Kunz team bringing five cars to Belleville Midget Nationals
Two weeks away from Aug. 4-5 event
By Bryan Gapinski
Belleville, Kan., July 21--- Keith Kunz Motorsports w/Curb-Agajanian has filed five entries for the 40th Annual Belleville Midget Nationals on Aug. 4-5 at the Belleville High Banks. The USAC Midget National Championship Series event is of one of midget racing's crown jewel events.
Kunz is looking for his sixth Belleville Midget Nationals Championship as a car owner, with previous wins by Page Jones (1993), Kevin Doty (1994), Kyle Larson (2011), Christopher Bell (2013), and Rico Abreu (2014).
Last years USAC National Midget Champion Tanner Thorson will lead the team, and be joined by drivers: Spencer Bayston, Holly Shelton, Ryan Robinson and Belleville "rookie" Tanner Carrick. All five drivers will drive Bullet by Spike chassis' powered by Toyota.
Thorson hopes to improve upon his best Belleville result, which came in his rookie season of 2013, when he placed third completing the teams sweep of the podium. Thorson currently has three midget feature victories nationwide this season, part of the teams eighteen total midget feature victories.
Bayston, currently leads the USAC National Midget points, and was last year's Belleville runner-up behind winner Chad Boat. Shelton, and Robinson return for their second attempt at the "High Banks". Last season Shelton finished seventh, one position ahead of Robinson. Carrick's rookie season has seen the Lincoln, CA driver make twenty-five starts nationwide, and is currently 13th in USAC points leading all rookie drivers.
Midget auto racings only two events on a half-mile dirt track or larger this season were last month at Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg Pa.). The two-day USAC Eastern Regional Midget race presented by ARDC was a great "big track" tune-up for Belleville. For his first-time on a half-mile, Carrick was impressive finishing second, and fifth in the two events. Bayston won the opening night feature.
"The Williams Grove races gave the drivers sometime on a half-mile, it was a chance for us to try a few things and get some more laps for them" commented Kunz.
Friday August 4 will feature practice, qualifications, preliminary races and a 25-lap feature for the midgets on the 1/2-mile high banked clay oval. The popular two-person cruiser stock car division will race on the track's infield quarter-mile track.
Saturday August 5 night will feature last chance races for midget participants to make the 40-lap feature, midget racing's most grueling event of the season. A check of $12,500 awaits the feature winner. The United Rebel Sprint Car Series again returns for the "5th annual 305 Sprint Nationals".
Belleville Midget Nationals fast approaching August 4-5
Boat looks for repeat victory
By Bryan Gapinski
Belleville, Kan., July 19---The 40th annual Belleville Midget Nationals on August 4-5 at the Belleville High Banks is fast approaching! The United States Auto Club (USAC), along with The Belleville High Banks Race Committee will again serve as the sanctioning organization.
The USAC Midget National Championship Series cars and drivers will again be the focal point of one of midget racing's crown jewel events. Action kicks off on Friday August 4 for the midgets with the always exciting qualifications around the 1/2-mile high banked clay oval, preliminary races and a 25-lap midget feature race. The popular two-person cruiser stock car division will race on the track's infield quarter-mile track.
Saturday night will feature last chance races for participants to make the 40-lap feature, midget racing's most grueling event of the season. A check of $12,500 awaits the winner. The United Rebel Sprint Car Series again returns for the "5th annual 305 Sprint Nationals".
Last year's winner Chad Boat will attempt to become only the fourth driver to win consecutive events hoping to join the short exclusive list which includes: Stan Fox (1979-80), Kasey Kahne (2000-01), and Bryan Clauson (2009-10).
Boat was nearly perfect every time the car ran the "High Banks" during the 2016 event. He backed up Saturday's victory by winning Friday's preliminary feature. Boat also won his heat race both nights, Saturday's pole dash, and missed fast time in qualifications by 0.005 seconds.
"Our performance in last year's event was because of our great preparation in the shop for the event, qualifications went great and it set the tone for the rest of the week" commented Boat in a recent interview.
"It's such a prestigious event and to be able to be the first father-son winners it's something both of us will remember for the rest of our lives" said Boat in reference to joining his father Billy the 1995 winner as event father-son champions.
Thorson Claims Opening Night of Inaugural Thunder in the Valley
Grain Valley, MO - Tanner Thorson of Minden, Nevada charged from a seventh place starting position, battling Andrew Felker and Zach Daum for the win, to claim his 15th career victory with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League in the opening night of the Inaugural Thunder in the Valley.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Feature Results (30 laps): 1. Tanner Thorson, 2. Zach Daum, 3. Andrew Felker, 4. Spencer Bayston, 5. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 6. Wesley Smith, 7. Ryan Robinson, 8. Andy Malpocker, 9. Jake Neuman, 10. Matt Moore, 11. Jodie Robinson, 12. Logan Seavey, 13. Tanner Carrick, 14. Holly Shelton, 15. Zane Hendricks, 16. Kory Schudy, 17. Joey Wirth, 18. Chad Winfrey, 19. Dustin Gilbert, 20. Grady Chandler, 21. JD Black, 22. Clinton Boyles, 23. Terry Babb, 24. Ace McCarthy, 25. Cannon Micintosh.
Seavey Captures Career-First for Final Night of Illinois SPEED Week
Lincoln, IL - Logan Seavey, the leading candidate for not only the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Rookie of the Year, but also a contender for the championship, captured his first career victory with the league at Lincoln Speedway in the fifth and final night of the 2017 POWRi Illinois SPEED Week. Starting in the 12th position, the Sutter, California native carefully crept his way towards the front, almost appearing out of nowhere to the top three a little past halfway. Trailing Michael Pickens, Tucker Klaasmeyer, and Brad Loyet after a late race caution, Seavey dispatched of Klaasmeyer after Loyet moved into second.
Moving past Loyet, Seavey set his sights on the Auckland, New Zealand driver for the lead. Coming within feet of the driver in lap traffic, Seavey picked the wrong line and faded a few car lengths. Making the ground back up and carrying momentum into the last lap, Seavey made his move entering turn three for the final lap. Diving towards the bottom of the racetrack, Seavey put his slide job into motion. Making contact atop turn four, the slide job resulted in Pickens upside down and the red flag displayed instead of the checkered.
When the field refired, Seavey led the way to the checkered for the final lap, followed to the line by Shane Golobic and Zach Daum. Tyler Thomas took fourth, while Tucker Klaasmeyer rounded out the top five. Even with a 16th place finish, Pickens matched Zach Daum for POWRi Illinois SPEED Week points after five rounds. The tiebreaker for the duo came down to wins and with Pickens holding two, he is crowned the 2017 POWRi Illinois SPEED Week champion for the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League. Full statistics and a press release will be available soon.
"I don't know what to say," stated Logan Seavey. "I wore out Michael Pickens. He probably should have won the race. Not a good move on my part. Sorry to him. He outran me in lap traffic. I thought I was a little better in open air, but he just got through lap traffic better. I got close enough and thought I could clear him, but wrecked him instead. I'm sorry about that."
Feature Results (30 laps):1. Logan Seavey, 2. Shane Golobic, 3. Zach Daum, 4. Tyler Thomas, 5. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 6. Brad Loyet, 7. Jimi Quin, 8. Zeb Wise, 9. Jake Neuman, 10. Andy Malpocker, 11. Aidan Roosevans, 12. Andrew Felker, 13. Ace Mccarthy, 14. Chance Morton, 15. Kade Morton, 16. Michael Pickens, 17. Shelby Bosie, 18. Robert Dalby, 19. Dalton Camfield, 20. Austin Odell, 21. Jake Blackhurst, 22. Austin Brown, 23. Cody Weisensel, 24. David Camfield Jr, 25. Devon Camfield.
Pickens Takes Night Four of POWRi Illinois SPEED Week
Macon, IL - Michael Pickens of Auckland, New Zealand proved his versatility by taking night four of POWRi Illinois SPEED Week at Macon Speedway. Pickens won the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Illinois SPEED Week Mesilla Valley Transportation opening feature event at the Dirt Oval at Route 66 on Wednesday, May 31st, a big, sweeping track. Tonight's victory on the tight, high-banked Macon Speedway extended his POWRi Illinois SPEED Week championship points lead.
By virtue of winning his Speedway Motors heat race after starting sixth, Pickens earned the pole position as high point getter of the night. Working the top side of the racing surface, Pickens found the fastest way around and worked the rubber to victory. Enduring multiple cautions and race slowdowns, Pickens had to fend off relentless pressure from Zach Daum. Zeb Wise, POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Rookie of the Year candidate, finished third after struggling to put a solid 30 laps together the previous two nights. Former POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League champion Brad Loyet took fourth, while Shane Golobic finished fifth.
"Huge thanks to my team," said Michael Pickens. "They gave me an awesome car and I wouldn't be here without them. I definitely wouldn't be here without my car owners and everyone that supported us and all the supporters back home and our major sponsors. Once it laid rubber, I didn't want to get off it. It's a matter of who finds the rubber first and we found it pretty quick and went hammer down."
"I just want to apologize to all the fans that had to watch that race there," Zach Daum stated. "I'm sure that wasn't a lot of fun. Rubber races aren't fun for anybody. Michael started up front there and I tried to pressure him to make him make a mistake there at the end and I've raced with Michael a long enough time to know that he isn't going to make a mistake and he's going to run you clean. We had a good race. We started seventh and ran second, so we'll go on to tomorrow."
"I can't thank everyone at Clauson-Marshall and the Driven 2 Save Lives organization, and everyone who supports me enough," commented Zeb Wise.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Feature (30 laps): 1. Michael Pickens 2. Zach Daum 3. Zeb Wise 4. Brad Loyet 5. Shane Golobic 6. Austin Brown 7. Tucker Klaasmeyer 8. Ace Mccarthy 9. Jimi Quin 10. Robert Dalby 11. Andy Malpocker 12. Chance Morton 13. Aidan Roosevans 14. Jake Blackhurst 15. Shelby Bosie 16. Travis Young 17. Colten Cottle 18. Brad Kraus 19. Tyler Thomas 20. Jake Neuman 21. Terry Babb 22. Andrew Felker 23. Logan Seavey.