Torgerson Byjoeg
Ashton Torgerson (Joe Grabianowski photo)

Torgerson Gets Another Xtreme Triumph

MATTOON, Ill. — When Ashton Torgerson cemented his plans to begin his rookie season on the trail of the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota, he was unsure about how he’d perform and manage the pressure of driving for one of the most accomplished teams in national midget racing.

But now, only halfway through the season, the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports racer has collected three Xtreme Outlaw Feature wins, which is second-most among all drivers.

The latest came Friday night in the series’ debut at Coles County Speedway, when he took the lead from 2022 champion Zach Daum on lap 10 and led the rest of the way to score the win in the POWRi co-sanctioned Xtreme Outlaw-POWRi Challenge Series main event.

“We weren’t sure if we were gonna be the best since it’s my first Midget year,” Torgerson, 17, said. “We have three wins already this year with Xtreme and one with POWRi. Overall, so far, it’s been amazing already, and we’re only halfway through.”

After the four-car invert, Torgerson took the green flag in the feature from the fourth starting spot and wasted little time challenging the leaders in the early going.

A red flag situation appeared on lap five for a Kale Drake rollover in turn two, which restacked the field for a restart. Daum led the field back to green with Gavin Miller right behind him in the bottom lane around the eighth-mile oval, which played right into Torgerson’s hand as he soon found the top side of the track to his liking and began to close-in on the two leaders ahead.

“We looked at the track before the main and I think everybody thought it was gonna be right around the bottom with how much track work they actually did to the bottom,” Torgerson said. “Rolling around, we had four laps I think and then a red came out. I just figured I’m third, I had to try something.

“I saw the top in (turns) one and two and it was kinda cleaned off a little bit, and so I figured I’d try it once, see how it goes and learn from there. That’s what I did.”

Torgerson got around Miller for second on lap seven and then set his sights on Daum. He kept it smooth on the top side and reeled-in the Trifecta Motorsports No. 7u, and on lap 10 got a great run to Daum’s outside in turns one and two and zoomed past him into the lead down the backstretch.

“Really, I was just hoping Daum wouldn’t come up in (turns) one and two to block me the one or two times I showed him I had momentum, and luckily he didn’t,” Torgerson said. “After that, I was able to jump up top in three and four pretty much set sail after that.”

And set sail he did. Torgerson navigated his way through traffic without a single fault, ducking and weaving his way around the slower cars en route to the win. At its largest, his gap to second-place Chase McDermand grew to nearly two seconds in the final laps.

“With the moves I was making and how fast I was getting around them, I actually think it calmed me down a little bit knowing that I had lapped cars in between us,” Torgerson said. “Splitting cars there – I don’t think they were able to do the exact same moves, so it probably took them a little bit longer to get around them.”

McDermand crossed the finish line second to secure his fourth podium finish of the season. He started third and fell back to fourth in the beginning of the race but was able to climb back thanks to his patience on the top side.

After a fierce battle with Daum around the midway point of the race, complete with slide jobs and repeated contact between the two, McDermand was able to take the spot away for good on lap 13. However, he was unable to get close enough to Torgerson in the end to make a bid for the lead.

“I think, like everybody else, I just needed a caution,” McDermand said. “Just couldn’t get there in the dirty air. I feel like we were better in clean air. I ran him down, but then right when I caught him, we were getting into lapped traffic and there really wasn’t any opportunity to get by him.”

Daum hung on to finish third while KKM teammates Ryan Timms and Cannon McIntosh completed the top five.

Saturday’s race at Wayne County Speedway in Illinois, was rained out.

The finish: 

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 67K-Ashton Torgerson[4]; 2. 40-Chase McDermand[3]; 3. 7U-Zach Daum[1]; 4. 67-Ryan Timms[5]; 5. 71K-Cannon McIntosh[12]; 6. 71-Jade Avedisian[8]; 7. 97-Gavin Miller[2]; 8. 21K-Karter Sarff[10]; 9. 16-Kyle Jones[17]; 10. 55-Trevor Cline[6]; 11. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold[9]; 12. 56D-Mitchell Davis[18]; 13. 14S-Tyler Edwards[19]; 14. 54-Michael Pickens[11]; 15. 1K-Brayton Lynch[13]; 16. 97K-Kale Drake[16]; 17. 43-Gunnar Setser[20]; 18. 66-Jayden Clay[21]; 19. 98-Elijah Gile[15]; 20. 57-Mark McMahill[22]; 21. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[7]; 22. 86-Shane Cottle[14]