Canton Illinios’ Chris Windom won from grid six in a caution filled stop start race with plenty of contact in the closing laps. The final outcome having possible championship implications.
Midwest Midget Championship is 4 consecutive nights of USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series action. With the opening two nights at Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska followed by Caney Valley Speedway, Caney, Kansas; concluding at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Oklahoma.
With approximately 30% of the series completed Chris Windom held a 64 point lead over Michael ‘Buddy’ Kofoid and 71 ahead of defending National Champion Tyler Courtney. 2016 Champion Tanner Thorson only 3 points behind the lead trio and Tanner Carrick in 5th.
The 29 cars on hand contested the Chad McDaniel Night, honouring the veteran midget racer who passed away in 2009. Thorson was quick time. The Nevada native lapping the 1/5 mile circuit in 10.772 seconds on his last attempt.
The top five finishers from the three heat races advanced to the A-main. The heavy track making up in speed what it lacked in passing. The 10-Lap heat race winners were Courtney, Kofoid & Tyler Thomas.
The 12 Lap Semi-Feature was won by Sam Johnson over Emilio Hoover and Carson Garrett. Kaylee Bryson, Chris Sheil, Zac Taylor and Tonni Rossi rounding out the top seven. All transferring through to the 30-Lap Feature.
Mitchell paced the field beside Dalby to his outside. Triple Crown Champion Jerry Coons Jnr. and Canon McIntosh in row two with Windom and Thorson in row three.
As the race got under way Dalby assumed the lead briefly before Mitchell over took. On lap two Coons Jnr. And Windom checked up leaving Courtney nowhere to go. His Clauson-Marshall Racing #7BC riding a wheel but remaining on all four with damage to the left front. Courtney went to the work area to make repairs but was unable to return to the track in time for the restart. Losing valuable championship series points.
A yellow came out on Lap-4 with Coons Jnr. coming to a stop on the infield and forced to start from the rear.
McIntoch and Thorson then took to the lead over Mitchell. Kofoid moved into the top 4 from an 8th starting spot. However the red flag came out for a multi-car incident on Lap-7 that left Dably with a destroyed front end and a restart needed for Carrick and Bryson.
At the restart McIntosh again led with series point leader Windom sliding past Thorson for 2nd and wheeling down the straight away to solidify the spot with Kofoid now 4th ahead of pole sitter Mitchell.
Several cautions broke up the frantic front of field action the USAC National Midget class is so well known for. Windom, McIntosh, Thorson and Kofoid all changing positions for several action-filled laps, only for the boil to be turned down to a simmer under yellow lights.
While still strapped aboard their respective mounts, parked side by side within site and earshot of each other under red flag conditions were Thorson and Kofoid. At one point the two gesticulating and jawing at each other in dispute of the preceding laps altercations.
The top of the track looked to be faster with most cars circulating the rim as the race passed the half way mark. Kofoid broke free of his battle with Thorson and set after Windom. Kofoid reeling in the leader as Thorson stalled his car slowing the race yet again with only a few laps remaining.
Windom controlled the start but Kofoid had a good start too. With two laps to go Kofoid sent it down the inside in a classic slide job. Windom was forced to lift but still made contact with the rear of Kofoid, sending above the cushion and the two were side by side down the back straight.
Windom entered turns 3 and 4 ahead in his Tucker-Boat Racing #89. Kofoid’s Keith Kunz car rubbed the rear of Windom under the white flag as Windom dove to cover the low line and Kofoid looked to rail the top. As the two met at the exit of turn two Windom was less than a car length ahead on the outside. He turned his car down to take away the Californian’s line. The pair once again making racing contact. Windom going on to win.
Kofoid had to settle for 2nd with Pursley in a mature drive from 12 to 3rd. Thomas, McIntosh, Mitchell, Andrew Layser, Emerson Axsom, Johnson and Conns Jnr. finishing in the top ten.
“He ran me hard there and I ran him hard back. I thought that was a really good race [for the win] for the fans that last lap.” Said a pleased Windom.
Windom and Kofoid’s series points accumulation benefiting from Courtney (22nd), Thorson (12th) and Carrick (11th) all having less than stellar results.
The next round of the Midwest Midget Championship at Jefferson County Speedway is tomorrow, 18th July.
For live coverage and on demand footage of the entire USAC National Series visit https://www.floracing.com/