TULSA, Okla. — Logan Seavey nearly did the unthinkable in Friday night’s kickoff to the T-Town Midget Showdown at Port City Raceway, coming from 19th to second and having a shot at the victory.
Why is it difficult to believe Seavey could claw into contention from lead that deep in the field?
Because Port City is an eighth-mile bullring where, due to the tight configuration and lack of available space, passing is at a premium and track position is often the key to victory.
The exception to that rule comes when a driver has a near-perfect race car underneath them, and by all accounts, Seavey had just that when it came time for the night’s 40-lap main event.
With blistering fervor, Seavey climbed inside the top 10 within 15 laps, then found himself inside the top five shortly after a restart with 19 to go in the feature. But the Sutter, Calif., native wasn’t finished.
Seavey took fourth with 15 laps left and engaged in a thrilling four-way battle for the as the sand in the hourglass wound down. At one point, he was four-wide with eventual winner Tyler Courtney, Chris Windom and Tanner Thorson exiting turn two for the lead, with no one giving way.
In the end, Seavey dispatched Windom for the runner-up spot with four laps to go, but simply ran out of time to run down Courtney and take a stab at challenging for the victory.
Still, it was an extremely positive run for the 2018 USAC National Midget Series champion, who was driving for Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports — his usual AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series owners — in the team’s first voyage into the midget ranks this season.
“That was just a heck of a race car,” Seavey noted. “That’s what it takes here. We’ve struggled the past couple of days, but we finally got the race car hooked up to where I felt like I could drive through the slick and keep the car straight. That’s really what you need on a track like this.
“This feels so, so good. I only wish we could have gotten by ‘Sunshine’ (Courtney) there (at the end),” he added. “He’s passed me a lot driving through the slick while I’ve been up (top) pounding the curb and I wanted to reverse the roles tonight, but didn’t quite get it done.”
As far as what Seavey believed was the difference in winning and losing Friday night, he looked in the mirror and noted some small mistakes as the main issues for his No. 19az.
“I just needed to make a few better moves once I got inside the top five,” Seavey noted. “I just wasn’t quite pouncing on opportunities the way I needed to, and that’s really what ended (any shot at a victory), because once he got out to a little bit of a lead … I could close in a little bit, but we just didn’t have enough to get all the way there.
“We’ll work on it, though, come back and see what we can do in the second show to make it better.”
If the car does come back improved on Saturday night, it could spell trouble — and a major headache —for the rest of the field when it comes to keeping Seavey out of victory lane.