By Richie Murray – USAC Media
SPEEDWAY, IN-Entering his third full season of USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship racing, Bryant Wiedeman has found a change of scenery for the 2023 campaign.
The Colby, Kan. racer has teamed up with North Carolina-based CB Industries for the upcoming season slate after competing for Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports since 2020.
Currently a 17-year-old high school junior at his hometown Colby High School, Wiedeman was among the most improved drivers on the USAC National Midget circuit in 2022, making all 32 feature starts while accumulating seven top-fives, 19 top-tens and tallying a career-best fourth place finish in the point standings.
Wiedeman looks forward to working with 2020 USAC National Midget entrant champion Chad Boat and his CB Industries team, who Wiedeman cites as a jack of all trades as a recent highly successful driver, a top-notch mechanic and a champion car owner who knows these cars like the back of his hand.
“(Chad) understands what a driver feels, what crew chiefs feel and what a car owner feels; he understands all those situations,” Wiedeman praised. “It’s definitely going to be a change for me, but he’s raced these cars and has had a lot of success with his drivers, which will definitely help me out in understanding his cars.”
Wiedeman, who also served notice as the POWRi Midget champion in 2021, had a banner year with USAC throughout 2022. His best results came on the series’ biggest tracks and on the biggest stages, posting a total of four podium finishes. Wiedeman took third at the speedy Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, then doubled-up with a pair of runner-up finishes on back-to-back nights at the big half-mile of Ohio’s Eldora Speedway. He completed the journey with a solid third in the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix at California’s Ventura Raceway.
It was a marked improvement for Wiedeman in all facets as he more than doubled his top-five and top-ten output in relatively the same amount of feature starts, which he concedes all came as he accrued more seat time and gained familiarity with the cars after making 66 feature starts over the past three seasons.
“My car control definitely improved a lot throughout the year,” Wiedeman stated. “The speed has come, but it’s more about being consistent, making solid laps and qualifying well every night, which is very important throughout a championship points run. I think we’ll have something to show in 2023.”
Inching ever closer to the front of the pack, Wiedeman feels that 2023 is the year it’s going to happen, a year in which he overcomes the hurdle to collect a first career USAC National Midget feature triumph.
“I’ve been really close a lot of times,” Wiedeman acknowledged. “But I think it’s coming this year. With Chad behind me and the whole team over at CB Industries, I’m excited to see what we can do, and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity.”
The 2023 USAC National Midget Series kicks off on April 21-22 at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway for the Kokomo Grand Prix.