OCALA, Fla. – It wasn’t just Tyler Courtney who shone for Clauson-Marshall Racing during the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series opener Friday night at Bubba Raceway Park.

Courtney’s Team NOS stablemate Chris Windom made plenty of noise in his own right, running through the field from 11th to third and garnering hard-charger honors to kick off Winter Dirt Games X.

Windom methodically worked his way past car after car, finding himself seventh after 10 laps and cracking the top five at the halfway point of the 30-lap main event. He then became locked in a torrid battle for position with C.J. Leary, Tucker Klaasmeyer and Chad Boat in the waning stages of the race.

When all was said and done, the former USAC Silver Crown and AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion was on the bottom step of the podium, a yeoman’s effort as he looks to complete the USAC Triple Crown this season with his third championship title in the past five seasons.

Windom noted after the race that his first full season driving for team co-owners Tim Clauson and Richard Marshall has already been filled with a lot of gained knowledge.

“We learned a lot here. We’ve had good cars so far, both on practice night and race night, and I think we’ve showed that so far,” said Windom. “We had to come from a little deeper than I would have liked to, but we fought through it and got to a podium, so hopefully we can start closer to the front on Saturday night and turn that into a victory when it’s all said and done.”

Windom is seeking to become the first USAC Triple Crown champion since Tracy Hines completed the trifecta in 2015 by winning the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series championship.

His podium finish on Friday night gave Clauson-Marshall three cars in the top five to open the season, with Courtney and Windom joined by 16-year-old Zeb Wise, who crossed the line in fifth.