Bethlehem, PA Driver Goes Six-for-Six at Linda’s on Friday, 4/6
By Barry Angstadt
Jonestown, PA - In 2017, Tommy Kunsman captured three point titles at Linda’s Speedway. On Friday night, in the track’s season opening Groundbreaker event, Kunsman continued to ride that giant wave of momentum by winning all three features in the classes that he entered, including his first USAC Eastern Midget A-Main.
“I didn’t even want to run all three classes tonight, since it was the first race of the year,” said an elated but exhausted Kunsman after his third victory of the evening. “But my dad said that he spent all winter getting the three cars ready, and he wanted to see all of them race. And now I am glad we ran all three classes; it’s still hard to believe that I won three features in one night!”
His victories occurred in the wingless 600 and winged 270 Micro Sprint divisions, along with (perhaps the one that meant the most to Kunsman on this night) the 25-lap triumph in the USAC Eastern Midget main. “We’ve been good in the Midget, but not great, so I am really surprised we were able to win that race. But the car was on a rail, and my experience here in other divisions is a big help - I know where to put the car on this track.”
While Kunsman started on the pole in the Midget feature, it was far from a “gimme” for the wheel-twister from Bethlehem, Pa. Last year’s series champion, Ryan Greth, lined up next to him on the front row.
Kunsman blasted into the lead as the green waved with Greth in hot pursuit and impressive teen Andrew Layser running third, just ahead of last season’s Rookie of the Year, Kenny Miller III.
The yellow flag appeared with eight trips complete for a Mike Myers spin in turn four. On the restart, Kunsman darted away from Greth and Layser began to apply pressure on the defending champ for the runner-up spot. Charging off the fourth turn to complete lap ten, Layser ducked under Greth and snared second place.
Disaster struck Greth at the halfway mark, as a blown tire and broken shock ended his night and brought out the caution flag once again. Just two circuits later, Layser pulled a big-time wheelie on the backstretch, then slowed dramatically before pulling off the racing surface as Miller flew past him and into second.
Kunsman cruised all alone out front over the final ten revolutions to pick up his first Midget win. Miller finished a career-best second, with Shawn Jackson, Daniel Robinson, and newcomer Lee Nardelli rounding out the top five. Myers finished sixth.
Kunsman also won his heat race (he won his 270 and 600 heats, too, making him a perfect six-for-six between heats and features on Friday). Greth won the other heat race for the Midgets.
The next event for the USAC Eastern Midgets will be at BAPS Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 21.
USAC Eastern Midget Feature, 25 laps: 1.Tommy Kunsman, 2.Kenny Miller III, 3.Shawn Jackson, 4.Daniel Robinson, 5.Lee Nardelli, 6.Mike Myers, 7.Andrew Layser, 8.Ryan Greth. DNS:Adam Pierson.