Jason McDougal in victory lane. (TWC photo)
Jason McDougal in victory lane. (TWC photo)

McDougal Wins Jefferson County Kickoff

FAIRBURY, Neb. — Jason McDougal earned his first OS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series victory Friday night at Jefferson County Speedway.

McDougal assumed the point when early leader Tanner Thorson ran afoul of lapped traffic on the 19th circuit and kept the Clauson-Marshall Racing duo of Tyler Courtney and Chris Windom at bay over the final dozen circuits to secure the $3,000 triumph aboard the FMR No. 76m entry.

“This is amazing, it’s such a great feeling to finally get one for this team,” McDougal said. “Tanner (Thorson) was gone by a straightaway or so, but Bob (East) always gets this thing pretty tight at the beginning so we’re always fast for the last five laps.”

While McDougal gridded the feature field outside the second row, 2017 Fairbury USAC Midget winner Tanner Thorson led the feature field to the green flag with California’s Robert Dalby alongside.

Thorson gunned into the early lead with McDougal making a move past Dalby soon after a lap five caution for Tyler Thomas’ turn four spin into an infield tire.  McDougal tried to chase down Thorson’s Keith Kunz Motorsports No. 98 entry, but the Nevada native held off the young Oklahoma racer until spinning to a stop on the frontstretch on the 19th lap after contact with a lapped car.

McDougal slipped through the skirmish unharmed with third-runner Kevin Thomas, Jr., and fourth-place contender Tucker Klaasmeyer collected in the scrum as well. Thomas, Jr., left on the hook, Thorson returned after a quick trip to the work area and Klaasmeyer returned as well only to flip down the backstretch one lap later.

Set for an 11-lap dash to the checkered flag, McDougal had the NOS Energy Drink CMR duo of Windom and 12th-starting Courtney breathing down his neck the rest of the way.  McDougal opened up a slight advantage until Courtney finally battled past Windom for second on the high side.

Courtney and Windom closed in over the final handful of rounds with Courtney falling just two car-lengths short at the stripe as Windom settled for the show position.

“I think one more lap and we would have had him, but it’s only 30 laps,” Courtney said.

Windom explained that, “It was a crazy race that first half, then it widened out some at the end. Jason was a little better than us on the bottom, then I saw Tyler come by the outside of me and I moved up and we both ran him down.  I wish we would have moved up a little sooner, I think we could have got to Jason.  It’s good to be on the podium again, but we’re looking for wins.”

Chad Boat, a 2016 winner at Fairbury, advanced from ninth to fourth with fellow Arizona shoe and tenth-starter Jerry Coons, Jr., rounding out the top five.

To see full results, turn to the next page.

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