By Bryan Gapinski
Beaver Dam, Wis., July 27-Series points leader Jack Routson scored a thrilling last-lap victory winning Saturday Night’s “Horizon Building Development”
25-lap Zimbrick Chevrolet of Sun Prairie Badger Midget Racing Series feature at Beaver Dam Raceway. The event was the 60th Badger Midget Race at the facility.
Ryan Probst led the opening lap before Routson took the top position on Lap 2. Jordan Mattson passed Routson exiting Turn 2 on Lap 4 to claim the top position. Mattson driving the RAB No. 57 held a three-car length lead when he began lapping the tail, of the field on the ninth lap.
Mattson increased his lead to 1.3 seconds at the midway point over Routson. A four-car battle for third took place as the lead duo pulled away from the field. Mattson held a two second lead over Routson, with five laps remaining. The events only caution appeared for a slowing car, with three laps remaining erasing Mattson’s lead.
On the restart Mattson went to the upper groove, while Routson used the lower groove of the track. Routson almost pulled even with Routson, when the pair took the white flag. Mattson appeared headed for the victory entering the final two turns, when Routson “diamonded” the corner perfect, and pair exiting turn 4 in a dead heat. Routson edged Mattson by a half-car length at the start/finish line. Transponder scoring showed the margin of victory at 0.112 seconds, one of the closest midget races in track history.
Routson drove the Tim Routson owned Spike/Chevrolet No. 14. Probst trailed the lead duo by two car lengths to finish third, followed by Zach Boden and Chase McDermand.
“After the caution I tried the bottom groove knowing it was the only way to pass the 57 car, the last lap I pinched the corner and it worked perfectly” commented Routson after this third series victory of the season. Routson leads McDermand by sixty-six points entering Sunday July 28’s “Norm Nelson Classic” at Angell Park Speedway.
25-lap Feature: 1. Jack Routson; 2. Jordan Mattson; 3. Ryan Probst; 4. Zach Boden; 5. Chase McDermand; 6. Jeff Zelinski; 7. Scott Hatton; 8. Mike Stroik; 9. Tristan Koenings; 10. Denny Smith; 11. Kyle Koch; 12. Shay Sassano; 13. Harrison Kleven; 14. Pat Henson; 15. Kevin Olson; 16. Brian Peterson; 17. Jim Fuerst; 18. Aaron Muhle; 19. Matt Rechek; 20. Michael Klein.
8-lap AutoMeter Heat Race Winner: Mattson.
8-lap Engler Machine Heat Race Winner: Routson.
8-lap Madison Extinguisher Heat Race Winner: Hatton.
Cars Present: 21 Feature Lap Leaders: Probst 1, Routson 2-4, Mattson 5-24, Routson 25.
Badger Midget Series Points: 1. Jack Routson 894; 2. Chase McDermand 828; 3. Zach Boden 759; 4. Ryan Probst 740; 5. Kevin Olson 640; 6. Scott Hatton 608; 7. Mike Stroik 537; 8. Brian Peterson 531; 9. Jeff Zelinski 483; 10. Matt Rechek 453.
—Jack Routson becomes the 22nd different Badger feature winner at track.
—Scott Hatton established a new 8-lap track record winning the Madison Extinguisher Heat Race Three.
—With eleven races completed Badger is averaging 25.1 cars per event.
—Badger’s leading rookie Matt Recheck also competed in the track’s Modified race events during the night’s program, and was involved in a late-race feature accident sidelining the 2018 track champion.
—Tristan Koenings won the Howard Law Cash Draw, a bonus for a randomly selected feature finishing position.
—Mike Stroik claimed the Advance Race Suspensions Hard Charger Award improving six starting positions.
By Bryan Gapinski