By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
SUN PRAIRIE, WI-One night after his run of nine consecutive podium finishes came to an abrupt halt, Logan Seavey decided to begin a new kind of streak on Monday night at Sun Prairie, Wisconsin’s Angell Park Speedway.
The Sutter, Calif. native raced his way to the front after tirelessly working high and low to work his way by racelong leader Taylor Reimer. Seavey made the winning move just after the halfway point and proceeded to lead the final 14 laps en route to victory on night two of the 38th running of the Firemen’s Nationals.
With four series wins in the bank already this season and a whopper of a 171-point lead in the standings, Seavey’s fourth place result on Sunday night was practically a letdown to both the team and driver of the Abacus Racing/Honest Abe Roofing – Indy Custom Stone – Laura Kopetsky Tri-Ax/Spike/Stanton SR-11x.
Despite the rare “misstep,” relatively speaking, Seavey and Abacus’ winning streak now stands at one while their string of 11 consecutive top-five finishes remains unblemished since early June, a good three months ago.
“It feels good to redeem myself a little bit,” Seavey admitted. “I know we ran fourth yesterday, but I was disappointed that I didn’t run a good race. I feel like I should’ve been competing for the win yesterday, but I didn’t do that, so it’s cool to come back today and win.”
Seavey’s 12th career USAC National Midget feature triumph elevated him to 60th place on the all-time series win list, equaling the mark set by series champions Danny Caruthers, Russ Gamester and Jeff Gordon, plus Gene Force, Bobby Grim and Ron Shuman.
Additionally, it was Seavey’s second score during the Firemen’s Nationals following his first win in the event during the 2019 season. It’s an event that’s the third most tenured on the USAC National Midget schedule with 38 editions taking place, trailing only the Turkey Night Grand Prix (81 years) and 4-Crown Nationals (40 years) in terms of active longevity. For Seavey, it’s a special win at a special race at a special place.
“This is such a cool place to come to,” Seavey beamed. “The history of midget racing here in Sun Prairie is tough to beat. I just love this place and I’ve loved it since the first time I came here, and I always have a blast coming here.”
Seavey began his race from the second slot outside of the front row, yet it was pole sitter Taylor Reimer who set the tone at the outset, leading the first 16 laps as Seavey gave constant chase. Seavey sought the high line; he sought the low line; he sought the middle, but Reimer was unflappable through the first half as Seavey was only able to get to within a car length of her back bumper before regathering, resetting and trying again.
On lap 17, Seavey’s sticktoitiveness paid off at the exit of turn four as he raced around the outside of Reimer to take over the race lead. By the time the two hit the back straightaway, the yellow flag was displayed for the slowing car of Emerson Axsom (15th) who eventually stopped on the back straight. The leader, plus one, crossed the start/finish line, so with split scoring in play, the lap officially counted, and Seavey was scored as the race leader with 13 laps to go.
“I was just trying to be patient,” Seavey explained. “If I could pace there long enough, I knew that eventually I’d get my shot and the bottom would slow down a little bit and I’d be able to go by. I’m just that confident in my car.”
Approaching the halfway point of the 30-lap feature, Seavey decided he had to move soon, or it could be too late, which had been the case for him on occasion this season.
“I just kept looking at the board and watching the laps count down,” Seavey said. “I think I saw like 15 or 16 to go and there have been times this year when I waited a little too long and never got that shot. So, I went for it there, and luckily, we caught the yellow at the right time and we were able to get to the lead there.”
Seavey chopped through the middle of turn one on the ensuing restart, but soon after, Jade Avedisian arrived on the scene, splitting hairs between Zach Daum and Reimer to shoot from fourth to second in the blink of an eye in turn two before taking off after Seavey. Meanwhile, Reimer, who was strong early, suddenly fell to sixth as Daum, Cannon McIntosh and Bryant Wiedeman all freight trained on by.
Seavey had opened up his lead to a 1.306 second margin with five laps remaining when the final caution was signaled for the slowing car of fourth-running Cannon McIntosh who stopped in turn three on lap 26, putting him out of the race with a disheartening 17th place result following a fine run.
It was a late yellow that stifled Seavey’s charge through the field the night before, but the yellow didn’t rattle him off course on this night as he stepped away from Avedisian on the restart to the tune of a full second while the lap count ran slim.
In the end, Seavey was 1.209 second ahead of the competition as he crossed under the double checkered flags in front of Avedisian with Justin Grant sneaking around the outside of Daum to grab the third spot off the fourth and final turn. Daum collected fourth, while Reimer scored a fifth.
Jade Avedisian (Clovis, Calif.) made a late surge to finish second in her Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Mobil 1 – TRD – JBL Audio/Lynk/Speedway Toyota. The runner-up result equals her best career USAC National Midget finish, and once again, tied the best finish for a woman in USAC National competition alongside Sarah McCune at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1999, Kaylee Bryson at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway in 2022, and Avedisian twice in 2023 at the Belleville (Kan.) Short Track and Angell Park. Avedisian was also the only driver to finish on the podium during both nights at Angell Park this weekend following a third on Sunday night.
Approaching the final restart with five laps to go, Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) was running seventh. In those last five laps, he hustled up four more spots to score a third-place result and earned his second podium finish of the 2023 USAC National Midget season in his RMS Racing/NOS Energy Drink – EnviroFab – Response Management Services/Spike/Speedway Toyota. Grant’s’ advancement from his 10th starting spot to third in the running order also gave him hard charger bragging rights for the night.
During the evening’s Honest Abe Time Trial session, Avedisian posted her sixth career USAC National Midget fast qualifying time, tying her for 94th all-time with Chad Boat, Burt Foland, Brian Gerster, Mike Gregg, Kyle Hamilton, Buddy Kofoid, Lee Kunzman, Jerry McClung, Ron Shuman, Jimmy Sills, Don Vogler, Chris Windom and Billy Wood.
PHOTO:Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) is a joyous Firemen’s Nationals winner following Monday night’s USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event at Sun Prairie, Wisconsin’s Angell Park Speedway. (Rich Forman Photo)
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 4, 2023 – Angell Park Speedway – Sun Prairie, Wisconsin – 1/3-Mile Dirt Track – Firemen’s Nationals
HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. Jade Avedisian, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.722; 2. Gavin Miller, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.726; 3. Chase McDermand, 19m, Bundy Built-14.792; 4. Zach Daum, 7u, Trifecta-14.796; 5. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-14.839; 6. Taylor Reimer, 25K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.905; 7. Justin Grant, 2, RMS-14.945; 8. Ryan Timms, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.949; 9. Cannon McIntosh, 08, Dave Mac Dalby-14.982; 10. Bryant Wiedeman, 81, CBI-14.988; 11. Daniel Whitley, 58, Abacus-15.004; 12. Daison Pursley, 19, Reinbold/Underwood-15.158; 13. Kyle Beilman, 31B, Beilman-15.199; 14. Thomas Meseraull, 7x, RMS-15.263; 15. Hayden Reinbold, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-15.293; 16. Emerson Axsom, 19A, Petry/Hayward-15.446; 17. Jake Andreotti, 25, Malloy-15.448; 18. Dekota Gay, 81A, Gay-15.499; 19. Parker Jones, 57A, RAB-15.563; 20. Cameron Weishoff, 55, Weishoff-15.736; 21. Bryan Stanfill, 75AU, Griffiths-15.775.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Bryant Wiedeman, 2. Zach Daum, 3. Jade Avedisian, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Emerson Axsom, 6. Kyle Beilman, 7. Parker Jones. 2:00.85
ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Logan Seavey, 3. Daniel Whitley, 4. Ryan Timms, 5. Gavin Miller, 6. Jake Andreotti, 7. Cameron Weishoff. 2:01.25
T.J. FORGED/CAR IQ THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Daison Pursley, 2. Hayden Reinbold, 3. Chase McDermand, 4. Taylor Reimer, 5. Cannon McIntosh, 6. Bryan Stanfill, 7. Dekota Gay. 1:59.64 (New Track Record)
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (2), 2. Jade Avedisian (6), 3. Justin Grant (10), 4. Zach Daum (3), 5. Taylor Reimer (1), 6. Bryant Wiedeman (7), 7. Daison Pursley (8), 8. Chase McDermand (4), 9. Ryan Timms (11), 10. Gavin Miller (5), 11. Jake Andreotti (16), 12. Hayden Reinbold (18), 13. Thomas Meseraull (9), 14. Daniel Whitley (13), 15. Kyle Beilman (14), 16. Bryan Stanfill (19), 17. Cannon McIntosh (12), 18. Emerson Axsom (15), 19. Parker Jones (17), 20. Dekota Gay (20). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-16 Taylor Reimer, Laps 17-30 Logan Seavey.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-1078, 2-Justin Grant-907, 3-Jade Avedisian-891, 4-Ryan Timms-884, 5-Bryant Wiedeman-878, 6-Daison Pursley-849, 7-Cannon McIntosh-816, 8-Jacob Denney-789, 9-Gavin Miller-787, 10-Taylor Reimer-717.
OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Daison Pursley-167, 2-Logan Seavey-105, 3-Shane Cottle-102, 4-Justin Grant-92, 5-Robert Ballou-87, 6-Matt Westfall-86, 7-Brady Bacon-85, 8-Emerson Axsom-82, 9-Chase Stockon-69, 10-Kevin Thomas Jr.-54.
NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: September 21, 2023 – Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, Indiana – 1/4-Mile Dirt Track – James Dean Classic
CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:
Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Jade Avedisian (14.653)
Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Jade Avedisian (14.722)
Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Bryant Wiedeman
Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Thomas Meseraull
T.J. Forged / Car IQ Third Heat Winner: Daison Pursley
Green APU Green Flag Challenge First Lap Leader: Taylor Reimer
Hard Charger: Justin Grant (10th to 3rd)