New Zealand BSL Racing team are still looking for better results while Sixteen year old Daison Pursley wins his first USAC National Midget race in the Mid America Midget Week Series opener at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Oklahoma. Current NASCAR Cup Champion Chase Elliott also lacklustre in the single seater.
In qualifying Bryant Wiedeman of Colby, Kansas topped the charts only 0.016 of a second faster than his Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate and Locust Grove, Oklahoman Pursley. BSL Racing drivers Hayden Williams and Travis Buckley timed 20th and 31st respectively in their first look at the semi-banked quarter mile.
Elliott was down for some dirt racing in the #9 Paul May Motorsport Midget however did not qualify after their hot lap session seemed to go well. The team possibly missing the call to qualify. This put him off gird 9 and last in his heat. Unable to make the top 4 in that race and ultimately destined for the semi-Feature.
The 38-car field were divided into 4 heat races won by Ethan Mitchell, Brenham Crouch, former 2NZ Zach Daum and Cannon McIntosh. The format allowing the top 4 in each heat a direct transfer into the nights Feature. Pursley finishing 4th I heat two. The track was conducive to passing with plenty of back and forth resulting in many notable drivers failing to transfer from their heat directly to the Feature race, thus loading the 12-Lap last chance qualifier with talent.
With only the top 6 finishers of the Semi-Feature making their way to the main race the all-or-nothing affair was won by Chase Randall from pole. Logan Seavey in the NZ built King Chassis, Justin Grant, defending USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series Champion Chris Windom, Williams and Tyler Thomas from 12th to claim the final spot.
Williams started 7th and ran both around the bottom and top when required to move his way past several cars to put the Bullet Esslinger into the show. Kiwi teenager Buckley home in 15th and Elliott 17th among those done for the night. Regular front runner Jason McDougal coming up one spot shy in 7th position in the potent Klatt Enterprises Beast.
Oklahoma drivers Jonathan Beason and Kaylee Bryson were on the front row of the 30-Lap Feature with Kevin Thomas Jnr., Emerson Axsom, Pursley and Wiedeman in rows two and three. Williams starting from 19th.
As the field entered the first turn under green Wiedeman bicycled up on the cushion and rolled his car several times ending his night on the hook and bringing out the red flag. When the race resumed Bryson ripped the lip and assumed the lead with Beason working the low line around the infield tractor tyres.
As Bryson stuck to the top Beason moved up to follow which gave a third running Thomas Jnr. a clear lane low to work his way by Beason and into second. With 10 laps in the books Thomas Jnr. caught and passed Bryson for the lead but Bryson rallied back to draw even on occasion but got above the cushion one too many times giving Thomas Jnr. room and time.
As the race hit the halfway mark Pursley was 3rd with Beason in 4th with Daum 5th and gaining speed in the Honda powered Bundy Built #9m. The experienced Daum was glued to the bottom and quickly into 3rd. Once again Bryson fought back and took 2nd from Daum then relinquished the position in traffic, eventually collecting a lapped car and bringing out the caution with 10 laps remaining.
Upon resumption Pursley went around Daum into second and looked to challenge Thomas Jnr. who ran low. Eventually Thomas Jnr. could see the side and then the rear of Pursley’s car circulating high on the track. On the final lap Grant from grid 14 to 2nd and Daum to 3rd to both edged past Thomas jnr. to claim podium spots. Windom was 5th from 13th behind Thomas Jnr. with Kofoid, Jerry Coons Jr. from 18th to 7th, Beason, Seavey and Randall finishing in the top 10. Williams home in 17th.
“I knew Zach Daum wasn’t going to get off the bottom and KTJ was running it all race long down there so I knew it would be pretty hard for him to jump up there and try something new like that.
“You know, when you’re running in third place you have to go where ever they want to go to win these races” Said Pursley of his first National Midget win.
The 5 night series was reduced to 4 after yesterday’s Sweet Springs Motorsport round was lost due to rain. Round 2 races tomorrow at Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Kansas.
For live and on demand footage visit https://www.floracing.com/