MONTPELIER, Ind. — Tanner Thorson had aspirations of winning his comeback race in the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series, but Logan Seavey had other ideas Tuesday night at Montpelier Motor Speedway.
Seavey romped to victory in the kickoff to Indiana Midget Week, using a lap-seven slide job to wrest the lead away from fellow young gun Zeb Wise and pacing the final 24 circuits for his first win of the year.
For the defending USAC national midget champion, it was a win that he considered “overdue.”
“We started off the year and weren’t where we needed to be, so to be standing here in victory lane after a tough spring definitely means a lot,” said Seavey. “That was a really fun start to the race. Right from the get-go, I knew we had a car that was a little bit better than Zeb’s was … I just had to wait for the right time to make my move and get by him. I had the chance once, but the yellow put us back.”
Indeed, though Seavey started from the pole, it was Wise who got the jump from the outside pole on the initial start and led the opening laps, while Seavey slotted into second and bided his time with the No. 67 Mobil 1-sponsored Bullet/Toyota for Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports.
Slowly but surely, Seavey started reeling Wise back in, eventually making a slide job stick off turn two working the sixth round to seemingly gain control of the race. However, a yellow for the stalled car of Thomas Meseraull in turn four reset the lineup to the end of lap five, giving Wise a reprieve out front.
On the restart, Wise was able to briefly get away from Seavey, but the Sutter, Calif., native didn’t back down. Seavey stayed true in Wise’s tire tracks before making a deep dive into turn one on lap eight, grabbing a lead he would never relinquish again despite heavy traffic in the second half of the race.
“I was just trying not to stutter or anything as I was getting around lapped cars, so I didn’t give someone else a chance from behind me,” Seavey noted. “It was about pulling the trigger any time I had the chance to. I knew that if I kept putting cars between myself and second place, it was going to be hard for anyone to get around me. You just had to be really methodical about when you made your moves.”
Making his return to racing after being sidelined for three months due to injuries sustained in a March highway accident, Thorson nearly wrote a Hollywood-style script with a victory at Montpelier.
However, the lapped car of Justin Grant stymied his efforts in the final laps, leaving Thorson to settle with a hard-earned runner-up that left the Minden, Nev., driver pleased after the checkered flag.
“The last three months have been really hard on me,” Thorson said. “After my accident and with the injuries I had, I didn’t know if (getting back behind the wheel) was going to be the same … or if I was even going to be able to do it the way I always had. Luckily, I’ve healed up and everything feels pretty much like it did before, and I was blessed to get the call from Keith (Kunz) and Pete (Willoughby) to come and drive one of their race cars again. This may not be a win, but it’s a heck of a comeback.”
Wise capped off his night with a third-place finish, ahead of Clauson-Marshall Racing teammate and series points leader Tyler Courtney. Dillon Welch was fifth after advancing in from the semi-feature.
Shane Golobic, Jason McDougal, Kevin Thomas Jr., Tanner Carrick and Chris Windom completed the top 10.
Thomas won the companion non-winged sprint car main event on Tuesday night.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.