By Bryan Gapinski
Beaver Dam, Wis., July 17— Australian Matt Smith became the first repeat winner of the season capturing The Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Racing Series 20-lap feature Saturday Night at Beaver Dam Raceway. Smith’s victory also ended a record streak of thirteen consecutive different feature winners in the last thirteen races dating back to August 2009.
Smith took the lead on the opening lap, from the outside front row starting position. On the second lap second and third place running Mike Hess and Daniel Robison made contact causing an accident which involved the next three position cars, with Davey Ray flipping, escaping injury.
On the restart Smith quickly opened up an advantage over the field. Hess who restarted in ninth position quickly moved through the field and into second place on lap 6. With both drivers running the cushion Hess began cutting into Smith’s straightaway advantage. Hess closed to within two car lengths with five laps remaining. One lap later Smith became trapped behind several lapped cars, allowing Hess to challenge for the lead.
Hess took advantage of lapped cars to the lead exiting Turn 4 on Lap 17, less than one lap later Smith regained the lead. Smith driving the Steve Smith owned Triple XXX/Hawk-Chevrolet No.1 held off Hess on the final lap to score a one-car length victory. Brandon Waelti, Daniel Robinson and David Budres completed the top five. Hess now holds a 143-point lead over Scott Hatton heading into the July 31 event at Beaver Dam Raceway.
The Badger portion of the scheduled Sept. 3 Stan Fox Memorial at Dodge County Fairgrounds has been the cancelled. The event will be run with the IRA Sprint Car Series and Mid American Stock Car Series competing.
30-lap Feature: 1.Matt Smith; 2. Mike Hess; 3. Brandon Waelti; 4. Daniel Robinson; 5. David Budres; 6. Eric Johnson; 7. B.G. Woods; 8. Travis Berryhill; 9. Brian Terry; 10. Jason Therkelsen; 11. Courtney Erfurth; 12. Scott Hatton; 13. Davey Ray; 14. David Gough; 15.Cody Wisensel.
8-lap Heat Race Winners: Ray, Hess.
Cars Present: 15 Feature Lap Leaders: Smith 1-17, Hess 18, Smith 19-20.
*Ray flipped on Lap 1 of feature, uninjured.
Current Badger Midget Series Point Standings: 1.Mike Hess 806; 2.Scott Hatton 663; 3. Travis Berryhill 605; 4. Davey Ray 590; 5.Brandon Waelti 571; 6. Courtney Erfurth 488; 7. Bob Schreffler 477; 8. Eric Johnson 359; 9. Brad Loyet 338; 10.Daniel Robinson 323.