Eight years. Eight races. Eight different winners.
The beat goes on with this Friday night’s ninth running of the Peoples National Bank Jason Leffler Memorial for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship on October 7 at Wayne County Speedway in Wayne City, Ill.
Throughout the past decade, the event has sustained its unpredictability with a new feature winner emerging each and every year since the inaugural edition back in 2013.
Just one past winner of the event is expected to compete in this year’s installment of the Leffler Memorial, and he’d sure like to put an end to the string of different winners on an annual basis for a myriad of reasons.
Zach Daum captured victory in the first Leffler Memorial in 2013 and went on to also garner a 5th in 2014 and a 3rd in 2015. In 2021, he added an 8th to his resume when the event was moved indoors to the Southern Illinois Center for the first time. This year on the USAC tour, he’s finished on the podium in three of his last four feature starts as he looks for his first USAC victory since 2014.
Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.) is the only driver to finish inside the top-four during each of the past two runnings of the Leffler Memorial. He finished 2nd a year ago in 2021 after leading the initial 13 laps. In 2020, he started on the pole and was in contention for the lead throughout much of the feature before a turn three fence bang dropped him back to 4th in the final running order.
Current point leader, reigning series champ and 10-time 2022 USAC National Midget feature winner Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) was 17th in 2020 during his only previous Leffler Memorial start. He’s one of seven entries out of the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports stable for the event as Kunz vies for a USAC National Midget record 134th victory as a series entrant. Kunz currently stands tied with Steve Lewis for number one all-time with 133. However, a Kunz car has yet to win the Leffler Memorial thus far.
The KKM stable also brings Leffler Memorial returnees Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) and Kaylee Bryson (Muskogee, Okla.) back to the event for the first time since 2020. As Rookies that year, Pursley scored a 5th while Bryson took 18th. Meanwhile, Brenham Crouch (Lubbock, Texas), Bryant Wiedeman (Colby, Kan.), Taylor Reimer (Bixby, Okla.) and Dominic Gorden (Clovis, Calif.) are among those attempting to make their first Leffler Memorial feature start on Friday.
CB Industries comes into the event as the reigning winning team after Christopher Bell captured the Leffler Memorial in 2021. The CBI team will sport two entries for the event with Mitchel Moles and Chase McDermand at the wheel. Moles (Raisin City, Calif.), the leading series Rookie, is fresh off a victory at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway two weeks ago. He finished a solid 5th at the Leffler Memorial in 2021. McDermand (Springfield, Ill.) will be making his “Leffler” debut.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif) has recorded top-five results in two of his past three starts at the Leffler Memorial. Grant notched a best of 4th in both 2014 and 2018, then followed up with a 5th in 2019 and a 10th in 2020. Grant was also a feature starter in the inaugural Leffler Memorial in 2013. His RMS Racing teammate, Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.), will make his return to the Leffler Memorial after making his only previous start in the event in 2019, finishing 16th.
After sweeping last weekend’s pair of USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship features at Kokomo and Lawrenceburg, Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.) is eying a second career Leffler Memorial start after finishing 7th in the 2020 main while also setting a new 10-lap track record of 1:51.378 during a 10-lap heat race.
Series Rookie Jacob Denney (Galloway, Ohio) will make his Leffler Memorial debut this Friday. He previously won this season with the USAC National Midgets at Lincoln Park Speedway during Indiana Midget Week. The two-time USAC Midwest Thunder SpeeD2 Midget titlist will be one of two Mounce-Stout Motorsports entries for the race along with micro sprint standout Talin Turner (Basehor, Kan.).
Chance Crum (Snohomish, Wash.) will make his comeback to action this weekend after a wild crash at Eldora on September 24. Crum finished on the podium in his Leffler Memorial debut in 2021, finishing 3rd. Hayden Reinbold (Gilbert, Ariz.) also returns for his second Leffler Memorial appearance following a 20th place result in 2020.
Furthermore, series veterans Ethan Mitchell (Mooresville, N.C.) and BCRA Midget champion Maria Cofer (Macdoel, Calif.) plan to make their first Leffler Memorial starts this Friday night along with many more.
The $5,000-to-win event honors the life and memory of Leffler, the four-time USAC National driving champion (1997-98-99 Midget & 1998 Silver Crown) who lost his life in a sprint car accident at New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway in June of 2013.
The 40-lap main event will pay feature points only to all USAC nationally licensed participating drivers and teams, with all non-transfers receiving 10 appearance points.
Friday at Wayne City, the grandstands open at 5pm Central with the drivers meeting at 6pm and hot laps at 6:30pm with racing immediately following. Adult general admission tickets are $30. Kids 12 & under are free. Pit passes are $30 for members and $35 for non-members. Non-Wing Outlaw Micros, Restrictors and Junior Sprints will also be on hand.
It’s all part of a doubleheader weekend for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship. The following night, on Saturday, October 8, at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind., Harvest Cup will feature the series along with MSCS Sprint Cars and MMSA Mini Sprints.
Both of this weekend’s USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship events can be watched LIVE on FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3OivVbj
USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-1581, 2-Justin Grant-1424, 3-Bryant Wiedeman-1232, 4-Cannon McIntosh-1227, 5-Thomas Meseraull-1219, 6-Mitchel Moles-1215, 7-Kaylee Bryson-1173, 8-Jacob Denney-970, 9-Taylor Reimer-967, 10-Brenham Crouch-928.
TRACK RECORDS FOR USAC NATIONAL MIDGETS AT WAYNE COUNTY (IL) SPEEDWAY:
10 Laps - 10/9/2020 - Kyle Cummins - 1:51.378
12 Laps - 10/21/2016 - Ryan Robinson - 2:19.19
JASON LEFFLER MEMORIAL WINNERS:
2013: Zach Daum (8/28)
2014: Daryn Pittman (8/26)
2015: Bryan Clauson (10/23)
2016: Brady Bacon (10/20)
2017: Rained Out
2018: Tyler Thomas (10/21)
2019: Tyler Courtney (10/17)
2020: Tanner Thorson (10/9)
2021: Christopher Bell (12/18)
JASON LEFFLER MEMORIAL WINS:
1-Brady Bacon, Christopher Bell, Bryan Clauson, Tyler Courtney, Zach Daum, Daryn Pittman, Tanner Thorson & Tyler Thomas
PAST JASON LEFFLER MEMORIAL RESULTS:
(2013-14 sanctioned by POWRi & 2015-present sanctioned by USAC)
2013 FEATURE: 1. Zach Daum, 2. Shane Cottle, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Shane Cockrum, 5. Bryan Clauson, 6. Chett Gehrke, 7. Dereck King, 8, Andrew Felker, 9. Hud Cone, 10. Daniel Robinson, 11. Bobby East, 12. Parker Price-Miller, 13. Tyler Robbins, 14. Justin Grant, 15. Jake Blackhurst, 16. Austin Brown, 17. Christopher Bell, 18. Darren Hagen, 19. Tim Siner, 20. Colten Cottle, 21. Tyler Robbins, 22. Seth Motsinger.
2014 FEATURE: 1. Daryn Pittman, 2. Christopher Bell. 3. Bryan Clauson, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Zach Daum, 6. Spencer Bayston, 7. Andrew Felker, 8. Darren Hagen, 9. Rico Abreu, 10. Tanner Thorson, 11. Chris Windom, 12. Tyler Thomas, 13. Dave Darland, 14. Daniel Robinson, 15. Garrett Aitken, 16. Nick Knepper, 17. Shane Cockrum, 18. Colten Cottle, 19. Chett Gehrke, 20. Austin Brown, 21. Brady Bacon, 22. Parker Price-Miller, 23. Seth Motsinger.
2015 FEATURE: 1. Bryan Clauson, 2. Rico Abreu, 3. Zach Daum, 4. Daryn Pittman, 5. Payton Pierce, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Jonathan Beason, 8. Danny Stratton, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 11. Andrew Felker, 12. Tracy Hines, 13. Kyle Schuett, 14. Anton Hernandez, 15. Ryan Robinson, 16. Tanner Thorson, 17. Isaac Chapple, 18. C.J. Leary, 19. Dereck King, 20. Tyler Thomas, 21. Darren Hagen, 22. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 23. Austin Brown, 24. Spencer Bayston, 25. Justin Peck, 26. Tyler Courtney.
2016 FEATURE: 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Carson Macedo, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Andrew Felker, 6. Alex Bright, 7. Chett Gehrke, 8. Spencer Bayston, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 11. Shane Cottle, 12. Justin Peck, 13. Grady Chandler, 14. Jonathan Beason, 15. Chad Boat, 16. Riley Kreisel, 17. Ryan Robinson, 18. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 19. Andy Malpocker, 20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 21. Jake Neuman, 22. Brayton Lynch, 23. Damion Gardner, 24. Colten Cottle, 25. Holly Shelton, 26. Jason McDougal, 27. Rico Abreu, 28. Gage Walker. NT
2017 FEATURE: Rained Out
2018 FEATURE: (starting position in parentheses) 1. Tyler Thomas (2), 2. Chad Boat (4), 3. Tyler Courtney (3), 4. Justin Grant (16), 5. Jonathan Beason (18), 6. Christopher Bell (7), 7. Spencer Bayston (8), 8. Zeb Wise (12), 9. Logan Seavey (9), 10. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (17), 11. Ryan Robinson (21), 12. Cole Bodine (11), 13. Sam Johnson (23), 14. Alex Bright (14), 15. Jerry Coons, Jr. (10), 16. Brady Bacon (6), 17. Tanner Carrick (15), 18. Dave Darland (13), 19. Jake Neuman (5), 20. Holly Shelton (20), 21. Tucker Klaasmeyer (22), 22. Jason McDougal (1), 23. Zach Daum (19).
2019 FEATURE: (starting position in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (3), 2. Tyler Thomas (1), 3. Jason McDougal (2), 4. Logan Seavey (19), 5. Justin Grant (6), 6. Chris Windom (10), 7. Brady Bacon (16), 8. Daryn Pittman (15), 9. Sam Johnson (13), 10. Tucker Klaasmeyer (18), 11. Jesse Colwell (4), 12. Russ Gamester (21), 13. Gio Scelzi (11), 14. Daniel Robinson (8), 15. Zeb Wise (17), 16. Thomas Meseraull (12), 17. Tanner Carrick (7), 18. Jake Neuman (14), 19. Cannon McIntosh (22), 20. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (5), 21. Andrew Layser (20), 22. Holley Hollan (23), 23. Jerry Coons, Jr. (9).
2020 FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Thorson (6), 2. Chris Windom (2), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (4), 4. Cannon McIntosh (1), 5. Daison Pursley (3), 6. Tyler Courtney (10), 7. Kyle Cummins (11), 8. Chase Randall (5), 9. Emerson Axsom (7), 10. Justin Grant (9), 11. Jerry Coons Jr. (15), 12. Cole Bodine (20), 13. Cody Brewer (18), 14. Robert Dalby (19), 15. Tyler Thomas (14), 16. Chase Johnson (12), 17. Buddy Kofoid (17), 18. Kaylee Bryson (22), 19. Sam Johnson (21), 20. Hayden Reinbold (23*), 21. Brady Bacon (13), 22. Logan Seavey (8), 23. Jason McDougal (16). NT
2021 FEATURE: (50 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Christopher Bell (3), 2. Cannon McIntosh (2), 3. Chance Crum (5), 4. Sam Johnson (9), 5. Mitchel Moles (4), 6. Jordan Kinser (13), 7. Chad Boespflug (8), 8. Zach Daum (10), 9. Chett Gehrke (14), 10. Chase Briscoe (1), 11. Terry Babb (12), 12. Greg Mitchell (15), 13. Chase Howard (20), 14. Rylan Gray (7), 15. Jake Neuman (18), 16. Cory Eliason (6), 17. Max Adams (11), 18. Zach Boden (19), 19. Dillon Silverman (17), 20. Daniel Robinson (16). NT