By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Lawrenceburg, Indiana (June 10, 2023)………In many respects, it’s been a rollercoaster of a season thus far for Ryan Timms during the early part of the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship calendar.
In fact, it’s been just about as much of a rollercoaster as was a single lap around Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway’s lightning fast 3/8-mile dirt oval during Saturday night’s penultimate round of USAC Indiana Midget Week.
After winning May’s series season opener at the Belleville (Kan.) Short Track, the Oklahoma City, Okla. racer endured a streak of six straight finishes outside the top-10, a cold snap that lasted well past the halfway mark of IMW.
After Timms’ Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate Buddy Kofoid won twice, and also finished second and fourth during the first four rounds of IMW, Kofoid exited the stage prior to the weekend due to sprint car racing obligations.
At Bloomington, the executive decision was made to plug Timms in the cockpit of the car Kofoid had driven to success. Following a sixth-place finish at Bloomington in the car, Timms was finally back on an upswing which culminated with his victory at Lawrenceburg.
In what amounted to his first visit of any kind to Lawrenceburg, Timms was superb, leading 28 of the 30-lap distance aboard his JBL Audio – TRD – Mobil 1/Bullet By Spike/Speedway Toyota, a night which also involved having to keep at bay the high point man for Indiana Midget Week to date, Logan Seavey, throughout the rigorous latter stages.
“I’ve always thought this place was the coolest place ever, so to win here is awesome,” Timms explained. “That was definitely one of the most fun times I’ve had in a midget. I’m really glad we could get this deal in victory lane.”
Timms’ Lawrenceburg score was the fourth of his USAC National Midget career and made him the third consecutive KKM driver to win an IMW main event this week following Kofoid on Thursday at Lincoln Park Speedway and Gavin Miller on Friday at Bloomington.
Rolling off fourth on the grid, Timms was a challenger right from the very start. By turn two of the opening lap, he had already found himself as the meat in a sandwich featuring pole sitter Jake Andreotti and outside front row starter Taylor Reimer.
Andreotti, also turning his first laps at Lawrenceburg on this night, led at the stripe during the completion of lap one. Nonetheless, Timms quickly altered that fact with an undercut of Andreotti in turn two at the exit on lap two to assume the position.
Akin to how most everything unfolds at Lawrenceburg, things can happen in a hurry, and Andreotti wasted no time in reclaiming his throne on lap three with an outside turn two pass of Timms to put himself back up front. Thereafter, Timms used roughly the next 14 seconds to regroup and recharge for his next moment, which involved driving deep into turn three under Andreotti to position himself back into the top spot.
Relentless tenacity was the name of the game as Timms finally disposed of Andreotti to lead the fourth lap, but soon had to contend with Logan Seavey, a past USAC Indiana Midget Week feature winner at Lawrenceburg in 2021, who entered the night as perhaps the hottest driver on the tour, having finished each of his past three feature starts inside the top-three.
When Seavey cleared Andreotti for second on lap nine, he quickly zeroed in on Timms and found himself right on his tailfeathers. On laps 14, 15 and 17, Seavey made attempt after attempt to surpass Timms, but each time, Timms had an ample and precise response by running it down off the high banks to jet back out in front of Timms.
Heavy traffic loomed on the 18th lap for the frontrunners, but that obstacle was soon avoided when ninth-running Chelby Hinton slapped the wall between turns three and four, flattening his right rear tire. Thus, the field was bunched up and restationed going back to green just shy of having two-thirds of the race in the books.
Soon thereafter, early race leader and third-running Andreotti tagged the turn two wall on the 23rd lap, flattening his right rear rubber and relegating him back to an 18th place finish and simultaneously bringing out the final yellow flag of the affair.
The fastest way around Lawrenceburg is right up against the outside wall, and Timms and Seavey spared no quarter when it came to using all the space available to them as they traversed around the southeastern Indiana battleground with Seavey continuously stalking Timms’ tracks the entire time.
On the restart with seven laps remaining, Timms demonstrated that fact by ricocheting off the turn four wall with his right rear tire. Without missing a beat, Timms actually gained more than a couple car lengths on Seavey, a most important factor down the stretch when you consider that Seavey was just out of range and was never able to properly make a play at Timms for the race lead and the win.
“I knew he was going to be fast from the moment we went green,” Timms said of Seavey. “I just had to be consistent and make as few mistakes as possible and I knew we could get it done. I definitely made a lot of mistakes and about made one that cost us the race in (turns) three and four.”
However, the razor’s edge cut in a pattern that favored Timms who thwarted Seavey’s repeated challenges and was able to distance himself from Seavey a bit more in the end to the tune of a 1.165 second margin at the finish line, winning over Seavey, Jade Avedisian, Bryant Wiedeman and Justin Grant.
Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) solidified his position at the top of the USAC Indiana Midget Week standings with his runner-up result in his Abacus Racing/Indy Custom Stone – CG CPAs – Dozer’z Nut’z & Bolt’z/Spike/Stanton SR-11x. The 2019 IMW champ’s fourth consecutive podium finish with the series extended his lead in the weeklong tour to 31 points while also pushing his overall USAC National Midget season championship lead to 22.
Jade Avedisian’s best run of Indiana Midget Week came via a third-place result at Lawrenceburg in her Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Mobil 1 – TRD – JBL Audio/Bullet By Spike/Speedway Toyota. The Clovis, Calif. native equaled the best finish ever by a woman during a USAC Indiana Midget Week feature. Holly Shelton also finished third at Lawrenceburg in 2017, also in a KKM mount.
ARCA Menards Series point leader Jesse Love (Menlo Park, Calif.) received his first taste of Lawrenceburg experience on Saturday night. His initial exposure to The Burg was hampered by a broken ignition switch on his CB Industries ride, but the team fought through and wound up with him being honored as the Irvin King Hard Charger for his 21st to 12th advancement in the feature event.
Justin Grant's Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifying time at Lawrenceburg was his second in as many night, his season-leading third of the season and the eighth of his USAC National Midget career, tying him for 74th all-time with Spencer Bayston, Christopher Bell, Dana Carter, Rex Easton, Russ Gamester, Don Horvath, Kasey Kahne, Sammy Sessions, George Snider, Kevin Thomas Jr. & Jack Turner.