TULSA, Okla. – Logan Seavey controlled the proceedings Thursday night at Port City Raceway to win the highest-paying outdoor midget race of the season.
Seavey dominated the inaugural Donnie Ray Crawford Sooner State 55 at the eighth-mile Oklahoma bullring, grabbing the lead in lap traffic and pacing the final 38 circuits for a $5,555 payday.
It marked Seavey’s 22nd career Lucas Oil POWRi National Midget League victory, tying him with Brad Kuhn for fourth all-time, and his second triumph of the season in just six feature starts.
Seavey started from the outside pole, alongside home-state favorite Cannon McIntosh, and laid in wait for the early stages of the feature as four yellow flags plagued the first 10 laps.
But as more green-flag racing became prevalent, Seavey’s No. 19a Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports mount rose to the occasion.
Just past the lap-15 benchmark, race leader McIntosh found himself mired in traffic and hampered considerably as a lap car slid into his path in turn three, allowing Seavey to sneak past and lead the 18th revolution.
Moments later, the fifth caution of the night waved for a stalled Christopher Bell, who had worked his way from ninth to fourth and was closing on the front three cars when his night went south.
That yellow not only put Seavey out in front, it also afforded him clean race track ahead of him, a luxury that the Sutter, Calif., native utilized to the fullest extent from that point on.
Despite three cautions past halfway, Seavey nailed every restart and raced away during a 22-lap green-flag run to the finish, eventually taking the checkered flag 2.286 seconds clear of Jake Neuman.
“I was just trying to be patient. I honestly thought we’d get to a lot more lap traffic,” Seavey noted in victory lane. “I really didn’t care to be the leader early. I knew it was 55 laps. I was really just happy with being in second and just pacing with Cannon until we got somewhere that I could make a move. A lap car changed lanes in front of him and it gave me the opportunity I needed.
“I was really hoping for more lap traffic, because I knew the track was changing and I knew if I could get to the lappers I could gauge my speed better,” Seavey added. “I didn’t really like running the bottom in (turns) three and four; it didn’t feel that great, so I moved up to keep some speed going and tried not to do it too early to where I was giving speed up.
“I caught traffic at the right times, and caught some yellows too when I needed them. It all worked out.”
Neuman’s runner-up finish came after a fierce last-lap battle with championship rival Ace McCarthy, with the pair making contact in turn four coming to the checkered flag.
McCarthy spun into the infield off Neuman’s front bumper, relegated from a likely second-place result to a disappointing and frustrating 16th in the final rundown.
The swing added 150 points to Neuman’s lead in the standings, giving him a near-insurmountable 590-point cushion with just two features remaining on Friday and Saturday at I-44 Riverside Speedway.
All Neuman has to do is start one of the two remaining features, and he’ll lock up his first Lucas Oil POWRi National Midget League championship in the BRANDT Professional Agriculture-backed No. 3n.
McIntosh completed the podium after leading the first 17 laps from the pole, with Daison Pursley and Bryant Wiedeman following to give Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports three of the top five finishers.
Christopher Bell rallied back from his issues prior to halfway to finish sixth, passing 19 cars along the way, with Matt Sherrell, Karter Sarff, Buddy Kofoid and Andrew Felker filling out the top 10.
The Lucas Oil POWRi National Midget League season continues Friday night with the first night of the POWRi Season Championship at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City, Okla.
1. 19a-Logan Seavey, 2. 3n-Jake Neuman, 3. 71k-Cannon McIntosh, 4. 9-Daison Pursley, 5. 67k-Bryant Wiedeman, 6. 84x-Christopher Bell, 7. 16-Matt Sherrell, 8. 55k-Karter Sarff, 9. 67-Buddy Kofoid, 10. 44s-Andrew Felker, 11. 21-Trey Gropp, 12. 20g-Noah Gass, 13. 32t-Trey Marcham, 14. 97k-Jesse Love, 15. 14e-Hank Davis, 16. 28-Ace McCarthy, 17. 15-Emerson Axsom, 18. 71-Kaylee Bryson, 19. 7u-Kyle Jones, 20. 5t-Ryan Timms, 21. 49-Joe B. Miller, 22. 89x-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 23. 00-Blake Edwards, 24. 55-Jonathan Beason, 25. 26-Tristin Thomas.