Chad Boat led 25 of 30 laps on the way to winning night three of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship’s Pennsylvania Midget Week at Path Valley Speedway, Thursday.
The victory is Boat’s second in three years at Path Valley and his fourth overall in Pennsylvania Midget Week action, the most by any driver. He becomes the 13th different Toyota-powered driver to win a national midget feature win in 2019.
While Boat led the majority of the race’s laps, he had to fight off numerous challenges from Wednesday winner Zeb Wise to earn his first victory of the season.
Starting from the third position, Boat quickly took over the top spot by running the low side through turns one and two on the opening lap to pass pole-sitter Tanner Thorson. He would master the low side of the track throughout the event and pulled out to a sizable lead through the first one-third of the race.
By lap 13, Boat continued to run up front in his Tucker-Boat Motorsports Toyota, while Wise had climbed from sixth to second, followed by Thorson, Chris Windom, Tyler Courtney, Kyle Larson, Jerry Coons Jr., Logan Seavey, Tucker Klaasmeyer and Karsyn Elledge.
At that point, it was a two-car battle upfront between Boat and Wise. The two drivers would swap the lead multiple times – officially trading the lead four times in an eight-lap span – with Boat continuing to master the bottom, while Wise would run the top. Behind them it was Thorson, Windom, Larson and Courtney.
The action would slow on lap 21 when Larson biked on the turn one cushion and came to a stop while Wise had the lead coming to the starter stand. They would restart with Wise up front, followed by Boat, Thorson, Winsom, Courtney, Coons, Seavey Jason McDougal, Tanner Carrick and Klaasmeyer.
The two-car battle upfront continued on the restart, as Wise and Boat would run side-by-side with Wise leading laps 21 and 22 before Boat reclaimed the lead on 23 and then held off Wise by a nose on lap 24 before a red flag came out after Elledge tipped over in turn two on lap 25. That would seemingly set up a six-lap showdown between Boat and Wise.
On the restart, Boat continued to lead, but Windom and then Thorson would overtake Wise, with Courtney and Thorson also passing Wise a few laps. While the action was heated for four of the top-five positions, upfront it was all Boat who would drive to his ninth career USAC National Midget Championship feature win. Windom placed second and Courtney passed Thorson on the final lap for third. Thorson and his Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate, Seavey, finished fourth and fifth.
“It definitely feels good,” said Boat. “We’ve kind of been just mediocre since the end of Indiana Midget Week. We ended that week strong with a third, a second and were knocking on the door. Then we went to Joliet and were decent, but blew a tire. We ran fifth the first night out here and had a good run going last night, but it feels good to close one out. When you put yourself in a position to win races, you’ll eventually win them.”
Petry Motorsports’ Coons, Jr. finished seventh, making it three different Toyota teams earning finishes in the top seven, while Carrick placed eighth to give Toyota five of the top-10 finishers.
USAC’s Pennsylvania Midget Week moves to Linda’s Speedway in Jonestown on Friday night before closing out the week at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway in Newmanstown on Saturday night.
|Finish||Toyota Feature Results at Path Valley Speedway|
|7th||Jerry Coons Jr.|
|14th||Kevin Thomas Jr.|
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tyler Courtney-1,309, 2-Chris Windom-1,222, 3-Logan Seavey-1,162,4-Zeb Wise-1,112, 5-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-1,089, 6-Chad Boat-1,057, 7-Tanner Carrick-974, 8-Jerry Coons, Jr.-972, 9-Tucker Klaasmeyer-901, 10-Jason McDougal-877.
*Toyota drivers in bold
Toyota Racing PR