HAUBSTADT, Ind. – Kyle Cummins’ win in Sunday night’s Midwest Sprint Car Series feature at Tri-State Speedway was nothing short of routine, but his triumph in the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series main event was as unexpected as it was impressive.
Cummins, who doesn’t “profess to be a midget guy,” led 29 of 30 laps in the fourth round of Indiana Midget Week to notch his maiden USAC national midget win and complete a sweep of the night at the quarter-mile dirt oval.
He took the top spot for good on lap three and then fended off the advances of Daison Pursley early and Chris Windom late en route to a $4,000 score.
It extended his mastery of the Haubstadt, Ind., venue where he has been one of the most impressive drivers in track history and, perhaps, the most dominant driver of the past decade.
“To have Chris (Windom) there behind me was pretty nerve wracking, because he’s pretty good in a midget,” Cummins admitted. “I just didn’t know what to do, but I felt like if I was going to win one, this would probably be the place to do it.”
Cummins became the fourth winner in four Indiana Midget Week races, but he was easily the most surprising winner of the bunch.
“I didn’t expect this, but we’ve been trying to get our midget stuff together, and tonight everything just worked in our favor,” he added.
A sliderfest for the ages broke out off the start, with Pursley leading to turn one but Cummins marching forward on the inside berm and ultimately leading the opening lap by .004 seconds.
Pursley returned the favor the next time around, using a deep turn-four slider to command lap two, before Cummins broke free to reclaim command on the third rotation and began to pull away slightly.
A red-flag stoppage on lap seven – for the flipping car of Ethan Mitchell in turn three after he clipped an infield tire – set up a single-file restart, but Cummins rolled the middle to hold serve even as Pursley fought tooth-and-nail on the bottom side of the track.
Chris Windom rallied a bomb off turn four to take the runner-up spot nine laps in, dropping Pursley back as a war for third began to break out. Tanner Thorson eventually emerged with that spot on the 13th lap, holding it through the halfway point as Cummins held a narrow four car length lead over Windom.
Windom continued his pursuit of Cummins for the top spot and finally pulled the trigger on a move at lap 17, just as Kaylee Bryson smacked the cushion in turns three and four and rolled to a stop.
The yellow negated Windom’s pass for the lead, dropping him back and setting up another restart. Windom tried the bottom against Cummins’ middle-groove magic, but could make nothing happen before Hayden Williams flipped on the frontstretch to force another red flag period.
That set up the final restart of the night, with Cummins leading Windom, Pursley, Thomas Meseraull and Jason McDougal. Pursley attacked the top groove on the restart and briefly took second from Windom, but the latter eventually got back past to reclaim runner-up honors.
By then, however, Cummins was long gone and there was no catching him in the final laps.
Sunday night’s score marked Cummins’ 17th career USAC midget start, and in addition to it being the driver’s first career win, it was also the first win for Canadian car owner Glenn Styres.
“Glenn Styres, I owe this all to him,” Cummins said. “He’s put the trust in me. We’ve only got 20 midget races under our belt, and we have no idea what we’re doing. Throughout Indiana Midget Week, we’ve been getting better and better every night.”
Windom held off a final-lap effort from Meseraull to finish second by .010 seconds, with Pursley earning his best finish of the week in fourth and Kevin Thomas Jr. filling out the top five.
McDougal, Cannon McIntosh, Justin Grant, Thorson and Buddy Kofoid finished sixth through 10th, respectively.
By virtue of his second-place finish, Windom took over the Indiana Midget Week point lead by 13 from Kofoid as the mini-series crosses its halfway point, with four races down and four races remaining.
Indiana Midget Week takes two nights off before resuming on June 9 at Circle City Raceway near Indianapolis.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.