After blowing a motor on the last lap in the previous night’s Feature Tanner Thorson found a motor to borrow at 4:30am and used it to claim the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget, Indiana Midget Week final at Kokomo. Kyle Larson taking the series win before even starting the Feature.
Leading into the night’s action it was evident that Larson was going to secure the Midget Week Title. While not mathematically clear Larson would almost have to forget to turn up in order to give the other drivers and teams a chance. As the 37 cars signed in to the quarter mile Kokomo Speedway Larson was 57 points ahead of Michael ‘Buddy’ Kofoid and 65 ahead of 3rd in points Chris Windom. Larson accumulating 77.6 points on average in each of the completed five rounds.
Larson set quick time I qualifying and inched closer to clinching. Daison Pursley, Tyler Courtney, Cannon McIntosh and Cole Bodine in the five fastest in qualifying.
Heat race winners were Thorson, Tanner Carrick, Windom and the ever entertaining Thomas ‘T-Mez’ Meseraull. Larson coming home 2nd in his heat and securing enough points for the series win. He was presented the trophy prior to the Semi-Main.
The 12 Lap Semi-Main was won by Bodine in the Clauson-Marshall Racing 39BC and chased over the line by fellow front row starter Pursley. With Shane Golobic, Andrew Layser and Former USAC National Midget Champion Spencer Bayston, filling in to injured Logan Seavey, all comfortably across the line and into the Feature.
A fierce fight for the 6th and final transfer spot took place between Landon Simon, Jake Neuman, Robert Dalby and Brady Bacon. Neuman beating Simon over the line by half a car length to gain the final transfer position for the Feature.
McIntosh failed to make it to the pre-race staging area in time and was penalised two rows relegating him from 4th to 8th for the start of the Feature.
Rico Abreu sat on pole for the 30-Lap series closer with Windom alongside. Clinton Boyles, Courtney in row two and Larson and Tanner Carrick in row three. Thorson in inside of row 4 in 7th.
As the green flag flew Abreu went low in turn one and drifted up high in turn two opening up a lane down low for Boyles who had the lead briefly until Courtney dug on the low line in turns 3 & 4. Courtney crossing the line to be the 3rd leader of the race on lap one. The 24 cars spread from pole to wall with wide use of the race track.
Windom and Boyles attempted to occupy the same piece of turn one cushion, slowing the pair and allowing Meseraull look to their inside with Larson and Abreu in tow. Windom recovered better, faster and created breathing room with Boyles now left to deal with Meseraull and Larson who worked their way by over the course of several laps.
Larson and Meseraull fought hard for 3rd. Too close to declare the most worthy occupant. Courtney extended his lead to over a second and a half on Windom until Lap 12 Jason McDougal slowed to a stop with a flat right rear and went to the work area.
Courtney restarted and covered the low line into turn one. His car catching a nasty hop and flipping short but hard out of the lead and the race. The Indianapolis native climbing out straight away. During the incident 3rd running Meseraull stopped and was made to start at the rear of the field after going to the work area.
Windom inherited the restart lead with Larson 2nd and Thorson 4th behind Boyles but only for half a lap. Windom pulling away from Larson who had gapped Thorson in 3rd.
With 5 to go Thorson passed Larson and looked toward Windom just under a second ahead until an infield tyre was clipped by a car and set rolling down the track causing a stoppage with 3 laps remaining.
Windom was point man on the restart again and went low. Thorson went lower and grabbed the lead all the while Larson had committed to the top building momentum.
Larson and Windom side by side for second under the white flag two car lengths off Thorson’s bumper. Thorson sticking low and Larson high it was Thorson winning by 0.065 seconds ahead Larson with Windom a further 0.369 seconds for 3rd. Boyles, Kyle Cummins top five. Abreu, Golobic, Jerry Coons Jnr., Meseraull and Kofoid from 22nd rounding out the top ten.
“About damn time.” Said Thorson of his win at Kokomo and over Larson.
“I got to thank Dave McIntosh. He loaned me a motor at about 4:30am in the morning, to be able to get out here and race.”
Final USAC Indiana Midget Week Points:
1 Kyle Larson 468
2 Chris Windom 395
3 Buddy Kofoid 379
4 Tanner Thorson 370
5 Tyler Courtney 318
6 Tanner Carrick 305
7 Justin Grant 302
8 Cannon McIntosh 299
9 Thomas Meseraull 275
10 Shane Golobic 260.
Max Guilford started his heat race from last and managed to pass into 5th though unable to secure the position amongst the more experienced field. In the Semi-Main the young Auckland Midget driver unable to make to the top three who transferred to the Feature won by Windom. Guilford has more than a dozen meeting remaining in his U.S campaign.
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