TULARE, Calif. — After a furious battle with Mitchel Moles, Austin Liggett inherited the lead on lap 15 and streaked to victory at Thunderbowl Raceway.
Driving the family owned No. 83 Excel Environmental Services / Liggett Trucking Spike, Liggett earned his third career USAC Western States Midget win over fast-qualifier Ben Worth, Shannon McQueen, hard-charger Jake Andreotti and Moles.
From the pole, Dylan Ito was looking for his first win and led the opening circuit. Up from fourth, last week’s winner Moles took command from Ito on the next lap.
Within a few laps, the fifth starting Liggett began to apply pressure and the battled back and forth with Moles for the lead. A red flag halted the action on lap fourteen for flips by Alex Schutte and Ito who were running in the top five.
On the restart, Moles set the pace, but spun in the first turn on the tricky surface. Everyone avoided contact and the Hanford “Open Wheel Madness” winner restarted at the tail of the field. Liggett was now in control and got a great jump on the field.
While positions shuffled behind him and attrition became a factor, Liggett escaped from all challengers and took the checkered flags at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. With the 30-lap win, Liggett extended his point lead over the competition.
Worth, the 2019 Rookie of the Year, opened the night by setting the top mark in Woodland Auto Display Qualifying with a time of 15.803 over the 15-car roster.
Feature (30 laps): 1. Austin Liggett (5), 2. Ben Worth (7), 3. Shannon McQueen (3), 4. Jake Andreotti (15), 5. Mitchel Moles (4), 6. Brody Fuson (9), 7. C.J. Sarna (10), 8. Kyle Beilman (2), 9. Terry Nichols (11), 10. Alex Schutte (6), 11. Dylan Ito (1), 12. Ron Hazelton (13), 13. David Prickett (12), 14. Blake Bower (14). NT