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One night after claiming a victory in Sprint Car Smackdown’s annual karaoke contest, Logan Seavey was singing a different tune Friday night on the track at Kokomo Speedway, ending it on a high note in victory lane following his first career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car triumph.
The reigning USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champion used his voice to win karaoke hardware with Garth Brooks’ “That Summer” after a broken wheel cover ended a solid run on track on Thursday. For the Sutter, Calif. native, however, tomorrow would come, and he’d use his right foot to capture an even bigger trophy, a bigger payday and the prestige of becoming the series’ first “first-time” winner of the 2019 season.
Along the way, Seavey cut a new record, ripping 30 laps around Kokomo Speedway 33 seconds quicker than the previous USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car track record for that distance at the quarter-mile, a record formerly held by Bryan Clauson set during Smackdown in 2013, at six minutes and 48.92 seconds.
Seavey is emerging as a jack of all trades following three wins thus far on the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget tour, then recently winning the pole and finishing fourth in last Sunday’s ARCA Stock Car race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and now jumping into a sprint car and taking it right to the front with limited seat time. Despite all the accolades, Seavey remains humble and appreciative of the opportunity, and the fun that comes along with it.
“Just to be racing Sprint Cars with USAC and to get to run good racecars with a family like this, is pretty crazy for me,” Seavey admitted. “We just race and have fun. We normally end up pretty good and, the more fun we’re having, the better we run. Finally, it all came together tonight. We’ve had that speed the last two nights, and it all finally came together.”
Perhaps, most impressively, was that Seavey was making just his second start of the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint car points season, the first of which came just 24 hours earlier. Seavey picked up a win behind the wheel of a Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports machine in USAC Southwest Sprint Car competition in April at Arizona Speedway. And, as it turns out, Friday of Smackdown has a special significance to Seavey, as this is the same night in which he first met team co-owner Andy Reinbold a year ago, kicking off a winning connection that certainly paid its dividends on this night.
“Friday night of Smackdown last year was the first time I met Andy,” Seavey remembered. “We got together and ran a few races last year together out west. We came into this year knowing he had a full-time USAC car and that was going to take up a lot of his time. He told me early in the year that, in the big races, he wanted to bring out another car from Arizona to run Smackdown, Western World and the Oval Nationals.”
Seavey made it all look relatively easy, comparatively, Friday night, although it’s certainly never the case. With teammate and USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader C.J. Leary trying to hunt him down for the entire duration of the event, Seavey had to be flawless – flawless on the start, flawless on the cushion and flawless through traffic to ace the 30-lap test and become the second-straight first-time winner on the second night of Smackdown following Tyler Thomas’ victory in 2018.
“For me, I feel like running a sprint car is a little bit harder than running a midget,” Seavey explained. “These guys are so good that you have to adapt quickly. Luckily, I’ve been here a few times and I’ve been here in a sprint car a couple times. Even racing midgets, it seems to be one of the most technical racetracks we go to and it seems like the guys with a lot of experience do really well here. It’s pretty crazy to think that I’d win my first USAC National Sprint Car race here. I definitely wasn’t expecting that and didn’t know if I would even ever win one.”
Seavey began the main event from the pole and led a trio of nineteens on the opening lap aboard his No. 19s while leading the 19 of Kevin Thomas, Jr. and the 19AZ of Leary. Leary made quick work from his fourth starting spot, rushing into second by lap three past Thomas and began the hunt to track down Seavey.
Leary tried high, sought the middle, looked low, and even cut a diamond groove off turns one and three. Leary chopped into Seavey’s advantage and gained ground off the corners on each go-around, pulling side-by-side in turns two and four each lap for several laps early on before Seavey utilized the topside momentum to surge ahead and maintain his lead.
By the 10th lap, Leary’s exit plan on the low line became stifled with a bevy of traffic occupying the bottom, hindering his path as he pursued Seavey. At the halfway mark, Seavey maintained a three car length lead as he seemingly ran his own race up top and, with no cautions in sight, kept traffic as part of the equation and allowed the top lane to be wide open for Seavey all by his lonesome where he was most comfortable running, up against the cushion.
Seavey had to be perfect and execute flawlessly as a hungry Leary sought his first series victory in 20 starts. Yet, Seavey managed to up the interval in the final ten laps, from a half-second, to three quarters of a second, to more than a second on the final lap, closing out a superb performance with a 1.114 second win over Leary, Tyler Courtney, Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Justin Grant.
Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports’ one-two finish was the first time teammates have occupied the top-two positions in a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature on dirt since July of 2008 when Keith Kunz Motorsports’ stable of Cole Whitt and Darren Hagen finished first and second, respectively, during the Indiana Sprint Week round at Gas City I-69 Speedway.
Justin Grant leads the Sprint Car Smackdown VIII points entering Saturday’s finale. Grant (Ione, Calif.), the defending Smackdown main event feature winner, is one of eight drivers locked into Saturday night’s feature as well as the King of the Hill, along with fellow drivers Tyler Courtney, Thomas Meseraull, C.J. Leary, Chase Stockon, Logan Seavey, Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Kyle Cummins.
Contingency award winners Friday night at Kokomo Speedway were Thomas Meseraull (Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier), Jason McDougal (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Shane Cottle (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Josh Hodges (AutoMeter Third Heat Winner), Chase Stockon (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Brady Bacon (Crume Evans Insurance/KSE Racing Products Hard Charger & Brady Bacon (ProSource Hard Work Award), Hunter Schuerenberg (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier), Jarett Andretti (Saldana Racing Products/Hoosier Racing Tire First Non-Transfer), Scotty Weir (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Logan Seavey (Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts/Tony Elliott Foundation Winning Bonus) and Matt Westfall (American Racing Ministries Final Semi Transfer).
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: August 23, 2019 – Kokomo Speedway – Kokomo, Indiana – Sprint Car Smackdown VIII
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING GROUP ONE: 1. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-12.549; 2. Dave Darland, 36D, Darland/Curb-Agajanian-12.572; 3. Carson Short, 21, RCM-12.645; 4. Logan Seavey, 19s, Reinbold/Underwood-12.695; 5. Jason McDougal, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-12.732; 6. Chris Windom, 5G, Goacher-12.783; 7. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-12.927; 8. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-12.966; 9. Timmy Buckwalter, 7, LNB-13.008; 10. Shane Cottle, 2E, Epperson-13.042; 11. Anthony D’Alessio, 01, D’Alessio-13.054; 12. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-13.063; 13. Clinton Boyles, 57, Hazen-13.088; 14. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-13.117; 15. Max Adams, 5m, Adams-13.184; 16. Corey Smith, 66s, CS-13.277; 17. Carmen Perigo, 21p, Perigo-13.326; 18. Tye Mihocko, 5, Mihocko-13.494; 19. Brad Wyatt, 41w, Wyatt-13.888.
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING GROUP TWO: 1. Thomas Meseraull, 47, Eades-12.549; 2. C.J. Leary, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.652; 3. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall/Newman-12.656; 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 19, Hayward/Thomas-12.669; 5. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-12.797; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-12.853; 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 19BS, Reinbold/Underwood-12.919; 8. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-12.956; 9. Scotty Weir, 4p, Pedersen-13.091; 10. Cole Ketcham, 41, Ketcham-13.199; 11. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-13.209; 12. Dustin Smith, 77, Smith-13.269; 13. Travis Hery, 21H, Hery-13.362; 14. Dustin Christie, 75, Christie-13.502; 15. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.521; 16. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-13.579; 17. Ty Tilton, 42, Tilton-13.602; 18. Brian VanMeveren, 24, VanMeveren-13.825; 19. Lee Underwood, 24L, Underwood-13.829.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Jason McDougal, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Timmy Buckwalter, 4. Isaac Chapple, 5. Max Adams, 6. Carson Short, 7. Clinton Boyles, 8. Anthony D'Alessio, 9. Carmen Perigo, 10. Brad Wyatt. 2:12.73
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Shane Cottle, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Jarett Andretti, 6. Brandon Mattox, 7. Sterling Cling, 8. Corey Smith, 9. Tye Mihocko. 2:12.97
AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Josh Hodges, 2. Thomas Meseraull, 3. Scotty Weir, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Tyler Courtney, 6. Kyle Cummins, 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 8. Travis Hery, 9. Ty Tilton, 10. Lee Underwood. 2:13.60
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Chase Stockon, 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 3. C.J. Leary, 4. Dustin Smith, 5. Cole Ketcham, 6. Dustin Christie, 7. Matt Westfall, 8. Matt Goodnight, 9. Brian VanMeveren.
C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi) 1. Corey Smith, 2. Carmen Perigo, 3. Tye Mihocko, 4. Matt Goodnight, 5. Brian VanMeveren, 6. Lee Underwood, 7. Brad Wyatt. 2:20.57
SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Carson Short, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 5. Cole Ketcham, 6. Matt Westfall, 7. Jarett Andretti, 8. Brandon Mattox, 9. Clinton Boyles, 10. Max Adams, 11. Anthony D'Alessio, 12. Dustin Christie, 13. Tye Mihocko, 14. Matt Goodnight, 15. Carmen Perigo, 16. Corey Smith, 17. Travis Hery, 18. Sterling Cling. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (1), 2. C.J. Leary (4), 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (2), 4. Tyler Courtney (7), 5. Justin Grant (5), 6. Jason McDougal (10), 7. Thomas Meseraull (6), 8. Chris Windom (12), 9. Kyle Cummins (9), 10. Brady Bacon (22), 11. Chase Stockon (11), 12. Carson Short (8), 13. Scotty Weir (16), 14. Dave Darland (3), 15. Isaac Chapple (14), 16. Shane Cottle (19), 17. Cole Ketcham (18), 18. Matt Westfall (15), 19. Timmy Buckwalter (17), 20. Josh Hodges (20), 21. Hunter Schuerenberg (13), 22. Brandon Mattox (23), 23. Dustin Smith (21). 6:48.92 (New Track Record)
**Tyler Courtney flipped during qualifying. Sterling Cling flipped during the semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Logan Seavey.
CRUME EVANS INSURANCE/KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Brady Bacon (22nd to 10th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Scotty Weir
SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Jarett Andretti
ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Hunter Schuerenberg
PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Brady Bacon
NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-C.J. Leary-1,638, 2-Brady Bacon-1,512, 3-Tyler Courtney-1,511, 4-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-1,469, 5-Justin Grant-1,464, 6-Chris Windom-1,446, 7-Chase Stockon-1,429, 8-Jason McDougal-1,248, 9-Carson Short-1,246, 10-Isaac Chapple-958.
NEW PROSOURCE SMACKDOWN VIII PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-13, 2-Brady Bacon-12, 3-Carson Short-8, 4-Tyler Courtney-7, 5-Jason McDougal-7, 6-Hunter Schuerenberg-4, 7-Scotty Weir-4, 8-Shane Cottle-3, 9-C.J. Leary-2, 10-Justin Grant-2.
NEW SMACKDOWN VIII POINTS: (TOP-8 LOCKED INTO SATURDAY'S FEATURE) 1-Justin Grant-324, 2-Tyler Courtney-323, 3-Thomas Meseraull-320, 4-C.J Leary-301, 5-Chase Stockon-295, 6-Logan Seavey-294, 7-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-293, 8-Kyle Cummins-290.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: August 24, 2019 – Kokomo Speedway – Kokomo, Indiana – Sprint Car Smackdown VIII