BRANDON, SD – USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets have competed in the state of South Dakota just six times in the 66-year history of the series.
This weekend, the series will compete in three shows on back-to-back-to-back nights in the Mount Rushmore State at the inaugural Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals Friday-Saturday-Sunday, September 10-11-12.
USAC National Midgets last competed at Huset’s a quarter of a century ago in 1996 with Kenny Irwin Jr. winning the feature en route to the series title.
Six previous South Dakota USAC National Midget races have produced six different winners between 1976-1996: Steve Cannon (1976 in Huron), Sleepy Tripp (1976 in Rapid City), Johnny Parsons (1977 in Huron), Rich Vogler (1977 in Hartford), Ken Schrader (1982 in Hartford) and Kenny Irwin Jr. (1996 at Huset’s).
All three nights this weekend will pay feature points only. Friday and Saturday’s 30-lap feature events pay $5,000-to-win while Sunday night’s finale is 100 laps in length and pays $20,000-to-win and $1,000 to start as part of a three-night purse totaling in excess of $200,000.
A handful of drivers in this weekend’s USAC National Midget lineup possess only previous sprint car experience at Huset’s back in 2016. One-time 2021 series winner Justin Grant finished 3rd and 2nd in USAC National Sprint Car competition five years ago. Grant’s RMS Racing teammate, Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.), won his heat and finished 4th that night.
Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) recorded the fastest lap ever turned by a USAC Sprint Car at Huset’s in 2016 with a time of 12.711. He won his heat and finished 6th on the first night, then collected a 7th place result on the second of two nights.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.), the 2020 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Driving Champion, was 10th in a USAC Sprint Car on opening night 2016. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) flipped during the feature just four laps from the finish in his 2016 sprint car run, which knocked him out of competition for the weekend.
The majority of the weekend belongs to Huset’s Midget racing first-timers, which include six of the top-10 in the current points. Point leader Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) has won on four occasions this season and leads a tight, nine-point championship race over Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.), who has won twice and finished inside the top-five in nine of his last 10 series starts.
No driver has won more often this year, or last year, than 2016 USAC National Midget champ Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.), who won his series-leading seventh feature in the most recent round last Sunday night at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis. He stands fifth overall in points.
Shane Golobic (Penngrove, Calif.) is entered in race promoter Matt Wood’s midget. The one-time USAC National Midget winner, 2016 series runner-up, and 2017 Indiana Midget Week champion will make his first series appearance of the season.
Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) is one of two drivers, along with Justin Grant, to win in all three USAC National divisions this year: Midget, Sprint & Silver Crown. The 2018 USAC National Midget titlist is seventh in the standings with one series victory to his credit this year in the midgets.
Seavey is among the 10 drivers on the pre-entry list who are pulling double-duty by competing in both the USAC Sprint Car and Midget divisions at Huset’s along with Bacon, Grant, Meseraull, Thomas, Windom, Thorson, Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.), Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colo.) and Chad Frewaldt (Kansas City, Kan.).
McDougal, along with Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.) and Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) are all USAC National Midget feature winners making their Huset’s debuts as is three-time USAC National Midget fast qualifier Ethan Mitchell (Mooresville, N.C.) and 2021 series top-Rookie Chase Randall (Waco, Texas), along with fellow series Rookies Brenham Crouch (Lubbock, Texas), Hayden Reinbold (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Austin Barnhill (Wilmington, N.C.).
Jody Rosenboom (Rock Rapids, Iowa) is the all-time winningest 360 Sprint Car driver at Huset’s, was the 2008 360 track champ. The 2004 Huset’s Speedway 360 Rookie of the Year and 2006 410 RoY currently leads the Midwest Sprint Touring Series point standings.
Chance Crum (Snohomish, Wash.) is a three-time USAC Midwest Regional Midget winner in 2021. Ryan Timms (Oklahoma City, Okla.) has been a victor with both POWRi Midget and ASCS Sprint Cars throughout the season. Maria Cofer (Macdoel, Calif.) has been a one-time winner with the USAC Western Midgets during the year.
Casey Hicks (Westwood, Kan.) resides third Central States Midget Series points. Brothers Lance Bennett (Aurora, Colo.) and Blaze Bennett (Parker, Colo.) are representatives from the Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association on their way to Huset’s. Lance resides third in the standings, Blaze 20th.
A Thursday practice night begins the festivities for both divisions on September 9 starting at 6pm Central. Pit gates will open at Noon Central, and the front gates will open at 4pm. Pit passes are $20 for practice night and the stands will be open to all fans for free admission. Engine heat takes place at 5pm, followed by a quick drivers meeting at 5:45pm, then moving right along into the first practice session at 6pm.
For the first two nights of racing at Huset’s on Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11, pit gates open at Noon Central. The front gates will open at 4pm with the drivers meeting at 3:30pm and engine heat and cars on track at 5:15pm. The Sprint Car and Midget features will each pay $5,000 to win on Friday and Saturday.
On the final night, championship night, on Sunday, Sept. 12, pit gates open at Noon Central. The front gates will open at 3pm with the drivers meeting at 4:15pm and cars on track at 4:45pm. The Sprint Car and Midget features will each pay $20,000 to win on Sunday.
General admission tickets each night are $35 for adults, $20 for youths age 6-12 and free for children age 5 and under. Reserved tickets are available now in advance at www.USACnationals.com.
If you can’t make it to the event in person, all three nights of racing action at the Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals will be aired live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2ZpafUr.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-1607, 2-Emerson Axsom-1598, 3-Chris Windom-1582, 4-Justin Grant-1532, 5-Tanner Thorson-1530, 6-Daison Pursley-1466, 7-Logan Seavey-1352, 8-Thomas Meseraull-1329, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1315, 10-Cannon McIntosh-1188.
PAST USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WINNERS IN SOUTH DAKOTA:
7-20-1976: Steve Cannon | State Fairgrounds Speedway | Huron, SD
7-21-1976: Sleepy Tripp | Black Hills Speedway | Rapid City, SD
7-3-1977: Johnny Parsons | State Fairgrounds Speedway | Huron, SD
7-7-1977: Rich Vogler | Hartford Speedway | Hartford, SD
8-1-1982: Ken Schrader | Hartford Speedway | Hartford, SD
7-30-1996: Kenny Irwin, Jr. | Huset’s Speedway | Brandon, SD
TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC NATIONAL MIDGETS AT HUSET’S SPEEDWAY:
1 Lap – 7/30/1996 – Tracy Hines – 13.923 – 86.102 mph
8 Laps – 7/30/1996 – Kenny Irwin Jr. – 1:58.03 – 81.254 mph
12 Laps – 7/30/1996 – Cory Kruseman – 3:02.33 – 78.899 mph
PAST HUSET’S SPEEDWAY USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RESULTS:
1996 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Kenny Irwin, Jr., 2. Kevin Doty, 3. Jay Drake, 4. Brian Gerster, 5. Tracy Hines, 6. Jeff Sands, 7. Cory Kruseman, 8. Donnie Lehmann (#30), 9. Carl Olsen, 10. Gary Howard, 11. John Heydenreich, 12. Boyd Calvert, 13. Mark Boice, 14. Scott Hansen, 15. Dave Strickland, Jr., 16. Steve Barth, 17. Keith Rauch, 18. Dennis Parker. (David Bridges disqualified for failing to meet specs regarding fuel). NT