Mid-Summer Dream: USAC's Mid-America Midget Week
Series News Release - USAC Media
Speedway, Indiana (July 6, 2023) - Midsummer brings the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season back to life.
Mid-America Midget Week is the stage upon which our midget racing brethren will compete July 11-15 across three states with four events in a span of five nights in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
Starting at the southernmost point of the week is Tuesday Night Thunder on July 11 at Meeker, Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Raceway. Then, we point north up to Beloit, Kansas for the 12th running of the Chad McDaniel Memorial at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds, formerly known as Solomon Valley Raceway, on Wednesday, July 12.
Closing out the Mid-America Midget Week adventure is Fairbury, Nebraska’s Jefferson County Speedway for two consecutive evenings on Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15, for the Midwest Midget Championship, culminating with a 40-lap feature paying $10,000-to-win on Saturday night.
It’s been a full month since we’ve last witnessed our racing heroes at work, slinging the dirt, but they’ll receive an entire week’s worth of excitement on a trio of racy bullrings. And we’re here for it.
Check out six of the storylines that have our attention heading into Mid-America Midget Week.
THE IRON’S HOT FOR SEAVEY
Logan Seavey has finished his last four series starts with a 1st, 3rd, 3rd and 2nd at Gas City, Lincoln Park, Bloomington and Lawrenceburg in early June. The results boosted him straight to the USAC Indiana Midget Week championship.
Seavey (Sutter, Calif.), who began the six-race Indiana Midget Week voyage eighth in the overall USAC National Midget standings, suddenly found himself in first place at the end of the run, a lead the 2018 series champion carries proudly into Mid-America Midget Week.
Furthermore, he’s found his share of success during MAMW throughout his career, winning at Red Dirt in 2019 and he also owns the one-lap track record at Jefferson County of 10.685 seconds, also set in 2019. Both accomplishments, interestingly enough, came right on the heels of winning his first Indiana Midget Week title four years ago.
Seven previous drivers have parlayed an Indiana Midget Week title into a USAC National Midget championship later that same season: Jerry Coons Jr. (2007), Bryan Clauson (2011), Darren Hagen (2012), Christopher Bell (2013), Rico Abreu (2014) and Buddy Kofoid (2021-22). Seavey and his Abacus Racing team would certainly be in favor of doing the same.
Admittedly, it’s been a somewhat odd year thus far for Ryan Timms, marked by a share of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
The Oklahoma City, Okla. native’s highs have come in the form of two series victories this year, including the season opener at the Belleville (Kan.) Short Track and he was victorious in the most recent event at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway in June.
However, in between the bookended victories are six finishes of 12th or worse. Overall, he’s collected just two top-fives and three top-tens in nine starts for the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team.
His home state of Oklahoma, and all Mid-America Midget Week for that matter, was his playground in 2022. At Red Dirt, he scored the win in his first ever start for the KKM stable. The following night in Beloit, he was third, and in the penultimate round at Jefferson County, he finished as the runner-up. In the finale at Jeff. Co., he led with two laps remaining and was in position to win on the final lap when a turn two incident knocked him out of contention.
Last year’s Mid-America Midget Week served as the boon to solidify his immediate future with KKM. Perhaps his recent success at Indiana Midget Week will translate to a repeat string of success in the Great Plains and move him from seventh in points to the lead.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS IN THE GREAT PLAINS
Exactly half the drivers currently in the top-ten of the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship standings were born and bred in the Great Plains.
Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) and Timms have both previously captured USAC National Midget feature victories, with both Okies doing so in their homeland at Red Dirt Raceway. For Pursley, that 2021 victory proved to be his first in USAC National competition.
Bryant Wiedeman nearly became the first native of the Sunflower State to win a USAC National Midget race on Kansas soil. The Colby, Kan. racer led 27 of the 40 laps on the second night at Belleville in May before an incident ended his chance to score a first USAC National victory. He now possesses an opportunity to get redemption on Wednesday in Beloit, Kan.
While Wiedeman is still seeking his first career USAC triumph, Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.) remains on the prowl for his first win of the USAC season and his first in his home state when he revisits Red Dirt, the same place he made his USAC National Midget debut in 2018. Fellow Oklahoman Taylor Reimer (Bixby, Okla.) is gunning for her first career USAC win. Back in May, she earned a career best USAC finish, a 4th at Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex.
THE ROOKIE RACE
Gavin Miller and Jake Andreotti are involved in a heated race for Rookie of the Year honors with the USAC National Midgets in 2023.
Miller currently holds a 16-point edge over Andreotti, which put them 12th and 13th overall, respectively, in the overall standings entering both drivers’ initial Mid-America Midget Week experience.
Miller (Allentown, Pa.) recently gained his first career USAC National feature victory during the Indiana Midget Week round at Bloomington to become the initial first-time winner of the midget season.
Meanwhile, Andreotti (Castro Valley, Calif.) recorded a second-place result with the USAC National Midgets in the season opener back in May at Belleville. He looks to break his way into the winner’s circle for the first time with the national series after a pair of regional USAC wins in 2023 with the Western States Midgets and West Coast Sprint Cars.
In two consecutive years, a driver has earned his first career USAC National Midget feature win with Daison Pursley (Red Dirt in 2021) and Mitchel Moles (Jefferson County in 2022) each accomplishing the deed.
JCJ: A RACER FOR THE DEACADES
Jerry Coons Jr. and his Oklahoma-based Central Motorsports team are stalwarts of Mid-America Midget Week. Always front runners too.
The 2006-07 USAC National Midget champ will be in action at all four nights of this year’s Mid-America Midget Week, where he’s been all over the podium, and has been on the cusp of victory many a time in recent summers.
At Red Dirt, the Tucson, Ariz. racer collected a best of 3rd in 2020, and was a 3rd place finisher as well at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds in 2013. A year ago at Jefferson County, Coons finished on the podium both nights, scoring a 3rd and took a narrow 2nd in the finale.
One more victory would push Coons into the land of the few as he aims to join Bobby Unser as the only driver to win a USAC-sanctioned feature event in five different decades. He’s already one of 13 to have won a USAC main event in four decades along with Unser, Hank Butcher, A.J. Foyt, Russ Gamester, Mel Kenyon, Ralph Liguori, Wally Pankratz, Johnny Parsons, George Snider, Bryan Stanfill, Brian Tyler and Bob Wente.
T-MEZ BACK FOR MORE
Throughout this season, Thomas Meseraull and the RMS Racing team have been developing the Engler Ford engine, the first of its kind in midget racing.
The always excitable San Jose, Calif. wheelman has had mixed results on the USAC tour this season, earning a pair of thirds back in May in Kansas at Belleville and in Missouri at Sweet Springs.
Just recently, he returned to the front, reigning victorious at Macon Speedway during POWRi’s Illinois Midget Week, in what was an eventful affair that brought out a gamut of emotions from the competitors to the crowd.
Meseraull’s Mid-America Midget Week experience in 2022 included a victory at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds, a fine redemption after leading the first 12 laps and finishing 3rd in the MAMW opener at Red Dirt.
For Tuesday Night Thunder on July 11 at Meeker, Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Raceway, the program features the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship, plus NOW600 Non-Wing Micros and NOW600 Restricted Micros. Pits open at 5pm Central with the grandstands opening at 6pm, the drivers meeting at 6pm and cars on track at 6:30pm with qualifying and racing to follow. General admission tickets are $25. High school students and younger are $5. Kids age 5 and under are free. Tickets are available online at www.reddirtraceway.com under the “Buy Tickets” tab and will be sold the day of the show as well. All access passes (pit access & general admission seating) are available for $40 and available at the pit gate on the day of the show only. Pit passes for ages 5 and under are $10. The tailgate area is $120 per carload (up to 8 people per car).
On Wednesday night, July 12, it’s the 12th running of the Chad McDaniel Memorial at Beloit, Kansas’ Mitchell County Fairgrounds featuring the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship and the NOW600/Jayhusker Non-Wing & Restricted Micro Sprints. Front gates open at 5pm Central with the drivers meeting at 6pm and hot laps at 6:30pm followed by qualifying and racing. General admission tickets are $25 with high school students and younger just $5. All access passes are available as well for $35 and available at the pit gate on the day of the show only.
To close out Mid-America Midget Week on Friday and Saturday, July 14-15, it’s on to Fairbury, Nebraska’s Jefferson County Speedway for two-straight nights of the Riverside Chevrolet Midwest Midget Championship presented by Westin Packaged Meats and Schmidt’s Sanitation featuring the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship, plus the NOW 600/Jayhusker Non-Wing and Restricted Micro Sprints. Gates open at 5pm Central with qualifying at 6:30pm followed by racing. General admission tickets are $20 on Friday and $30 on Saturday with high school students and younger just $5. Reserved seating is $60 for a two-day pass and is available online only at www.JeffersonCountySpeedway.com under the “Buy Tickets” tab. All access passes are available as well for $35 ($10 for kids 5 and under) and available at the pit gate on the day of the show only. Kids age Practice will be held from 5-7pm Central on Thursday, July 13. Pit passes are $20 and grandstands are free. There will be a free Shrimp Boil/BBQ at the track campground at 8pm after practice for all race teams, fans, etc.
All four races of Mid-America Midget Week can be watched LIVE on FloRacing.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-556, 2-Justin Grant-534, 3-Jacob Denney-529, 4-Bryant Wiedeman-521, 5-Jade Avedisian-513, 6-Daison Pursley-492, 7-Ryan Timms-446, 8-Cannon McIntosh-426, 9-Taylor Reimer-410, 10-Chase McDermand-372.