Strong Field Expected For Bubba USAC Midget Opener

0
1258
A talent-laden field is expected when the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget Series begins next week at Bubba Raceway Park. (Jim Denhamer Photo)

OCALA, Fla. –┬áThe beginning of a new year brings a myriad of new rides, new colors, new names and new faces when the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship arrives at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., for the series debut at the three-eighths-mile, D-shaped dirt track on Feb. 8-9.

Three past series champions are expected to compete including reigning king Logan Seavey, a three-time winner on the trail a year ago who returns to the Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian stable. Jerry Coons Jr., the 2008 champ, is back with Petry Motorsports while 2016 titlist Tanner Thorson returns to make a run at another driver championship aboard the Tri-C Motorsports machine.

Both Seavey and Coons are one piece of powerful teams who have found success in the series. The KKM team has won eight-straight USAC Midget titles, but 2019 marks a sea change for the team with new drivers joining the fray.

Tucker Klaasmeyer returns as does Tanner Carrick, while series Rookie of the Year contenders Holley Hollan and Jesse Colwell enter their first campaigns.

Along with Coons, Petry boasts a lineup of some of the biggest names in USAC racing today, including Kevin Thomas Jr., who swept both midget feature events in Ocala a year ago. Impressive newcomer Cole Bodine has moved from to the Petry team along with fellow rookie, and sprint car/off-road racing veteran, Sterling Cling.

The Clauson/Marshall team has reloaded with a strong┬álineup of defending USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion Tyler Courtney and USAC National Midgets’ youngest-ever feature winner Zeb Wise returning to the fold. Meanwhile, 2017 USAC National Sprint Car and 2016 Silver Crown champ Chris Windom has landed a CMR ride along with Rookie of the Year contender, Andrew Layser.

They join USAC National winners Steve Buckwalter, Tyler Thomas, sprint car and Silver Crown standout C.J. Leary and 2018 National Midget runner-up Chad Boat in a star-studded Winter Dirt Games X Midget field.

Boat’s teammate Karsyn Elledge is one of two females expected to compete. Another set of teammates, Sam Johnson and Karter Sarff have a combined age of 31 as they set course on the USAC Midget trail in 2019 for owner Steve Reynolds.

A handful of drivers made a number of USAC National Midget appearances last year and looking to start off the new season on the right foot include Ethan Mitchell, Zane Hendricks, Chase Jones, Adam Pierson, Noah Gass and local Florida driver Oliver Akard.

The USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship will make its debut at the three-eighths-mile D-shaped dirt track in Ocala on Thursday, Feb. 7, with an open practice, followed by two consecutive, full nights of racing on Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.

Cars hit the track for engine heat at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday and at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.