NEWMANSTOWN, Pa. — While Tanner Thorson was en route to his fourth USAC NOS Energy Midget National Championship victory in the past seven races Friday night at Bloomsburg Fairgrounds Raceway, the battle for points supremacy went on behind him.
Buddy Kofoid and Chris Windom have dueled for the top spot in the standings for much of the year, and in that latest clash, it was Windom’s eighth-place finish edging Kofoid in ninth.
With 22 races down and 22 to go in the USAC Midget season, Windom is 11 points behind Kofoid as the series heads to Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway in Newmanstown, Pa., for tonight’s Eastern Midget Week finale.
Kofoid hasn’t had abundance of success in his two trips to the Pennsylvania area thus far, putting together finishes of seventh, second, 10th, third, third, and ninth since his first Eastern Midget Week last year.
It has allowed Windom to shed 26 points off a 37-point deficit he entered the week with at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa., a race the CB Industries driver won.
But of all the Eastern Midget Week tracks, Kofoid has tasted victory on the banks best known as Lanco and nearly broke through for his first USAC Midget win last year at the facility hidden in the mountains of Pennsylvania.
The Toyota Racing Development driver slugged with open-wheel heavyweight Tyler Courtney, who eventually got the best of the then-rookie midget driver
Courtney eventually fell one point shy of Windom for the USAC Midget championship, something to keep in mind as the title fight begins its latter rounds this evening at the eighth-mile clay oval.
If Kofoid does win Saturday at Lanco, it’d break a nine-race stretch without a USAC Midget win, the longest between touring victories since it took him 18 races to win in his rookie season last year.
Thorson, not far from falling out of the top five before the week, is now 99 points out of the lead and fourth in the standings after back-to-back wins on Thursday and Friday at Bridgeport Speedway and Bloomsburg, respectively.
Emersom Axsom, meanwhile, rides steadily in third, just 31 points behind Kofoid.
Justin Grant, on the other hand, is 118 points off the pace and is trying to carry some momentum into Lanco after his runner-up to Thorson on Friday at Bloomsburg.
Daison Pursley (162 points behind), Logan Seavey (-239), Thomas Meseraull (-241), Kevin Thomas Jr. (-255), and Cannon McIntosh (-332) complete the top 10 in the USAC Midget standings.