Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) captured Saturday's USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature victory on night two of the Huset's Speedway USAC Nationals. (DB3, Inc. Photo) (Video Highlights from FloRacing.com)
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Brandon, South Dakota (September 11, 2021)………For the second consecutive evening, Chris Windom found himself taking over the lead just nine laps from the finish of the 30-lap USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship feature event at Brandon, South Dakota’s Huset’s Speedway.
On Friday, however, Windom’s mercurial move to the bottom while leading left the top open and resulted in an unhappy Windom finishing second and champing at the bit to right the wrongs the next time he hit the track.
The Canton, Ill. driver was beside himself at the moment, and made a pledge to himself that given the same scenario, he’d certainly not change course on his own accord in round number two of the Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals.
Come Saturday night, Windom found himself in a similar spot. Starting sixth, he climbed to second by lap four, stalked leader Daison Pursley throughout the first two-thirds of the race, then slid his way into the lead on lap 22 of the 30-lap distance, staying loyal to the topside throughout the duration.
Windom ultimately score his redemptional fourth USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship victory of the year in his CB Industries/NOS Energy Drink – PristineAuction.com – K & C Drywall/Spike/Speedway Toyota.
Saturday night’s $5,000 triumph was the 10th of Windom’s USAC National Midget career, tying him for 69th all-time with Allen Heath, Doug Kalitta, Brad Kuhn, Steve Lotshaw, Jerry McClung and Chuck Weyant.
Following a large range of emotions over the past two nights, Windom made it abundantly clear his preference for the result that came in his “green-to-checker” run over his “green-white-checkered” finish that came just 24 hours earlier.
“(Car owner) Chad (Boat) had this car so good the last two nights,” Windom said. “I was really frustrated after losing last night. I was definitely not coming off the top tonight and I felt like I was not going to lose this race.”
Windom took his first shot at Pursley for the lead in turn one just past the halfway mark on lap 16, diving to the bottom briefly to slide his way by Pursley. Unable to make the move stick, Windom tucked into line behind Pursley as Logan Seavey posed a brief challenge to Windom for the second position.
Moments later, in turn one on the 17th lap, series point leader Buddy Kofoid saw a glimpse of daylight to slot in between Windom and Seavey for the third position as he dove his way into turn one. While sliding up the racetrack in front of Seavey, Seavey banged his right rear tire off the cushion, and subsequently got on the bike by lifting both left side tires. When his car came back to all fours, Seavey’s left front tire landed atop Kofoid’s right rear. As Seavey gathered up his car and his senses, Kofoid had sped away with the third position for his own taking.
As Pursley drew closer to lapped traffic, he found himself coerced into leaving the comfort of the topside to cut below 19th running Hayden Reinbold. As soon as Pursley traveled to the low groove in turns three and four, Windom quickly ate up all the ground Pursley left unguarded up top.
When Pursley drifted back uphill to the top on the front straight behind Reinbold, Windom had a full head of steam and zeroed in on the opportunity, driving downhill from the top of turn four to the bottom of turn one, completing the pass as he broad slid into the lane located a few feet from the outside wall just ahead of the chrome on Pursley’s front bumper.
All the right moves in all the right places, that’s how Windom’s race was going to go down on this night.
“When you’re running second, you can kind of tell where you’re gaining a little time on the guy who’s leading,” Windom explained. “I’d get him coming off each corner a little bit, but the midgets are so close in speed here, it’s really hard to close up on a guy, so when you get there, you’ve got to make the right move. I made one early and I wasn’t close enough. I had to rebound and run him back down.”
Once Windom cleared Reinbold while utilizing a turn one slider just eight laps from the close, it was lights out for the rest of the field as Windom separated himself from Pursley to collect the win by a 0.977 second margin. Pursley finished in the second position with Kofoid third, Seavey fourth and Shane Golobic fifth.
Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) led a race-high 22 laps before finishing as the runner-up in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/IWX – TRD – Toyota/Bullet By Spike/Speedway Toyota, which marked his second consecutive top-five finish at Huset’s after finishing fifth on Friday, along with his eighth top-10 in his last nine starts.
Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Okla.) upped his Huset’s performance from fourth on Friday to third on Saturday in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Mobil 1 – TRD – Toyota/Bullet By Spike/Speedway Toyota, which helped him maintain a slight 13-point advantage over Windom in the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship standings.
Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) recorded his first career fast time with the series during Fatheadz Eyewear Qualifying with a new Huset’s Speedway USAC National Midget one-lap track record of 12.776 in his Matt Wood Racing/Southern Pacific Farms – Elk Grove Ford/Spike/Stanton SR-11x. Moles finished 12th in the night’s feature.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 11, 2021 – Huset’s Speedway – Brandon, South Dakota – 1/3-Mile Dirt Oval – Inaugural Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals
FLIGHT ONE FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Mitchel Moles, 07w, Wood-12.776 (New Track Record); 2. Emerson Axsom, 15, Petry-12.847; 3. Logan Seavey, 25, Malloy-12.856; 4. Chris Windom, 89, CBI-12.877; 5. Hayden Reinbold, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.910; 6. Brenham Crouch, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.989; 7. Austin Barnhill, 17B, Dave Mac-13.179; 8. Aaron Werner, 11w, Peterson-13.731; 9. Casey Hicks, 5H, Hicks-13.794.
FLIGHT TWO FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 5, Petry-12.908; 2. Cannon McIntosh, 08, Dave Mac-12.961; 3. Ethan Mitchell, 19m, Bundy Built-12.967; 4. Chase Randall, 19A, Reinbold/Underwood-12.987; 5. Justin Grant, 2J, RMS-13.032; 6. Buddy Kofoid, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.043; 7. Ryan Timms, 85T, CBI-13.079; 8. Chad Frewaldt, 4c, Frewaldt-13.795; 9. Blaze Bennett, 10B, Bennett-13.953.
FLIGHT THREE FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Shane Golobic, 17w, Wood-12.850; 2. Chance Crum, 26, Rudeen-12.989; 3. Maria Cofer, 57, Abacus-13.011; 4. Daison Pursley, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.026; 5. Tanner Thorson, 19T, Reinbold/Underwood-13.097; 6. Thomas Meseraull, 7x, RMS-13.106; 7. Jason McDougal, 19, Hayward-13.127; 8. Lance Bennett, 10, Mason-13.636.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, winner plus top-5 in points transfer to the feature) 1. Austin Barnhill, 2. Mitchel Moles, 3. Brenham Crouch, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Emerson Axsom, 6. Logan Seavey, 7. Hayden Reinbold, 8. Aaron Werner, 9. Casey Hicks. 2:20.08
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, winner plus top-5 in points transfer to the feature) 1. Buddy Kofoid, 2. Ryan Timms, 3. Cannon McIntosh, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Kevin Thomas Jr., 6. Chase Randall, 7. Chad Frewaldt, 8. Blaze Bennett, 9. Ethan Mitchell. 2:17.91
INDY METAL FINISHING / INDY RACE PARTS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, winner plus top-5 in points transfer to the feature) 1. Shane Golobic, 2. Jason McDougal, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. Tanner Thorson, 5. Daison Pursley, 6. Chance Crum, 7. Maria Cofer, 8. Lance Bennett. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (6), 2. Daison Pursley (1), 3. Buddy Kofoid (7), 4. Logan Seavey (3), 5. Shane Golobic (12), 6. Justin Grant (13), 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. (9), 8. Thomas Meseraull (16), 9. Cannon McIntosh (10), 10. Chance Crum (5), 11. Emerson Axsom (8), 12. Mitchel Moles (11), 13. Tanner Thorson (15), 14. Chase Randall (18), 15. Ryan Timms (14), 16. Jason McDougal (17), 17. Maria Cofer (19), 18. Brenham Crouch (2), 19. Hayden Reinbold (20), 20. Chad Frewaldt (21), 21. Austin Barnhill (4), 22. Aaron Werner (23), 23. Casey Hicks (25), 24. Lance Bennett (22), 25. Blaze Bennett (24). 7:31.12 (New Track Record)
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Daison Pursley, Laps 22-30 Chris Windom.
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-1732, 2-Chris Windom-1719, 3-Emerson Axsom-1662, 4-Justin Grant-1610, 5-Daison Pursley-1591, 6-Tanner Thorson-1590, 7-Logan Seavey-1465, 8-Thomas Meseraull-1448, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1392, 10-Cannon McIntosh-1265.
OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-144, 2-Brady Bacon-137, 3-Justin Grant-131, 4-Tanner Thorson-123, 5-Thomas Meseraull-116, 6-Robert Ballou-114, 7-Logan Seavey-112, 8-Kevin Thomas Jr.-108, 9-Kyle Cummins-84, 10-Buddy Kofoid-79.
NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: September 12, 2021 – Huset’s Speedway – Brandon, South Dakota – 1/3-Mile Dirt Oval – Inaugural Huset’s Speedway USAC Nationals
CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:
GSP Driving Performance of the Night: Shane Golobic
Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Mitchel Moles
Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Austin Barnhill
Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Buddy Kofoid
Indy Metal Finishing / Indy Race Parts Third Heat Winner: Shane Golobic
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Thomas Meseraull (16th to 8th)
Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Tanner Thorson