Brent Crews took the lead on lap three and led the final 28 laps to win the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature at Valley Speedway and become the youngest national midget feature winner in history at age 13, while 16-year-old Emerson Axsom held off Buddy Kofoid to win the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ Mid-America Championship at the Jefferson County Speedway.
In POWRi, Crews took over the lead from Karter Sarff on lap three and then held off a hard-charging Kaylee Bryson for much of the race before eventually pulling away at the end of the 30-lap feature, winning by 1.9 seconds over Tanner Berryhill. Bryson would finish third, while her Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate Gavan Boschele, also 13, placed fourth.
With the victory, Crews became the youngest national midget feature winner, taking over the crown from C.B. Industries’ teammate Ryan Timms, who had set the record in POWRi competition on May 30 at Lake Ozark Speedway. Both drive for former midget racing star Chad Boat.
“Chad’s a great coach,” said Crews, of Denver, NC, and a multi-time Karting champion. “He knows exactly what to do with the car. I just want to thank everyone with this team.”
Axsom’s USAC victory came in a hotly contested battle at Jefferson County Speedway. Starting from the third position, Axsom quickly jumped into the lead on lap one and never fell below fourth in the 40-lap feature in Fairbury, Nebraska.
His early lead didn’t last long as Logan Seavey would cross under Axsom for the top spot on lap two. The two would swap sliders back and forth for the lead through the next five laps. Behind them Justin Grant, Chris Windom and Kevin Thomas Jr. would trade positions throughout the hard-fought contest.
Grant would eventually take over second from Axsom in the midway point of the race as Axsom was shuffled back to fourth behind Thomas, but he’d quickly regain that position. By lap 21, he’d caught Grant and retook the position while Seavey used the four-car battle behind him to pull out to a 1.5-second lead.
By the time the race entered the final 10 laps, Axsom had caught Seavey and was just .1 second behind him on lap 32. As the two diced through lapped traffic, the two touched coming out of turn two, with Seavey spinning. He was able to continue but would restart from the back of the field.
At that point, Axsom would retake the lead with eight laps remaining, but a hard-charging Kofoid moving up the field from his 15th starting position would make it anything but easy. He passed Thomas for second on lap 34, then made a charge at Axsom, but fell. 572 seconds short in second as Axsom took home the $10,000 first prize. Windom would finish third, followed by Grant in fourth and Daison Pursley in fifth as Toyota-powered drivers swept the top five.
“I can’t thank everyone on this Petry Motorsports car enough,” said Axsom, who earned his second USAC victory and fourth overall national midget feature win this season. “You just have to race as hard as you can because nobody gives an inch in midget racing.”
Toyota drivers captured nine of the 12 podium finishes in the four Mid-American Midget Week events.
Toyota-Powered Drivers USAC Jefferson County Speedway A Main Results
Emerson Axsom – 1st
Buddy Kofoid – 2nd
Chris Windom – 3rd
Justin Grant – 4th
Daison Pursley – 5th
Cannon McIntosh – 6th
Kevin Thomas Jr. – 7th
Brenham Crouch – 9th
Thomas Meseraull – 10th
Tyler Thomas – 12th
Logan Seavey – 14th
Sam Johnson – 16th
Toyota-Powered Drivers POWRi Valley Speedway A Main Results
Brent Crews – 1st
Kaylee Bryson – 3rd
Gavan Boschele – 4th
Cade Lewis – 6th
Bryant Wiedeman – 7th
Taylor Reimer – 9th
Ryan Timms – 10th
Toyota racing PR