By Bryan Gapinski
Darlington, Wis., July 18—Chase McDermand continued his “hot streak” winning the 25-lap “McNett Electric”, Badger Midget Series feature, Saturday Night at the Lafayette County Speedway.
The event ended an almost 72-year absence at the track, the first since the September 26, 1948 race.
Polesitter Kyle Koch jumped into the lead at the start followed by Brad Greenup. McDermand entered the top five, when the events first caution was displayed for a stalled car on the sixth lap. Koch continued to lead when the race resumed while McDermand passed two cars on the restart.
McDermand passed Koch for the lead as the pair exited Turn 2 on Lap 9. Greenup followed into second place. A second caution for a spun car appeared five laps later. On the restart Greenup retired running in second place.
An intense four-car battle ensued behind McDermand for the runner-up position between Koch, Kevin Olson, Jordan Mattson and Nick Baran. Two late race cautions appeared during the final five laps. Koch retired from the event running third, with four laps remaining.
McDermand driving the RMS/Response Management Service/Spike-Honda No. 40 finished 1.90 seconds ahead of Mattson who picked up a last-minute ride in Craig Dori’s new No 38 entry. Olson, Baran and Tristan Koening completed the top five.
“What a great facility, it’s nice to win the return event of Badger to the track, there was a lot of close racing before I got to the lead” commented McDermand who won the last two events of 2019, coupled with the first three of this season.
The five straight wins ties McDermand for the second longest streak in the 84-year history of series with Billy Johnson (1950), Billy Wood (1959), John Hartwig (1973), and Brad Loyet (2009). Landy Scott holds the record with six straight victories on his way to the 1947 Badger title, McDermand will have a chance to tie the mark at the next series event.
25-lap Feature: 1. Chase McDermand; 2. Jordan Mattson; 3. Kevin Olson; 4. Nick Baran; 5. Tristan Koenings; 6. Derek Doerr; 7. Kevin Douglas; 8. Jeremy Douglas; 9. Denny Smith; 10. Jeff Zelinski; 11. Dan Kleven; 12. Jake Goeglein; 13. Kyle Koch; 14. Harrison Kleven; 15. Shay Sassano; 16. Brad Greenup; 17. Kurt Mayhew; 18. Ryan Zelski; 19. Dave Collins.
8-lap Simpson Race Products Heat Race Winner: H. Kleven.
8-lap Engler Machine Heat Race Winner: Mattson.
8-lap Madison Fire Extinguisher Heat Race Winner: K. Douglas.
Schoenfeld Headers Fast Time: Zelinski, 18.742 seconds (NTR).
Cars Present: 22 Feature Lap Leaders: Koch 1-9, McDermand 10-25.
Badger Midget Series Points: 1. Chase McDermand 312; 2. Nick Baran 226; 3. Kevin Douglas 189; 4. Kurt Mayhew 158; 5. Tyler Baran 149; 6. Jeff Zelinski 140; 7. Kyle Koch 137; 8. Jack Routson 136; 9. Kevin Olson 133; 10. Ryan Zielski 131.
—Ralph Jagerlener was recognized during opening ceremonies by Badger and the track, Ralph attended the Badger events at the track in 1947 and 1948 as a young boy.
— Kevin Douglas’s victory in the third heat was the quickest of the three heat races at 2:47.644 seconds, setting the 8-laptrack record.
—Tristan Koenings (5th), Derek Doerr (6th) and Dan Kleven (11th) scored their best career midget feature finishes.
— Shay Sassano and Kyle Koch won the Howard Law Cash Draws, a bonus for a randomly selected feature finishing positions.
—Derek Doerr claimed the Advance Race Suspensions Hard Charger Award improving thirteen positions.
By Bryan Gapinski