Seavey Victorious at Jefferson County Speedway in Nebraska
Series News Release - USAC Media
Fairbury, Nebraska (July 14, 2023) - Logan Seavey has long held an affinity for Jefferson County Speedway, pinning the place among his favorite stops on the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship tour.
After all, he’s been the fastest qualifier at the Fairbury, Nebraska dirt oval on four different occasions with the series, and even possesses the one-lap track record.
However, a feature victory had remained absent in the Sutter, California native’s portfolio over his past seven previous starts at the 1/5-mile dirt oval dating back to his 2018 debut where he finished as the runner-up.
Friday night’s Riverside Chevrolet Midwest Midget Championship Presented by Westin Packaged Meats & Schmidt's Sanitation opener was different, though, and Seavey found even more of a reason to hold Jefferson County Speedway in high regard.
Starting fourth, Seavey charged past pole sitter Ryan Timms for the lead just past the halfway point of the 30-lap main event. A late caution set up a final restart and a four-lap sprint to the finish, which delivered a fantastic duel between Seavey and Timms that saw the pair exchange the lead twice in the latter stages with Seavey ultimately prevailing by a 0.492 second margin at the stripe.
Seavey’s second series victory of the season was the 10th of his USAC National Midget career, tying himself for 72nd place all-time alongside Allen Heath, Doug Kalitta, Brad Kuhn, Steve Lotshaw, Jerry McClung and Chuck Weyant.
Yet, it was a victory that almost didn’t come to fruition. Earlier in the afternoon, the speedway was hit by a mega storm that doused the speedway with a plethora of rain. However, the track crew, led by event promoter Cody Brewer, brought the track back to life and orchestrated a successful first night of racing, especially for Seavey.
“I love coming to this place,” Seavey exclaimed. “I was really excited when I got here and could see how good of a job they did. I know they worked hard to get this racetrack that good. What a phenomenal race!”
Seavey and his Abacus Racing/Indy Custom Stone – CG CPAs – Dozer’z Nut’z & Bolt’z/Spike/Stanton SR-11x not only scored a feature victory, but also extended their championship point lead to a season-high 64 markers while picking up their sixth consecutive podium finish following feature results of 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd and 1st dating back to early June during USAC Indiana Midget Week.
“This is where I feel this car belongs almost every night; it’s so fast,” Seavey praised. “When I do a good job, this is where we land. It’s cool to finally put a whole night together after a few nights where I felt like we could’ve won.”
Timms led early and often, controlling the pace of the 23-car field throughout the first half of the event. Meanwhile, Seavey made quick work from his outside row two starting position, jetting around the outside of Thomas Meseraull for the second spot entering turn three on lap three while Jade Avedisian followed suit to third past Meseraull on the fifth lap.
The first yellow flag of the night was displayed following a melee on lap seven, which was initiated via bumper-to-bumper contact between eighth running Emerson Axsom and seventh-place Daison Pursley as the two tussled for position in turn three on lap seven. Pursley spun sideways and was plowed into by the incoming Zach Daum (11th) while Wednesday night’s Beloit, Kansas winner Bryant Wiedeman (13th) nailed Daum. Further back, Don Droud Jr. (22nd) spun in an attempt to avoid the carnage. All drivers were able to restart and finish the race.
When action resumed, Seavey continued his ongoing pursuit of Timms for the race lead. By lap 16, Seavey was eager to pounce, and put thought into action as he slid past Timms in turn one. Timms was prepared and responded briskly by cutting back under to retake the position briefly.
On the next circuit, however, Timms protected himself from being slid on the entry to turn one. Instead, Timms, cut to the bottom, sliding himself so to speak. However, doing so cost him his momentum, and he was unable to fend off Seavey who was a lane lower and digging. Seavey pulled off the pass in turn three, retaliating with yet another slider to position himself at the forefront of the field on lap 17.
“I could at least show the nose down there in three and four,” Seavey affirmed. “I knew, eventually, if he saw me enough, he’d probably change up his line. That’s exactly what I needed, for him to start searching a little bit. He was really good on the top and if I could get him searching and looking around, I knew where I could go to gain some speed and go by him.”
Seavey rode the high wire around a heavy throng of lapped traffic, and by disposing of 22nd place Droud on lap 27, the move seemingly sealed the deal and a win for Seavey with open track ahead as Timms found himself caught behind Droud.
Soon after, however, that dynamic changed when Timms got into the back bumper of Droud, sending Droud spinning to a stop at the bottom of turn two and bringing the race to a halt, which instantaneously closed up the gap that had developed between the top-two of Seavey and Timms.
Upon the green flag at the resumption of lap 27, the pair used every bit of the surface they could, with Seavey using multiple lines to throw off Timms’ pursuit while Timms looked high and low to find his way past. Indeed, Timms did find his way by with a slider across the nose of Seavey with two laps to go in turn one. Seavey then calmly guided his wheel back under Timms off the exit of turn two and completed the re-pass for the lead with an under-and-up maneuver in turn three that put him back up front for good.
Seavey reigned triumphant in the slider-fest duel that saw Timms come home second with Cannon McIntosh third, Jade Avedisian fourth and Justin Grant fifth.
“That late race restart kind of bogged us back down,” Seavey admitted. “I was just trying to get up and get my momentum going, but he was right there the whole time. I feel like it was a heck of a race, and they were really good all night too. I have to get a little bit better for tomorrow, just so we don’t have to work so hard.”
It was another story of “almost again” at the Midwest Midget Championship for Ryan Timms and his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/JBL Audio – TRD – Mobil 1/Lynk/Speedway Toyota. The Oklahoma City, Okla. native has done just about everything but win thus far in his career at Jefferson County. In both races there last year, he led laps and was running inside the top-two on the final lap. On Friday night, he led again for 13 laps, and once again, finished as the runner-up, equaling the same second-place result he achieved on the first night of this same event a year ago in 2022.
“Logan found the middle there toward the middle of the race,” Timms explained. “I really thought it was just going to be around the top, but I also kind of had a feeling it might come in. Once he got by me, I went down there and just stayed with him, but I didn’t really gain on him or lose anything. So, after that restart, I got underneath him, and then going into three and four, I probably should’ve just protected, but I kept running the top and tried to go underneath him. I’m still happy with it. It’s a good recovery from Beloit.”
Finally, Cannon McIntosh returned to the podium in USAC National Midget competition. In fact, it was the Bixby, Oklahoma driver’s first top-three result through his first 11 series starts this season. McIntosh began the race from the fifth position and ran third for his best career finish at Jefferson County. In seven USAC starts at the track, he's now scored seven consecutive top-tens in his Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports/GearWrench – DriveWFX – Mobil 1/Spike/Speedway Toyota.
“I feel like we had a really good car,” McIntosh stated. “If we had the extra 10 laps we’re going to have on Saturday, I feel like we were going to be really good there at the end. I feel like we might have prepared a little too far toward the end there. Overall, I’m just really happy with the car tonight. I feel like the guys did a really good job and we’re gradually getting back to where we want to be.”
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (4), 2. Ryan Timms (1), 3. Cannon McIntosh (5), 4. Jade Avedisian (3), 5. Justin Grant (9), 6. Thomas Meseraull (2), 7. Tanner Thorson (8), 8. Emerson Axsom (7), 9. Jacob Denney (14), 10. Taylor Reimer (17), 11. Daison Pursley (6), 12. Gavin Miller (10), 13. Anton Hernandez (21), 14. Hayden Reinbold (15), 15. Chase McDermand (13), 16. Jake Andreotti (18), 17. Jerry Coons Jr. (22), 18. Kyle Jones (16), 19. Bryant Wiedeman (11), 20. Zach Daum (12), 21. Chance Crum (23-P), 22. Ava Gropp (20), 23. Don Droud Jr. (19). NT
(P) represents a provisional starter
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-713, 2-Jacob Denney-649, 3-Justin Grant-640, 4-Bryant Wiedeman-627, 5-Jade Avedisian-618, 6-Daison Pursley-608, 7-Ryan Timms-574, 8-Cannon McIntosh-561, 9-Taylor Reimer-504, 10-Chase McDermand-496.