Series News Release - USAC Media
Merced, California (November 22, 2023) - As if Logan Seavey’s USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season couldn’t get any better, the newly-crowned 2023 series titlist added another victory to his credit for good measure on night two of Midget Madness on Wednesday at California’s Merced Speedway.
One night after clinching his second career USAC National Midget championship, Seavey tracked down Jake Andreotti for the race lead seven laps into the 30-lapper and cruised to his series-leading eighth feature win of the year aboard his Abacus Racing/Honest Abe Roofing - Indy Custom Stone - Laura Kopetsky Tri-Ax/Spike/Stanton SR-11x.
Seavey’s 16th career USAC National Midget triumph moved him up to 43rd on the all-time list alongside Rico Abreu, George Amick, Billy Cantrell, Justin Grant, Lee Kunzman, Bobby Olivero and Henry Pens.
And as it turns out, Seavey not only had excellence on his side on this evening, but he also possessed good fortune. Late in the going, Seavey’s mount was suffering, and ultimately lost power mere moments after crossing under the checkered flag.
There was no time for a victory lap as Seavey won and promptly guided his car to the infield, coasting into victory lane. In the end, he had all the power he needed to get to the finish line and that’s all he really needed when all was said and done.
“Right before that yellow, I think I dropped a valve or cylinder or something,” Seavey revealed. “I wasn’t even sure if it was going to take off on the restart. Lucky these Stanton SR-11s make plenty of power, and even though I was down a little bit, I was still able to win.”
When the bell tolled, Seavey had tallied his 21st consecutive top-10 feature result in USAC National Midget competition, which is the most any driver has achieved since Kasey Kahne put together a 21-race string during his championship season of 2000.
Seavey lined up outside the front row alongside pole sitter Jake Andreotti who, on this very night exactly one year ago at Merced, led the first two laps of his USAC National Midget career. Once again, the early stages at Merced belonged to Andreotti who paced the field for the initial six circuits as Seavey gave chase.
The most major incident of the night occurred on lap four when fifth running Jesse Love slipped over the turn four cushion and pounded the outside wall during a battle for position with Ryan Timms. The contact sent Love, the 2023 ARCA Menards Stock Car champion, flipping down the front straightaway before coming to a rest. Love was able to climb out and walk away, but his car went away on the hook.
On the ensuing restart, Seavey went to work on Andreotti for the race lead, using the low side of the high banked 1/4-mile dirt oval to glide past Andreotti through turns three and four on the seventh lap before pulling up and pulling away from the rest of the field where no one was going to catch him.
“I just wasn’t really sure where I needed to be early,” Seavey admitted. “When I ran the sprint car race (earlier in the night), the bottom was really good, but midgets are a little bit harder to get around the bottom. Jake got off to a really good start and set a good pace. I was struggling with my car early and couldn’t get the thing adjusted like I wanted to and where I thought the car needed to be. It just took a few laps after that restart, and I burned what was left of the bottom down there and was able to get by him, then get up. Once my tires got hot, the car came right to me. I had all the grip I needed there.”
Andreotti continued to challenge Seavey as 10th starting Justin Grant swiped third from Buddy Kofoid on lap 10 while utilizing the low side of the surface. In that same timeframe, Seavey opened up his lead to a half-straight by the time the race hit the halfway point.
As has been the case on occasion this season, while Seavey was experiencing a comfortable drive up front, chaos was ensuing behind him as seemingly half the field threw haymaker after haymaker and shot after shot amid the jockeying from second through eighth in the running order during the final stanza of the affair.
Three-wide racing ensued as every position from second on back became up for grabs with the running order changing repeatedly within the blink of an eye. Grant, who had fallen to fourth, quickly picked off Kofoid for third again, then Andreotti for second on successive laps on the 25th and 26th trips around Merced.
Amidst the tornado of activity, no less than seven drivers: Andreotti, Grant, Kofoid, Jade Avedisian, Carson Macedo, Spencer Bayston and Ryan Timms saw themselves move forward and/or get shuffled back at one point or another during the final six laps.
But the merry-go-round of thrills was halted on lap 28 when 10th running Tanner Thorson stopped on the back straightaway to bring out the last caution, negating Seavey’s commanding 1.601 second lead and setting up a three-lap shootout to the race’s closure.
Kofoid was the boldest mover on the restart as he dove from fifth to third past Timms and Andreotti in turn three on lap 28, while up front, Seavey was leading the path relatively by his lonesome to reign victorious by a 0.797 second margin over Grant, Kofoid, Timms and Macedo who rounded out the top-five in a wild scramble for position that was good to the last drop, Maxwell House style.
It was a solid bounce back night for Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) who started the evening as the 23rd fastest qualifier out of 31 cars. He turned it around by winning his heat race, then charged up through the field from 10th to second in his RMS Racing/NOS Energy Drink – EnviroFab – Response Management Services/Spike/Speedway Toyota. Grant has now finished five of his last seven series starts inside the top-four.
Once again, Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) was a frontrunner at Merced Speedway. In eight career USAC National Midget starts at the track, Kofoid has now finished in the top-three in seven of them. On this night, he gained several spots, lost them, then gained them back during a flurry of activity late to finish on the podium in his Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Mobil 1 – TRD – Curb Records/Lynk/Speedway Toyota.
Meanwhile, Jade Avedisian (Clovis, Calif.) stopped the clock with the fastest ever Honest Abe Roofing Qualifying lap by a USAC National Midget driver at Merced Speedway, laying down a new track record of 11.417 seconds, which broke the one day old track record of 11.526 held by Tanner Thorson. She now owns two one-lap track records with the series, also recording a track record at Illinois’ Wayne County Speedway in August of this year.
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (2), 2. Justin Grant (10), 3. Buddy Kofoid (4), 4. Ryan Timms (7), 5. Carson Macedo (11), 6. Jade Avedisian (6), 7. Corey Day (15), 8. Jake Andreotti (1), 9. Spencer Bayston (8), 10. Emerson Axsom (12), 11. Hayden Reinbold (13), 12. Bryant Wiedeman (21), 13. Daison Pursley (14), 14. Taylor Reimer (20), 15. Jacob Denney (19), 16. Tanner Carrick (16), 17. Braden Chiaramonte (17), 18. Brody Fuson (9), 19. Michael Faccinto (18), 20. Tanner Thorson (3), 21. Jesse Love (5), 22. Thomas Meseraull (22). NT
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-1730, 2-Justin Grant-1479, 3-Ryan Timms-1400, 4-Bryant Wiedeman-1393, 5-Jade Avedisian-1380, 6-Daison Pursley-1378, 7-Jacob Denney-1305, 8-Gavin Miller-1190, 9-Cannon McIntosh-1167, 10-Taylor Reimer-1154.