2020 Winter Dirt Games | USAC National Midgets

USAC Midget Winter Dirt Games XI Preview

USAC Midget Winter Dirt Games XI Preview

The questions to the 2020 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season will begin to be answered.

Feb 3, 2020 by Richie Murray

A new year beckons, and all the questions for the 2020 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season will be answered in due time the at Winter Dirt Games XI.

Watch 2020 Winter Dirt Games LIVE!

Feb. 7-8 | 6:30PM ET

Of course, what’s top of mind for many observers are the plethora of new driver/team combos. Much of last year’s field remains intact for this year’s edition, however, many find themselves in new cars, new colors and new surroundings.

One that remains is the driver and team that captured both nights of last year’s Midget events in Ocala, Tyler Courtney and Clauson-Marshall Racing. The defending driver and owner series champs return after a stellar campaign which saw them win on eight occasions during 2019, which is the most with the series in nearly three decades. Courtney also won his heat on night one last year and was fast qualifier on night two. He and CMR also captured two consecutive sprint wins at the track in 2018.

Watch Tyler Courtney win the Winter Dirt Games X opener last year:

Watch Ocala 2019 Night #1 Midget Highlights

Courtney’s CMR teammate is Cole Bodine of Rossville, Ind. who competed on a partial schedule with the series in 2019.  His 11th place run on night one at last year's race was his best of the 2020 season. Bodine returns to CMR after competing with the team in 2018.

Kevin Thomas, Jr. finished as the runner-up to Courtney both nights at Ocala a year ago. On night one, Thomas established the one-lap track record for the series with a time of 13.773 sec. In 2018, Thomas swept both nights of a POWRi Midget event at Ocala, meaning in four midget starts there, he has yet to finish outside of the top-two.

Thomas is back on a Petry Motorsports squad that also includes USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz., who took 10th and 16th at Ocala in 2019. Lincoln, California’s Tanner Carrick, the 2019 USAC Most Improved Driver and a newcomer to Petry Motorsports, finished 6th and 11th at Ocala last season in addition to scoring a heat race win on night two. Carrick joins Petry following three years at Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports.

Watch 2020 Winter Dirt Games LIVE!

Feb. 7-8 | 6:30PM ET

Carrick's former team has experienced a wholesale driver lineup change since 2019. 

Zeb Wise, a 5th place finisher at Ocala last year for CMR, will take on Winter Dirt Games for a second straight year. Joining Wise at KKM are 2019 Shamrock Classic and 2020 Chili Bowl prelim night winner Cannon McIntosh. Also, 2019 Fremont Speedway Sprint Car champ Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) and 2017 USAC Micro Sprint titlist Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Calif.) will be joining him. Kofoid and Pursley competed for KKM during last year’s USAC western swing and will be competing for series Rookie of the Year honors in 2020.

Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.), the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champion will team up with former KKM teammate Jesse Colwell (Red Bluff, Calif.) on Team Ripper. Seavey came out of Ocala a year ago with finishes of 12th and 8th while Colwell was 14th and 6th on each of his two nights.

How often does the season opener go to the potential champion? Watch:


Chris Windom, the 2016 USAC Silver Crown and 2017 USAC National Sprint Car champion, has joined Tucker/Boat Motorsports for 2020. Windom finished 3rd on the opening night and 9th on the final night last year at Ocala. His 3rd place run came after starting 11th, earning him hard charger honors for the evening.  His teammate at TBM is last year’s USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year, Andrew Layser who was a top-10 runner on night two of last year's race.

Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) scored a 9th and a 7th place finishe at Ocala in 2019. The 2016 USAC National Midget champion’s run to 7th came after starting from the tail in 24th. He’ll race for Hayward Motorsports, the same team he captured a Chili Bowl prelim night win earlier this month.

Expected returnees from last year’s field include: 

  • Ethan Mitchell (Mooresville, N.C.): 19th on night one in 2019
  • Noah Gass (Mounds, Okla.): made his series debuts a year ago there; finished 20th and 21st in a pair of starts
  • Chase Jones (Greenwood, Ind.) took 23rd in one Ocala appearance in 2019 

Watch Tyler Courtney complete the sweep during Night #2 last year:

Watch Ocala 2019 Night #2 Midget Highlights