Tyler Courtney took a while to get up to speed at Caney Valley Speedway, but when he did it was Feature winning form again in the Midwest Midget Championship.
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series drew a 29-Car field to the first ever time at the 255-mile Caney, Kansas dirt oval with Cannon McIntosh setting the fastest qualifying time for consecutive nights.
The field performed three heat 10-Lap races with wins going to McIntosh, Chris Windom and Daison Pursley.
The 12-Lap Semi-Main was won by Tyler Thomas in a backup car after blowing a motor the previous night. Ethan Mitchell, Cole Bodine, Robert Dalby, Trey Gropp, Chase Morton and Noah Gass all finishing in the top seven and transferring to the Feature.
As the field gridded up for the 30-Lap feature Kaylee Bryson, Tanner Thorson were on the front row with Courtney, Michael ‘Buddy’ Kofoid, National points leader Chris Windom and McIntosh behind. Pursley and Mitchell starting in row four.
At the start Mitchell ended up parked over the banking, forcing a restart. Thorson and Bryson duelled for the lead with Thorson ascending to hold the position and a small advantage as Windom then Kofoid got around Bryson.
Most cars using the grip down low exiting turn two onto the back straight to make passes and staying on the cushion in turns three and four. The race was halted on Lap-12 when Andrew Layser came to a stop.
With the field bunched together on the restart Kofoid got to the inside of Windom in turn two and accelerated into second place. Windom also losing a spot top Bryson with McIntosh and Courtney in tow.
Thorson once again began to open up a comfortable gap back to Kofoid when several cautions slowed the race. Upon resumption Courtney got by series point leader Windom and started working over the Californian teenager Kofoid.
Courtney slid Kofoid in turns 3 and 4 to hold position as yet another caution banked the spot placing Courtney directly on Thomson’s bumper. Courtney’s next slider was clean however entering the straight the pair banged wheels for the lead. Courtney then finding that ever present grip low onto the back straight, surging ahead only to have the position reversed as the caution lights flashed.
Thorson lead the field to the restart with 4-Laps to go but could not hold off the slide job in turns 3 and 4 giving Courtney a clear run to the turn two grip. As he held his car low and slow into turn one Thorson had too much momentum and tagged Courtney’s bumper, stalling Thorson with Kofoid, Carrick and McIntosh all stopping in the incident.
With 3-Laps remaining Clauson-Marshall team driver Courtney was able to win over Windom and Bryson in her first USAC National Midget podium. Jerry Coons Jnr. and Carrick in the top five. Lincoln Nebraska teenager Gropp charging from 22nd to 6th.
“He probably wasn’t expecting me to slow down that much, getting into [turn] one there. I would assume that’s what happened in that melee” Said Courtney after feeling the bump from Thorson and seeing the resulting parked cars the following lap under caution.
This was Courtney’s 16th USAC National Midget Series win and his third of the season.
The final round of the Midwest Midget Championship is at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Oklahoma. Tuesday, 21st July.
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