Pickens Does It Again In Indiana Midget Week

Michael Pickens in victory lane at Lincoln Park Speedway. (Kasi Chapman photo)

PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. — For the second consecutive night, Michael Pickens raced to the front during the final laps to win an Indiana Midget Week feature. The 30-lap feature at Lincoln Park Speedway was sanctioned by the USAC National Midget Championship.

For Pickens, who was the Illinois Midget Week champion last week, it was his second victory of the week and fourth of the past two weeks.

Pickens was the fast qualifier for the 37-car field and methodically worked his way to the front of the field, chasing leader Spencer Bayston, who led laps 13 through 28.

Pickens would dive under Bayston to take the lead on lap 29, but Bayston responded by going underneath Pickens to reclaim the lead coming out of turn two and down the back-straight for the final time. Bayston held the lead into three, but Pickens used a slider through three to come out of turn four with the lead as Bayston charged back at him at the finish, but came up less than a car length short. Overall, there were five lead changes in the final two laps of the 30-lap event.

“I can’t believe we just won another USAC A-Main,” said a jubilant Pickens, who also won Wednesday night’s event at Gas City. “That was such a fun race, with five changes for the lead in the last two laps. We gave it 100% on the last lap and put everything on the line. It doesn’t get any better than this. Right now, all I can say is thank you – to our crew, car owners and our 350 sponsors. And TRD, we couldn’t have done it without them. Now we just need to keep the ball rolling.”

Bayston led 16 of the 30 laps, but came away disappointed with the final result.

“I feel terrible for my guys,” said Bayston. “They deserve a win. Led most of the feature and gave it up on the last lap. We’ll just move on and try again tomorrow.”

Tyler Courtney blasted from 20th to finish third in a Clauson-Marshall entry, while Rico Abreu and Justin Grant rounded out the top five.

USAC Midget National Championship, Lincoln Park Speedway, Putnamville, Ind., June 8, 2017

Prosource Qualifying: 1. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Seamount-13.036; 2. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-13.133; 3. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.150; 4. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.159; 5. Rico Abreu, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.218; 6. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson-Marshall/Wood-13.227; 7. Steve Buckwalter, 25B, Buckwalter-13.262; 8. Chance Morton, 7MF, Morton-13.322; 9. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-13.349; 10. Brent Beauchamp, 11B, B & B-13.360; 11. Alex Bright, 77, Bright-13.369; 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 25, Petry/Goff-13.375; 13. Courtney Crone, 25c, Rodela-13.379; 14. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.387; 15. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-13.394; 16. Justin Grant, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.424; 17. Ronnie Gardner, 25x, Rodela-13.485; 18. Brenden Bright, 92, Bright-13.486; 19. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-13.508; 20. Dave Darland, 11, Gray-13.545; 21. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.546; 22. Ryan Greth, 4R, Lesher-13.566; 23. Michael Koontz, 17K, Koontz-13.574; 24. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-13.587; 25. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.588; 26. Brayton Lynch, 1K, RKR-13.602; 27. Jake Neuman, 3N, Neuman-13.646; 28. Davey Ray, 33, Team RAYPRO-13.659; 29. Jimi Quin, 8GQ, Quin-13.702; 30. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.731; 31. Trey Marcham, 32, Marcham-13.946; 32. Kade Morton, 8m, Morton-14.286; 33. Cole Fehr, 15F, Live Loud-14.464; 34. Kyle Jones, 04, Hefler-14.773; 35. Paul Raynes, 7x, Seven-15.095; 36. Andrew Felker, 37, Felker-NT; 37. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-NT

Simpson Race Products First Heat (10 laps): Gardner, Abreu, Thorson, Pickens, Courtney, Boat, Quin, Fehr, Crone.

Competition Suspension Second Heat (10 laps): Carrick, Beauchamp, Bacon, Greth, Golobic, B. Bright, Shelton, Lynch, Jones.

Chalk Stix Third Heat (10 laps): A. Bright, Bayston, Walker, Thomas, Koontz, Buckwalter, Neuman, Marcham, Raynes.

Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat (10 laps): Daum, Grant, Darland, Coons, Robinson, C. Morton, K. Morton, Ray.

Semi (12 laps): Golobic, Courtney, Boat, Shelton, Robinson, Lynch, B. Bright, Quin, Neuman, Jones, Fehr, Raynes, Koontz, Buckwalter, Marcham, K. Morton, C. Morton.

Feature (30 laps): Pickens, Bayston, Courtney, Abreu, Grant, Golobic, Boat, Bacon, A. Bright, Coons, Robinson, Daum, Darland, Shelton, Thomas, Carrick, Lynch, Gardner, Beauchamp, Thorson, Walker, Greth.