A new breed is ready to head to the forefront as an Indiana Midget Week champion, with Jerry Coons, Jr. and Shane Golobic as the lone past champions of the series set to tackle the six race, six night spectacular that lies before the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship in the Hoosier state June 4-9.
Coons and Golobic remain hungry and are eager to add a second IMW trophy to their collections. Petry Motorsports’ Coons, of Tucson, Ariz., has won twice in IMW competition, back in 2007 and 2009. He’s 11th in the current National points coming in and has several top-five IMW points finishes over the years, including a 2nd in 2006, a 4th in 2009 and 2012, as well as 5th place results in both 2013 and 2015.
Fremont, California’s Golobic, who will pilot the Matt Wood Racing No. 17w, won the Indiana Midget Week title two years ago on the strength of consistency, finishing 6th at Montpelier, 8th at Gas City, 6th at Lincoln Park, 3rd at Bloomington, 4th at Lawrenceburg and 2nd in the finale at Kokomo to win the championship by a mere six points.
Tyler Courtney leads the National standings by a 39-point margin coming into the series that begins Tuesday, June 4 at Montpelier Motor Speedway. You can say that IMW has been kind or cruel to the Indianapolis, Ind. driver who came oh-so-close to picking up the title in each of the past two years, missing out on the title by 12 points to Spencer Bayston in 2018 and by six to Shane Golobic in 2017. On the kind side, IMW and Montpelier are where Courtney earned his first career USAC National Midget points victory in 2017.
Courtney’s already won four times in six outings this year with the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets, but he is among a strong Clauson/Marshall Racing group that features three drivers within the top-ten. Zeb Wise of Angola, Ind. finished seventh in the IMW standings a year ago and is fourth in the National points. Fifth-place Chris Windom of Canton, Ill. hasn’t contested the full IMW series in a number of years but has a third-place finish in the points to his credit in 2012. Meanwhile, Collegeville, Pennsylvania’s Andrew Layser is a National series Rookie in 2019, currently 13th in points, but did get his feet wet in IMW a year ago, finishing 25th in the standings.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Coons are part of a four-car Petry Motorsports stable that include first-timers Cole Bodine (Rossville, Ind.) and Sterling Cling (Tempe, Ariz.). Thomas (Cullman, Ala.) is the most recent winner in IMW, taking last year’s Kokomo finale. In fact, he’s won the last two series races at Kokomo, capturing a memorable last-lap, last-corner victory in April. Thomas is second in the National standings right now, but his IMW resume is impressive with a 5th in 2018 and a 4th in 2015 as his best.
C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Ind. made his first career USAC National Midget appearances way back in 2012. Seven years later, he’s still classified as a series Rookie as he makes his first go at an IMW title run after making just one appearance in the opener last year. Chad Boat, seventh in National points, kicked the door open for his first IMW win at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville last year. The Phoenix, Ariz. racer has finished in the top-ten of IMW points in each of the last three years: 3rd in 2018, 9th in 2017 and 6th in 2016. Boat brings along series Rookie Karsyn Elledge of Mooresville, N.C. for the full tour along with race driver/commentator dual threat Dillon Welch (Carmel, Ind.) who will contest the first three nights only.
Sutter, California’s Logan Seavey was in the hunt for the IMW title last season, finishing fourth in his first series’ appearance en route to the USAC National Midget championship. He’s sixth in National points at the moment, tops of all five of the full-time Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian cars. Tucker Klaasmeyer (8th) will make his fourth IMW appearance and Tanner Carrick (Lincoln, Calif.) his third while Jesse Colwell and Holley Hollan make their IMW debuts.
KKM usually brings out an extra car or two to join in on IMW along with their regular stable. This year is no different with Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) joining the tour for rounds two and three at Gas City and Lincoln Park, respectively. Furthermore, just three months after sustaining serious injuries in a highway accident, Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) is back behind the wheel for the full week, reuniting him with the team he won the 2016 USAC Midget championship with.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon has scaled back to a part-time USAC Midget schedule this year but will remain full-time for the upcoming Indiana Midget Week aboard Daryl Saucier’s No. 1ST, which has been victorious twice during IMW, in 2007 with Shane Cottle at Gas City and again in 2010 with Cottle at Bloomington.
The RMS team has an all-star cast of drivers with USAC Triple Crown champ Dave Darland (Lincoln, Ind.), two-time IMW feature winner/international racing sensation Michael Pickens (Auckland, N.Z.) and last December’s “Junior Knepper 55” Midget winner and nine-time USAC National Sprint Car feature winner Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.).
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) is back in the RAMS Racing No. 4A, the team with whom he nearly pulled off a victory this year at Kokomo and he’s already won once in a sprint car in February at Ocala. He finished 7th in the 2017 IMW standings. Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) was ninth last year in his first foray at IMW. He’s been impressive early on this season as he looks for his first series win with 2ndand 4th place finishes among his three starts. Meanwhile, Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.), who’s won three times in USAC Sprint Car competition, will attempt to make his first USAC Midget feature start this week for car owner Jack Yeley.
Tuesday at Montpelier, pits open at 2pm (Eastern), front gates open at 3pm and cars hit the track for hot laps at 6pm with qualifying and racing immediately following. Sprint Cars and UMP Modifieds are also on the event card. Adult general admission tickets are $25, kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult. Pit passes are $30 apiece.
Wednesday at Gas City, pits open at 3pm (Eastern), front gates open at 5pm and hot laps begin at 6:30pm with qualifying and racing immediately following. Sprint Cars and 600cc Non-Wing Micro Sprints will also be racing. Adult general admission tickets are $25, kids 12 and under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece.
Thursday at Lincoln Park, pits open at 3pm (Eastern) and hot laps begin at 6pm with qualifying and racing immediately following. Sprint Cars and MMSA Mini-Sprint will also be racing. Adult general admission tickets are $25, kids 10 and under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece.
Friday at Bloomington, pits open at 3pm (Eastern), front gates at 5pm and hot laps begin at 6:30pm with qualifying and racing immediately following. Sprint Cars and MMSA Mini-Sprints will be on hand as well. Adult general admission tickets are $25, students with valid ID are $10, kids 12 and under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece.
Saturday at Lawrenceburg, pits open at 3pm (Eastern), front gates open at 5pm and hot laps begin at 6pm with qualifying and racing immediately following. Sprint Cars and UMP Modifieds will join the Midgets. Adult general admission tickets are $25, kids 7-12 are $7. Children 6 and under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece.
Sunday at Kokomo, pits open at 3pm (Eastern), front gates open at 3pm and hot laps begin at 6pm with qualifying and racing immediately following. It’ll be a true doubleheader with Sprint Cars and Midgets on the docket. Adult general admission tickets are $25, kids 12 and under are free. Pit passes are $30 apiece.
Watch each and every “Indiana Midget Week” race live and on-demand at http://www.FloRacing.com/. Listen live on the USAC app. Follow along with live updates on https://www.facebook.com/usacracing/ and https://twitter.com/USACNation, plus live timing and scoring on the Race Monitor app.