By Richie Murray
Indianapolis, Indiana (June 6, 2022)………Off days don’t particularly exist in the racing world at any level. The downtime is spent actively pondering, maintaining, maintenancing and generally getting prepared for the battles that lie ahead.
These ongoing two days between races lead straight to the pit gate of Indianapolis, Indiana’s Circle City Raceway on Wednesday night, June 8, for round four of USAC Indiana Midget Week for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship.
Storylines are aplenty leading into the “second half” of IMW with three races in the books and four on the road ahead Wednesday at Circle City, Thursday at Lincoln Park Speedway, Friday at Gas City I-69 Speedway and Saturday at Kokomo Speedway for the finale.
Number one is Indiana Midget Week point leader Buddy Kofoid and if he can continue an unmatched run of success in the event thus far with victories in the first two rounds at Bloomington Speedway and Lawrenceburg Speedway, followed by a 2nd place result in the most recent fight at Tri-State Speedway.
Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) was a contender on the cusp of the top-five in last year’s Circle City event before a rare mishap in which he spun and was relegated to the back before finishing a disappointing 19th, by far his least favorable result during his 2021 Indiana Midget Week title campaign.
Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) stopped Kofoid’s overall four-race USAC National Midget winning streak with a stirring drive to victory on Sunday at Tri-State. Meseraull was running 6th near the midway point of Circle City’s IMW show a year ago before an incident took him out of contention and back to a 12th place finish. Meseraull picked up a sprint car win at Circle City just over a month ago on May 1.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) has been a contender all year long and is 2nd in both the USAC National Midget and Indiana Midget Week points. He was fuming during the latter stages of last Sunday’s event at Tri-State when a late-race incident while battling for second took him out of contention for the win. This Wednesday, he’ll try to rectify that along with his 21st place result at Circle City’s Indiana Midget Week feature last year.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) is running a part-time IMW schedule but has checked the box for Circle City to be among his appearances this Wednesday night at Circle City. Bacon owns the one-lap track record for both the USAC National Midgets and USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars. His time of 12.869 in the midget is the mark they’ll be chasing. Among returning participants, he finished the best with a 3rd in the inaugural 2021 event, and he also claimed a victory at the 1/4-mile dirt oval with the Midwest Sprint Car Series during IMW last year.
Brenham Crouch (Lubbock, Texas) earned his first career top-five result and his best career series finish at Circle City in 2021 with a 5th after starting 12th. Kyle Cummins ran 5th at Circle City with the midget in 2021 and has been impressive in the first half of 2022 IMW with three top-nine finishes and two top-tens.
Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) overcame a cold start in last year’s race before charging from 22nd to 7th and earned hard charger honors for the evening. The 2018 USAC National Midget titlist and 2019 Indiana Midget Week king is seeking a more favorable second leg of IMW as he now stands 18th in points for the mini-series.
Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) put himself in victory lane at Circle City with the USAC National Sprint Cars in late 2021. The 2016 USAC National Midget champ zipped from 16th to 8th in IMW a year ago and has plans to compete in the final four IMW events this week in a second car for Tom Malloy as a teammate to Seavey.
Jerry Coons Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) is in for the final four races of Indiana Midget Week as well aboard the Central Motorsports No. 85. The 2006-07 USAC National Midget champion and 2007 IMW top dog owns 63 career Indiana Midget Week starts and stands first all-time in that category. He scored a 10th place finish at Circle City in 2021.
Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) is one of four past USAC Indiana Midget Week champions in Circle City’s lineup. The 2005-06 champ will be joined by Coons, Seavey and Kofoid. Circle City will mark his first midget appearance at the track following a 6th place USAC National Sprint Car showing there in September of 2021.
Returning to the Circle City lineup after competing last year is Bryant Wiedeman (Colby, Kan.), who started off the season with seven-straight top-10 USAC National Midget finishes and resided 5th place driver in the current IMW points. The 2021 POWRi Midget champ finished 15th a year ago.
Also on the list is Kaylee Bryson (Muskogee, Okla.) who continues her pursuit to become the first woman to win a USAC National Midget feature as is teammate Taylor Reimer (Bixby, Okla.). The two finished 17th and 18th, respectively, at Circle City in 2021.
St. Peters, Missouri’s Sam Johnson (22nd), Bixby, Oklahoma’s Cannon McIntosh (23rd) and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Jason McDougal (24th) are back for a bit of redemption after subpar finishes not to their liking during their last midget outings at Circle City.
Chance Crum (Snohomish, Wash.) nearly pulled off his first career USAC National Midget feature victory in last Friday’s IMW opener at Bloomington. He scored a USAC Regional Midget win in July of 2021 at Circle City.
The field is chock full of first-time Circle City midget racers, some of whom are eying first feature starts at the track after missing out on transfer spots in their last try last June: Ethan Mitchell (Mooresville, N.C.), Hayden Reinbold (Gilbert, Ariz.), Blake Brannon (Morgan Hill, Calif.) and Travis Buckley (Auckland, N.Z.).
Jacob Denney (Galloway, Ohio), a two-time USAC Midwest Thunder SpeeD2 Midget champ in 2020-21, snagged a victory with the series in August of 2021 and finished 3rd in September of that same season. He scored two top-eight finishes during the first half of IMW last week.
Top series Rookie Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) will make his first Circle City run as will CB Industries teammates Jade Avedisian (Clovis, Calif.), Jace Park (Overland Park, Kan.) and Dominic Gorden (Clovis, Calif.). Cade Lewis (Bakersfield, Calif.) too as well as Badger Midget champion Chase McDermand (Springfield, Ill.) as well as BCRA Midget champs Maria Cofer (Macdoel, Calif.) and Robert Carson (Concord, Calif.) in a car owned by Don O’Keefe.
Multi-time POWRi champ and USAC National Midget winner Zach Daum (Pocahontas, Ill.) is back on the trail for Circle City for what could be his milestone 50th career Indiana Midget Week start (2nd all-time) along with Bryan Stanfill (Bakersfield, Calif.), who was 4th in a USAC Midwest Regional Midget feature last July and is joined by his Australian teammate Mike Griffiths (Melbourne, Vic.). Fellow countryman and Australian Speedcar champ Kaidon Brown (Sydney, NSW) will resume action with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, who will also field an entry for series full-time and Rookie Mariah Ede (Fresno, Calif.).
Rylan Gray (Greenfield, Ind.), who made his first career USAC National Midget feature start last Friday, at Bloomington will make his IMW return to Circle City. Meanwhile, Alex Nalon, great grandson of 1938 East Coast AAA Sprint car champion and 1949 & 1951 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Duke Nalon, will make his USAC National Midget debut at Circle City.
Wednesday’s Indiana Midget Week events features the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship as well as Jonathan Byrd’s 410 Sprint Cars.
Pits open Wednesday at 3pm Eastern with grandstands opening at 5pm, the drivers meeting at 5:30 and hot laps at 6pm with qualifying and racing immediately following.
Tickets and pit passes will be sold at the gate. General admission tickets are $25. Seniors, Veterans, Military, First Responders and Teachers with ID – Presented by the Hoosier Lottery are $20. Children ages 9-12 are $10. Children ages 8 & under are free. Pit passes are $35.
2022 USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-629, 2-Justin Grant-577, 3-Mitchel Moles-470, 4-Thomas Meseraull-467, 5-Bryant Wiedeman-466, 6-Cannon McIntosh-419, 7-Kaylee Bryson-416, 8-Logan Seavey-345, 9-Taylor Reimer-339, 10-Brenham Crouch-308.
2022 USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-245, 2-Justin Grant-203, 3-Thomas Meseraull-191, 4-Kyle Cummins-184, 5-Mitchel Moles-181, 6-Bryant Wiedeman-178, 7-Kaylee Bryson-169, 8-Taylor Reimer-150, 9-Jacob Denney-149, 10-Jade Avedisian-125.
2022 USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK SCHEDULE:
Friday, June 3: Bloomington Speedway – Bloomington, Ind. | WINNER: Buddy Kofoid
Saturday, June 4: Lawrenceburg Speedway – Lawrenceburg, Ind. | WINNER: Buddy Kofoid
Sunday, June 5: Tri-State Speedway – Haubstadt, Ind. | WINNER: Thomas Meseraull
Wednesday, June 8: Circle City Raceway – Indianapolis, Ind.
Thursday, June 9: Lincoln Park Speedway – Putnamville, Ind.
Friday, June 10: Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, Ind.
Saturday, June 11: Kokomo Speedway – Kokomo, Ind.
CIRCLE CITY RACEWAY USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WINS:
CIRCLE CITY RACEWAY USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WINNERS:
2021: Corey Day (6/9)
TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC NATIONAL MIDGETS AT CIRCLE CITY RACEWAY:
1 Lap – 6/9/2021 – Brady Bacon – 12.869 – 69.936 mph
PAST USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RESULTS AT CIRCLE CITY RACEWAY:
2021 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Corey Day (2), 2. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1), 3. Brady Bacon (6), 4. Emerson Axsom (10), 5. Brenham Crouch (12), 6. Kyle Cummins (5), 7. Logan Seavey (22), 8. Tanner Thorson (16), 9. Daison Pursley (17), 10. Jerry Coons Jr. (4), 11. Hayden Williams (18), 12. Chris Windom (7), 13. Chase Randall (24-P), 14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (15), 15. Bryant Wiedeman (23-P), 16. Brian Carber (20), 17. Kaylee Bryson (3), 18. Taylor Reimer (8), 19. Buddy Kofoid (9), 20. Thomas Meseraull (13), 21. Justin Grant (11), 22. Sam Johnson (14), 23. Cannon McIntosh (21), 24. Jason McDougal (19). NT
USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK CHAMPIONS: (2005-2021)
2005: Shane Cottle
2006: Shane Cottle
2007: Jerry Coons Jr.
2008: Tracy Hines
2009: Bryan Clauson
2010: Tracy Hines & Brad Kuhn
2011: Bryan Clauson
2012: Darren Hagen
2013: Christopher Bell
2014: Rico Abreu
2015: Rico Abreu
2016: Bryan Clauson
2017: Shane Golobic
2018: Spencer Bayston
2019: Logan Seavey
2020: Kyle Larson
2021: Buddy Kofoid
ALL-TIME USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK WINS: (2005-2022)
9-Bryan Clauson & Kyle Larson
5-Christopher Bell & Tanner Thorson
4-Rico Abreu & Buddy Kofoid
3-Spencer Bayston, Shane Cottle, Tyler Courtney, Darren Hagen, Brad Kuhn, Michael Pickens & Chris Windom
2-Jerry Coons Jr., Thomas Meseraull, Davey Ray, Logan Seavey, Brad Sweet
1-Brady Bacon, Chad Boat, Steve Buckwalter, Kyle Cummins, Dave Darland, Zach Daum, Corey Day, Jay Drake, Justin Grant, Tracy Hines, Levi Jones, Johnny Rodriguez, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Swindell & Kevin Thomas Jr.