Wayne County Speedway (Illinois)
Wayne County Speedway
Wayne City, IL
Jason Leffler Memorial
USAC National Midgets
A cool evening welcomed the throng of fans gathering in rural Wayne County for this year’s version of the Jason Leffler Memorial Race. A good midget race on a small bullring like the 1/5-mile oval here, is always entertaining. The current midget culture is a unique one in dirt track racing. Most of these drivers don’t own their own stuff. Many are between the ages of 14-25. That combination leads to shaky decisions on the track that often lead to excitement, disaster, or both. Mostly, it can be really entertaining to watch.
Heat one (started): 1. Tyler Thomas 91T (2) 2. Christopher Bell 21 (1) 3. Zach Daum 5D (4) 4. Logan Seavey 67 (5) 5. Ethan Mitchell 19M (3) 6. Zeb Wise 39BC (8) 7. Sam Johnson 72 (7) 8. Brian Grogan 7G (6) DNS – Brian Jones 51B
10 lap heats used passing points to line up Qualifiers. The track was dry to start the night. T. Thomas led Bell and Daum for the distance. By the halfway mark, Wise had moved from the tail to fifth. Seavey came on late, from row three to get by Wise and Mitchell for fourth.
Heat two (started): 1. Chad Boat 74 (2) 2. Alex Bright 77 (1) 3. Cole Bodine 39B (4) 4. Spencer Bayston 97 (7) 5. Cannon McIntosh 08 (8) 6. David Budres 23 (6) 7. Karsyn Elledge 83 (5) 8. Ray Seach 31 (3)
Boat led from the start and dominated. On lap six, a third running Seach smacked the turn four infield tire, and was done. McIntosh used the restart to get by Budres for fifth.
Heat three (started): 1. Tyler Courtney 7BC (1) 2. Justin Grant 17BC (2) 3. Ryan Robinson 71 (3) 4. Dave Darland 7D (5) 5. Jonathan Beason 8J (7) 6. Russ Gamester 51 (8) 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. 63 (6) 8. Travis Young 11Y (4)
This was a mostly single-file affair that had two cautions. Young spun with one lap completed, and then K. Thomas got sideways, collecting Young with three down.
Heat four (started): 1. Brady Bacon 76M (3) 2. Jerry Coons Jr. 25 (4) 3. Holley Hollan 35 (1) 4. Holly Shelton 67K (6) 5. Tucker Klaasmeyer 27 (8) 6. Garrett Thomas 56Y (7) 7. Daryn Pittman 21P (5) 8. Chase Jones 33 (2)
Hollan led Petry teammate Coons and Bacon early. Bacon used the high side to shoot around Coons for second on the second lap, and the lead trio went three-wide in turn four on lap three, with Bacon emerging with the lead. Coons took second on lap four. C. Jones spun, collecting Klaasmeyer on lap five. Pittman had worked up to fourth when he slowed with two to go and retired for the night.
Heat five (started): 1. Jake Neuman 3N (1) 2. Jason McDougal 15 (8) 3. Tanner Carrick 71K (3) 4. Daniel Robinson 91 (6) 5. McKenna Haase 85 (5) 6. Kyle O’Gara 67F (4) 7. Brayton Lynch 1K (7) 8. Mark Chisholm 56x (2)
Neuman led the distance, but all eyes were on McDougal, who was a rare resident of the top groove after starting on the tail. He shot into fourth by lap two, took third from D. Robinson on lap five and edged Carrick at the line for second.
Qualifier One (started, *qualified for feature): 1. McDougal (6*) 2. Darland (1*) 3. Bodine (3*) 4. Coons (5*) 5. K. Thomas Jr. (9) 6. Grant (4) 7. Chisholm (11) 8. Young (10) 9. Budres (8) 10. Haase (7) 11. Klaasmeyer (2)
12-lap qualifiers were inverted by six according to heat passing points. The top sixteen in combined points between heats and qualifiers locked into the A. More McDougal in this one. Darland led early over Bodine and Klaasmeyer. Haase spun on lap four. The restart saw Darland leading Bodine, Coons, Klaasmeyer and McDougal. McDougal shot into fourth, and then took third on lap six. He passed Bodine for second on lap eight, and then roared into the lead with three to go. One final caution came out for a spun Haase.
Qualifier Two (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Courtney (5*) 2. Bell (4*) 3. Wise (7*) 4. Bacon (6*) 5. Shelton (4) 6. R. Robinson (2) 7. Hollan (1) 8. S. Johnson (8) 9. Elledge (9) 10. B. Jones (10)
Hollan led lap one ahead of Shelton and Courtney. Courtney slid into the lead on lap two. Great racing was happening behind the leaders between Wise and Bacon. They swapped fifth, then fourth, then third as they moved up through the field. They banged wheels and then went three-wide into third and fourth.
Qualifier Three (started, *qualified for feature): 1. T. Thomas (6*) 2. Neuman (5*) 3. Beason (1*) 4. Carrick (2*) 5. Bright (4*) 6. D. Robinson (3) 7. O’Gara (8) 8. Seach (9) 9. G. Thomas (7) DNS – Pittman
D. Robinson led Beason and Neuman, up from fifth, early on. Neuman passed the top two to lead on lap two. At the halfway point, Neuman led Beason, Carrick, and T. Thomas before Seach stopped, bringing caution. T. Thomas had new life, moving into third on the restart, passing Beason for second on lap eight and Neuman for the lead on lap nine.
Qualifier Four (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Seavey (2*) 2. Boat (6*) 3. Bayston (5*) 4. Gamester (1) 5. Daum (4) 6. Mitchell (7) 7. Lynch (8) 8. Grogan (9) 9. McIntosh (3) 10. C. Jones (10)
Gamester led Seavey and Daum early. Seavey would take the point and pull away at the halfway point. Gamester contacted an infield tire and slowed on lap eight. Boat shot into second at that point. With a lap to go, C. Jones tipped over. He was uninjured. McIntosh was also involved. Gamester was penalized back to fourth for being out of line on the restart.
C main (started): 1. Budres (2) 2. Haase (4) 3. Klaasmeyer (6) 4. Seach (7) / 5. Grogan (5) 6. Elledge (8) 7. G. Thomas (1) 8. Young (3) DNS – B. Jones, C. Jones, Pittman
Budres led the distance in the 12-lapper that took the top four to the B. Haase passed G. Thomas for second on lap two. Klassmeyer moved up into a transfer by lap four, and passed Seach, who started in row four for third with three to go.
B main (started): 1. Grant (3) 2. K. Thomas Jr. (6) 3. Daum (1) 4. Shelton (2) 5. R. Robinson (7) 6. Klaasmeyer (17) / 7. Gamester (5) 8. Hollan (9) 9. O’Gara (10) 10. McIntosh (11) 11. Seach (18) 12. S. Johnson (14) 13. Budres (15) 14. Chisholm (13) 15. Mitchell (8) 16. Haase (16) 17. D. Robinson (4) 18. Lynch (12)
The 15-lap B took the top six to the A. Daum led Grant and Shelton early. K. Thomas Jr. and D. Robinson moved into third and fourth by lap four.Grant shot into the led on lap seven. K. Thomas Jr. passed Daum for second on lap eight. R. Robinson worked by Gamester for the sixth and final transfer on the same lap. S. Johnson spun with five to go. Grant led K. Thomas Jr., Daum, Shelton, D. Robinson and R. Robinson back to green. Klaasmeyer was up to eighth from row nine. Klaasmeyer continued his charge and looked to be driving around D. Robinson for a transfer. D. Robinson drove all the way to the wall, and directly into Klaasmeyer. Luckily, both continued. Meanwhile, Mitchell and Lynch got together in turn one. The race for the final transfer was on. D. Robinson would spin in the final corner, handing it to Klaasmeyer in a mad scramble that involved four cars. Whether he spun by himself, or with help, most in the crowd though it was justice for D. Robinson’s earlier incident. Confrontations in the pits ensued, but cooler heads prevailed.
A main (started): 1. T. Thomas (2) 2. Boat (4) 3. Courtney (3) 4. Grant (17) 5. Beason (14) 6. Bell (7) 7. Bayston (8) 8. Wise (12) 9. Seavey (9) 10. K. Thomas Jr. (17) 11. R. Robinson (21) 12. Bodine (11) 13. S. Johnson (23, prov.) 14. Bright (14) 15. Coons (10) 16. Bacon (6) 17. Carrick (15) 18. Darland (13) 19. Neuman (5) 20. Shelton (20) 21. Klaasmeyer (22) 22. McDougal (1) 23. Daum (19)
McDougal led the 40-lapper early over T. Thomas and Courtney. T. Thomas would find his way under McDougal to lead lap four, and he was into lapped traffic on lap 13. Bell looked good in traffic, and got by Courtney for third on lap 15. One circuit later, he tangled with the lapped car of Daum, and had to restart at the rear. T. Thomas led McDougal, Courtney, Boat and Bayston back to green. Nineteen laps in, Courtney slid across two and into McDougal in a battle for second. McDougal suffered front end damage and was done. T. Thomas led Courtney, Boat, Seavey and Bayston back to green. Klaasmeyer would tip over on lap 27. He was unhurt. Grant was suddenly into the top five after starting 17th. Bacon stopped, bringing caution with nine to go. T. Thomas led Courtney, Boat, Seavey and Grant back to green. Grant shot by Seavey for fourth on the restart. Beason would come with Grant after starting 14th and grab fifth. Coming for the white flag, Boat would pass Courtney for second. Meanwhile, up front, no one challenged T. Thomas and he cashed in $10,000.