Archive for USAC

"ICE MAN" GULICK KNOCKS DOWN BRIDGEPORT EAST COAST MAIN

Swedesboro, NJ........Coleman Gulick of Bridgehampton, N.Y. won Tuesday night's 25-lap USAC East Coast Sprint race at Bridgeport Speedway. He passed Joey Biasi on lap five and led the rest of the way to beat Steven Drevicki, Ryan Godown, Biasi and Eddie Strada. The series continues Friday night at Big Diamond Speedway in Pottsville, Pa.

USAC EAST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: July 17, 2018 - Swedesboro, New Jersey - Bridgeport Speedway - "Three for All"

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Bill Unglert (#33b Unglert), 2. Coleman Gulick (#14c Gulick), 3. Trevor Kobylarz (#14 Kobylarz), 4. Steve Surniak (#1st Surniak), 5. Josh Swanson (#17j Swanson), 6. Heidi Hedin (#3h Hedin), 7. Bobby Sandt Jr. (#131 Sandt), 8. Larry Drake (#8 Drake). NT

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Chandler Leiby (#119 Leiby), 2. Kyle Lick (#8L Lick), 3. Trey Hivner (#7 TH Racing), 4. Ryan Quackenbush (#5Q RQR Racing), 5. Brian Riccio (#09 Riccio), 6. Dean Conk Jr. (#115 Conk), 7. Zach Burd (#5z Burd), 8. Craig Pelligrini (#27c Pelligrini). NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Steven Drevicki (#19 Drevicki), 2. Mark Bitner (#15 Bitner), 3. Joey Biasi (#B1 Biasi), 4. Chris Allen Jr. (#71 Allen), 5. Eric Jennings (#32 Neiger/Hamilton), 6. Ryan Godown (#4F Freyer), 7. Eddie Strada (#5G Gallagher). NT

CONSOLATION RACE: (12 laps) 1. Strada, 2. Godown, 3. Sandt, 4. Hedin, 5. Burd, 6. Pelligrini, Conk, 8. Drake. NT

FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Coleman Gulick, 2. Steven Drevicki, 3. Ryan Godown, 4. Joey Biasi, 5. Eddie Strada, 6. Trevor Kobylarz, 7. Bill Undlert, 8. Chris Allen Jr., 9. Eric Jennings, 10. Mark Bitner, 11. John Swanson, 12. Brian Riccio, 13. Zach Burd, 14. Bobby Sandt Jr., 15. Heidi Hedin, 16. Craig Pelligrini, 17. Trey Hivner, 18. Ryan Quackenbush, 19. Chandler Leiby, 20. Steve Surniak, 21. Kyle Lick. NT
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**Leiby flipped on lap 10 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Biasi, Laps 5-25 Gulick.

FRANK'S FINE SWINE & BEEF HARD CHARGER: Ryan Godown (17th-3rd(

NEW USAC EAST COAST SPRINT POINTS: 1-Drevicki-365, 2-Biasi-328, 3-Strada-323, 4-Leiby-307, 5-Godown-280, 6-Bitner-246, 7-Quackenbush-238, 8-Kobylarz-207, 9-Jennings-177, 10-Unglert-172.

NEXT USAC EAST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE: July 20 - Pottsville, PA - Big Diamond Speedway

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Bridgeport Speedway

Bridgeport Utilizes Wednesday Rain Date for “Three for All”

Bridgeport, NJ - Bridgeport Speedway has decided to push back Tuesday’s racing program to their original scheduled rain date of Wednesday, July 18. The Super Late Models, 358 small blocks, and USAC East Coast wingless 360 sprint cars will now thrill the crowd a day later on the all new Design for Vision/Sunglass Central 3/8 mile.

“And the trend continues here for us,” offered general manager Danny Serrano. “We were off this weekend and it was gorgeous weather of course....come back Tuesday and the forecast says 100% chance of thunderstorms. However, the silver lining in all of this is that Wednesdaylooks picture perfect for racing. It’s gonna be a hell of show and we’ve got tons of drivers that can’t wait to try out the new 3/8. We’ve been out there prepping it all day and this way we’ll be ready for Wednesday now,” Serrano added. “It’s not often you can see guys like Austin Hubbard, Billy Pauch, Eddie Strada, Kyle Hardy, Jeff Strunk, Mike Gular, Mark Bitner, Ryan Godown, Amanda Whaley, Coleby Frye, and Bernheisel all in one night!”

Pit gates open at 3pm while grandstands open at 5pm. Hot laps take place at 6:15 and racing begins at 7:15 pm. For more information please visit www.bpspeedway.com or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram.

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

Logan Seavey earned his second career USAC P1 Insurance National Midget victory in the 'John Hinck Championship' Sunday night at Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex. (Rich Forman Photo)



ROOKIE SENSATION SEAVEY A BRIDESMAID NO MORE WITH SWEET SPRINGS SCORE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Sweet Springs, Missouri.....July 15, 2018 - Second, second, second. That's what the Logan Seavey personal box score read night after night following three consecutive runner-up finishes leading into Sunday's USAC P1 Insurance National Midget debut at the Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex.

Late in the game, it appeared Seavey would have another bridesmaid honor to add to his resume. But with four laps to go, the Rookie sensation from Sutter, California was in prime position to pounce when the door cracked open, slipping by fellow Rookie Cole Bodine to win the "John Hinck Championship."

"I got déjà vu there at the end; it feels pretty good to be on the other end of that," Seavey said. "My teammate Tanner Carrick showed me the top early in the race in (turns) three and four. I was able to make it work for a while and then I felt like the bottom started coming back in three and four. I just went to the bottom and watched what Cole was doing and found a little mistake he was making. Down the straightaways, he was coming up just a little too high. I was really coming by the end of the straightaway and just tried to get as close as I could, then when I was there, I dove underneath him and got to the entry before he did. It's just one of those deals when you're leading, it's hard to try to change up what you're doing."

Upstart Bodine, who had a mere six stars in a full midget prior to Sweet Springs, took the lead from the pole position for the first four circuits. On the fifth lap, Carrick powered around the outside of Bodine, sneaking by at the start/finish line where he would lead the next eight laps.

Bodine looked the part of a veteran on the 13th lap when he got the bottom mo working and was able to reengage the battle with Carrick, beating the 2017 series Rookie of the Year to the entry of turn one to recapture the lead.

On the 19th lap, seventh-starting Seavey was running fourth, and on the chase, when teammate Carrick stumbled atop turn two. Seavey got by underneath as Carrick jumped back on the horse, gaining all the ground back on the high road where, in turns one and two on lap 24, he did his best impersonation of an airplane tipping its wing to the crowd at an air show. Somehow, someway, Carrick avoided getting upside down, dropping from sixth to third and out of contention for the victory.

Meanwhile, Seavey capitalized to third and, two laps later, jumped past Bacon to secure the second spot behind leader Bodine. When Kyle Craker backed into turn three to bring out the caution on lap 30, the question was whether Bodine would be sufficient on the restarts with the point leader on his rear bumper.

On the ensuing restart, Bodine left the door slightly ajar, leaving a car width of daylight open on the bottom, but Seavey wasn't able to get there in time to snag the position. One lap later, though, Jake Neuman got upside down between turns one and two, forcing another Bodine restart.

This time, though, Bodine was flawless, sticking a doorstop underneath the crack in the doorway, keeping Seavey from making any kind of move on the lap 32 restart. Yet, Seavey didn't stand and wait by idly. Instead, he remained within a car length of Bodine for the next four laps until Bodine entered turn one a step off the bottom on lap 37.

Seavey has led the USAC P1 Insurance National Midget standings for all but one race this season and now holds a commanding 100-point lead as he aims to become just the third driver to win the championship in his first season, following in the footsteps of Danny Caruthers (1971) and Christopher Bell (2013). (Rich Forman Photo)

Seavey was able to get a hand in the cookie jar and the lid would not be reclosed as the two hit the back straightaway. Bodine was unable to get back to the bottom of turn three with Seavey's front bumper occupying the bottom lane, allowing Seavey to have total control of his destiny as he passed Bodine and led the remaining four laps to win by eight-tenths of a second over Bodine, Ryan Robinson, Brady Bacon and Tyler Courtney.

Seavey is a student of the game and, and the Rookie had his nose in the books as he observed Bodine's tendencies that he felt he could eventually take advantage of if the opportunity arose.

"On the restarts, he would pull up right about the flag stand and I was able to shoot underneath him there," Seavey detailed. "He would close the door just in time and I couldn't quite get all the way there. I kind of studied him and watched when he was making mistakes. I'm sure there were a lot of nerves running through his head when he's about to win his first USAC race. I was able to pounce right at the end. I moved down at the right time. It's a huge advantage when you're in second. You get to search and you're able to watch the leader and see what he's doing. You can always go back to that line if you need it."

Seavey has led the USAC P1 Insurance National Midget standings for all but one race this season and now holds a commanding 100-point lead as he aims to become just the third driver to win the championship in his first season, following in the footsteps of Danny Caruthers (1971) and Christopher Bell (2013).

"I definitely feel like I'm still a rookie," Seavey admits. "But at the same time, I get into these fast racecars and Keith (Kunz) and Pete (Willoughby) believe in me to win these races. I just have to do my job and run good, smart races and I was able to do that tonight. "I do struggle with these racetracks the first time, but at a place like this, I don't feel like I'm at a disadvantage. For the most part, by feature time, I feel like I should be adapted. That's what these guys brought me over to do, to win races, so I have to figure it out."

Contingency award winners Sunday night at Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex were Brady Bacon (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Zach Daum (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Tyler Thomas (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Spencer Bayston (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Maria Cofer (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer).

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USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 15, 2018 - Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex - Sweet Springs, Missouri - "John Hinck Championship"

QUALIFYING: 1. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.252 (New Track Record); 2. Jason McDougal, 15, Petry/Goff-12.323; 3. Maria Cofer, 35, Petry/Goff-12.446; 4. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.447; 5. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.481; 6. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-12.534; 7. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.606; 8. Riley Kreisel, 93K, DKR-12.772; 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 63, Dooling-12.772; 10. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.784; 11. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-12.859; 12. Holley Hollan, 14, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.880; 13. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-12.894; 14. Hudson O'Neal, 51B, Neuman-12.899; 15. Justin Grant, 17BC, Clauson/Marshall/Wood-12.911; 16. Wesley Smith, 44, Smith-12.935; 17. Sam Johnson, 72, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.940; 18. Christopher Bell, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.980; 19. Zane Hendricks, 27z, Tucker/Boat-12.985; 20. Karter Sarff, 21KS, Reynolds-12.989; 21. Jake Neuman, 3N, Neuman-13.008; 22. Kyle Craker, 76E, FMR-13.008; 23. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-13.009; 24. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-13.017; 25. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.039; 26. Joe B. Miller, 51, Miller-13.056; 27. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.090; 28. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-13.124; 29. Tyler Nelson, 88, Nelson-13.142; 30. Chase Porter, 81, Shields-13.157; 31. Casey Shuman, 4A, RAMS-13.319; 32. Presley Truedson, 5T, Daum-13.496; 33. Chad Frewaldt, 4F, Frewaldt-13.576; 34. Glenn Waterland, 11c, Waterland-13.640; 35. Dave Darland, 21H, TKH-13.696; 36. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-13.697; 37. Clinton Boyles, 98, Boyles-13.892; 38. Shaun Shapel, 84s, Shapel-13.949; 39. Todd McVay, 89JR, McVay-NT; 40. Chad Winfrey, 321, Winfrey-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Bacon, 2. Neuman, 3. Johnson, 4. Boat, 5. K. Thomas, 6. Seavey, 7. Frewaldt, 8. Nelson, 9. Shelton, 10. Boyles. 2:05.78 (New Track Record)

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Courtney, 2. Craker, 3. McDougal, 4. Carrick, 5. O'Neal, 6. Miller, 7. Bell, 8. Porter, 9. Waterland, 10. Shapel. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Daum, 2. Bodine, 3. Hendricks, 4. Bayston, 5. Klaasmeyer, 6. Grant, 7. Darland, 8. Cofer, 9. Shuman. 2:11.31

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. T. Thomas, 2. Sarff, 3. Coons, 4. Robinson, 5. Hollan, 6. Lynch, 7. Truedson, 8. Kreisiel, 9. Smith. NT

C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Shuman, 2. Truedson, 3. Frewaldt, 4. Darland, 5. Lynch, 6. Shapel, 7. Boyles, 8. Lynch. 2:18.45

SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Seavey, 2. Grant, 3. Bell, 4. Klaasmeyer, 5. K. Thomas, 6. Kreisel, 7. Cofer, 8. Smith, 9. Hollan, 10. Shelton, 11. Shuman, 12. Miller, 13. Darland, 14. Nelson, 15. Truedson, 16. Frewaldt, 17. O'Neal, 18. Porter. NT

FEATURE: (40 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (7), 2. Cole Bodine (1), 3. Ryan Robinson (5), 4. Brady Bacon (4), 5. Tyler Courtney (3), 6. Christopher Bell (14), 7. Spencer Bayston (21), 8. Tanner Carrick (2), 9. Justin Grant (12), 10. Chad Boat (11), 11. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (10), 12. Sam Johnson (13), 13. Zach Daum (19), 14. Jerry Coons, Jr. (22), 15. Brayton Lynch (24), 16. Tucker Klaasmeyer (8), 17. Holly Shelton (23), 18. Riley Kreisel (9), 19. Tyler Thomas (20), 20. Zane Hendricks (15), 21. Kyle Craker (18), 22. Jake Neuman (17), 23. Karter Sarff (16), 24. Jason McDougal (6). NT
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**Neuman flipped on lap 32 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Bodine, Laps 5-12 Carrick, Laps 13-36 Bodine, Laps 37-40 Seavey.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Spencer Bayston (21st to 7th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Zach Daum

NEW USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Seavey-696, 2-Bayston-596, 3-Boat-590, 4-Grant-587, 5-K. Thomas-583, 6-Bacon-580, 7-Courtney-572, 8-Carrick-511, 9-Robinson-470, 10-Coons-464.

NEXT USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: August 2 - Path Valley Speedway Park - Spring Run, Pennsylvania - "Pennsylvania Midget Week"

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

Justin Grant celebrates his first USAC P1 Insurance National Midget victory of the year Saturday night at Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska. (Rich Forman Photo)


MIDWEST MIDGET CHAMPIONSHIP UNFOLDS IN GRANT FASHION

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Fairbury, Nebraska.....July 14, 2018 - Justin Grant busted his way into the win column Saturday night in the Inaugural Riverside Chevrolet "Midwest Midget Championship" presented by Westin Meats and Schmidt's Sanitation at Jefferson County Speedway to become the eighth different winner in the first nine races of the USAC P1 Insurance National Midget season.

It's admittedly been an up-and-down 2018 racing season for Justin Grant.

One year ago, the Ione, California native shot off the launching pad to become the first driver to win both the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car and USAC P1 Insurance National openers in a single season.

This year hasn't exactly taken off like a rocket ship, save a Silver Crown victory at April's "Sumar Classic" in Terre Haute, Ind. But, following an MSCS victory last Saturday in Putnamville, Ind. and now garnering his first USAC Midget win in nearly a calendar year, the tide may very well have turned for Grant to create his own new narrative and make this "The Summer of Justin."

"This year's been a bit of a struggle on kind of more than one front for me," Grant acknowledged. "We picked up a win last week in a sprint car and, hopefully, it feels like things are starting to turn around and I can start putting these cars where they need to be, up front."

Grant was a force right from the get-go, powering off the top in his Clauson-Marshall Racing - Matt Wood/NOS Energy Drink - Elk Grove Ford/Spike/Stanton SR-11 to the lead past pole sitter and teammate Tyler Courtney on the opening lap as Courtney, Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Logan Seavey tussled for the second spot in a three-wide manner just behind.

Just like the initial take off, Grant was smoking the field on each and every restart during the 40-lapper. The question that remained during the first half was whether anybody could overcome the deficit on a longer run, which never actually came to fruition.

Following a Jerry Coons, Jr. spin at the halfway point, Courtney was on Grant's tail for the ensuing restart, and three laps later, was peeking a nose underneath Grant entering turn one. Grant countered that action with an opposite and equal reaction, scooting down to the bottom line as he sensed the track, and the pressure, change.

"It's a little bit of both because you can tell when a lane's starting to slow down," Grant explained. "When I started out, I was on the top and I felt like (turns) three and four were starting to slow down. You start listening and looking for somebody coming on the other lane. I saw Sunshine slow on the bottom of one and two. When he pulled alongside me into one, I thought, 'okay it's time to abandon the top.' You kind of feel you need to anyway, and you're just waiting for confirmation to do it."

As Grant began to add some groundage between he and Courtney, Seavey came right at Courtney and the two made contact at the start/finish line on the 24th lap. Both continued without much interruption of any kind despite the close call.

Following a Zane Hendricks flip on lap 27, Grant once again was a monster on the restart, distancing himself from Courtney and Seavey as he played the balancing act of the high line in turns one and two and the bottom in three and four.

On the 30th go-around, Seavey managed to slip by Courtney by the width of a cat whisker between he, Courtney and the outside concrete at the stripe. Once Seavey found second, the race was off to find first as he roped in Grant in a fraction of a moment, eating up Grant's interval like a Number Muncher eats up an integer.

'This year's been a bit of a struggle on kind of more than one front for me,' Grant acknowledged. 'We picked up a win last week in a sprint car and, hopefully, it feels like things are starting to turn around and I can start putting these cars where they need to be, up front.' (Rich Forman Photo)

On the 34th lap, Seavey used a large run off four to set up slider on Grant. Seavey slid past Grant up to the turn two curb. Grant immediately ducked underneath as Seavey pulled the wheels up, losing ground to Grant who dove to the bottom in turn three with a two-car length advantage.

"I went to the bottom and that was pretty good for a while," Grant said. "I started thinking, 'hey that's getting awfully slow in the center and the bottom down here,' so I was thinking about moving and Seavey fired a slider at me into one. You know he can't get that big of a run off the bottom behind you, so you knew you had to come from the top. We were able to cross him over and fire back to the top. Then, I think it was pretty smooth sailing from there."

A yellow flag for an incident involving Hendricks and third-place Courtney with five laps remaining put a stoppage to the battle at the front just as the leaders were opening the door to lapped traffic.

While Grant was in the midst of dancing with the unknowns of lapped traffic, he was pursuing it admirably. Yet, with the caution lights reflecting off his visor, Grant now had the exodus of gridlock and a restart, which he had displayed his prowess on time and time again, awaiting. Not that the choice was his to make, but the preference for Grant in this situation was a toss-up.

"I wasn't sure what I wanted," Grant admitted. "I felt like we were getting through lapped traffic really well. I felt like the guys had the car pretty good through the slick and I could really peel off the cushion and get by some of those lapped guys. I don't know how well they were able to do that behind me, but I felt pretty confident in my car doing it. But you never know with lapped traffic. You're relying on those guys to keep everything straight and pointed in the right direction. It's a bit more comfortable to be out in the open water and be able to just run hard."

The latter would be true once again, and Grant, for the umpteenth time, stomped the throttle and stomped the competition following the restart, to swat away any possible challenge that Seavey might have in store. Grant cruised the top down the stretch to a half-second victory, the third of his USAC National Midget career, over Seavey, K. Thomas, Tanner Carrick and Brady Bacon.

"These midget races are tough, and these midget racers are really tough," Grant praised. "Late race restarts can cause some havoc and you got to make sure and nail them. We got one there at the end and we were going to be out of lapped traffic 'til the end. I had to nail the restart and get out in front of those guys because you can pretty easily fade back to fifth or sixth in a lap or two if you catch a slider on a restart. I knew I had to get off good enough to be able to clear anything that anybody threw at me. I was pretty confident once we cleared turn two that I would be able to stay out front. The car was really good, and I was confident in that."

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Jefferson County Speedway included Brady Bacon (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner & KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Chad Boat (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Maria Cofer (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner) and Brayton Lynch (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 14, 2018 - Jefferson County Speedway - Fairbury, Nebraska - Inaugural Riverside Chevrolet "Midwest Midget Championship" presented by Westin Packaged Meats and Schmidt's Sanitation

QUALIFYING: 1. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-10.742 (New Track Record); 2. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-10.747; 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 63, Dooling-10.781; 4. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-10.818; 5. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-10.893; 6. Justin Grant, 17BC, Clauson/Marshall/Wood-10.908; 7. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-10.959; 8. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-10.968; 9. Jason McDougal, 15, Petry/Goff-10.976; 10. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-11.008; 11. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-11.053; 12. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-11.063; 13. Zane Hendricks, 27z, Tucker/Boat-11.091; 14. Sam Johnson, 72, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-11.103; 15. Kyle Craker, 76E, FMR-11.266; 16. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-11.320; 17. Maria Cofer, 35, Petry/Goff-11.358; 18. Lance Bennett, 10, Bennett-11.368; 19. Brett Becker, 2B, Becker-11.817; 20. Dustin Weland, 88w, Weland-11.837; 21. Glenn Waterland, 11c, Waterland-11.934; 22. Blaze Bennett, 10B, Bennett-12.067; 23. Curtis Spicer, 4, Spicer-12.715; 24. Olivia Bennett, 77, Bennett-13.635; 25. Dave Darland, 85, Central-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. Bacon, 2. Courtney, 3. Seavey, 4. Bodine, 5. Hendricks, 6. B. Bennett, 7. Becker, 8. Coons, 9. Darland. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. Boat, 2. T. Thomas, 3. Bayston, 4. Carrick, 5. Johnson, 6. Weland, 7. Spicer, 8. Cofer. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. K. Thomas, 2. Grant, 3. McDougal, 4. Lynch, 5. Craker, 6. L. Bennett, 7. Waterland, 8. O. Bennett. NT

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (10 laps, top-7 transfer) 1. Cofer, 2. Coons, 3. Weland, 4. L. Bennett, 5. Spicer, 6. B. Bennett, 7. Waterland, 8. Darland, 9. Becker. 1:59.34 (New Track Record)

FEATURE: (40 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (2), 2. Logan Seavey (6), 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (4), 4. Tanner Carrick (3), 5. Brady Bacon (10), 6. Jerry Coons, Jr. (7), 7. Jason McDougal (9), 8. Tyler Thomas (11), 9. Spencer Bayston (5), 10. Kyle Craker (15), 11. Cole Bodine (16), 12. Chad Boat (8), 13. Brayton Lynch (12), 14. Sam Johnson (14), 15. Tyler Courtney (1), 16. Maria Cofer (17), 17. Dustin Weland (19), 18. Glenn Waterland (20), 19. Lance Bennett (18), 20. Zane Hendricks (13), 21. Blaze Bennett (21), 22. Curtis Spicer (22). NT
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**Hendricks flipped on lap 27 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-40 Grant.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Brady Bacon (10th to 5th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Brayton Lynch

NEW USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Seavey-616, 2-Boat-542, 3-K. Thomas-541, 4-Bayston-539, 5-Grant-538, 6-Bacon-509, 7-Courtney-505, 8-Carrick-457, 9-Coons-423, 10-Ryan Robinson-398.

NEXT USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: July 15 - Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex - Sweet Springs, Missouri - "John Hinck Championship"

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

Kevin Thomas, Jr. celebrates his 2nd 'Chad McDaniel Memorial' win Wednesday at Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Kansas. (Rich Forman Photo)



KTJ SCORES SECOND CAREER "CHAD McDANIEL MEMORIAL" AT SOLOMON VALLEY

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Beloit, Kansas.....July 11, 2018 - Prior to Wednesday night's 9th annual "Chad McDaniel Memorial," the last appearance of Kevin Thomas, Jr. at Solomon Valley Raceway in 2015 resulted in a victory.

Likewise, the most recent appearance of Joe Dooling's No. 63 at Solomon Valley in 2016 resulted in a victory.

When you blend the ingredients of Thomas, Dooling and Solomon Valley, it's bound to be a recipe for success.

The Cullman, Alabama native became the first repeat winner of the 2018 USAC P1 Insurance National Midget season, leading all 30 laps on his way to a second "Chad McDaniel Memorial" win.

However, the road to victory lane from the pole position wasn't as smooth and pretty as it may appear on paper. Thomas admits that he was playing with fire on multiple occasions, nearly throwing away a surefire victory despite an otherwise perfect performance.

At the beginning, though, Thomas was flawless, grabbing the lead by a wheel at the line after battling with outside front row starter Logan Seavey for the entirety of the first lap. When Seavey stumbled at the exit of turn four on lap two, Thomas capitalized and immediately posted a half-straightaway lead. By the eighth lap, Thomas had already entered lapped traffic with a full-straightaway advantage.

With half the 30-lap distance in the rearview and Thomas on full Rad Racer cruiser mode, the beginning of the second half would prove topsy-turvy up front.

On the lap 16 restart following a Tyler Thomas flip, second-running Seavey clipped the turn two infield tire, losing ground that was all to Ryan Robinson's advantage as he took possession of second from Seavey and initiated his pursuit of K. Thomas.

However, on the 18th lap, K. Thomas got completely sideways between turns three and four. Robinson had nowhere to go and rammed into the side of the K. Thomas machine, kickstarting Thomas back into action, but accepting the brunt of the misfortune as he stopped at the edge of the infield to bring out the yellow. Robinson would restart from the tail and manage a 13th place finish by race's end.

Thomas knew he got away with one on this occasion, but that's racing, and on a bullring like Solomon Valley, it's sometimes a vicious part of the game.

"You had to be aggressive tonight because there were holes you had to get through to keep your tires spinning," Thomas recalled. "You couldn't go in there half-cocked. I did a few times and it about cost me the race. It was unfortunate for Ryan Robinson. He got turned around because of my mistake. That's small track racing. He did nothing wrong. It's just unfortunate that happened to him."

'There's a lot of depth and it's hard to win a midget race right now. It's so tough. You've got to be on your game and you can't make mistakes, and if you do make a mistake, you just got to hope for the best. Tonight, we got lucky with one of my mistakes and still ended up winning the race, but nine out of ten times, that doesn't happen.' - Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Brandon Anderson Photo)

Seavey got a reprieve and returned to second for the lap 18 restart, but Thomas was money once again, distancing himself from Seavey and, ultimately, widening the gap to a full-straightaway with five laps remaining as he tussled with lapped traffic, escaping with relative ease.

Thomas was in complete control down the stretch as he raced to his fourth career USAC National Midget feature win and his second at the quarter-mile in the north central Kansas birthplace of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rodger Ward. Second went to Seavey, followed by Justin Grant, Jason McDougal and Tanner Carrick rounding out the top-five.

"Bryan (Clauson)'s won this race a couple times and I've won this race a couple times now," Thomas reflected. "To win it the second time in the 63 that he won in, and in memory of Chad McDaniel, there's a lot of emotions running into one victory lane. I'm very humbled by the opportunity I've gotten with this team. Being able to win these races is something I can't even speak of."

Coming into Wednesday night's race, seven different winners had reached victory lane in the first seven events of the season, the longest such streak since 1987. Yet, Thomas was keen on putting an end to that factoid by winning his second series feature in his last three outings following a triumph in the "Indiana Midget Week" finale at Kokomo Speedway in June.

To Thomas, the fact that the season reached the mid-point of July to find a repeat winner, shows the talent and depth of the field he faces every time he steps into a USAC Midget, making each victory that more meaningful to him.

"Some people complain about midget racing," Thomas begins. "They say they run into each other too much or they drive disrespectfully. You've got a lot of people out there with a lot of talent and a lot of good racecars. It's good racing. Sometimes you get into people and that's not the way racing should be, but you're racing on fifth and quarter-miles, really small tracks. It's bound to happen. I'd like to see anybody else who complains about it get out here and do it and not run into something. You've got a lot of kids out here with a lot of talent. There's a lot of depth and it's hard to win a midget race right now. It's so tough. You've got to be on your game and you can't make mistakes, and if you do make a mistake, you just got to hope for the best. Tonight, we got lucky with one of my mistakes and still ended up winning the race, but nine out of ten times, that doesn't happen."

Contingency award winners Wednesday night at Solomon Valley Raceway included Tucker Klaasmeyer (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner & KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Zane Hendricks (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Maria Cofer (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner) and Ryan Robinson (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 11, 2018 - Solomon Valley Raceway - Beloit, Kansas - 9th Annual "Chad McDaniel Memorial"

QUALIFYING: 1. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-11.944 (New Track Record); 2. Justin Grant, 17BC, Clauson/Marshall/Wood-12.033; 3. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-12.137; 4. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.172; 5. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-12.176; 6. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.177; 7. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 63, Dooling-12.177; 8. Jason McDougal, 15, Petry/Goff-12.179; 9. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.225; 10. Kyle Craker, 76E, FMR-12.243; 11. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.274; 12. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-12.331; 13. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.377; 14. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-12.452; 15. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-12.476; 16. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.545; 17. Zane Hendricks, 27z, Tucker/Boat-12.548; 18. Maria Cofer, 35, Petry/Goff-12.649; 19. Dave Darland, 85, Central-12.785; 20. Sam Johnson, 72, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.798; 21. Brett Becker, 2B, Becker-12.951; 22. Holley Hollan, 14, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.977; 23. Curtis Spicer, 4, Spicer-13.330; 24. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.553; 25. Kyle Pfeifer, 54p, Pfeifer-13.570; 26. Glenn Waterland, 11c, Waterland-13.908; 27. Shaun Shapel, 84s, Shapel-14.636.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. Klaasmeyer, 2. K. Thomas, 3. Bayston, 4. Robinson, 5. Shelton, 6. Darland, 7. Hollan, 8. Craker, 9. Pfeifer. 2:09.97

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. Hendricks, 2. McDougal, 3. Boat, 4. Bacon, 5. Grant, 6. Johnson, 7. Waterland, 8. Spicer, 9. Lynch. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-5 transfer) 1. Cofer, 2. Coons, 3. T. Thomas, 4. Carrick, 5. Seavey, 6. Bodine, 7. Shapel, 8. Becker, 9. Courtney. NT

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-7 transfer) 1. Courtney, 2. Craker, 3. Darland, 4. Bodine, 5. Hollan, 6. Johnson, 7. Shapel, 8. Spicer, 9. Waterland, 10. Lynch, 11. Becker. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (1), 2. Logan Seavey (2), 3. Justin Grant (5), 4. Jason McDougal (8), 5. Tanner Carrick (9), 6. Holly Shelton (6), 7. Chad Boat (3), 8. Tyler Courtney (7), 9. Kyle Craker (10), 10. Tucker Klaasmeyer (15), 11. Spencer Bayston (13), 12. Brady Bacon (11), 13. Ryan Robinson (4), 14. Jerry Coons, Jr. (12), 15. Maria Cofer (17), 16. Zane Hendricks (16), 17. Holley Hollan (20), 18. Cole Bodine (21), 19. Sam Johnson (19), 20. Dave Darland (18), 21. Tyler Thomas (14), 22. Shaun Shapel (22). NT
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**Pfeifer flipped during the first heat. Lynch flipped during the semi. T. Thomas flipped on lap 16 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 K. Thomas.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Tucker Klaasmeyer (15th to 10th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Ryan Robinson

NEW USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Seavey-537, 2-Boat-495, 3-Bayston-482, 4-K. Thomas-465, 5-Courtney-465, 6-Grant-460, 7-Bacon-443, 8-Robinson-398, 9-Carrick-389, 10-Zeb Wise-369.

NEXT USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: July 13-14 - Jefferson County Speedway - Fairbury, Nebraska - Riverside Chevrolet "Midwest Midget Championship" presented by Westin Packaged Meats and Schmidt's Sanitation

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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Winner Christopher Bell (USAC Photo)



BELL SCORES KUNZ'S 100TH USAC MIDGET WIN AT USAC'S RED DIRT DEBUT

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Meeker, Oklahoma.....July 10, 2018 - In the illustrious history of Keith Kunz's tenure as a car owner, no individual has won more USAC National Midget feature events than Christopher Bell.
Perhaps it was most fitting that it was Bell who drove Kunz's machine to victory lane for the 100th time with the series at "Tuesday Night Thunder" in USAC 's Red Dirt Raceway debut.

The Norman, Oklahoma native drove to his 22nd USAC National Midget victory Tuesday, tying Bobby East and Shorty Templeman in career wins as he moved into the top-25 on the all-time list.

Just as fitting may have been the fact that Bell did it in front of his home state crowd, which saw the series visit the Sooner State for the first time since 1975, in his Motorsports-Curb-Agajanian/TRD - IWX/Bullet by Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"It's just really cool to see how many people were here," Bell said. "USAC hasn't been here for a long time. Honestly, Oklahoma's dying for professional motorsports, so it's nice for USAC to be able to come in here."

While the eyes of many were affixed on the first sight of USAC Midget in the state in over four decades, even Bell had not laid eyes on Red Dirt Raceway since a brief session there earlier in the decade.

"I tested here one time after the Chili Bowl in maybe 2011 or 2012," Bell recalled. "I'm pretty sure it was an abandoned racetrack back then. I hadn't seen the place since (track promoter) Cody (Brewer) had redone it. It was pretty perfect. They got it to where we could run all the way to the very top and all the way on the very bottom. You couldn't ask for more."

You would have never known that fact by watching Bell after he laid down fast time in qualifying, then picked his way through the field and into second by the ninth lap of the 30-lap feature as his KKM teammates Ryan Robinson, Tanner Carrick and Logan Seavey each took their turn at the front of the pack.

Each driver found multiple ways to navigate to the front, with Robinson up top, Carrick crawling on the bottom and Seavey finding the bottom on the sixth lap to grab the lead. Meanwhile, Bell was searching, taking any avenue he could find as he swapped sliders with Robinson to move into second behind point leader and race leader Seavey. Bell rode the top as he attempted to reel in Seavey, yet Carrick wasn't quite finished yet, as he drove underneath Bell to retake second momentarily.

"I knew my car was really good from the get go," Bell said. "We had that yellow and, next thing you know, the 71K (Carrick) is leading me. I didn't even see him go by me! But I knew he started seventh, so I figured the bottom must be there. He was really good. He could run down. He could run up. It was just a matter of me getting my momentum built up top for me to get by."

Christopher Bell (middle), the winner of 'Tuesday Night Thunder' at Red Dirt Raceway, is joined by Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian teammates Logan Seavey (right) who finished 2nd and Tanner Carrick (left) who finished 3rd. (Richard Bales Photo)

Though a bit stunned, Bell stood his ground and drove back past Carrick on lap 14 to move back into second just prior to a yellow flag for Dave Darland, whose car slowed to a stop between turns three and four. With a clear track and a clear mind, Bell had just himself and Seavey to deal with.

Briefly, for a lap following the lap 15 restart, Bell followed Seavey on the bottom, but that was not in his long-term plans as he quickly whipped back up to the top with a hard-charging Carrick right on his tail tank entering turn one. The bottom at first seemed the place to be with Seavey holding about a ten car length lead, but that gap would narrow steadily over the ensuing laps as Bell stayed the course, ripping the lip.

On the 19th lap, his work would pay dividends as Bell finally surged ahead just prior to hitting heavy lapped traffic where the 2013 series champ diced from top to bottom to escape the clutches of Seavey's return.

"I think it was A, me gaining momentum and B, figuring out the top," Bell said regarding the why he was able to run down Seavey. "I figured out a trick in where I could kind of open up my entry into (turn) three on the top and that helped me gain a lot of speed off of four. I figured it out a little bit and it was a matter of just not making mistakes. It was very treacherous right on the lip in one and two. It had some character, had some bounce to it, and I was trying to not go over."

Bell appeared to be well on his way to victory when Ace McCarthy spun between turns three and four, setting a three-lap sprint to the finish. Bell led the field high through three and four prior to taking the green, then darted to the bottom in turn one, disallowing any chance of Seavey throwing a slider for the lead.

"Logan was really good on the bottom," Bell pointed out. "I felt really good on the bottom earlier in the race. It was just a combination of things. The top was getting really thin and it was pretty rough up there. Then, on the restart, the tire pressure is going to be a little bit lower. I'm thinking about how I don't want my tire to be low and get up there and bounce over. I felt good on the top of three and four, so I was just going to go to the bottom of one and try and drive off hard, then go back to the top in three."

Bell did just that, punctuating his first USAC start of the year with a W by a tick over half a second in front of Seavey, Carrick, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Brady Bacon.

Contingency award winners Tuesday night at Red Dirt Raceway included Chad Boat (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Tyler Thomas (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Tucker Klaasmeyer (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Spencer Bayston (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner & KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Ryan Robinson (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 10, 2018 - Red Dirt Raceway - Meeker, Oklahoma - "Tuesday Night Thunder"

QUALIFYING: 1. Christopher Bell, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.558 (New Track Record); 2. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.597; 3. Zane Hendricks, 27z, Tucker/Boat-13.628; 4. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.647; 5. Justin Grant, 17BC, Clauson/Marshall/Wood-13.697; 6. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-13.727; 7. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.767; 8. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.837; 9. Jonathan Beason, 8K, Hard Eight-13.880; 10. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-13.881; 11. Jason McDougal, 15, Petry/Goff-13.898; 12. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-14.081; 13. Ace McCarthy, 28, Two-Eight-14.092; 14. Dave Darland, 85, Central-14.122; 15. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 63, Dooling-14.137; 16. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.216; 17. Kyle Craker, 76E, FMR-14.260; 18. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-14.274; 19. Travis Scott, 2s, Scott-14.332; 20. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.443; 21. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-14.461; 22. Cannon McIntosh, 08, McIntosh-14.472; 23. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.483; 24. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-14.508; 25. Holley Hollan, 14, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.559; 26. Maria Cofer, 35, Petry/Goff-14.607; 27. Sam Johnson, 72, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.693; 28. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-14.799; 29. Payton Pierce, 77, Simmons-14.915; 30. Todd McVay, 89JR, McVay-15.098; 31. Curtis Spicer, 4, Spicer-16.117; 32. Shaun Shapel, 84s, Shapel-17.065; 33. Brett Becker, 2B, Becker-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Boat, 2. Bell, 3. Grant, 4. McCarthy, 5. Craker, 6. Beason, 7. Hollan, 8. Pierce, 9. Becker. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. T. Thomas, 2. McIntosh, 3. Darland, 4. Bacon, 5. Coons, 6. Carrick, 7. Cofer, 8. McVay. 2:24.03

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Klaasmeyer, 2. K. Thomas, 3. McDougal, 4. Courtney, 5. Johnson, 6. Scott, 7. Spicer, 8. Hendricks. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Bayston, 2. Shelton, 3. Robinson, 4. Seavey, 5. Bodine, 6. Marcham, 7. Lynch. 2:25.98

SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Carrick, 2. Coons, 3. Craker, 4. Beason, 5. Hendricks, 6. Cofer, 7. Johnson, 8. Hollan, 9. Scott, 10. Becker, 11. Pierce, 12. Lynch, 13. Marcham, 14. Spicer, 15. Bodine, 16. McVay. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Christopher Bell (6), 2. Logan Seavey (5), 3. Tanner Carrick (7), 4. Jerry Coons, Jr. (10), 5. Brady Bacon (3), 6. Justin Grant (4), 7. Jason McDougal (11), 8. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (14), 9. Spencer Bayston (18), 10. Tyler Courtney (2), 11. Chad Boat (19), 12. Holly Shelton (15), 13. Ryan Robinson (1), 14. Tucker Klaasmeyer (21), 15. Tyler Thomas (17), 16. Brayton Lynch (24), 17. Jonathan Beason (9), 18. Cannon McIntosh (20), 19. Zane Hendricks (8), 20. Kyle Craker (16), 21. Cole Bodine (23), 22. Ace McCarthy (12), 23. Maria Cofer (22), 24. Dave Darland (13). NT
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Robinson, Lap 2 Carrick, Laps 3-5 Robinson, Laps 6-18 Seavey, Laps 19-30 Bell.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Spencer Bayston (18th to 9th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Ryan Robinson

NEW USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Seavey-465, 2-Bayston-435,3-Boat-435, 4-Courtney-408, 5-Bacon-399, 6-K. Thomas-388, 7-Grant-387, 8-Zeb Wise-369, 9-Robinson-353, 10-Carrick-326.

NEXT USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: July 11 - Solomon Valley Raceway - Beloit, Kansas - 9th Annual "Chad McDaniel Memorial"

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

Tyler Courtney won his fifth USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature of the season in Friday night's 'Bill Gardner Sprintacular' at Indiana's Lincoln Park Speedway. (Ryan Sellers Photo)



COURTNEY CAPITALIZES IN LINCOLN PARK'S "SPRINTACULAR"

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Putnamville, Indiana.....July 6, 2018 - The roots of Tyler Courtney's association with Lincoln Park Speedway run deep. In fact, his grandparents, Mike and Verla Farrar, owned and operated the joint for nearly two decades between 1981 and 1996.

Courtney didn't get to experience much of his family's era at the helm of the 5/16-mile dirt oval since he was a little tyke at the time. But on Friday night, he was able to experience what it was like to own victory lane at Lincoln Park, leading the final eight laps, and taking advantage of late-race misfortune that befell race leader Kevin Thomas. Jr., to win the 4th annual "Bill Gardner Sprintacular."

Courtney had been knocking on the proverbial door at LPS in recent years, finishing in the runner-up spot in his first ever USAC appearance at the track in 2013 and again in his most recent stop there during the summer of 2017.

Courtney, a four-time series winner coming into the 30-lapper, began the race from the fifth spot while fellow four-time winner Thomas rocketed to the lead around pole sitter Jordan Kinser on the opening from his outside front row starting position.

The going got rough early with fifth-place driver Brady Bacon suffering a flat left rear tire on the second lap. On the ensuing restart, a tangle ensued between multiple cars exiting the fourth turn. Past track champ Brent Beauchamp became the victim suffering the worst wound as he rode over a wheel and barrel-rolled down the front straightaway. He walked away unscathed.

Immediately following the red, Thomas opened a half-straightaway lead on the field and it wasn't long before the leaders entered the tail end of lapped traffic. On the 10th lap, Thomas and Isaac Chapple had a close encounter of third turn kind, but Thomas escaped and continued to dominate with authority.

Tyler Courtney won his first Lincoln Park Speedway USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature Friday night. Courtney's grandparents, Mike and Verla Farrar, owned and operated the track for nearly two decades between 1981 and 1996. (Travis Branch Photo)

On lap 17, what would prove to be the move of the race came to fruition, when Courtney slipped by A.J. Hopkins for the second position in turn one. The two made contact with each other in the process with Courtney's rear bumper and Hopkins left front wheel shaking hands. Yet, Thomas remained off into the great wide open ahead of Courtney who, at that point, seemed to have merely captured the battle for second in the background.

However, the topsy-turviness of racing would rear its head on the 23rd lap when race leader Thomas bucked the turn two cushion with his right rear tire, jackknifing the car to the right off the corner and sending him into a pair of aerial spirals before landing backdown on all fours beyond the ledge of the track. Though Thomas would bid adieu to his fifth win of the year, his health was okay and, in fact, he would restart the race from the tail, eventually driving up to a 16th place result.

Courtney had no qualms about "inheriting" the lead. To be in a position to take advantage of these opportunities, one must place themselves in a position to win. That's what he did and where he was tonight and has been for pretty much throughout the entire 2018 season.

"It's all about putting yourself in the right position," Courtney explained. "There are going to be nights where KT's going to be on the winning side of that. There'll be nights where somebody else is on the winning side of that and I'll be on the losing side, and so on and so forth. But you must put yourself in a position to be on the winning side of that. We're doing that night in and night out. As tough as this series is, to put yourself in a position to win every night is crucial, especially in this tight points championship that we got going on right now."

Multiple cars would occupy the space between new leader Courtney and second-place A.J. Hopkins for the lap 23 restart. Courtney swiftly launched away as Hopkins quickly excused the two lapped cars to pull within earshot of Courtney, creating a top-two breakaway from all challengers.

The breakaway became just a single party in the final laps as Courtney made a reservation for two in victory lane for he and his Clauson Marshall Newman Racing/Priority Aviation - Competition Suspension, Inc./Spike/Rider Chevy to win the 11th USAC National Sprint Car feature of his career, tying Daron Clayton, Greg Leffler and Chase Stockon for 44th all-time.

Winner Tyler Courtney (middle) is flanked by 2nd place finisher A.J. Hopkins (left) and 3rd place finisher Jason McDougal (right). (David Nearpass Photo)

Hopkins, Jason McDougal (from 22nd), Chris Windom (from 21st) and Kinser rounded out the top-five. The finishes by Hopkins, McDougal, and Kinser were all career bests in USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition.

Meanwhile, Courtney became the first to reach his fifth series feature win of the season and took over possession of the series point lead by six over Thomas heading into the 31st edition of "Indiana Sprint Week," which begins July 20 at Plymouth Speedway. While Courtney is optimistic, he remains realistic.

"Both of those numbers going into 'Indiana Sprint Week' are cool, but, unfortunately, we're not even halfway through the season yet. You just have to keep racing like you've been racing, and it will piece itself together. I think we're in a really good spot. We have a really good car and group behind us."

Contingency award winners Friday night at Lincoln Park Speedway included Thomas Meseraull (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Tim Creech (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Justin Grant (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Jason McDougal (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Carson Short (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Kent Schmidt (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier).

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 6, 2018 - Lincoln Park Speedway - Putnamville, Indiana - 4th"Bill Gardner Sprintacular"

QUALIFYING: 1. Carson Short, 21, RCM-12.467; 2. Kody Swanson, 3R, Rock Steady-12.560; 3. Brady Bacon, 99, Bacon-12.734; 4. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-12.793; 5. A.J. Hopkins, 4J, 4J Motorsports-12.840; 6. Tony DiMattia, 50, TDM-12.874; 7. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 69, Dynamics-12.884; 8. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-12.896; 9. Jordan Kinser, 70, Hurst-12.897; 10. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-12.903; 11. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-12.951; 12. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox/Nigg-12.966; 13. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-13.047; 14. Brian VanMeveren, 24B, Silvers-13.102; 15. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-13.113; 16. Nate McMillin, 24m, McMillin-13.129; 17. Thomas Meseraull, 5B, Briscoe-13.129; 18. Tim Creech, 2c, Creech-13.143; 19. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.179; 20. Brent Beauchamp, 34, Olson-13.198; 21. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.210; 22. Colten Cottle, 5c, Cottle-13.225; 23. Mario Clouser, 6, MCM-13.287; 24. Dave Darland, 36D, Goodnight/Curb-Agajanian-13.323; 25. Chad Boespflug, 98, NineEight-13.335; 26. Ben Knight, 16K, Knight-13.349; 27. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-13.398; 28. Jason McDougal, 21K, Krockenberger-13.433; 29. Shelby VanGilder, 22v, VanGilder-13.517; 30. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-13.525; 31. Kyle Cummins, 3c, EZR/Cummins-13.558; 32. Matt McDonald, 5m, McDonald-13.666; 33. Shane Cockrum, 04, Burton-13.773; 34. Brady Ottinger, 4B, 4J Motorsports-14.190; 35. Harley Burns, 16, Rolison-14.242; 36. Eric Burns, 99B, Gasway-14.278; 37. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-14.706.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Meseraull, 2. Kinser, 3. Ballou, 4. Hopkins, 5. Short, 6. Schmidt, 7. Cockrum, 8. VanGilder, 9. Boespflug, 10. Bell. 2:12.38

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Creech, 2. C. Cottle, 3. Leary, 4. DiMattia, 5. Andretti, 6. Swanson, 7. Knight, 8. VanMeveren, 9. Ottinger. NT

CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Grant, 2. Stockon, 3. Thomas, 4. Bacon, 5. Windom, 6. Clouser, 7. Chapple, 8. H. Burns, 9. Cummins. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Courtney, 2. Darland, 3. Beauchamp, 4. Mattox, 5. Hodges, 6. McDougal, 7. McMillin, 8. McDonald, 9. E. Burns. NT

SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer) 1. Short, 2. McDougal, 3. Clouser, 4. Hodges, 5. Windom, 6. Swanson, 7. Chapple, 8. McMillin, 9. VanGilder, 10. Schmidt, 11. Bell, 12. Ottinger, 13. Boespflug, 14. E. Burns, 15. VanMeveren, 16. Cockrum, 17. McDonald, 18. Knight. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps - starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (5), 2. A.J. Hopkins (4), 3. Jason McDougal (22), 4. Chris Windom (21), 5. Jordan Kinser (1), 6. Thomas Meseraull (13), 7. Dave Darland (20), 8. Brandon Mattox (12), 9. Robert Ballou (17), 10. Josh Hodges (9), 11. Brady Bacon (6), 12. C.J. Leary (10), 13. Carson Short (7), 14. Kody Swanson (8), 15. Chase Stockon (11), 16. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (2), 17. Isaac Chapple (23), 18. Mario Clouser (19), 19. Justin Grant (15), 20. Tony DiMattia (3), 21. Tim Creech (14), 22. Brent Beauchamp (16), 23. Colten Cottle (18). NT
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**Andretti flipped during the second heat. Beauchamp flipped on lap 2 of the feature. Thomas flipped on lap 23 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-22 Thomas, Laps 23-30 Courtney.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Jason McDougal (22nd to 3rd)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Carson Short

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Kent Schmidt

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Courtney-1260, 2-Thomas-1254, 3-Windom-1241, 4-Ballou-1102, 5-Stockon-1086, 6-Bacon-1080, 7-Darland-1042, 8-Leary-994, 9-Grant-983, 10-Boespflug-833.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: July 20 - Plymouth Speedway - Plymouth, Indiana - 31st "Indiana Sprint Week"

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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