Former USAC National Midget Champ Tanner Thorson was back in victory lane in his Reinbold-Underwood Motorsport ride after learning from others mistakes while NZ Midget Champ Hayden Williams with top ten finish.
A hearty 35-Car field signed into the Beloit, Kansas quarter mile with Californian veteran Thomas ‘T-Mez’ Meseraull fastest qualifier in a time of 12.223 seconds. The 16 fastest cars all timing within 0.2 of a second. Williams timed 17th Fastest with his BSL Racing team mate Travis Buckley 28th.
The top 4 drivers from each heat race transferred directly to the Feature, avoiding the Semi-Feature. Justin Grant, Emerson Axsom, Ethan Mitchell, and Lubbock, Texas racer Brenham Crouch all 10-Lap heat race winners with Williams 3rd in heat 1 earning him an 18th starting spot in the 30-Lap Chad McDaniel Memorial Feature.
In the Semi-Feature quick time Meseraull, after coming up 1 spot short in his heat, could not avoid a spinning lapped car in the last corner of the 12-Lap race while comfortably in 2nd, forcing him to take a provisional 23rd and last starting position in the Feature. Buckley Starting 12th and finishing 11th. The top 6 to advance were Tuesday night’s winner Daison Pursley, Ryan Timms, Current series champ Chris Windom, Chase Randall, Shannon McQueen and Kyle Jones.
USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series point’s leader Buddy Kofoid was on the inside front row with Bryant Wiedeman alongside. Kaylee Bryson, Cannon McIntosh, Thorson, and Axsom starting top six.
As the race got underway Kofoid assumed point and had it to himself for the opening laps as McIntosh worked his way into second then passed Kofoid but not without a fight. Kofoid slid back in front only to have the race slowed for an animated and gesticulating Meseraull who had unbuckled to get his point across before his broken car being towed off the track.
When the race restarted Kofoid led away with McIntosh making only minor mistakes on the cushion costing him 2nd to Axsom. Thorson in his Spike-Stanton MOPAR SR-11x and Kevin Thomas Jnr. getting by. McIntosh once more over the cushion and was suddenly 6th.
At the half way point Kofoid was a second ahead of Axsom when Bryson came to a stop in turn 3 after contact with McIntosh. With Bryson restarting at the rear McIntosh claimed 5th then slid in front of Thomas Jnr., leaving him no room and stalling his engine.
Kofoid led the single file lap 16 restart but was soon passed by Axsom, Thorson and McIntosh. A lap later McIntosh found himself flying through the night sky completely over the turn 2 cushion on lap 22, coming to rest on all for wheels. By this stage Williams had worked his way up to 13th as the field used all lanes of the track with the top seeming to be faster.
When the race resumed Axsom looked to have the pace to hold off Thorson but nobody told Thorson, who threw a Hail-Mary slide job in turn 3 that stuck, giving him position across the line with 4 laps remaining.
On the penultimate lap a 14th place running Bryson flipped end over end on the front straight and climbed out unhurt under red flag conditions to find fellow driver Randall and share her views on the cause of her flip.
Minden, Nevada’s Thorson going on to win ahead of Axsom, Grant from grid 9 to 3rd, Kofoid retaining the series points lead over Windom in 4th and Wiedeman fifth. Windom 6th from 13th position, hard charger Logan Seavey passing 10 cars in his NZ built King Chassis, Zach Daum, Timms and Williams rounding out the top ten.
“I [had] seen Buddy start messing up there on the top and then Emerson was kind of messing up there”. When Thorson was asked about his clean final restarts.
“The top just got super treacherous and I kind of set my car to be able to run the bottom-middle and slide myself.”
As Axsom was interviewed Thorson interrupted his podium Photo session to argue the race with a person who approached the driver on a night that had a little bit of everything.
The final two nights of Mid America Midget Week are at Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska Friday and Saturday 16th and 17th July.
For live and on demand footage visit https://www.floracing.com/