By Richie Murray – USAC Media
SPEEDWAY, IN-Of late, Emerson Axsom has been a frontrunner in USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship racing.
However, his first foray into USAC competition came via the NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship with Petry Motorsports back in 2020.
Now, after last competing together two seasons ago, Axsom and Petry have rejoined forces to compete in all seven events during the upcoming USAC Indiana Midget Week series on June 4-11 in the Hoosier State.
Together in 2021, Axsom and Petry won twice with the USAC National Midgets, scoring victories at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway and at Nebraska’s Jefferson County Speedway before finishing fourth in the championship standings.
Axsom recalls his two seasons with Petry fondly and cites them as the foundation for his racing career where he truly learned how to race.
“They took a shot in the dark with a kid like me,” Axsom noted. “I had won some big micro races, but they didn’t really have any real reason to believe I could have success in a midget. They gave me an opportunity, and for the first couple of races, I kind of sucked, to be honest. But they stuck with it and gave me an opportunity to figure out how to race real racecars.”
The Franklin, Ind. racer has competed in all nine USAC National Sprint Car events this year, and currently stands sixth in the standings. His last USAC Midget appearance came during the 2022 west coast swing last November. In 2022, both driver and team cut back their midget racing participation, but now are prepared to take on USAC Indiana Midget Week once more where the pairing finished fifth in points in 2021.
“I just really wanted to run some midget shows and I thought, ‘who would be better to run for than the team I’ve had the most success with and the team that gave me the opportunity to go USAC racing,’” Axsom asked. “We heard through some other people that Scott (Petry) got the itch to go racing again, and wanted to run a few races here and there, then see how it goes with the same guys involved that created the success that we had.”
Axsom’s ride will carry the No. 19 for Indiana Midget Week, and the team also has plans to compete in the September 27-28-29-30 Driven2SaveLives BC39 at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and possibly this year’s west coast trip in November.
Emerson’s father, Joe Axsom, will set up the car while Terry Goff will perform maintenance duties. Brodie Hayward and Jeff West are also on-board with them that will have a Toyota engine under the hood, plus sponsorship from Capital Industries, Advanced Shocks, Petry Excavating, B & H Contractors and IPC.
The 19th annual edition of USAC Indiana Midget Week consists of seven races at seven different venues across eight nights at Tri-State Speedway on June 4, Circle City Raceway on June 5, Gas City I-69 Speedway on June 7, Lincoln Park Speedway on June 8, Bloomington Speedway on June 9, Lawrenceburg Speedway on June 10 and the finale at Kokomo Speedway on June 11.
2023 USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK SCHEDULE:
Sunday, June 4: Tri-State Speedway – Haubstadt, IN
Monday, June 5: Circle City Raceway – Indianapolis, IN
Wednesday, June 7: Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, IN
Thursday, June 8: Lincoln Park Speedway – Putnamville, IN
Friday, June 9: Bloomington Speedway – Bloomington, IN
Saturday, June 10: Lawrenceburg Speedway – Lawrenceburg, IN
Sunday, June 11: Kokomo Speedway – Kokomo, IN