KEVIN THOMAS, JR. TAKES FIRST USAC MIDGET WIN AT PLYMOUTH

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Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Middle) of Cullman, Alabama captured Friday night’s USAC Honda National Midget feature at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway.  Tanner Thorson (Right) tied a career-best series finish of 2nd place ahead of new series point leader, Tracy Hines (Left) who finished 3rd.

Plymouth, Indiana…Kevin Thomas, Jr. only needed until the second race of the 2015 Honda National Midget Championship season in his teaming with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports to notch his first-career win with the series inFriday’s 30-lapper at Plymouth Speedway. The Cullman, Alabama driver held on through three restarts over the second half of the race to post a .448-second victory in the Toyota TRD #67K Bullet/Speedway Toyota.

“This is a relief, for sure. I struggled when I got into this car at first, and now we’ve got some momentum building, both in this car and our USAC sprint car. It’s a great opportunity, and I can’t thank everyone enough who is helping me get in situations like this. I’m just glad to be here. It was tough to get the speed up around the top, especially after restarts, so it was a challenge to do it and not make mistakes. I made one big one, and a yellow was my best friend tonight to save us those spots after I plowed the cushion and smoked the fence early. I’m excited and ready to go racing a bunch in the next couple weeks,” Thomas said.

Tyler Courtney got the jump from outside the front-row and held back Tanner Thorson to take the early lead. Thomas, Jr. went straight to the high side, nearly getting to fourth before banging the cushion in turn-two on lap-five, which looked to cost him about five spots. Instead, a caution waved for a stopped car, and Thomas restarted fourth.

After that, Thomas got his momentum on the high side while Courtney held off Thorson on the bottom. Thomas finally had himself wound up and took the lead on lap twelve, and just a lap later the second caution appeared.

From there, Thomas ran the bottom through turns one and two and against the thick cushion through turns three and four while his teammate Thorson ran the bottom on both ends, with the night’s ProSource “Fast Qualifier” Tracy Hines roaming everywhere as he battled with Thorson.

Steve Buckwalter, who had been racing nearly to the top-five, stopped with ten laps to go, and Thorson looked stout on the restart. He and Thomas crossed nearly dead-even on lap 21 before Hines flashed to the outside and took over the second spot, coming within a couple feet of Thomas’ lead at the stripe on lap 23.

A final caution with two to go looked to give Hines a chance, but a slow restart bottled up the challengers and Thorson moved under Hines for the runner-up spot. The Minden, Nevada driver matched his best career finish aboard the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toytota TRD #67 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.

“We were really close tonight. We had an awesome car, and the yellows didn’t necessarily play in our favor a whole lot towards the end. They worked at it and gave us a really good race track tonight, and we were able to move around a lot. He brought us down really slow on that last restart, and that kinda killed our chance to win it,” Thorson said.

Hines came home in the third spot aboard the Parker Machinery – Turbines, Inc. #24 Spike/Stanton Toyota.

“We just weren’t quite as good as I expected we’d be after the heat race. It just didn’t really respond, so I had to drive the wheels off of it just to try to keep with those guys. It would be good for stretches, and then not as good as we built air pressure. I’m obviously happy with third, but I thought we shoulda been in the mix a little more as good as we were earlier tonight,” Hines said.

Dave Darland finished up fifth in the Curb Records – Dooling Machine #63 Spike/Stanton Mopar, and Darren Hagen rallied from starting 15th to finish fifth in the Kenny Brown Racing – Boss Chassis #17 Boss/Esslinger.

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USAC HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET RACE RESULTS: May 29, 2015 – Plymouth, IN – Plymouth Speedway – “Midget Maynia”

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-13.676; 2. Dave Darland, 63, RKR/Curb-Agajanian-13.776; 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.875; 4. Jerry Coons, Jr., 27, Heffner-13.915; 5. Tyler Courtney, 7K, K & R-14.026; 6. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.026; 7. Spencer Bayston, 39, Clauson-14.072; 8. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-14.077; 9. Isaac Chapple, 52, Chapple-14.092; 10. Brett Thomas, 69, Thomas-14.100; 11. Robby Parish, 7R, K & R-14.195; 12. Steve Buckwalter, 25, Buckwalter-14.222; 13. Ross Rankine, 39R, Rankine-14.337; 14. Garrett Aitken, 32, Aitken-14.355; 15. Darren Hagen, 17, Brown-14.468; 16. Nathan Smee, 7AU, Cooper-14.514; 17. Daniel Robinson, 57D, McCreery-14.565; 18. Gage Walker, 7, Walker-14.626; 19. Tony DiMattia, 50, Brandywine-14.743; 20. Gary Gipson, 5, Byers-14.931; 21. Austin Nemire, 91, Nemire/Yager-15.022; 22. Cole Fehr, 15, Live Loud-15.068.

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Smee, 2. Hines, 3. Coons, 4. Rankine, 5. Bayston, 6. Fehr, 7. DiMattia, 8. B.Thomas. 1:57.89

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Aitken, 2. T.Thomas, 3. Darland, 4. Courtney, 5. Robinson, 6. Gipson, 7. Parish. 1:59.81

THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Hagen, 2. Thorson, 3. K.Thomas, 4. Buckwalter, 5. Walker, 6. Nemire, 7. Chapple. 1:59.45

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Tracy Hines, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Darren Hagen, 6. Spencer Bayston, 7. Tyler Thomas, 8. Jerry Coons, Jr., 9. Nathan Smee, 10. Tyler Courtney, 11. Gage Walker, 12. Daniel Robinson, 13. Brett Thomas, 14. Tony DiMattia, 15. Gary Gipson, 16. Garrett Aitken, 17. Ross Rankine, 18. Austin Nemire, 19. Steve Buckwalter, 20. Isaac Chapple, 21. Cole Fehr, 22. Robby Parish. NT
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**B.Thomas flipped during the first heat.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-11 Courtney, Laps 12-30 K. Thomas.

NEW HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-Hines-131, 2-Hagen-128, 3-Thorson-125, 4-Darland-109, 5-K.Thomas-97, 6-T.Thomas-93, 7-Coons-90, 8-Bayston-80, 9-Buckwalter-79, 10-Walker-66.

NEXT HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET RACE: May 30 – Plymouth, IN – Plymouth Speedway

UPCOMING EVENT INFO

 

DATE:
Saturday, May 30, 2015

SERIES:

Honda USAC National Midget Championship

 

TRACK:

Plymouth Speedway (Plymouth, IN)

3/8 Mile Dirt Oval
SCHEDULED STARTING TIMES:
Hot Laps: 6PM
Racing To Follow Hot Laps

TICKETS:
Adults: $20
Kids Age 6 to 12: $5
Kids Age 5 & under: Free
Pits: $30
Two day general admission: $35
Two day pit pass: $55

TRACK ADDRESS:
Plymouth Speedway
11631 12th Road
Plymouth, IN 46563

TRACK PHONE:
TRACK WEBSITE:
2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CHAMPIONSHIP
SCHEDULE & RESULTS
DATE
LOCATION
TRACK
WINNER
April 10
Kokomo, IN
Kokomo Speedway
Rained Out
April 11
Kokomo, IN
Kokomo Speedway
Darren Hagen
May 29
Plymouth, IN
Plymouth Speedway
Kevin Thomas, Jr.
May 30
Plymouth, IN
Plymouth Speedway
June 10
@ Gas City, IN
Gas City I-69 Speedway
June 11
@ Putnamville, IN
Lincoln Park Speedway
June 12
@ Bloomington, IN
Bloomington Speedway
June 13
@ Lawrenceburg, IN
Lawrenceburg Speedway
June 14
@ Kokomo, IN
Kokomo Speedway
June 26
TBA
TBA
June 27
TBA
TBA
July 28
Beloit, KS
Solomon Valley Raceway
July 30
Belleville, KS
Belleville High Banks
Aug. 1
Belleville, KS
Belleville High Banks
Aug. 18
*** Spring Run, PA
Path Valley Speedway Park
Aug. 19
*** New Oxford, PA
Lincoln Speedway
Aug. 20
*** Newberrytown, PA
Susquehanna Speedway Park
Sept. 4
Granite City, IL
Tri-City Speedway
Sept. 5
Granite City, IL
Tri-City Speedway
Sept. 26
Rossburg, OH
Eldora Speedway
Nov. 26
### Perris, CA
Perris Auto Speedway
@=Indiana Midget Week
***=Co-Sanctioned by ARDC
###=Co-Sanctioned by Honda USAC Western Midget Series
2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET
POINT STANDINGS
DRIVER POINTS
RANK
DRIVER
POINTS
1
Tracy Hines
(New Castle, IN)
131
2
Darren Hagen
(Riverside, CA)
128
3
Tanner Thorson
(Minden, NV)
125
4
Dave Darland
(Lincoln, IN)
109
5
Kevin Thomas, Jr.
(Cullman, AL)
97
6
Tyler Thomas
(Collinsville, OK)
93
7
Jerry Coons, Jr.
(Tucson, AZ)
90
8
Spencer Bayston
(Lebanon, IN)
80
9
Steve Buckwalter

(Royersford, PA)
79
10
 Gage Walker
(Indianapolis, IN)
66

2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET

FEATURE WINNERS

 

Darren Hagen – 1 (Kokomo Speedway on April 11)

Kevin Thomas, Jr. – 1 (Plymouth Speedway on May 29)

2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET STATISTICS

 

FEATURE WINS:
1. Darren Hagen – 1
Kevin Thomas, Jr. – 1

FEATURE LAP LEADERS:
1. Darren Hagen – 24
2. Kevin Thomas, Jr. – 19
3. Tyler Courtney – 11
4. Davey Ray – 6

TOP-FIVE FEATURE FINISHES:
1. Darren Hagen – 2
Tracy Hines – 2
Tanner Thorson – 2
4. Steve Buckwalter – 1
Dave Darland – 1
Davey Ray – 1
Kevin Thomas, Jr. – 1

TOP-TEN FEATURE FINISHES:
1. Jerry Coons, Jr. – 2
Tyler Courtney – 2
Dave Darland – 2
Darren Hagen – 2
Tracy Hines – 2
Tyler Thomas – 2
Tanner Thorson – 2
8. Spencer Bayston – 1
Steve Buckwalter – 1
Andrew Felker – 1
Davey Ray – 1
Nathan Smee – 1
Kevin Thomas, Jr. – 1

PROSOURCE FAST QUALIFYING TIMES:

1. Tracy Hines – 1
Kevin Thomas, Jr. – 1

HEAT RACE WINS:
1. Darren Hagen – 2
2. Garrett Aitken – 1
Steve Buckwalter – 1
Andrew Felker – 1
Nathan Smee – 1
Kevin Thomas, Jr. – 1

SEMI WINS:
1. Justin Peck – 1

2015 HONDA USAC NATIONAL MIDGET

“HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE”

 

April 11: Kokomo Speedway – Tanner Thorson (8 positions)
May 29: Plymouth Speedway – Darren Hagen (10 positions)

ALL-TIME USAC NATIONAL MIDGET CHAMPIONS

 

1956:  Shorty Templeman                     

1957Shorty Templeman                     

1958Shorty Templeman                     

1959Gene Hartley                       

1960Jimmy Davies                        

1961Jimmy Davies                        

1962Jimmy Davies                        

1963Bob Wente                         

1964Mel Kenyon                        

1965Mike McGreevy                      

1966Mike McGreevy                      

1967Mel Kenyon                        

1968Mel Kenyon                        

1969Bob Tattersall                    

1970Jimmy Caruthers                     

1971Danny Caruthers                     

1972Pancho Carter                        

1973Larry Rice                          

1974Mel Kenyon                        

1975Sleepy Tripp                         

1976Sleepy Tripp                         

1977Mel Kenyon                        

1978Rich Vogler                        

1979Steve Lotshaw                       

1980Rich Vogler                        

1981Mel Kenyon                        

1982Kevin Olson                                  

1983Rich Vogler                        

1984Tom Bigelow                       

1985Mel Kenyon                        

1986:  Rich Vogler                        

1987Kevin Olson

1988Rich Vogler

1989Russ Gamester

1990Jeff Gordon

1991Mike Streicher

1992Stevie Reeves

1993Stevie Reeves

1994Tony Stewart

1995Tony Stewart

1996Kenny Irwin Jr.

1997Jason Leffler

1998Jason Leffler

1999Jason Leffler

2000Kasey Kahne

2001Dave Darland

2002Dave Darland

2003J.J. Yeley

2004Bobby East

2005Josh Wise

2006Jerry Coons Jr.

2007Jerry Coons Jr.

2008Cole Whitt

2009Brad Kuhn

2010Bryan Clauson

2010Darren Hagen (Pavement)

2011Bryan Clauson

2011Darren Hagen (Pavement)

2012Darren Hagen                         

2012Darren Hagen (Pavement)

2012Darren Hagen (Dirt)

2013Darren Hagen (Pavement)

2013:  Christopher Bell (Dirt)

2014Rico Abreu

ALL-TIME USAC NATIONAL MIDGET

DRIVER FEATURE WINS

 

1. [111 wins] Mel Kenyon

2. [95 wins] Rich Vogler

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