Torgerson Byjoeg
Ashton Torgerson in victory lane at Humboldt Speedway. (Joe Grabianowski photo)

Torgerson Sings Humboldt Redemption Song

HUMBOLDT, Kan. — Humboldt Speedway holds a special place in the heart of Ashton Torgerson.

It’s where he made his national midget series debut with the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota one year ago and nearly went to victory lane, leading the first 21 laps of the main event before getting passed for the lead late and coming home third.

Fast-forward to Friday night and he was standing in victory lane, singing a song of redemption as he hoisted his second trophy of the season with the Xtreme Outlaw Series.

“All day, it was in the back of my mind – last year I was here leading laps and lost it [late in the race],” Torgerson said. “Tonight, we had a little bit of red [flags] later on in the race, and then we had the late caution. Both of those were kinda frustrating, but I felt so good that I knew I’d be good if I just hit my marks.”

The 17-year-old becomes the first repeat winner of the Xtreme season, ending the streak of different winners at six in the first six races. The $4,000 triumph also goes down as his second in-a-row after a win in the Series’ most recent event at Farmer City Raceway in April.

Torgerson wheeled a Tanner Thorson Racing entry to the third-place run he had in his Series debut at the banked, quarter-mile oval last year. He’s since joined forces with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports for his rookie national Midget campaign and given team owners Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby their fifth win in the first seven Xtreme races.

“Coming back here, I was kinda hungry for the win after last year,” Torgerson said. “All night, we’ve been pretty good, and I can’t thank the crew enough for what they’ve done and what they do consistently.”

Torgerson took the green in the main event from third on the starting grid, trailing KKM teammates Ryan Timms and Kale Drake as they completed the opening laps. Drake soon made a move on Timms for the lead out of turn four on lap eight and held it through the race’s first red flag period on lap 13.

Torgerson lined up second after getting by Timms for the position on lap 11, and prepared for a critical restart.

“I thought [Drake] would go to the bottom there and I thought I’d have to figure out another way to get by him,” Torgerson said. “And then on the restart, he went to the top and I was able to roll right by him.”

When Drake washed up the track in turns one and two, Torgerson was there to capitalize, hugging the bottom lane and zooming past Drake at the exit of turn two to take the lead.

From there, it was all Torgerson out front. He defended the lead after multiple restarts, a red-flag period and even a green-white-checkered finish with several of his KKM teammates right behind him.

“I just knew I had to hit my marks,” Torgerson said. “If I miss the bottom, I probably would have got passed, so I just knew I had to hit the bottom and be calm and hit my lines. That’s what I did.”

In the end, Drake’s podium run was cut short, as he spun and stalled in turn two on the final lap, taking him out of contention.  However, Gavin Miller was right on the doorstep and moved into the second spot for the restart, which he defended to bag the $2,000 runner-up prize.

“Didn’t quite have enough on the last restart; got a little tight,” Miller said. “I think we were a little bit more free off exit; probably could’ve got under him and had the run to get to him.”

Miller did try a bit of a dive going into turn one on the final restart in an attempt to get by Torgerson, but it was unsuccessful.

“Going into the corner, I didn’t drive it in hard enough on the bottom,” Miller said. “[Torgerson] drove it in too hard, so we kinda both made opposite mistakes.”

Xtreme Outlaw Series points leader Cannon McIntosh crossed the stripe in third and retained his points lead, now expanded 10 points up to 37 over Timms.

Chase McDermand finished fourth and Zach Daum rounded out the top five.

The finish:

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 67K-Ashton Torgerson[3]; 2. 97-Gavin Miller[4]; 3. 71K-Cannon McIntosh[5]; 4. 40-Chase McDermand[11]; 5. 7U-Zach Daum[16]; 6. 67-Ryan Timms[1]; 7. 21K-Karter Sarff[12]; 8. 14S-TJ Smith[9]; 9. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold[10]; 10. 71-Jade Avedisian[8]; 11. 56-Tyler Edwards[6]; 12. 60X-Kyle Jones[7]; 13. 98K-Elijah Gile[15]; 14. 5U-Peter Smith[14]; 15. 1K-Brayton Lynch[17]; 16. 7-Shannon McQueen[21]; 17. 55-Trevor Cline[13]; 18. 66-Jayden Clay[19]; 19. 97K-Kale Drake[2]; 20. 98-Luke Drotschie[18]; 21. 43-Gunnar Setser[20]