INDIANAPOLIS – The NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series has made Gas City I-69 Speedway an annual visit each year over the past decade and a half.
This Friday night, however, will mark the first time the series has made multiple visits to the quarter-mile dirt oval within the same season.
The USAC national midgets will race as part of the James Dean Classic, the opening night of the Indiana Donor Network Driven2SaveLives Double Double, in a doubleheader with the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series.
USAC’s Indiana Midget Week stop in June witnessed a memorable come-from-behind victory for Kyle Larson at Gas City after starting 14th. However, several highly touted individuals will be eying similar success in the series’ 14th appearance at the track.
Chris Windom holds a 34-point lead in the midget standings entering Friday’s event. June’s race was, for him, one of only three times he’s finished outside the top 10 in 19 series starts this year.
With that said, Windom comes into the race having finished second and third in his two most recent series starts. In his USAC midget career at Gas City, he’s run ninth in 2012 and 2018, plus an eighth in 2011.
Windom also won a USAC National Sprint Car race at Gas City in late September of 2019.
Tyler Courtney is the driver who follows Windom the closest in the points coming into Gas City. He took third back in June after leading the first 17 laps of the 30-lap feature. Courtney was also 6th in a midget at Gas City in 2018.
Gas City is the home of Courtney’s first career USAC national feature win, taking the victory in spectacular fashion during Indiana Sprint Week in 2016 after spinning on the opening lap, then driving past the entire field to score the improbable win.
One of Buddy Kofoid’s four runner-up finishes with the series this season came at Gas City in June. The Penngrove, Calif., driver’s last time out with the series produced his first career USAC victory on Sept. 5 at Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex.
Standing third in the overall series points, Kofoid leads the rookie standings by a commanding 266-point margin. Also, of note, in his three USAC sprint car appearances at Kokomo, Kofoid finished in the top ive in all three.
Kofoid’s Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate, Cannon McIntosh, finished as the runner-up at Gas City in the 2019 USAC national midget race. He \recently captured his first win of the 2020 USAC season on Sept. 4 at Sweet Springs and is fifth in the standings.
Brady Bacon is stepping into the role as the new driver of the Hayward Motorsports No. 19 after the team and driver Tanner Thorson parted ways last week.
With Thorson at the wheel, the ride won four times this season and finished fourth in June at Gas City. Bacon finished second in a USAC midget stop at Gas City in 2017 and was seventh in 2016.
In USAC sprint car competition, Bacon was victorious at Gas City in early 2015.
Tanner Carrick, sixth in points, has finished inside the top 10 in all three of his previous Gas City USAC midget feature starts. The 2019 USAC Most Improved Driver was 10th in 2017, eighth in 2019 and ninth back in June.
Justin Grant is a previous USAC National Midget feature winner at Gas City, capturing the Indiana Midget Week round in 2019. The 2007 BCRA midget champion was also fourth at Gas City in 2015.
Grant’s Gas City successes earlier this year in a USAC National Sprint Car have been tantamount, with a fast qualifying effort and a third-place finish to his credit.
The 2018 USAC National Midget champion, Logan Seavey, was the winner of the Indiana Sprint Week round at Gas City back in July, thriving in a wild last lap battle with Kevin Thomas Jr. during Indiana Sprint Week.
Seavey recorded the fastest qualifying lap in time trials for Indiana Midget Week in June before finishing seventh in the feature. He is one of several drivers expected to perform double-duty in both the midget and sprint car this weekend.
Cole Bodine is seeking a third career USAC National Midget feature start at Gas City, while Kaylee Bryson, Daison Pursley and Andrew Layser are all after their second career Gas City USAC midget starts.
Bryson, a recent fast qualifier at Sweet Springs, recorded her first career top-10 finish with USAC at Gas City this past June.
A Gas City track championship team is geared up to take on the course with the RMS Racing midget team. Clinton Boyles and Thomas Meseraull have each won the past two Gas City sprint car track titles – Boyles in 2018 and Meseraull in 2019.
Both have finished inside the top five in USAC midget competition this year.
Kyle Cummins has been a solid citizen in just a handful of USAC midget starts this season, though he missed the transfer at Gas City in June, but has since recorded a top-five finish with the series.
Three times a USAC sprint winner in 2020, Cummins finished fourth during Indiana Sprint Week at Gas City in July.
USAC Midwest Regional Midget point leader Emerson Axsom has had his share of success on Hoosier soil in 2020, with local victories at both Lincoln Park Speedway and Paragon Speedway. Axsom’s first Gas City appearance, however, awaits Friday for the driver who has finished inside the top five twice on the national level this year.
There are no limits on the number of entries for the event. Pit gates open Friday at Gas City at 3 p.m. ET, with the front gates following at 5 p.m. and hot laps rolling at 6:30 p.m.
Adult general admission tickets are $25 for adults and free for kids age 12 and under. Pit passes are $35 apiece.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.usactickets.com as well as at the gate on race day.