Courtney Is Tri-City Midget Master

Tyler Courtney picked up his fourth USAC midget victory of the season Friday at Triple-City Speedway. (Brad Plant photo)
Tyler Courtney picked up his fourth USAC midget victory of the season Friday at Tri-City Speedway. (Brad Plant photo)

GRANITE CITY, Ill. — Tyler Courtney became the first driver to win four of the first six races of the season when he topped Friday’s Brandt River Town Showdown for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship at Tri-City Speedway.

Courtney ran down reigning series champion Logan Seavey entering lapped traffic with nine laps remaining to win the ninth race of his USAC Midget career in his Clauson-Marshall Racing/NOS Energy Drink/Spike/Stanton SR-11x.

Courtney opened the night by setting Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifying time in both the sprint car and midget divisions, putting him back on the outside of row three for the start of the 30-lap midget main event.

Courtney began a methodical charge toward the front while Kevin Thomas Jr. worked the bottom by Justin Grant to grab the early lead with Brady Bacon slicing his way to slot into second right behind Thomas before a caution for Tanner Carrick’s flat left-rear tire brought a halt to the action on lap four.

On the restart, Bacon stuck like glue to the bottom to rip by Thomas for the lead and appeared to be in command until lap nine when he clipped the turn three infield tractor tire, upsetting the front end, which forced him off the pace and into the work area for adjustments under the yellow.

Inheriting the lead was Seavey who slipped away as Thomas and Justin Grant swapped sliders back-and-forth until Grant emerged with the runner-up spot on lap 12. Courtney got by Thomas a lap later and began his pursuit of Grant as they took part in a three-car breakaway led by race leader Seavey.

On the 19th lap, as the frontrunners approached lapped traffic, Courtney slid Grant in turn three to take second, with now only Seavey left in his sight.  The lappers cooperated, hanging on the low line, while Seavey and Courtney ringed the top.  Courtney was inching closer each corner, but, on lap 22, was like a rocket shooting out of a Coke bottle, springing forward with a burst that slid him right past Seavey in turn three.

“You got to take it when you can get it,” Courtney said.  “I didn’t know if it was quite going to get there because you could get a run there in (turns) three and four, but luckily it stuck.  Then, you can kind of do your own race after that.”

From there, Courtney immediately pulled away, building a three-quarters of a straightaway advantage as he ripped the top to a victory margin just shy of three seconds over Seavey, Grant, Zeb Wise and Chad Boat.

To see full results, turn to the next page.