TULSA, Okla. – Saturday’s finale to the T-Town Midget Showdown for the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series at Port City Raceway appropriately featured a lot of NOS Energy Drink up front.
In fact, the series sponsor locked out the podium in the 40-lap feature at the eighth-mile dirt bullring, with Justin Grant coming out on top of the torrid three-way battle for his first win of the year.
Grant took the RAMS Racing No. 4a to the top of the scoreboard after a hotly-contested battle for the lead with Chris Windom, in which the duo exchanged the top spot on three straight laps before Grant took control of the feature for good.
After Kevin Thomas Jr. led the opening revolution from the pole, it was Windom who rim-rode past on the outside to assume the point on lap two, quickly bringing Grant along for the ride as Thomas faded.
A caution for Daison Pursley, who slid to a stop in turn one on lap nine, set up a restart in which Grant and Windom went to war at the head of the field.
Though Windom got the initial advantage on the 10th round, Grant slid him for the lead on lap 11 to lead at the flagstand. Undeterred, Windom returned the favor in turn one on lap 12 and resumed his place at the front, despite Grant’s right-front tire jumping his left-rear wheel momentarily.
Grant’s race-winning pass came in the third turn on lap 13, when he tossed a bonsai slider down into the corner and made it stick, leaping out to an advantage he wouldn’t relinquish again despite a sequence of five cautions past the halfway point – including four in the final dozen laps.
Despite it all, Grant was the one having fun and celebrating in victory lane when all was said and done.
“This track was a ton of fun, just right on the fence, banging the curb,” Grant said in victory lane. “We were watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High this morning, and (Jeff) Spicoli said, ‘It’s a way of looking at the wave and saying, hey bud, let’s party.’ That’s how I felt tonight. You always want it to end when you’re leading, but I almost wish that thing was 80 laps, because I was having such a good time.
“It’s about time I got this (car) back in victory lane, too,” Grant added of his fifth career win and second with RAMS Racing. “These guys have been spending money like crazy and I haven’t been getting them to victory lane. I’m glad I could, finally.”
The final caution of the night, brought out by the flipped car of Clinton Boyles in turn four, set up a green-white-checkered finish in which Tyler Courtney tried to work past Windom for the runner-up spot, to no avail.
That left Windom as the runner-up, 1.322 seconds back, with Courtney on the final step of the podium.
Cole Bodine and Logan Seavey were fourth and fifth, respectively, followed by Andrew Layser, Thomas Meseraull, Buddy Kofoid, a rebounding Pursley and two-time season winner Tanner Thorson.
Leaving Port City, Courtney carries a six-point lead in the standings over Windom.
To view complete results, advance to the next page.