KOKOMO, Ind. — One night after claiming a victory in Sprint Car Smackdown’s annual karaoke contest, Logan Seavey was singing a different tune Friday night at Kokomo Speedway, ending it in victory lane following his first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car triumph.
The reigning USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champion used his voice to win karaoke hardware with Garth Brooks’ “That Summer” after a broken wheel cover ended a solid run on track on Thursday.
For the Sutter, Calif., native, however, tomorrow would come, and he’d use his right foot to capture an even bigger trophy, a bigger payday and the prestige of becoming the series’ first first-time winner of the 2019 season.
Along the way, Seavey cut a new record, ripping 30 laps around Kokomo Speedway 33 seconds quicker than the previous USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car track record for that distance at the quarter-mile, a record formerly held by Bryan Clauson set during Smackdown in 2013, at six minutes and 48.92 seconds.
“Just to be racing sprint cars with USAC and to get to run good racecars with a family like this, is pretty crazy for me,” Seavey noted. “We just race and have fun. We normally end up pretty good and, the more fun we’re having, the better we run. Finally, it all came together tonight. We’ve had that speed the last two nights, and it all finally came together.”
Perhaps, most impressively, was that Seavey was making just his second start of the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint car points season, the first of which came just 24 hours earlier. Seavey picked up a win behind the wheel of a Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports machine in USAC Southwest Sprint Car competition in April at Arizona Speedway.
And, as it turns out, Friday of Smackdown has a special significance to Seavey, as this is the same night in which he first met team co-owner Andy Reinbold a year ago, kicking off a winning connection that certainly paid its dividends on this night.
“Friday night of Smackdown last year was the first time I met Andy,” Seavey remembered. “We got together and ran a few races last year together out west. We came into this year knowing he had a full-time USAC car and that was going to take up a lot of his time. He told me early in the year that, in the big races, he wanted to bring out another car from Arizona to run Smackdown, Western World and the Oval Nationals.”
Seavey began the main event from the pole and led a trio of nineteens on the opening lap aboard his No. 19s while leading the 19 of Kevin Thomas Jr. and the 19az of C.J. Leary. Leary made quick work from his fourth starting spot, rushing into second by lap three past Thomas and began the hunt to track down Seavey.
Leary tried high, sought the middle, looked low, and even cut a diamond groove off turns one and three. Leary chopped into Seavey’s advantage and gained ground off the corners on each go-around, pulling side-by-side in turns two and four each lap for several laps early on before Seavey utilized the topside momentum to surge ahead and maintain his lead.
By the 10th lap, Leary’s exit plan on the low line became stifled with a bevy of traffic occupying the bottom, hindering his path as he pursued Seavey. At the halfway mark, Seavey maintained a three car length lead as he seemingly ran his own race up top and, with no cautions in sight, kept traffic as part of the equation and allowed the top lane to be wide open for Seavey all by his lonesome where he was most comfortable running, up against the cushion.
Seavey had to be perfect and execute flawlessly as a hungry Leary sought his first series victory in 20 starts. Yet, Seavey managed to up the interval in the final ten laps, from a half-second, to three quarters of a second, to more than a second on the final lap, closing out a superb performance with a 1.114-second win over Leary, Tyler Courtney, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Justin Grant.
Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports’ one-two finish was the first time teammates have occupied the top-two positions in a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature on dirt since July of 2008 when Keith Kunz Motorsports’ stable of Cole Whitt and Darren Hagen finished first and second, respectively, during the Indiana Sprint Week round at Gas City I-69 Speedway.
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