By RICHIE MURRAY
LAWRENCEBURG, IN – USAC’s most recent event at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway came to be known as “Logan Seavey Night” during early June of this year when he swept both the USAC Indiana Midget Week feature and the accompanying local sprint car A-Main on the very same night.
As it just so happened, that marvelous showing in the Spring was just a prelude to an unforgettable midsummer encore performance.
Seavey delivered a Sunday night spectacular in round two of USAC NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week by AMSOIL feature at the southeastern Indiana 3/8-mile dirt oval that he’d been the dominant force at just seven weeks prior.
Seven weeks later, Seavey was the winner once again on the high banks of “The Burg” in his Baldwin-Fox Racing/Fox Paving – Claxton Engines/DRC/Claxton Chevy to become just the third driver to earn victories in both an Indiana Midget Week and Indiana Sprint Week feature at the same track in the same season.
Jerry Coons Jr. won both an IMW and ISW feature at Kamp Motor Speedway in 2007 while Bryan Clauson equaled the feat at Bloomington Speedway in 2013.
Seavey’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car score on this night was the third of his career and was also the second triumph added to his Indiana Sprint Week resume, coming exactly a year and a day following his first one in the 2020 opener at Gas City.
Meanwhile, Seavey, who joined the Baldwin-Fox team in early May, provided the distinctive orange No. 5 its first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature win since an Eastern Storm victory at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway more than three years ago in 2018 with driver Chris Windom.
“It feels so good,” Seavey exclaimed. “I feel like every time I’ve been here, I’ve been good. This year, everything’s coming together.”
The fourth-starting Seavey was in the hunt throughout the duration of the 30-lapper despite the race for the lead over the first two-thirds of the event being hotly contest by front row starters Jake Swanson and Tanner Thorson who exchanged slide jobs on both ends of the racetrack, first coming courtesy of Thorson in turn one and then Swanson following in kind in turn two. Thorson fired another shot in turn one on the lap, getting by momentarily until Swanson countered off two to secure the lead, which he’d hold onto for the first 17 laps.
Thorson thwarted Seavey’s advances a third of the way through the event, responding to Seavey’s slider for second with a crossover exiting turn two to reoccupy the position.
By midway, the chapter had been turned to a quagmire of heavy traffic for the frontrunners. Swanson commanded the race by eight car lengths, but his progress stalled out as he attempted to put reigning Indiana Sprint Week champion Chase Stockon a lap down. On the 18th lap, Thorson followed Stockon on the top line, which opened the bottom door for Thorson to slot his way into the top spot.
However, Swanson wasn’t apt to fall by the wayside so quickly and so easily, returning to the inside of Thorson off turns three and four, and just barely being nipped at the line by Thorson. Swanson glided from the bottom of turn one to the top of turn two to put his number 21AZ back on the top of the pylon.
Moments later, Seavey entered into the fray on the bottom of the back straightaway when Thorson sliced between Seavey and Swanson in an attempt to slide past Swanson into turn three. Swanson kept his foot in it, never lifting, no hesitating, and eked around Thorson’s right side wheels to reassume the number one position.
Thorson reengaged and, using the machine of Stockon as a sort of “pick,” climbed the ladder from the bottom of turn one to the top of turn two to pocket the top spot back for himself on lap 22. However, simultaneously, 22nd running Paul Nienhiser stopped in turn four to bring out the yellow, negating Thorson’s move and sending him back to second behind Swanson, who was now clear of traffic after the caution.
On the restart, the man on the move was Seavey who quickly surpassed Thorson on lap 22, then set his sights on running down Swanson. On lap 24, Seavey’s eyes were affixed on the ride of Swanson. Just then, Swanson became sideways on the topside at the exit of turn two, allowing Seavey to charge under for the lead.
Six laps later, just one corner from the race win and with the checkered flag literally within his sight, a half-track behind him, Justin Grant and Jadon Rogers made wheel-to-wheel contact with each other while battling for eighth, sending Rogers tumbling upside down on the 30th lap. Rogers was uninjured.
With the incident taking place, for Seavey, the altercation put the kibosh on a surefire feature win and forced him to partake in a tense green-white-checkered finish with Swanson and Thorson right on his tail tank.
The pressurized situation quite naturally presented a certain magnitude of stress, but Seavey was game for the challenge as he waited patiently to return to work.
“The red coming to the checker was a heartbreaker,” Seavey recalled. “You’ve got to sit there for five minutes under red and figure out what you’ve got to do better to keep these guys behind you because they’re doing the same thing. This motor, I think I pushed out all the water under the red and pushed half the power steering fluid out. I don’t know how many more laps we had in her.”
Undeniable is the label Seavey was working under on the final restart as the battle raged for second behind him between Thorson and Swanson, with Thorson edging ahead initially before Swanson, with a severely bent radius rod and all, scraped his way back into the runner-up spot.
The advantage went to Seavey with the second-place bicker between Swanson and Thorson firing on all cylinders. With absolutely nothing serving as a deterrent, Seavey went free and easy to the finish line, gapping Swanson and Thorson in the process to the tune of a 1.161 second margin at the finish line. Swanson took second with Thorson third, Brady Bacon fourth and Kevin Thomas Jr. fifth.
“I had a pretty decent restart and just tried to protect from there,” Seavey explained. “I kind of slid myself there on the last lap. I knew doing that would probably be safe if I didn’t screw it up. It’s just so hard to cross over a slider. I couldn’t afford to get slid there on the last lap.”
In his first eight USAC starts for the Baldwin-Fox operation since joining them in May, Seavey hadn’t finished better than ninth at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway. Sunday night at Lawrenceburg, the team finally hit the sweet spot in USAC competition.
“Hats off to (crew chief) Derek (Claxton),” Seavey praised. “This thing’s a dream to drive. I was almost running flat out around here at the end. Derek has this thing so driveable. It really fits how I like to drive. I ran really, really straight and you have to have a free car to do that, and you can run really hard against the cushion that way. He just trusts me and knows what I need to get around this track. I’m sure it’s a little bit different than what he’s used to, but he does what I need and sees what I need to go fast. We’re able to do that fairly effortlessly. It doesn’t take a whole of communication between us and that’s nice. This car does exactly what I want it to do and that makes my job easy.”
After leading a race-high 22 laps, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) had to settle with a runner-up finish for the third time during the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season aboard his Team AZ Racing/Honey Shine – USW Cat Construction – RSS Industries – CSI/DRC/1-Way Chevy. A first career series win has eluded him thus far, but Swanson firmly believes his day will soon arrive.
“It’s getting old running second,” Swanson admitted. “I can’t hang my head too much, though. I’ve got really smart guys on my racecar and, if I keep doing my job, it’s going to come. I just couldn’t get off turn two there; I started to get tight. But man, it definitely hurts to run second again.”
Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) established himself as a bonafide Indiana Sprint Week championship threat, rising to third in the standings following his performance on Sunday night in Lawrenceburg in which he led a lap and finished in the third position driving his Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports/AME Electrical – CSI – MVT/Spike/Stanton Chevy.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) overcame some early mechanical woes that included an engine issue which required the changing of mags and boxes before ultimately deciding to completely swap the engine out after the heat race. After a flat left rear tire due to contact between he and Nick Bilbee on lap two, Grant’s crew got new rubber swapped on, allowing Saturday night’s Kokomo winner to rejoin the field from the tail to finish eighth, which earned the Ione, California driver KSE Racing Products/Irvin King Hard Charger honors for the evening.
In Fatheadz Eyewear Qualifying, Brady Bacon earned his second consecutive fast time with the Indiana Sprint Week series over the past two evenings, and also achieved the 42nd of his USAC National Sprint Car career, fourth on the all-time list.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 25, 2021 – Lawrenceburg Speedway – Lawrenceburg, Indiana – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track – 34th NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week by AMSOIL
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FLIGHT ONE: 1. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.707; 2. Logan Seavey, 5, Baldwin-13.825; 3. Tyler Kendall, 20, Kendall-13.928; 4. Jake Swanson, 21AZ, Team AZ-13.946; 5. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.969; 6. Tye Mihocko, 47, Eades-13.994; 7. Shane Cottle, 74x, Hodges-14.013; 8. Jadon Rogers, 14, Rogers-14.026; 9. Chase Johnson, 22, Goodnight-14.050; 10. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-14.054; 11. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.113; 12. C.J. Leary, 77m, Michael-14.123; 13. Thomas Meseraull, 2, Yeley-14.146; 14. Nick Bilbee, 17, Bilbee-14.147; 15. Paul Nienhiser, 5N, KO-14.247; 16. Ryan Barr, 21B, Barr-14.501; 17. Alex Banales, 5x, Baldwin/Fox-14.574; 18. J.J. Hughes, 76, Hughes-14.591; 19. Charles Davis Jr., 47D, Davis-14.627; 20. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-14.716; 21. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-14.774.
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING FLIGHT TWO: 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-13.808; 2. Stevie Sussex, 77s, Sturgeon-13.989; 3. Scotty Weir, 23s, Simon-14.112; 4. Tanner Thorson, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-14.284; 5. Jason McDougal, 5m, KO-14.284; 6. Jordan Kinser, 17G, On The Gass-14.296; 7. Braydon Cromwell, 4x, Cromwell-14.383; 8. Cannon McIntosh, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-14.392; 9. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.398; 10. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson Marshall Newman-14.508; 11. Saban Bibent, 98, Wedgewood-14.519; 12. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-14.524; 13. Chase Jones, 81G, Gray-14.530; 14. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-14.560; 15. Korbyn Hayslett, 1H, Hayslett-14.560; 16. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 51T, Tafoya-14.624; 17. Max Guilford, 79BT, Goodnight-14.730; 18. Joss Moffatt, 5J, Moffatt/Wright-14.744; 19. Tayte Williamson, 20, 88 Speed Shop-15.466; 20. Ricky Lewis, 43B, Tibbits-17.488.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Chase Johnson, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Kyle Cummins, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Shane Cottle, 6. Paul Nienhiser, 7. Tyler Kendall, 8. Thomas Meseraull, 9. Charles Davis Jr., 10. Chris Gansen, 11. Alex Banales. 2:21.38
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. C.J. Leary, 2. Tye Mihocko, 3. Jake Swanson, 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Nick Bilbee, 6. Jadon Rogers, 7. Ryan Barr, 8. Kyle Edwards, 9. Chris Windom, 10. J.J. Hughes. NT
INDY METAL FINISHING THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3. Jason McDougal, 4. Scotty Weir, 5. Chase Jones, 6. Max Guilford, 7. Korbyn Hayslett, 8. Braydon Cromwell, 9. Tayte Williamson, 10. Saban Bibent. NT
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Cole Bodine, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Tanner Thorson, 4. Cannon McIntosh, 5. Jordan Kinser, 6. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 7. Sterling Cling, 8. Stevie Sussex, 9. Joss Moffatt, 10. Ricky Lewis. 2:37.12
C-MAIN: (6 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) , 1. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 2. Max Guilford, 3. Chris Gansen, 4. Charles Davis Jr., 5. Tayte Williamson, 6. Ricky Lewis, 7. Alex Banales, 8. Kyle Edwards. NT
ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Nick Bilbee, 2. Thomas Meseraull, 3. Stevie Sussex, 4. Shane Cottle, 5. Jadon Rogers, 6. Tyler Kendall, 7. Jordan Kinser, 8. Korbyn Hayslett, 9. Max Guilford, 10. Chris Windom, 11. Braydon Cromwell, 12. Chase Jones, 13. Paul Nienhiser, 14. Ryan Barr, 15. Eddie Tafoya Jr., 16. Sterling Cling, 17. Chris Gansen, 18. Charles Davis Jr. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (4), 2. Jake Swanson (2), 3. Tanner Thorson (1), 4. Brady Bacon (6), 5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (5), 6. C.J. Leary (10), 7. Robert Ballou (8), 8. Justin Grant (19), 9. Kyle Cummins (13), 10. Shane Cottle (16), 11. Cole Bodine (9), 12. Chase Johnson (7), 13. Scotty Weir (3), 14. Nick Bilbee (21), 15. Chris Windom (22-P), 16. Stevie Sussex (11), 17. Chase Stockon (20), 18. Jadon Rogers (17), 19. Jason McDougal (14), 20. Cannon McIntosh (18), 21. Tye Mihocko (15), 22. Paul Nienhiser (23-P), 23. Thomas Meseraull (24), 24. Tyler Kendall (12). NT
(P) represents a provisional starter
**Saban Bibent flipped during the third heat. Jadon Rogers flipped on lap 30 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-17 Jake Swanson, Lap 18 Tanner Thorson, Laps 19-23 Jake Swanson, Laps 24-30 Logan Seavey.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-1521, 2-Justin Grant-1448, 3-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1439, 4-C.J. Leary-1307, 5-Robert Ballou-1302, 6-Tanner Thorson-1266, 7-Jake Swanson-1218, 8-Chris Windom-1211, 9-Chase Stockon-902, 10-Paul Nienhiser-848.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK INDIANA SPRINT WEEK BY AMSOIL POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-164, 2-Kevin Thomas Jr.-155, 3-Tanner Thorson-147, 4-Justin Grant-145, 5-Logan Seavey-145, 6-C.J. Leary-139, 7-Jake Swanson-134, 8-Kyle Cummins-130, 9-Robert Ballou-124, 10-Shane Cottle-102.
OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tanner Thorson-100, 2-Thomas Meseraull-95, 3-Robert Ballou-88, 4-Justin Grant-87, 5-Kevin Thomas Jr.-83, 6-Chris Windom-83, 7-Brady Bacon-78, 8-Logan Seavey-68, 9-Buddy Kofoid-63, 10-C.J. Leary-55.
INDIANA SPRINT WEEK PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Stevie Sussex-24, 2-Chase Jones-13, 3-Cole Bodine-11, 4-Brayden Clark-10, 5-Brady Bacon-7, 6-Shane Cottle-7, 7-Chase Stockon-7, 8-Korbyn Hayslett-6, 9-Critter Malone-6, 10-Tanner Thorson-5.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: July 26, 2021 – Gas City I-69 Speedway – Gas City, Indiana – 1/4-Mile Dirt Track – 34th NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week by AMSOIL
CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:
GSP Driving Performance of the Night: Nick Bilbee
Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Brady Bacon
Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Chase Johnson
Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: C.J. Leary
Indy Metal Finishing Third Heat Winner: Robert Ballou
Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner: Cole Bodine
Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: Nick Bilbee
KSE Racing Products / Irvin King Hard Charger: Justin Grant (19th to 8th)
ProSource Hard Work Award: Nick Bilbee
Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Scotty Weir
Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Jordan Kinser