75-YEAR MIDGET CELEBRATION AT MOUNT LAWN WEDNESDAY; HARRIS, OLSON, WELCH WIN AT ILLIANA This Wednesday night's "Open Wheel Extravaganza" at Mount Lawn Speedway in New Castle, Ind. celebrates 75 years of the rich tradition of...
75-YEAR MIDGET CELEBRATION AT MOUNT LAWN WEDNESDAY; HARRIS, OLSON, WELCH WIN AT ILLIANA
This Wednesday night's "Open Wheel Extravaganza" at Mount Lawn Speedway in New Castle, Ind. celebrates 75 years of the rich tradition of Midget racing. The first organized Midget race ever occurred on June 4, 1933 at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, Calif. won by Dave Oliver. The Regional, Kenyon and Indiana Ford Focus Midgets are each slated for 30 lap features.
James Robertson, Auston Harris and Caleb Armstrong lead their respective regional series standings going into the event presented by the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
Auston Harris, Dillon Welch and Brian Olson shared the spotlight in Wednesday night's historic USAC "regional" racing program at the Illiana Speedway.
Harris, of Hayward, Calif. became the first African-American driver ever to win a feature event in USAC competition, leading the final 16 laps of the 30-lap Midwest/Indiana/UMARA Ford Focus race on the 1/4-mile paved oval. Harris piloted the Bob East Beast sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Take 25 Campaign. Harris, at age 17, is a veteran of endurance racing and has competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona. This is his first season of USAC competition. Harris passed Kyle Hamilton on lap 15 and held off a determined bid from runner-up Steven Mathews. Hamilton took third ahead of Jordan Pennington and Harris' teammate Julia Landauer.
Welch, son of ABC/ESPN broadcaster Vince Welch, earned his first USAC victory in the 30-lap Kenyon Midget Car race, officially leading all 30 laps after a post-race disqualification of apparent race winner Dalton Armstrong, whose car failed to pass post-race technical inspection. Welch, of Indianapolis, Ind., drove the St. Vincent Sports Performance/VCS Yamaha to the win over Drew Charlson, Caleb Armstrong, Jeff Wimmenauer and Jacob Thompson.
In the 30-lap Regional Midget finale, Brian Olson of Puyallup, Wash. held off Toyota "Night Before the 500" Champion Bobby East the entire distance in his Olson Brothers Excavating/Pro-Vac Clean Systems Beast/Esslinger Ford. Robertson took third ahead of Ricky Ehrgott and Brent Beauchamp.
Three USAC Sprint cars also performed exhibition laps for the enthusiastic crowd.