2024 Season Opener in Du Quoin Features Midget Veterans, Micro Sprint Talents

Xtreme Outlaw Midgets Jacy Norgaard Photo

CONCORD, NC (March 12, 2023) – The Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota begins its second full-length national Midget schedule this weekend with the season opening events inside the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, IL.

For the second-straight year, the Series opens competition with back-to-back nights of racing on the temporary 1/6-mile oval constructed on the concrete floor of the Center, located on the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds. Both Friday and Saturday programs will be conducted nearly identically, with Group Qualifying and Heat Races (both with passing points), Last Chance Showdowns and a Feature. Friday’s 30-lap Feature is $4,000-to-win, while Saturday’s 40-lap Feature will pay $5,000 to the winner.

The 2024 championship chase also features an upgrade in points fund money, now awarding $30,000 to the Series champion at season’s end, $15,000 to the runner-up and $10,000 to third-place, while the rest of the top-10 in points will collect a check for their season-long efforts as well.

Tickets for this weekend’s events in Du Quoin will be available at the door on race day – $25 for General Admission; kids 12-and-under are free. Friday Hot Laps set for 5pm; Saturday Hot Laps at 4:30pm. If you can’t be there in person, DIRTVision has live coverage throughout the weekend and at all 30 Series events in 2024.

Here are the drivers to watch and storylines to follow this weekend:

THE CHAMP IS HERE – Jade Avedisian returns to Xtreme Outlaw Series competition for the first time since October when she clinched the 2023 Series championship, piloting the Mobil 1, LynK/Toyota No. 71 for the start of her second season with Keith Kunz Motorsports.

While she’ll be fulfilling commitments to the GR Cup schedule with Toyota Racing this year, the 17-year-old from Clovis, CA, is slated to compete in approximately 25 of the 30 Series events. The first two of which comes in Du Quoin, where she was victorious on Saturday night of the Xtreme season opener last year – a race that featured a wild ending with veteran racer Thomas Meseraull.

Since wrapping up her first national championship five months ago, Avedisian has signed on as an official athlete of the Toyota Driver Development program, tested in multiple different car classes – including Legend Cars and her GR Cup car on ice – and most recently took home a silver medal in the 82nd Australian Speedcar Championship at Perth Motorplex in Perth, Western Australia, piloting a Midget for California-based Dyson Motorsports alongside teammate Justin Grant.

MICRO SPRINT MADNESS – Micro Sprint talents from across the country have been filling Midget seats over the past several years, and the Xtreme Outlaw Series is taking on several new faces from its national and regional ranks.

Mounce/Stout Motorsports (MSM) will house four Micro Sprint racers, all of whom are rookies on the national Midget scene this year. The Tulsa, OK-based team housed only Chase McDermand as a full-time racer in 2023 but expands in 2024 with the addition of multi-time California Micro champion TJ Smith, Oklahomans Tyler Edwards and Jayden Clay, and the newest member from Glendale, AZ, Austin Torgerson.

Outside of MSM, Oklahoma Micro racer Peter Smith has joined Trifecta Motorsports as a teammate to 2022 Series champion Zach Daum for the season. Two-time Millbridge Speedway Micro Sprint champion Trevor Cline will take his family-owned operation on the road this year, as well as 14-year-old Arizonan Elijah Gile.

PACKED HOUSE – In addition to Avedisian, the Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) stable will feature six additional teammates for a total of seven cars on the team for this weekend’s events. Keith, along with longtime team co-owner Pete Willoughby, led the team to the Xtreme Outlaw Series championship last year and will return with four drivers scheduled to compete in all 30 races in 2024 – Ryan Timms, Gavin Miller, Ashton Torgerson and Luke Drotschie.

• Ryan Timms, of Oklahoma City, OK, begins his march toward an Xtreme Outlaw Series championship this weekend in his second full season with KKM. The 17-year-old racer broke through for his first career Series win last year at Port City Raceway but has not been to Victory Lane in Du Quoin, posting a best finish of seventh at the Junior Knepper 55 event with POWRi in December.

• Gavin Miller, of Allentown, PA, begins his sophomore season on the national Midget circuit, returning to the seat of the Eibach Springs, LynK/Toyota No. 97 following a full-time run last year that ended with a third-place finish in the final points standings and two Feature wins. The 17-year-old finished eighth and ninth in the Du Quoin races one year ago.

• Ashton Torgerson, of Glendale, AZ, is newest addition to the KKM squad, announcing last Thursday he’s signed with the team to contest the entire Xtreme schedule this year. It’s a quick switch for the 17-year-old, who in January confirmed that he’d agreed to join Mounce/Stout Motorsports camp. His older brother, Austin Torgerson, has since filled that spot at MSM, and will take his wealth of Micro Sprint experience out on the road competing against his brother in their rookie national Midget campaigns.

• Luke Drotschie, of Cape Town, WC, South Africa, makes his KKM debut and first career Midget start in the U.S. this weekend. The 20-year-old made scattered Micro Sprint starts in the States last year and brings indoor racing experience from the 2023 Tulsa Shootout with him as he begins his rookie campaign on the national Midget circuit.

• Taylor Reimer, of Tulsa, OK, will make only scattered starts for KKM this year – piloting her signature pink, BuzzBallz-sponsored LynK/Toyota No. 25K – as she begins a full-time transition to the asphalt world. The 24-year-old placed 17th and ninth in Du Quoin last year en route to a sixth-place finish in the 2023 points standings.

• Cannon McIntosh, of Bixby, OK, has rejoined the 17-time national Midget championship-winning team and will race under the KKM banner at the national level for the first time since 2020 (excluding the 2021 Chili Bowl Nationals) this weekend. Last year, the 21-year-old racer went to Victory Lane in the season opener in Du Quoin – his second career Feature win in the Center, four years after his first with USAC in the 2019 Shamrock Classic.

BACK FOR MORE – Three Xtreme Outlaw Series championship chasers from last year have returned to the full-time roster in 2024, each sporting their familiar colors for the opening race of the new season.

Inaugural Series champion Zach Daum is back behind the wheel of the Trifecta Motorsports No. 7U for his second season with the team after a runner-up finish in the points standings last year. The 32-year-old from Pocahontas, IL, has made several Midget starts at the Center in his career but has yet to reach Victory Lane. He ran fifth in the opening night of action at the Center one year ago.

Fellow Illinoisan Chase McDermand is slated to pilot his own McDermand Plumbing, Spike/Stanton No. 40 for the start of the season – a change from his original plans to contest the Series with Dave Mac-Dalby Motorsports. He missed the Feature on opening night last year but bounced back on Saturday, driving from 12th on the starting grid up to a second-place finish.

Twenty-year-old Hayden Reinbold saddles up with the Series for the second-straight year, following his first career national Midget Feature win in the season finale last October. The Arizona racer drove the Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports No. 19AZ to finishes of 12th and 14th in the Center one year ago.

LOCAL FLAVOR – Brayton Lynch, of Springfield, IL, is set to return to Du Quoin for his first Midget start in the Center since 2021. Armed with the knowledge of his grandfather – famed crew chief Rusty Kunz – Lynch aims to better his best career finish in the building of 10th, garnered in a 2021 USAC regional event.