Jason McDougal led the final 12 laps to score his first national midget car feature win in the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship “Mid-America” Midget Week event at Jefferson County Speedway Friday night. McDougal’s win comes in just his third race since joining the Toyota-powered Frank Manafort Racing (FMR) team.
Four different Toyota-powered teams have now won this season in USAC competition as FRM joins Keith Kunz Motorsports, Petry Motorsports and Dave Mac Motorsports as event winners.
For much of the race, it looked like another Toyota-powered entry was going to find his way to Victory Lane as pole-sitter Tanner Thorson went straight to the front at the green flag, with Robert Dalby running in second, McDougal third, Kevin Thomas Jr. in fourth and Tucker Klaasmeyer climbing into the top five by lap two. They would continue to run in that order until lap seven when McDougal would move past Dalby for second with Thomas Jr. and Klaasmeyer also slipping ahead of Dalby.
Thorson would begin to pull away from the field as they moved past the midway point. The race would see a major shake-up as Thorson was moving through traffic on lap 18 when a lapped car would spin in front of the leader. Thorson then spun while trying to avoid him, collecting Thomas Jr. and Klaasmeyer in the process.
McDougal was the only car in the top four to avoid the incident and would take over the point position following the caution. Coming back to the green flag on lap 19, it was McDougal, Chris Windom, Tyler Courtney, Chad Boat and Jerry Coons, Jr., making up the top five.
As the laps began to wind down, the battle for second began to heat up and that was just what McDougal needed to widen his advantage. Courtney would eventually take over the position on lap 29 and made a late run at McDougal coming off turn four on the final lap, but it would be too little, too late as McDougal took the checkered flag.
“This is amazing,” said McDougal afterward. “I’m lucky to be part of such a great team and it feels good to get one for the FMR guys.”
Boat would eventually finish fourth, with Coons in fifth, followed by Tyler Thomas, who overcame an early spin to finish sixth, one spot ahead of Logan Seavey in seventh.
The feature win marks the 22nd for a Toyota-powered driver in national midget competition, coming from a total of nine different drivers.
The USAC “Mid-America” Midget Week returns to Jefferson Speedway on Saturday night, before closing up the week’s action at Sweet Springs Motorsports Complexin Sweet Springs, Mo., on Sunday.
|Finish||Toyota Feature Results at Jefferson County|
|5th||Jerry Coons Jr.|
|21st||Kevin Thomas Jr.|
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tyler Courtney-961; 2-Chris Winsom-874; 3-Logan Seavey-871; 4-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-798;5-Zeb Wise-793; 6-Chad Boat-766; 7-Jerry Coons, Jr.-684; 8-Tanner Carrick-668; 9-Tucker Klaasmeyer-649; 10-Jason McDougal-595
*Toyota drivers in bold
TOYOTA RACING PR