Chad Boat Triumphs In First Ever USAC Midget Race at Linda's Speedway
By Barry Angstadt
Jonestown, PA - Pennsylvania is a long, long way from Chad Boat's hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. After this week, however, it's a safe bet that Boat loves the Keystone State and would really like to spend more time in PA.
That's because the 25-year-old third generation racer captured his second and third victories of the season during PA Midget Week, as the USAC National Midget Championship series made its annual eastern trek. On Thursday night, in the PA Midget Week finale`, Boat drove to the win in the first ever appearance by the USAC Midgets at Linda's Speedway in Jonestown.
In those four races in PA, Boat finished sixth at Susquehanna, recorded the victory at Path Valley, was sixth again at Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, then topped it off with the big win at Linda's.
The prelim winner at the Belleville Midget Nationals started on the pole at the quarter-mile in Jonestown. He galloped into the lead at the outset while Tyler Courtney and Shane Golobic diced for the runner-up spot. Sixth-starting Brady Bacon, the Pro Source quick qualifier in time trials, moved up to duel for the fourth position with National Midget point leader Spencer Bayston.
The first 13 trips around the oval went clean and green until teammates Alex Bright and Andrew Layser both came to stop at opposite ends of the race track to produce the caution flag for the first time. Boat, Golobic, Courtney, and Bayston remained in the top four slots on the restart, with Bacon now fighting Justin Grant and Tanner Thorson for the fifth position. Yellow flag number two appeared with 11 to go, and Bayston worked past Courtney to grab third on the restart. A red flag, for an Eric Heydenreich flip in turn three (he was uninjured in the mishap), halted the action with nine tours remaining.
As the green waved once again, Boat fended off the attempts of Golobic in one and two to hold serve as the race leader. He ran unchallenged to the win over Golobic, Bayston, and Courtney, who had to hold off Grant, Thorson, and Bacon in an entertaining battle to earn fourth place money.
Adam Pierson, Tanner Carrick, and Courtney won heat races as a field of 24 Midgets entered the event at Linda's.
Manheim, PA's Ryan Groff authored a strong effort to win the Hyper Racing 600 Speedweek feature race at Linda's Speedway on Thursday. The triumph was Groff's first at Linda's, and it pulled him closer to Speedweek point leader Tim Buckwalter with one race remaining in the four event miniseries.
A fine field of 50 entrants signed in for round three of 600 Speedweek on Thursday. Groff, who made the re-draw by finishing second in his heat race, drew the pole for the 25-lap A-Main. He made the most of his good fortune, too, by dashing away from the pack as the first 11 revolutions went non-stop.
Austin Quick shot by Tim Buckwalter to assume the runner-up slot on lap nine, and Quick used the restart with 11 complete to harass the leader. But Groff was simply too strong, pulling out to a comfortable lead once again as the laps clicked off in rapid fashion.
Jim Radney made a late race charge, blasting into third position with nine to go after starting the race in 12th. That is where his forward progress ended, though, as Groff flew under the checkered with room to spare over Quick, Radney, Buckwalter, and BJ Antonio, who wrestled with Tommy Kunsman for just about the entire distance before prevailing for a top five finish.
Heat winners included Quick, Buckwalter, Jimmy Glenn, Kyle Lick, and Tyler Brehm. The C-Main victory went to Richie Hitzler, and Jesse Maurer captured the B-Main.
Hyper Racing 600 Speedweek, presented by SmallCarWeekly.com, wraps up on Friday night, August 18, at Spirit Auto Center Speedway in Bridgeport, NJ, with Buckwalter leading Groff by just a few points.
USAC National Midget Championship, 30 Laps: 1.Chad Boat, 2.Shane Golobic, 3.Spencer Bayston, 4.Tyler Courtney, 5.Justin Grant, 6.Tanner Thorson, 7.Brady Bacon, 8.Holly Shelton, 9.Tanner Carrick, 10.Landon Simon, 11.Brayton Lynch, 12.Adam Pierson, 13.Trevor Kobylarz, 14.Brett Arndt, 15.Alex Bright, 16.Ryan Greth, 17.Kenny Miller III, 18.PJ Gargiulo, 19.Tim Buckwalter, 20.Eric Heydenreich, 21.Tony DiMattia, 22.Andrew Layser.
DNQ: Josh Heckman, Rob Marhefka.
Hyper Racing 600 Speedweek A-Main, 25 Laps: 1.Ryan Groff, 2.Austin Quick, 3.Jim Radney, 4.Tim Buckwalter, 5.BJ Antonio, 6.Tommy Kunsman, 7.Brian Carber, 8.Tyler Brehm, 9.Zeb Wise, 10.Ken Murray, 11.Nash Ely, 12.Eric Bodine, 13.Dakota Barlet, 14.Jesse Maurer, 15.Kyle Spence, 16.Zack Bealer, 17.Kyle Lick, 18.Chad Sandt, 19.Brandon Pavel, 20.Bradley Brown, 21.Mike Thompson, 22.Jimmy Glenn, 23.Jacob Severn, 24.Damon Paul, 25.Nate Brinker, 26.Eric Heydenreich.
DNS: Mike Rutherford.
DNQ: Mike Linderman, Brandon Heist, Dylan Woodling, Rodney Stealy, Danny Buccafusca, Kevin Hapner, Bennett Lushin, James Morris, Richie Hitzler, Tyler Ulrich, Wayne Scott, Lance Tomlinson, Matt Carr, Brett Altemose, Tyler Kehs, Paige Moss, Mike Fauci, Joe Plunkett, Charles Hunt, Steve Whary, Dawson Stealy, Cody Williams, Kenny Harris.