INDIANAPOLIS – Logan Seavey, the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series champion, will pilot the Tom Malloy-owned No. 25 full time on tour this year.
Seavey and Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports, the team he raced with in USAC last year, recently parted ways.
The Malloy machine, however, was the winningest car in the latter half of last season, winning three of the final seven feature events with driver Tanner Thorson.
Thorson joined Dave Mac Motorsports for 2021, leaving the Malloy ride open.
Prior to 2020, Malloy’s cars – with Jerome Rodela serving as the team manager – were not a well-known commodity on the USAC National scene but had found success in the USAC Western States Midget series over the years.
Rodela himself won four Western States races and a pair of championships as a driver in 2005 and 2006.
But late last year, the team quickly became a force to be reckoned with, a trend that both Seavey and Rodela aim to keep rolling into the new year.
“I feel really good about it,” Seavey said. “They have beautiful racecars and, being from California, I’ve probably seen quite a bit more of them than people elsewhere. I know their cars and engines are really good, and it’s going to be cool to be in something different – a King chassis out of New Zealand; there’s only two or three of them in the United States.”
Rodela feels that the team opened eyes last year and put on display their capabilities of becoming perennial race winners and contenders for the championship.
“I think a lot of people see that the cars have speed and, when I was looking for a driver, it was fairly easy because people noticed we have some good stuff and it made that side of things simple,” Rodela said. “We’re still kind of the new kids on the block and still have a lot to learn, but I’m confident we have a good program here with everybody involved.”
Seavey and Rodela spoke at length, in-person, for the first time at the recent Chili Bowl Nationals in mid-January. Just two weeks later, Seavey installed his seat into the King/Ed Pink Toyota powered car, getting the feel of his new digs for the upcoming season.
A six-time USAC National Midget feature winner, Seavey looks forward to working with Rodela, a man who’s been in the trenches on all sides of the sport.
“Jerome’s seen it from all sides as a driver, crew chief and fabricator,” Seavey noted. “I think that just helps with the relationship between driver and crew chief. It’s helpful when the crew chief can see it from the driver’s standpoint as well. I had that at times with Andy (Reinbold) when I was racing with him. Jerome’s cars have been fast and he’s really good at what he does. He builds, to me, the nicest racecars in the world, probably, and is just a beautiful fabricator as well.
“He makes all these special, unique parts. He thinks about that stuff really well.”
Rodela, who lives in California and runs his Rodela Fabrication business there, will be a busy man in the coming year, traveling back-and-forth from his west coast home to the team’s race shop in Indianapolis.
He sees a steady presence with Seavey, who’ll stand on the gas and remain even keeled on and off the track, a characteristic he feels will mesh with his own personality just as well.
“Logan has a lot of experience and he knows how to get it done,” Rodela said. “He knows what’s involved and what needs to take place in order to accomplish those goals. He’s really mellow and calm and it doesn’t seem like he gets wound up. I wouldn’t have chosen him if I didn’t feel he would be a good fit with our team.
“If he can win some battles and be there at the end to win the war, that’s what we’re looking for and it’ll be a good fit for him here.”
In 63 career starts with the USAC National Midgets, Seavey has 28 top-five and 48 top-10 finishes, while garnering seven fast qualifying times, as well as an Indiana Midget Week championship in 2019.
Rodela also revealed that the team will concentrate on one car for the championship race after running two for the final third of the season a year ago.
However, the team does plan to run two cars at times, with Pennsylvania’s Alex Bright joining in a team car for both Eastern Midget Week in early August as well as when the series heads west in November.
Seavey and the Tom Malloy team will get their USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season underway in the series openers on Feb. 5-6 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.
A dedicated practice night will precede the festivities on Feb. 4.