Defending Midget Series Champion Tyler Courtney got his groove back and ‘parked it’ in victory lane at Action Track USA in Kutztown, Pennsylvania in a dominant performance.
Eastern Midget week is a swing through the region the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series have built up and expanded over the last decade. The five round affair was shortened to four with the opening round at Grandview rained out the night before.
The tight banked quarter mile was best circled by Tanner Thorson in a time of 11.146 seconds in the Hayward Motorsports Spike – SR11 MOPAR during qualifyng.
The 25-Cars on hand were split into three 10-Lap heat races with wins going to East Coast stand out Alex Bright, Teenager Emerson Axsom and NASCAR Cup series regular Christopher Bell in one of four Tucker-Boat Motorsports. The top 5 in each heat transferring to the Feature and the rest reconciled to run the 12-Lap Semi-Main.
The Semi-Main took the top seven finishers to make up the 24-Car field for the Feature and was won by Daison Pursley with Kevin Thomas Jnr. Indy Car pit reporter Dillon Welch, Cole Bodine, Jeff Champagne, Kevin Woody Jnr. and Eric Heydenreich also transferring. Missing out on a transfer was Christchurch born Glenn Waterland in his older Beast-Gaerte.
The 30-Lap Feature race lined up with 2019 Western States USAC Midget Champion Robert Dalby on pole position with 2019 USAC National Midget Champion Tyler Courtney in the 7BC car to his outside. Justin Grant, Michael ‘Buddy’ Kofoid, Chase Johnson, Thorson, Bell, Bright, Axsom and Cole Bodine starting in the top 10.
Courtney used the high side to take the lead at the start on the short but wide track. It’s tight turns forcing cars to slow enough to bring them into range for a slide job. Behind Courtney wheels banged and lifted off the ground as cars searched for grip and fought for track position.
Dalby, Kofoid, Grant and Bell all staked a claim for second in the opening laps. The 4-way high speed chess match for track position entertaining until Woody Jnr. spun in front of Courtney who narrowly avoided the collision as the yellow flags waved.
As the race resumed Courtney led Kofoid, Thorson, bell then Dalby who settled into position.
Series Point leader Chris Windom, Thomas Jnr, Welch all came to a stop in turns two on lap thirteen. Windom restarting only to reveal a broken xxx with suspension parts flying from the car forcing him to the work area where he received the mandated 2 minutes to attempt a fix. The team scrambling a fix and pushing his car out in time for him to join the rear of the field. Thomas Jnr. retired and Welch also restarted at the back.
Courtney cleared out again and Thorson, Bell and Kofoid once again fought for second place. This put Grant in the mix. With 8 laps to go Grant got to Kofoid bumper for 4th resulting in a half-spin for Kofoid across the infield and back to 8th place.
The green lights remained on and Courtney cruised home 3.385 seconds ahead of Thorson and Bell. Grant and Cannon McIntosh finishing in the top five. Johnson, Kofoid, Tanner Carrick, Dalby and Pursley rounding out the top ten. Windom clawing is way back to 13th to salvage some Series points.
“We got one lap in qualifying. We had a coil take a crap in the second lap. Luckily it was good enough to put us there [on the front row] in the invert. That’s key in the format USAC runs.” Noted Courtney in victory lane.
The next round of the Eastern Midget Week is Thursday 6th August at Bridgeport Speedway in Swedesboro, New Jersey.
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