KUTZTOWN, Pa. — When asked about the 30-lap feature that was undoubtedly his for the taking, Tyler Courtney couldn’t take his mind off how the night began and how those polar opposite circumstances nearly foiled it all.
An electrical issue only allowed Courtney to take one lap in time trials, but even so, his lone attempt was good enough for the top-six inversion if he just transferred in from his heat. Courtney avoided the backup car and stayed the course to capitalize off a front-row starting spot, as he rolled to victory in night one of USAC Eastern Midget Week on Wednesday at Action Track USA.
Courtney led all 30 laps and registered a 3.385-second victory over Tanner Thorson and Christopher Bell.
“You don’t want to have issues like that, especially in qualifying, but luckily we got one lap in and it was good enough to put us in the invert [for the feature], Courtney said. “This is a cool place. To start the week off like this is good for our momentum. I’m excited.”
The win is Courtney’s fourth NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget win of the season and third in the last four races.
Courtney took command for good rounding the front stretch on the opening lap, when he ripped around polesitter Robert Dalby and sailed off into the night running the top better than anyone else.
Dalby stayed within reach before the first caution of the feature for Kevin Wood Jr. on lap seven, but on the following restart, Courtney jumped out to a 1.5 second cushion as Buddy Kofoid and Tanner Thorson made their way up to second and third, respectively by lap 10.
On lap 13, Chris Windom brought out the race’s second caution in an incident off turn two that also collected Dillon Welch and Kevin Thomas Jr. The final 17 laps went nonstop, as Courtney operated lapped traffic with ease on the tippy top of the racing surface while most worked the middle and bottom.
Courtney was never challenged and raced out to a two-second advantage with 10 to go as Thorson and Kofoid put on a fierce battle for second.
“I knew those guys would be racing behind me, so I had to get out and run my own race,” Courtney said.
Thorson eventually got by Kofoid, who eventually faded to seventh by the end, for second with eight to go, but by the time he set his sights on Courtney, it was too little, too late. Thorson also lost both shock adjuster cables, which didn’t allow him to make desired changes during those two mid-race stoppages.
“I just wanted to make some changes and get some more drive off,” said Thorson, who was the fast qualifier with a lap of 11.146. “Other than that, all in all it was another good night. This car has been really, really quick and we’ll look to get one spot better now.”
Justin Grant and Cannon McIntosh, who charged from 18th, rounded out the top five.
Windom, the USAC National Midget points leader, finished 13th.
To see full results, turn to the next page.