From Lonnie Wheatley
FAIRBURY, Neb. (July 13, 2019) – Current NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series points leader Tyler Courtney finished off Jefferson County Speedway’s Riverside Chevrolet Midwest Midget Championship presented by Westin Packaged Meats and Schmidt’s Sanitation by storming to victory lane in Saturday night’s 40-lap feature event atop the 1/5-mile clay oval.
Courtney took advantage of a Kevin Thomas, Jr, miscue on a lap five restart to take command after starting from the pole position and led the frantic final 36 laps aboard the Clauson-Marshall Racing No. 7bc NOS Energy Drink Toyota-powered entry.
It wasn’t without some late drama though, as Thomas, Jr., had one last shot at stealing the win after a final caution that set up a four-lap dash to the stripe.
“I saw someone there racing with me for the win,” Courtney said in victory lane. “I hadn’t been on the bottom of the track since early in the race so I knew I just had to keep hitting my marks up top.”
While Courtney started from the pole position, it was front row outside starter Thomas, Jr., jumping into the initial lead as Courtney fell back to fourth behind Jerry Coons, Jr., and Tanner Thorson on the opening lap.
Courtney rebounded quickly though by getting back up to second by the time the first of three cautions flew after four laps for 2016 Fairbury winner Chad Boat. And when Thomas, Jr., stumbled on the turn two cushion on the restart, Courtney took quick advantage and raced into a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish aside from a few backstretch feet on the 38th lap.
A 22-lap green flag stretch had the leaders dicing through traffic much of the way until Brady Bacon came to a stop outside of turn two with 26 laps in the books. And, by that time, Courtney had three lapped cars separating himself from Thomas, Jr., and reigning series champion Logan Seavey.
Courtney raced away on open track as Thomas, Jr., and Seavey lost ground working lapped traffic. The advantage was negated when Ethan Mitchell spun to a stop in turn three with just four laps to go.
Thomas, Jr., challenged on the final restart, edging ahead briefly exiting turn two on the 38th lap. Courtney continued to rail the topside and made it work for his sixth series win of the year.
“We brought our game tonight,” Courtney explained. “We have to capitalize on nights like this when we start up front.”
Thomas, Jr., settled for second in the Petry Motorsports No. 5 entry. “Other than my mistake early in the race, I felt like we had equal cars,” Thomas, Jr., commented. “I tried to sneak by and it worked until I got in the grease and pushed up.”
Seavey settled for the show position in the Keith Kunz Motorsports Mobil 1 No. 67 Toyota-powered machine. “Those last ten laps were a lot of fun, this track is always fun to race at,” Seavey said
Coons, Jr., crossed the stripe fourth while Tyler Thomas earned Hard Charger honors by rounding out the top five after starting 11th. Friday night winner Jason McDougal was sixth with Tanner Carrick, Tanner Thorson, Chris Windom and Tucker Klaasmeyer completing the top ten.
Seavey set quick time in qualifying for the second night in a row, stopping the clocks this time at 11.412 seconds before racing to a heat race win as well along with T. Thomas and Zeb Wise.
Along with title sponsor Riverside Chevrolet and presenting sponsors Westin Packaged Meats and Schmidt’s Sanitation, other sponsors that are making the “Midwest Midget Championship” possible include Napa Auto Parts, Pollman Appliance, Chappell Roofing, Ole’ Red 99.5, Side Trek Bar and Grill, Z-4 Trucking, Criner’s Corner, Vaughn Contracting, Starr Plumbing, Fairbury Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson County Visitors Committee, Budweiser, Hepfner Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Keizer Wheels, EMI, Mud-X, Speedway Motors, Outlaw Wings.
NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midgets “Midwest Midget Championship” at Jefferson County Speedway Night Two – July 13, 2019 Results:
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-11.412; 2. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-11.422; 3. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry-11.454; 4. Tanner Thorson, 98, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-11.476; 5. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5, Petry-11.530; 6. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-11.550; 7. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-11.584; 8. Jason McDougal, 76m, FMR-11.588; 9. Chris Windom, 17BC, Clauson/Marshall-11.651; 10. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-11.652; 11. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-11.700; 12. Ethan Mitchell, 19m, Bundy Built-11.746; 13. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-11.749; 14. Brady Bacon, 85, Central-11.768; 15. Zeb Wise, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-11.794; 16. Sam Johnson, 72, Johnson-11.891; 17. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-11.973; 18. Andrew Layser, 47BC, Clauson/Marshall-11.982; 19. Lance Bennett, 10, Bennett-12.139; 20. Tyler Seavey, 117, Washburn-12.373; 21. A.J. Valim, 4T, Valim-12.572; 22. Curtis Spicer, 4, Spicer-12.693; 23. Olivia Bennett, 77, Bennett-12.919.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 3. Tanner Thorson, 4. Sam Johnson, 5. Tanner Carrick, 6. Shannon McQueen, 7. Lance Bennett, 8. Curtis Spicer. 2:04.92
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Tyler Thomas, 2. Jason McDougal, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5. Chad Boat, 6. Robert Dalby, 7. Olivia Bennett. NT
AUTOMETER/INDY RACE PARTS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Zeb Wise, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Jerry Coons, Jr., 5. A.J. Valim, 6. Ethan Mitchell, 7. Andrew Layser. 2:03.04
FEATURE: (40 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (1), 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (2), 3. Logan Seavey (6), 4. Jerry Coons, Jr. (4), 5. Tyler Thomas (11), 6. Jason McDougal (8), 7. Tanner Carrick (7), 8. Tanner Thorson (3), 9. Chris Windom (9), 10. Tucker Klaasmeyer (10), 11. Zeb Wise (15), 12. Chad Boat (5), 13. Shannon McQueen (13), 14. Andrew Layser (18), 15. Sam Johnson (16), 16. Ethan Mitchell (12), 17. Curtis Spicer (22), 18. Brady Bacon (14), 19. Robert Dalby (17), 20. Lance Bennett (19), 21. Tyler Seavey (20), 22. Olivia Bennett (23), 23. A.J. Valim (21). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Kevin Thomas, Jr., Laps 5-40 Tyler Courtney.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Tyler Thomas (11th to 5th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Shannon McQueen
NEW USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tyler Courtney-1039, 2-Logan Seavey-949, 3-Chris Windom-926, 4-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-872, 5-Zeb Wise-842, 6-Chad Boat-814, 7-Jerry Coons, Jr.-754, 8-Tanner Carrick-724, 9-Tucker Klaasmeyer-699, 10-Jason McDougal-657.
NEW PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tyler Thomas-23, 2-Jerry Coons, Jr.-16, 3-Jonathan Beason-12, 4-Logan Seavey-11, 5-Chad Boat-11, 6-Zeb Wise-11, 7-Tyler Courtney-10, 8-Matt Sherrell-10, 9-Curtis Spicer-9, 10-Chris Windom-8.