resilient Thorson had unfinished business to attend to after missing last year's Shamrock Classic due to the serious injuries he suffered in a California highway crash. His two most recent visits to the 1/6-mile dirt oval netted him a 7th place finish in 2016 and a 21st place result in 2017.

On Saturday, Thorson began his quest from the last quarter of the field while defending race winner Cannon McIntosh controlled the race from the front with series Rookie Buddy Kofoid in close quarters just behind in second.

On the 12th lap, leader McIntosh clipped the turn three infield berm, forcing him to check up and leave teammate Kofoid no room to maneuver and no time to react. Kofoid tapped McIntosh's rear bumper as a result, sending himself into a spin toward the turn three outside wall and out of contention for the win.

The ensuing restart saw the infield berm rear its ugly head at the opposite end of the track for McIntosh on the lap 13 restart. McIntosh clipped it with his left front, sliding him to a stop and collecting second running Courtney in the fracas, ending both racers their bid for a win on this night.

Nearing the midway point, 2018 Jason Leffler Memorial winner Tyler Thomas was the man on the move, sending it to third by Cole Bodine on the inside of turn three on lap 21 and to second underneath Jake Neuman on the 26th circuit.

With less than 20 to go, it was Thorson's turn to rise to the occasion as he tussled within the top-five and was battling for the third position with Jake Neuman on lap 32 when the two made contact. Neuman received the smaller piece of the wishbone on the deal, spinning to a stop in turn one, while Thorson continued on.

"It's just short track racing," Thorson chalked it up to. "I had a bunch of speed going in there. He got up on the berm and I just got into his back bumper a little bit."

On the ensuing restart, Thorson immediately went to work on Thomas for the runner-up position, ultimately snagging the spot on the 33rd lap. Thorson instantly slashed into Windom's advantage, and two laps later, slid underneath Windom off the fourth corner to secure the lead, finally sticking the right rear tire to the surface, something that he admitted to struggling with all night.

From there onward, Thorson went virtually unchallenged. He clipped the turn one berm with his left front wheel on the lap 40 restart, but it was no harm, no foul as he carried on to a 0.837 second victory aboard his Hayward Motorsports/Oilfire - Factory Kahne - Walker Filtration - Smith Titanium/Spike/Stanton SR-11x.

"This race team is just a big group that works really hard and it helps," Thorson said. "The overall package we have from our shocks to motors to cars, just everything. It's cool to watch the things we do work. Sometimes they don't, obviously, but we're doing a lot of little things that no one probably even thinks about that all add up. We've got a really good team and I'm looking forward to the next one."

Thomas took second over series point leader Windom while career best series performances were turned in by Robert Dalby, who finished fourth, and Kyle Simon who collected a fifth in his first career USAC National Midget feature start.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Simpson Race Products First Qualifier Winner: Cannon McIntosh

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Qualifier Winner: Buddy Kofoid

AutoMeter Third Qualifier Winner: Brady Bacon

Indy Race Parts Fourth Qualifier Winner: Jake Neuman

Indy Metal Finishing Semi Winners: Kyle Simon & Trey Gropp

KSE Racing Products / ProSource Hard Charger: Tanner Thorson

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Ace McCarthy

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfers: Aiden Purdue & Anthony Nicholson

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USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: March 7, 2020 - Southern Illinois Center - Du Quoin, Illinois - Shamrock Classic presented by Dooling Machine

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Tanner Carrick (#35 Petry), 2. Andy Bishop (#91 Harris), 3. Trey Robb (#08 Dave Mac), 4. Sam Johnson (#72 Johnson), 5. Kyle Simon (#23s Simon), 6. Gage Rucker (#19G Hayward). NT

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Tyler Courtney (#7BC Clauson/Marshall), 2. Brady Bacon (#21H Hinck), 3. Ronnie Gardner (#7m Moonshine), 4. Logan Faucon (#52F Casson), 5. Kyle May (#39 May), 6. Tyler Robbins (#35T Robbins), 7. Michael Klein (#10A MWR). NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Cannon McIntosh (#71K Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Chris Windom (#89 Tucker/Boat), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (#5 Petry), 4. David Budres (#31 Manic), 5. Anthony Nicholson (#5o Hagar/Proctor), 6. Robert Bell (#71B Bell), 7. Thomas Chandler (#1T Chandler), 8. Tyler Nelson (#88 Nelson). NT

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Buddy Kofoid (#67 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Trey Gropp (#54G Mounce), 3. Robert Dalby (#4 Dalby), 4. Andrew Layser (#82 Tucker/Boat), 5. Aiden Purdue (#57D McCreery), 6. Austin Yarbrough (#13A McGee), 7. Matt Durbin (#12D Durbin), 8. Mark Chisholm (#3 Neuman). 1:50.410

FIFTH HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Ace McCarthy (#28 Dave Mac), 2. Cole Bodine (#39BC Clauson/Marshall), 3. Tanner Thorson (#19 Hayward), 4. Riley Kreisel (#56AP Young), 5. Chris Urish (#77u Casson), 6. Kendall Ruble (#11m Martin). 1:49.218 (New Track Record)

SIXTH HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Daison Pursley (#9 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Tyler Thomas (#91T Thomas), 3. Jake Neuman (#3N Neuman), 4. Justin Grant (#4A RAMS), 5. Kyle Jones (#7R Moonshine), 6. Craig Oakes (#91x Oakes), 7. Sean Robbins (#53 Robbins). 1:50.231

ALSO AT THE TRACK: Derek Hagar (#9JR Hagar/Proctor) & Chris Andrews (#95 Miller)

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-40 overall in passing points transfer to the feature) 1. Cannon McIntosh, 2. Sam Johnson, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Cole Bodine, 5. Austin Yarbrough, 6. Thomas Chandler, 7. Trey Robb, 8. Kyle Jones, 9. David Budres, 10. Daison Pursley. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-40 overall in passing points transfer to the feature) 1. Buddy Kofoid, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Ace McCarthy, 4. Andy Bishop, 5. Aiden Purdue, 6. Riley Kreisel, 7. Mark Chisholm, 8. Ronnie Gardner, 9. Gage Rucker, 10. Matt Durbin, 11. Kyle May. NT

AUTOMETER THIRD QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-40 overall in passing points transfer to the feature) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Anthony Nicholson, 3. Kyle Simon, 4. Robert Bell, 5. Trey Gropp, 6. Tanner Thorson, 7. Tanner Carrick, 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9. Tyler Robbins, 10. Michael Klein. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-40 overall in passing points transfer to the feature) 1. Jake Neuman, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Robert Dalby, 4. Tyler Thomas, 5. Kendall Ruble, 6. Logan Faucon, 7. Andrew Layser, 8. Sean Robbins, 9. Craig Oakes, 10. Chris Urish. NT

INDY METAL FINISHING FIRST SEMI: (15 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kyle Simon, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Daison Pursley, 4. Kevin Thomas Jr., 5. Aiden Purdue, 6. Austin Yarbrough, 7. Kyle Jones, 8. Thomas Chandler, 9. Tyler Robbins, 10. David Budres, 11. Gage Rucker, 12. Michael Klein, 13. Tanner Carrick. NT

INDY METAL FINISHING SECOND SEMI: (15 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Trey Gropp, 2. Trey Robb, 3. Robert Bell, 4. Kendall Ruble, 5. Anthony Nicholson, 6. Ronnie Gardner, 7. Riley Kreisel, 8. Andrew Layser, 9. Chris Urish, 10. Logan Faucon, 11. Matt Durbin, 12. Mark Chisholm. NT

FEATURE: (50 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Thorson (15), 2. Tyler Thomas (10), 3. Chris Windom (5), 4. Robert Dalby (7), 5. Kyle Simon (13), 6. Cole Bodine (8), 7. Buddy Kofoid (2), 8. Tanner Carrick (21), 9. Daison Pursley (17), 10. Trey Robb (16), 11. Kevin Thomas Jr. (19), 12. Kendall Ruble (20), 13. Ace McCarthy (9), 14. Justin Grant (11), 15. Cannon McIntosh (1), 16. Jake Neuman (6), 17. Brady Bacon (4), 18. Sam Johnson (12), 19. Robert Bell (18), 20. Tyler Courtney (3), 21. Trey Gropp (14). NT

**Tyler Nelson flipped during the third heat. Thomas Chandler flipped during the third heat. Daison Pursley flipped during the first qualifier. Kyle May flipped during the first qualifier. Craig Oakes flipped during the third qualifier.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Cannon McIntosh, Laps 13-34 Chris Windom, Laps 35-50 Tanner Thorson.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Tanner Thorson

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Ace McCarthy

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Aiden Purdue & Anthony Nicholson

NEW USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-202, 2-Tyler Courtney-196, 3-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-188, 4-Buddy Kofoid-187, 5-Tanner Thorson-182, 6-Cannon McIntosh-178, 7-Andrew Layser-167, 8-Daison Pursley-158, 9-Tanner Carrick-149, 10-Cole Bodine-130.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tanner Thorson-18, 2-Chris Windom-18, 3-Daison Pursley-18, 4-Brady Bacon-16, 5-Kevin Thomas Jr.-11, 6-Andrew Layser-9, 7-Tyler Thomas-8, 8-Mario Clouser-8, 9-Anton Hernandez-7, 10-Dave Darland-7.

NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: April 10-11, 2020 - Riverside International Speedway - West Memphis, Arkansas

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With the victory, Brady Bacon became the ninth driver to win the first two USAC National Sprint Car features of the year, following Jud Larson (1965), Larry Dickson (1970), Pancho Carter (1978), Rich Vogler (1987), Robbie Stanley (1993), Tracy Hines (2002), Jay Drake (2004) and Damion Gardner (2010).
(Rich Forman Photo)



BACON DOUBLES UP WITH SECOND STRAIGHT OCALA SCORE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Florida (February 15, 2020).........Brady Bacon took no chances on his cool down lap following Saturday night's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Winter Dirt Games XI victory at Bubba Raceway Park.

Following a mishap during his heat race that saw him drop from a surefire win to having to transfer through the semi in order to qualify for the feature, Bacon was once again the class of the field, driving from 9th to 1st to capture his second consecutive series main event win in as many nights at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track in Ocala, Fla.

All the meanwhile, the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native was adamant to make sure a victory wasn't going to slip through his fingers twice in one night.

"We made an extra lap in the feature. I wasn't going to stop until we knew it was over," Bacon exclaimed.

For you see, earlier Saturday evening during his heat race, Bacon was fully in charge, dominating the preliminary event until the final lap when his car began to slow dramatically. Was something amiss mechanically with his ride, many pondered.

However, as it turned out, Bacon thought he saw the flagman waving the white. As he came around the stripe the next time, he saw another flag waving and assumed it was the checkered. As it turned out, that flag was, in fact, the white. Bacon let off the gas on the actual last lap, assuming the race was over, and dropped from 1st to 8th as his competitors drove by him to knock him out from a potential second row starting spot.

As a result, Bacon was forced to transfer through the semi-feature, which he won, then rolled off from the 9th starting spot in the 30-lap feature - the same position he started from in his victory just 24 hours prior.

On paper, Saturday's results were a carbon copy of Friday's - a mesmerizing charge to the front that began from the inside of the fifth row. However, with the way all the elements transpired for Bacon, he wouldn't have it any other way en route to his 31st career USAC National Sprint Car feature win and his fourth career Winter Dirt Games sprint car score, tying him for second with Bryan Clauson and one behind Damion Gardner.

"It might've been a blessing in disguise running that B-Main because I ran the bottom in one and two once and I thought it was really good, so I just moved off of it," Bacon explained. "I didn't want to show my hand too much and I didn't want people to see that the bottom was fast."

"It was a lot slicker in the feature," Bacon continued. "But we were able to sneak around there and get a little grip down the back straightaway when everyone else was way up by the fence. It didn't feel like it was going to work because I felt like I was going like 2 mph, but then, all of a sudden, at the end of the back straightaway, I'd be beside or ahead of them. It was a little unconventional, especially for here, but it worked."

That's just how it unfolded for Bacon in a two-lap spurt that saw him slip underneath Chris Windom for second on lap 12 in turn three, then repeated the same move the very next lap in the same spot on Chase Stockon, who had commandeered the opening 12 laps from his outside front row starting position.

As Bacon jetted out to a 2.5 second lead in the waning laps, Windom and resurgent pole sitter Logan Seavey were involved in an intense grapple in which Seavey threw multiple sliders at Windom to no avail as Windom staved off the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champ for the position.

With three laps remaining, 14th running Katlynn Leer banged her right rear tire off the outside wall and flipped wildly down the front straightaway to bring out the feature event's lone red flag and final stoppage, thus erasing Bacon's advantage and setting up a three-lap dash for the win in which the two-time series champ had one of two ways to go.

"I was kind of torn whether to run the top or bottom," Bacon admitted. "I knew the top was probably a little faster, but I would have left a big window open for someone to slide me, and he did. But I was able to cross him over and survive. Thankfully, we just had a really good car tonight and we're able to overcome any obstacle that was thrown at us."

Windom successfully dove to the bottom and slid by Bacon in turn one on laps 28 and 29, but Bacon lowered the boom and tucked in at the exit of turn four, taking a lower entry into the first turn on the final lap to essentially shut the door on Windom's chances for victory and finish off a three-car-length margin of victory ahead of Windom, Seavey and Stockon with Justin Grant rounding out the top-five.

Brady Bacon's 333rd career USAC National Sprint Car start on Saturday elevated him into the top-ten all-time, equaling Sheldon Kinser for 10th on the list.
(Rich Forman Photo)



After Friday's victory, Bacon was relieved to have shaken the cloud that had hung over his head throughout the past three years at Winter Dirt Games. Saturday served up more of the same despite Bacon initially entering the season with tempered expectations based on recent outings at Ocala. Although. he is quick to credit a possibility that they've got the leg up on the competition so far due to the lack of turnover on the team after a busy offseason which saw a multitude of driver, team and mechanical changes around the pit area.

"I would've been happy with two top-fives after the last few years we've had here," Bacon said. "We ended last year really fast and had a chance to win every single race. Then, we just wanted to refine everything and keep getting better. You've got to keep digging because everyone else is going to do it in the offseason. We probably had the least amount of changes, just the sponsor change, but all the nuts and bolts have been the same. That might be our little advantage. All our personnel is the same. We're just in a lot better spot than we started with last year as far as our equipment goes."

With the victory, Bacon became the ninth driver to win the first two USAC National Sprint Car features of the year, following Jud Larson (1965), Larry Dickson (1970), Pancho Carter (1978), Rich Vogler (1987), Robbie Stanley (1993), Tracy Hines (2002), Jay Drake (2004) and Damion Gardner (2010).

Furthermore, Bacon's 333rd career USAC National Sprint Car start elevated him into the top-ten all-time, equaling Sheldon Kinser for 10th on the list.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear / EPA Fast Qualifier: C.J. Leary

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Logan Seavey

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Dave Darland

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Chris Phillips

Indy Race Parts Semi Winner: Brady Bacon

KSE Racing Products / ProSource Hard Charger:

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher:

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Harley Burns

Hughes Racing / Indiana Mafia / Flamingo Sandy Passing Master:

Prosource Hard Work Award: Anthony D'Alessio

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 15, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR/EPA PHOTOGRAPHY QUALIFYING: 1. C.J. Leary, 1, Gile-13.845; 2. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.873; 3. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.873; 4. Carson Short, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-13.877; 5. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-13.884; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.925; 7. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.925; 8. Dennis Gile, 13, Gile-13.933; 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-13.977; 10. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.981; 11. Dave Darland, 36d, EZR/Curb-Agajanian-14.076; 12. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-14.099; 13. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.157; 14. Katlynn Leer, 77K, Leer-14.186; 15. Chris Phillips, 6p, Phillips-14.219; 16. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-14.337; 17. Kyle Robbins, 17R, KR-14.385; 18. Scotty Weir, 22, Goodnight-14.408; 19. Mario Clouser, 6, Clouser-14.414; 20. Kory Schudy, 28K, Sawyer-14.416; 21. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-14.442; 22. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-14.459; 23. Tyler Gunn, 68G, Gunn-14.472; 24. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.512; 25. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin-14.514; 26. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.612; 27. Harley Burns, 16, Burns-14.945; 28. Anthony D'Alessio, 01, D'Alessio/Parallax-15.474; 29. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Carson Short, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Mario Clouser, 6. Anton Hernandez, 7. Anthony D'Alessio, 8. Dustin Clark, 9. Kent Schmidt, 10. Matt Westfall. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Kyle Robbins, 5. Dennis Gile, 6. Katlynn Leer, 7. Kory Schudy, 8. Brandon Mattox, 9. Tyler Gunn, 10. Robert Bell. NT

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Chris Phillips, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Kevin Thomas Jr., 4. Scotty Weir, 5. Sterling Cling, 6. Stephen Schnapf, 7. Matt Goodnight, 8. Brady Bacon, 9. Harley Burns. 1:55.355

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-7 transfer to the feature) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Anton Hernandez, 3. Katlynn Leer, 4. Kory Schudy, 5. Stephen Schnapf, 6. Tyler Gunn, 7. Anthony D'Alessio, 8. Harley Burns, 9. Matt Westfall, 10. Matt Goodnight, 11. Brandon Mattox, 12. Dustin Clark. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Brady Bacon (9), 2. Chris Windom (3), 3. Logan Seavey (1), 4. Chase Stockon (2), 5. Justin Grant (5), 6. Carson Short (4), 7. C.J. Leary (6), 8. Kevin Thomas Jr. (11), 9. Kyle Cummins (12), 10. Dennis Gile (10), 11. Dave Darland (7), 12. Mario Clouser (17), 13. Stephen Schnapf (19), 14. Anton Hernandez (21), 15. Matt Westfall (24), 16. Kory Schudy (18), 17. Scotty Weir (16), 18. Kyle Robbins (15), 19. Anthony D'Alessio (22), 20. Chris Phillips (8), 21. Sterling Cling (13), 22. Brandon Mattox (23), 23. Tyler Gunn (20), 24. Katlynn Leer (14).
**Kent Schmidt flipped during the first heat. Katlynn Leer flipped on lap 28 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Chase Stockon, Laps 13-30 Brady Bacon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Brady Bacon (9th to 1st)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Stephen Schnapf

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Harley Burns

PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Anthony D'Alessio

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-155, 2-Chris Windom-146, 3-Justin Grant-140, 4-C.J. Leary-138, 5-Logan Seavey-135, 6-Kyle Cummins-130, 7-Chase Stockon-129, 8-Carson Short-118, 9-Dave Darland-96, 10-Kevin Thomas Jr.-95.

FINAL HUGHES RACING/INDIANA MAFIA/FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-18, 2-Anton Hernandez-10, 3-Mario Clouser-10, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-9, 5-Dave Darland-9, 6-Chris Windom-8, 7-Kyle Cummins-8, 8-Chase Stockon-8, 9-C.J. Leary-7, 10-Logan Seavey-10.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-16, 2-Chris Windom-16, 3-Daison Pursley-10, 4-Andrew Layser-9, 5-Mario Clouser-8, 6-Anton Hernandez-7, 7-Dave Darland-7, 8-Zeb Wise-6, 9-Dennis Misuraca-6, 10-Stephen Schnapf-6.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 4, 2020 - Lawrenceburg Speedway - Lawrenceburg, Indiana

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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Brady Bacon became just the 13th driver to record at least 30 career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car wins with Friday's triumph at Bubba Raceway Park.
(Rich Forman Photo)


BACON BOLTS TO VALENTINE'S VICTORY AT OCALA

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Florida (February 14, 2020).........Entering Friday night's USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season opener, the most recent time Brady Bacon left Bubba Raceway Park with a top-five finish was three years ago.

Furthermore, the Broken Arrow, Okla. native's most recent victory at the 3/8-mile tri-oval came five years prior, leaving him more than eager to quash the early season dry spell that lingered over him entering the 2020 season.

On a weekend that's been anything but a dry spell with heavy rain washing out Thursday's intended opener and threatening Friday's second go with persistent afternoon showers, Bacon rid himself of the early-season cloud of recent years by taking the lead with just four laps remaining to score his third career Winter Dirt Games feature victory.

The win for Bacon in his Dynamics, Inc./Longworth Equipment - Fatheadz Eyewear - DriveWFX.com/Triple X/Rider Chevy notched another milestone for the two-time series champion. With the triumph, Bacon became just the 13th driver to reach the 30-win mark in his USAC National Sprint Car career.

"This win is pretty important to me because we've struggled here the past three years," Bacon admitted. "Getting off to a bad start is not easy. Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going and not start off at a handicap for the rest of the season."

Bacon had quite a long row to hoe in just 30 laps, starting 9th on the grid on a tricky surface before steadily moving his way through the 22-car field. Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, Kevin Thomas Jr. lunged to the point on the opening lap from his pole position while outside front row starter Kyle Cummins dug in and charged around Thomas to snare the lead off turn four on the opening circuit.

Cummins quickly gapped Thomas by just a tick under a full second during the early stages before encountering lapped traffic on the tenth lap. Cummins met a five-member single-file train of cars at the tail end of the lead lap where he decisively ripped around the outside of traffic as Thomas gave chase, closing up the canyon between the two ever so slightly.

Just one lap later, young Connor Leoffler, making his first career series start and who had just been put a lap down by Cummins, biked hard in turn one before landing on all fours and smacking the right rear against the outer concrete, ending his night.

On the lap 12 resumption, Thomas peeked his nose underneath the ride of Cummins at the exit of turn four, but Cummins slashed away once again and regenerated his advantage at the front, clicking off the fastest lap of the race one lap after the halfway mark.

Just prior to the last 10-lap stanza, Cummins was greeted by a chorus of traffic, allowing Thomas to subtract the interval between he and the lead car of Cummins. On the 20th lap, while exiting turn four, Cummins experienced "a moment" if you will when he and the car of Katlynn Leer collided near the flagstand, sending both into immediate disarray and near disaster. Although, both carried on without issue.

Thomas pounced on the Cummins/Leer mishap and raced to the lead past Cummins a half lap later on the bottom between turns three and four. However, two laps later, Thomas' bid for victory fell into shambles as his right rear tire went flat on the back straightaway on the 24th lap, granting Cummins the lead as Thomas slowed to a crawl to the work area where his crew swapped out for new rubber, ultimately returning for a 16th place finish.

The ensuing restart with seven laps remaining put Bacon on Cummins' tail where he immediately let it be known he was going to be a contender. At the conclusion of lap 24 at the exit of turn four, Bacon clawed off turn four under Cummins, racing to a near dead heat at the line with Cummins clinging to a slight advantage as he disallowed Bacon from taking hold of the low line entering turn one.



Bacon continued hounding Cummins on both ends of the racetrack, and on lap 27, Bacon was finally able to squeeze through the crack in the door underneath Cummins entering turn one, to pocket the lead once and for all.

"I knew he had been running the bottom in three and four and it was super, super tricky," Bacon recalled. "So, I figured if I could pressure him, he'd slide up enough to where I could slip underneath in three and four. I didn't know if I was going to get him, but I just got enough of a run to slide up and we had a really good car in the middle of one and two. I could turn back down and go the other way without him crossing me over. I felt pretty confident, that if nothing major happened, I could hold on."

Something major nearly did occur, however, as Bacon's tire began to deflate in the waning laps, leaking more air as each lap dissipated. But, 30 laps were just enough to race on without a hindrance. To just get to that point, though, it took a box full of patience to make the winning move, but not too much patience as to allow others to find the path to victory first before he did himself.

"I felt like the bottom was going to be good in three and four early, but it took me awhile to figure out how to hit it right without sliding up on entry," Bacon explained. "Even then, you had to figure out where you were going to put yourself going into the next corner to get a good run. Fortunately, we got by some people just in time before they figured it out too."

Princeton, Indiana's Kyle Cummins led a race-high 24 laps and came oh-so-close to finally scoring his initial Winter Dirt Games victory in his 21st start in the event, finishing 2nd in his Rock Steady Racing/Mid-America Safety Solutions - Greenwell Auto Body - Lucas Oil Center/Mach-1/Foxco Chevy.

"I felt like I had some pressure," Cummins said of Bacon's pursuit of him. "He was pounding the top, so I switched to the bottom. I thought I had him cleared there, but Brady did a good job there. We were really good at the beginning and I really didn't know where to go there in three and four. I went ahead and went to the top. I saw Brady and I tried to save the bottom. He just had a better car there at the end of the race."

Reigning series champion C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Ind. finished 3rd in his debut aboard the Gene Gile Racing/RVB Transport - Valvoline - FK Rod Ends/DRC/1-Way Chevy, while two-time Winter Dirt Games feature winner Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) took 4th and Fatheadz Eyewear/EPA Photography Fast Qualifier Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) rounded out the top-five.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear / EPA Fast Qualifier: Chris Windom

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Carson Short

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Kyle Cummins

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Kevin Thomas Jr.

Indy Race Parts Semi Winner: Dave Darland

KSE Racing Products / ProSource Hard Charger: Brady Bacon

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Sterling Cling

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Kyle Robbins

Prosource Hard Work Award: Kory Schudy

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 14, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR/EPA PHOTOGRAPHY QUALIFYING: 1. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-13.644; 2. C.J. Leary, 1, Gile-13.836; 3. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.846; 4. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.913; 5. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.942; 6. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-13.972; 7. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin-13.975; 8. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.976; 9. Dennis Gile, 13, Gile-14.065; 10. Carson Short, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-14.072; 11. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.121; 12. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-14.362; 13. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.461; 14. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-14.488; 15. Chris Phillips, 6p, Phillips-14.495; 16. Anthony D'Alessio, 01, D'Alessio/Parallax-14.549; 17. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-14.580; 18. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.586; 19. Kyle Robbins, 17R, KR-14.685; 20. Dave Darland, 36d, EZR/Curb-Agajanian-14.695; 21. Mario Clouser, 6, Clouser-14.739; 22. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.838; 23. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-14.843; 24. Katlynn Leer, 77K, Leer-14.890; 25. Harley Burns, 16, Burns-14.908; 26. Connor Leoffler, 22L, Leoffler-14.954; 27. Scotty Weir, 22, Goodnight-15.007; 28. Evan Mosley, 27, Mosley-15.100; 29. Tyler Gunn, 68G, Gunn-15.842; 30. Kory Schudy, 28K, Sawyer-14.053.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Carson Short, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Anton Hernandez, 5. Matt Goodnight, 6. Matt Westfall, 7. Kyle Robbins, 8. Harley Burns, 9. Anthony D'Alessio. 1:56.10

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Kyle Cummins, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. C.J. Leary, 4. Chase Stockon, 5. Kent Schmidt, 6. Dustin Clark, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Connor Leoffler, 9. Stephen Schnapf, 10. Tyler Gunn. 1:55.41

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Logan Seavey, 3. Brandon Mattox, 4. Sterling Cling, 5. Dennis Gile, 6. Scotty Weir, 7. Mario Clouser, 8. Kory Schudy, 9. Chris Phillips, 10. Katlynn Leer. 2:01.38

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-7 transfer to the feature) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Mario Clouser, 3. Connor Leoffler, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Chris Phillips, 6. Kory Schudy, 7. Katlynn Leer, 8. Kyle Robbins, 9. Scotty Weir, 10. Tyler Gunn, 11. Anthony D'Alessio, 12. Harley Burns, 13. Dustin Clark, 14. Stephen Schnapf. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Brady Bacon (9), 2. Kyle Cummins (2), 3. C.J. Leary (5), 4. Justin Grant (3), 5. Chris Windom (6), 6. Chase Stockon (11), 7. Logan Seavey (4), 8. Anton Hernandez (8), 9. Carson Short (7), 10. Dave Darland (17), 11. Dennis Gile (10), 12. Brandon Mattox (16), 13. Sterling Cling (12), 14. Matt Westfall (19), 15. Mario Clouser (18), 16. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1), 17. Kent Schmidt (15), 18. Katlynn Leer (20), 19. Chris Phillips (14), 20. Kory Schudy (22), 21. Matt Goodnight (13), 22. Connor Leoffler (21). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-20 Kyle Cummins, Laps 21-22 Kevin Thomas Jr., Laps 23-26 Kyle Cummins, Laps 27-30 Brady Bacon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Brady Bacon (9th to 1st)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Sterling Cling

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Kyle Robbins

PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Kory Schudy

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-77, 2-Kyle Cummins-77, 3-C.J. Leary-75, 4-Justin Grant-71, 5-Chris Windom-70, 6-Logan Seavey-63, 7-Chase Stockon-60, 8-Anton Hernandez-54, 9-Carson Short-54, 10-Dave Darland-47.

NEW HUGHES RACING/INDIANA MAFIA/FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-10, 2-Dave Darland-7, 3-Matt Westfall-7, 4-C.J. Leary-5, 5-Chase Stockon-5, 6-Kevin Thomas Jr.-5, 7-Kyle Cummins-4, 8-Logan Seavey-4, 9-Chris Windom-4, 10-Brandon Mattox-4.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-15, 2-Daison Pursley-10, 3-Andrew Layser-9, 4-Brady Bacon-8, 5-Dave Darland-7, 6-Zeb Wise-6, 7-Dennis Misuraca-6, 8-Steve Buckwalter-6, 9-Oliver Akard-6, 10-Cannon McIntosh-5.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 15, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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