Tanner Thorson makes it two in a row, winning at Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska for night 3 of Mid America Midget Week and night 1 of the 2 night Midwest Midget Championship $10,000 to win event in the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series. The Kiwi’s woes continue.
A stout 36-Car field was on hand at the banked fifth of a mile clay track with current track record holder Logan Seavey setting quick time, his New Zealand built and designed King Chassis with Ed Pink Toyota power delivering the goods, the only such chassis competing. Tuesday’s winner Daison Pursley clipped the front straight wall in hot laps and flipped his car multiple times only to climb out, refocus and clock the 2nd quickest time in time trials.
New Zealand Midget Champion Hayden Williams, off the back of his 1st top 10 USAC finish was fastest in his hot lap group but slowed suddenly on the final lap. The BSL Racing driver failed to appear for qualifying as the team changed the rear end and was forced to start last in their heat race. Auckland teenage team mate Travis Buckley qualifying 26th.
The 10-Lap heat races were won by Tyler Thomas, Jerry Coons Jr., Kyle Jones and Justin Grant who all had front row starts. With rear starting grits and limited passing on the fast paced track Williams and Buckley were unable to make the top 4 in their heats, forcing the pair to enter the Semi-Feature, last chance 12-Lapper.
With the top 16 from heats locked automatically to the main race the Semi-Feature would allow the top 6 finishers into start from the rear of the 30-Lap Feature. The Kiwi’s starting deep in the field with Williams 20th and Buckley 10th, Williams passing 8 cars in the opening 7 laps but both pulling off before the end of the race. Williams with a broken bolt in his brake assembly.
Pursley winning the Semi-Main after finishing 5th in his heat. Seavey, Jason McDougal, Trey Gropp, Chase Randall and Sam Johnson joining the rear of the Feature.
Last night’s winner Tanner Thorson was on pole for the Feature with Kevin Thomas Jnr. in the Petry Motorsports Spike-Speedway Toyota to his outside. Ethan Mitchell, Chris Windom, Emerson Axsom, Buddy Kofoid, Jones, Grant, Thomas and Coons Jr. occupying the first 10 grids.
Both front row starters got away well with Thorson edging ahead only to be slowed as the yellow flags came out for a multi-car incident, McDougal one of the cars involved using every second of his 2 minute allowance in the work area. His crew fixing his car just in time.
Another stoppage to the race as the accordion effect bottled up several cars at the moment the green flag waved.
Thorson once again led the field to the green and held the lead and was joined by Thomas Jnr. and Windom in a 3-Car breakaway. Most cars preferring the bottom of the track with a 7th place Seavey an exception exploring the mid-to-high line forging a path into 4th around Mitchell, Grant and Axsom.
The lead trio hit lap traffic and as the prolonged green flag run continued and the cars being lapped increased in pace with Thorson taking time to clear an 18th running Thomas who had restarted from the rear in a previous indent. Once cleared 2nd running Thomas Jnr. and 3rd place Windom did not have enough laps to catch Thorson who went on to claim his second win in as many nights. After several cautions at the start the race going green-to-chequered for the final 28 laps. Axsom and Grant passing Seavey back in the final stages to claim top 5 finishes. Mitchell in 7th behind Seavey with Gropp, Thomas Meseraull and Cannon McIntosh in the top ten.
“They were kind of holding me up there for a minute. I was getting kind of nervous. I saw KT poke his nose a couple of times. I just kind of had to hold my composure and keep it going” Said Thorson of the lapped traffic, jubilant in the winner’s circle.
Coming into this event Kofoid held a 60 point National Series lead over Windom but Kofoid’s 14th place finish saw that lead knocked back to 34 points with Windom’s strong 3rd place finish.
Mid America Midget Week concludes on night 2 of the Midwest Midget Championship at Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska on Saturday 17th July.
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