Four past winners are in this year’s lineup for the sixth running of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Jason Leffler Memorial this Thursday night (Oct. 17) at Wayne County Speedway in Wayne City, Illinois.
Tyler Thomas (Collinsville, Okla.) enters as the reigning race winner at 1/8-mile dirt bullring in southern Illinois. He led the final 37 of the 40-lap main event to score his first and, still only, career USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature win. Thomas earned a non-traditional sweep of sorts last year when he won his heat, his qualifying race, and the feature in the same night.
Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) jumps back into the seat of a second FMR Racing car, which he has done on four occasions thus far this season. Bacon earned FMR’s first career USAC win during the 2016 Leffler Memorial at Wayne City, leading the final 33 laps. The two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ also finished 6th in 2015 and won his heat in 2018 where he garnered a 16th place result.
Daryn Pittman (Owasso, Okla.) owns 85 wins on the NOS Energy Drink World of Outlaws Sprint Car Circuit in addition to his 2013 series championship. He’s been stellar behind the wheel of a midget car in a brief number of appearances throughout his career, which includes a win in the 2014 Leffler Memorial. He also won his qualifier and finished 4th in 2015.
Zach Daum (Pocahontas, Ill.) captured victory in the first Leffler Memorial in 2013. He followed up his winning performance with a 5th in 2014 and a 3rd place result in 2015. He took 23rd in last year’s race after being involved in an incident on the 16th lap of the feature.
Chad Boat (Phoenix, Ariz.), a winner in August at Path Valley during Pennsylvania Midget Week, finished in the runner-up spot to Thomas a year ago. The nine-time USAC National Midget feature winner was a victor of his qualifier in 2016 and his heat race in 2018 at Wayne City.
Series point leader Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) took 3rd behind Thomas and Boat in last season’s Leffler Memorial feature. Courtney is fresh off his season-leading 7th victory, which last month at Eldora. He was 26th in his debut run in the event in 2015, and last year he won both his heat and qualifying race leading into the main race.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif) notched a 4th place Leffler Memorial result in 2014 and repeated his 4th place performance again in 2018. This year’s Gas City Indiana Midget Week winner captured the semi-feature win in 2018 and finished 13th in the inaugural Leffler Memorial in 2013.
BC39 winner Zeb Wise (Angola, Ind.) made his first start in the Leffler Memorial in 2018, where he finished 8th. He came in ahead of fellow first-timers Logan Seavey (Sutter, California), who was 9th, Tanner Carrick (Lincoln, California), who finished 17th, and 13th place finisher Sam Johnson of St. Peters, Missouri. Of note, Seavey is also the defending USAC National Midget champ as well and Johnson scored a victory in a USAC Midget Midwest Special Event at Wayne City in August. He dominated all 20 laps for his first win aboard a Midget.
April’s Kokomo Grand Prix winner Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) has finished 10th in both of his Leffler Memorial starts in 2015 and 2018. His Petry Motorsports teammate and two-time USAC National Midget titlist Jerry Coons, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) was 10th in 2016 and 15th in 2018. Jake Neuman (New Berlin, Ill.), a 2nd place finisher in this past June’s USAC Midget Midwest Special event at Wayne City, won his heat in both 2015 and 2018, and finished 19th in the 2018 feature event.
Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.) led the opening three laps of the 2018 Leffler Memorial. He experienced contact and spun to a stop while battling for 2nd midway through the 40-lapper. Like McDougal, Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) paced the opening laps of the 2016 Leffler Memorial where he led the opening seven laps, ultimately he'd finish with a 4th place result. Tucker Klaasmeyer (Paola, Kans.) plans to make his fourth Leffler Memorial start this Thursday after leading the opening four laps of the 2019 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season down in Ocala, Fla. in February.
Primed for their first Leffler Memorial starts are:
Andrew Layser (Collegeville, Pa.)
Jesse Colwell (Red Bluff, Calif.)
Karsyn Elledge (Mooresville, N.C.)
C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.)
Holley Hollan (Broken Arrow, Okla.)
Ethan Mitchell (Mooresville, N.C.)
*Andrew Layser is the series-leading Rookie