By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Fairbury, Nebraska (July 13, 2020)………Mid-summer, mid-America. That’s the state of mind for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship which takes the show on the road for a succession of racing events through Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma July 17-21.
Officially one-third of the way through the 2020 season, the action picks back up following a near one month layoff since the last round, the Indiana Midget Week finale at Kokomo Speedway, a barnburner won by Tanner Thorson.
The hiatus comes to an end with the kickstarting of a USAC Midget racing summer beginning this weekend, Friday & Saturday, July 17-18, at Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska for the 3rd annual Riverside Chevrolet-Buick-Cadillac Midwest Midget Championship presented by Westin Packaged Meats and Schmidt’s Sanitation with a 30-lap feature on Friday night and concluding with a 40-lap finale on Saturday night.
Three past Jefferson County USAC Midget winners are expected to compete on both nights of the Midwest Midget Championship, 2017 winner Tanner Thorson and both of 2019’s victors Jason McDougal and Tyler Courtney.
Thorson (Minden, Nev.) was a competitor in the series’ debut during his championship year of 2016, finishing 10th. The three-time 2020 series winner had a much more kind night the following year in 2017, winning his heat race and leading the final 16 laps to score the feature victory. In 2019, it was quite the opposite after leading the first 18, he was caught up in an incident with a lapped car that relegated him to 13th in the final order. He was 8th the following night.
McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) won the opening night of the 2019 Midwest Midget Championship, leading the final 12 laps after Thorson’s misfortune in which he barely escaped from the melee and carnage that collected four cars. From there, he carried on to victory, which just so happened to be the first of his USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget career. McDougal was 6th on the second of the two nights in 2019.
Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind) became the second fastest driver to reach the six-win mark in a single USAC National Midget season in 2019, winning in his 15th start on night two of the Midwest Midget Championship. The only one to pull off the feat quicker was Rich Vogler in his 13th start in 1978 and his 14th start in 1988. The night prior, the 2019 series champion was the hard charger, finishing 2nd after starting 12th on night one. He was also 7th in 2017.
Although Chad Boat hasn’t been in the driver’s seat in 2020, as a car owner this year, his cars have been superb, leading the point standings right now with driver Chris Windom residing at the top. Boat, himself, as a driver, won at Jefferson County in the series’ 2016 debut at the track. Boat was the fastest qualifier in 2017, won his heat race in 2018, then won his heat and finished 4th on the opening night of the 2019 event.
Windom (Canton, Ill.), meanwhile, has been nearly flawless in 2020 in the Tucker-Boat Motorsports ride, finishing within the top-five in 10 of his 11 starts while winning twice in Ocala, Fla. in February and Putnamville, Ind. in June. His first Jefferson County starts in 2019 resulted in finishes of 3rd on the first night and 9th on night two. Windom’s Tucker-Boat teammate, 2019 series Rookie of the Year Andrew Layser (Collegeville, Pa.) was 8th in 2019 when he competed for Clauson-Marshall Racing.
Tyler Thomas (Collinsville, Okla.) has been close on numerous occasions at Jefferson County, finishing inside the top-ten in all five of his USAC appearances, winning his heat and finishing 2nd in the 2016 series debut at the quarter-mile. In 2017, the Jason Leffler Memorial winner led the first 24 laps of the 30-lap feature before finishing 3rd. He was 8th in 2018, and in 2019, finished 6th on night one and on night two, he won his heat and was the night’s hard charger, advancing from 11th to 5th.
Jerry Coons Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) returned to USAC Midget action at the Kokomo Speedway Indiana Midget Week finale in fine form, advancing from 20th to 8th to win hard charger honors. He will wheel the Central Motorsports No. 85 throughout the entirety of the upcoming four-race USAC Midget swing. Coons, the 2006-07 series champion, has finished inside the top-eight in each of his four appearances at Jefferson County, winning his heat and mounting a charge from 14th to 8th in 2017. He has increased his result in each of the past three races there, finishing 6th in 2018, 5th on 2019 night one and 4th on 2019 night two.
Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) was the fastest qualifier on both nights at Jefferson County in 2019. The first night resulted in a one-lap track record of 10.685. The 2018 USAC National Midget champion finished 2nd in his first appearance in 2018, was 7th on 2019 night one and 3rd the following night.
Speaking of track record holders, Tanner Carrick (Lincoln, Calif.) possesses the 10-lap mark at Jefferson County of 1:56.27 set on the very same night as Seavey’s lap in 2019. Carrick, the 2019 USAC National Most Improved Driver, finished 4th in 2018, then won his heat on night one with a 12th place feature finish and checked off a 7th place result on the second of two nights.
Reigning USAC Western States Midget champion Robert Dalby (Anaheim, Calif.) started on the front row of last year’s opening night of the Midwest Midget Championship, ultimately finishing 10th. Cole Bodine (Rossville, Ind.) made his Jeff. Co. debut in 2018, moving up from the 16th starting spot to 11th at the finish.
Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) and Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.), both of whom reside in the top-five of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget standings entering the event, are set to make their debuts at Jefferson County Speedway. Second in points, Kofoid has consistently finished up front this year. Through his first 11 starts, he’s led 19 laps, finished in the top-five on four occasions and is tied for the series lead with 10 top-tens. McIntosh, 5th in points, has led 24 laps, finished in the top-5 four times, the top-10 six times, was fast qualifier once, and along with Kofoid, is one of seven drivers to have started all 11 events thus far in 2020.
Twenty-six previous USAC National Midget races have been held in the state of Nebraska. USAC Triple Crown champion Tracy Hines has the most victories of any driver in the state with three. Wilke-Pak Racers has won the most of any team in the state with five.
For July 17-18 at Jefferson County, tickets are available now at www.JeffersonCountySpeedway.com. The event will once again coincide with the Jefferson County Fair and will feature a free concert after the races both nights at the beer garden.
The Jayhusker Non-Wing Micros will join the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets both nights. Gates open at 5pm CT, with qualifying at 6:30pm and racing at 7pm each night.
Adult general admission tickets at Jefferson County are $20 while high school students and younger are $5. Reserved seating is $25 (available online only in two-day packages). Only 1,200 tickets will be sold as the venue is limited to 75% capacity under state regulations. All remaining tickets will be sold the day of show at the main grandstand gate starting at 5pm. Pit passes will not be limited and will be available at the pit gate on the day of show only.
Prior to the racing action, a shrimp boil will take place on Thursday night, July 16 at 7:30pm CT. The event will take place at the campground on the north side of the racetrack. Race fans, drivers and crews are all welcome for some great food, cold drinks, corn hole, and music courtesy of Schmidt’s Sanitation and Pollman Heating & Air.
This race can be watched LIVE exclusively on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2Zs7zFP.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-738, 2-Buddy Kofoid-674, 3-Tyler Courtney-667, 4-Tanner Thorson-664, 5-Cannon McIntosh-580, 6-Tanner Carrick-545, 7-Justin Grant-489, 8-Cole Bodine-462, 9-Daison Pursley-455, 10-Kevin Thomas Jr.-441.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WINS IN NEBRASKA: (1956-2019)
2-Kasey Kahne & Steve Cannon
1-Bobby Olivero, Chad Boat, Danny Stratton, Dave Darland, Dave Strickland, Jr., Davey Ray, Dean Billings, Jason Leffler, Jason McDougal, Jeff Gordon, Justin Grant, Page Jones, Ricky Shelton, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Robby Flock, Sleepy Tripp, Tanner Thorson, Tony Elliott & Tyler Courtney
JEFFERSON COUNTY SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WINNERS:
2016: Chad Boat (8/2)
2017: Tanner Thorson (8/1)
2018: Justin Grant (7/14)
2019: Jason McDougal (7/12)
2019: Tyler Courtney (7/13)
2016 FEATURE: (35 laps) 1. Chad Boat, 2. Tyler Thomas, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Bryan Clauson, 5. Spencer Bayston, 6. Carson Macedo, 7. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 8. Holly Shelton, 9. Ryan Robinson, 10. Tanner Thorson, 11. Brayton Lynch, 12. Chett Gehrke, 13. Keith Rauch, 14. Lance Bennett, 15. Bob Harr, 16. John Klabunde, 17. Dustin Weland, 18. Terry Goodwin, 19. Ryan Greth, 20. Dave Darland, 21. Anton Hernandez, 22. Jeff Stasa. NT
2017 FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Tanner Thorson, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Tyler Thomas, 4. Shane Golobic, 5. Christopher Bell, 6. Spencer Bayston, 7. Tyler Courtney, 8. Jerry Coons, Jr., 9. Ryan Robinson, 10. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 11. Chad Boat, 12. Holly Shelton, 13. Tanner Carrick, 14. Joe B. Miller, 15. Clinton Boyles, 16. Brayton Lynch, 17. Chett Gehrke, 18. Paul Babich, 19. Jeff Stasa, 20. John Klabunde, 21. Tyler Nelson, 22. Justin Grant. NT
2018 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
2019 NIGHT #1 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Jason McDougal (4), 2. Tyler Courtney (12), 3. Chris Windom (3), 4. Chad Boat (9), 5. Jerry Coons, Jr. (10), 6. Tyler Thomas (14), 7. Logan Seavey (6), 8. Andrew Layser (7), 9. Zeb Wise (11), 10. Robert Dalby (2), 11. Brady Bacon (16), 12. Tanner Carrick (13), 13. Tanner Thorson (1), 14. Ethan Mitchell (18), 15. Sam Johnson (15), 16. Shannon McQueen (17), 17. Lance Bennett (19), 18. Curtis Spicer (22), 19. Olivia Bennett (20), 20. Tucker Klaasmeyer (8), 21. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (5), 22. Tyler Seavey (23), 23. A.J. Valim (21). NT
2019 NIGHT #2 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).