Tanner Thorson (photo by Rich Forman)
BRIDGEPORT, NJ – It was 32 years since the National Midgets USAC NOS Energy Drink last spun a wheel in the state of New Jersey.
At the conclusion of the third round of Eastern Midget Week on Thursday at Bridgeport Motorsports Park, Tanner Thorson found himself ahead of the field by 32 light years, it seemed, as he claimed the most victory. dominant of the season on the series’ first visit to the four-tenths-of-a-mile-high sloping earthen oval.
Thorson made his way to the lead on lap five past pole sitter Emerson Axsom, then steadily increased the gap between him and the rest of the field throughout the duration of the 30 laps to win by 8.429 seconds, overtaking all of them. except the first eight. aboard his Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports / AME Electrical – The Healing Tree / Spike / Stanton SR-11x.
It was the fifth series-leading USAC National Midget triumph of the season for the Minden, Nevada native, and the eighth overall combined between the USAC National Midgets and sprint cars.
The bottom was not only the shortest path, but also the fastest path for Thorson as the fifth lap restarted.
“As soon as I rode there I saw that there was a lot of grip and I thought the changes had made the bottom hang for us,” Thorson recalls. “As soon as I shot I went over there and I could smell it and I knew this would be the place to be.”
Thomas Meseraull found the same path to his liking, passing Axsom on the eighth lap for second position. However, at that point, Thorson was in the middle of a tear, one hit on lap 10 and a half-lap halfway through lap 15th.
As Buddy Kofoid made his way to third place with nine laps to go, Thorson stayed 7.5 seconds ahead and kept growing as he pulled apart and punched everyone in his path.
“We’ve struggled the last two nights, I feel like,” Thorson said. “The mere fact that our team worked so hard together, it definitely paid off and it shows. “
Thorson’s midget victory comes after a 12e-placing the finish in a USAC National Sprint Car feature in its only previous experience at Bridgeport during the Eastern Storm in June.
“Midgets and sprint cars are obviously a little different,” Thorson said. “With the sprint car, it was quite difficult to get down here. I think the dwarf has so much side load that you can load it from below and get stuck way better than a sprint car.
Meseraull had his best result since winning the Indiana Midget Week opener at Paragon Speedway more than two months earlier, earning a second place finish in his RMS Racing / EnviroFab – Response Management Services – Engler Machine / Spike / Speedway Toyota.
“When it got slippery it got slippery, slippery,” Meseraull explained of the track conditions on his way forward. “The mods weren’t running at the bottom, but the midgets, they would run pretty well at the bottom compared to a lot of bigger cars with a lot of weight. I saw Tanner (Thorson) there start to ride the bottom. really weren’t made to run there. I might have had something if we had adjusted to the bottom, but Tanner is gone. I feel like the team deserves this. We’re sure It’s been 40 days on the road, I feel like it’s been tough, but it’s nice to be on the podium with this car.
Kofoid had his right wrist and left foot broken, he held off to win a second consecutive podium in his Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports / Mobil 1 – TRD – IWX / Bullet By Spike / Speedway Toyota, finishing third in Bridgeport and extending its series points lead to 19 scorers over fourth finalist Chris Windom.
“Down was the fastest line, but my car was pretty good all over and I don’t think we were quite ready to run down with we didn’t expect the track to do that,” said declared Kofoid. “I could catch up a lot of ground early on by sliding around and pulling the guys apart. The bottom came in and it got dirty where I couldn’t really get my line down the middle or get past the fence. It was another good points night and I’m happy to be on the podium again. I just need to be two better places.
To see the full results, go to the next page.