June 17, 2024 | By Richie Murray, USAC Media

Seavey Wins Photo Finish on Eastern Storm finale

Photo by Dave Dellinger

KUTZTOWN, Pa. — While a past USAC Eastern Storm champion was in the midst of capturing yet another victory in a career year with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, another wheelman was busy locking up his first career USAC Eastern Storm title on Sunday night at Kutztown, Pennsylvania’s Action Track USA.

USAC National Sprint Car point leader Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) was triumphant at Kutztown’s 1/6-mile dirt oval, winning the feature in a photo finish by a scant .043 second margin over Briggs Danner.

Meanwhile, with his third-place result in the 40-lap finale, Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) earned the USAC Eastern Storm championship, his first and his Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports team’s second after previously capturing the 2019 crown with driver C.J. Leary.

While Seavey wasn’t quite in the mix to replicate his 2022 Eastern Storm championship this time around, his 17th career USAC National Sprint Car feature victory elevated him into 35th place all-time alongside Jerry Coons Jr., Jim Hurtubise and Bud Kaeding.

Seavey’s seventh win of the season in his Abacus Racing/MPV Express – CG CPAs – Indy Custom Stone/DRC/Stanton Chevy has him atop the season long USAC National Sprint Car standings. However, he was unable to add to his advantage with the race featuring a differentiated points structure.

As far as the USAC National Sprint Car standings go, 50 appearance points were paid out to all licensed drivers and entrants at Action Track USA regardless of finishing position. On the flip side, Eastern Storm offered a full points situation for the event with a maximum of 84 up for grabs throughout the night during qualifying, heat races and the feature where every position mattered in the grand scheme.

Entering the main event, three drivers remained mathematically eligible to capture the Eastern Storm championship. Brady Bacon led by 13 points over Moles while C.J. Leary was just within reach, 23 points behind Bacon. For Bacon, the path to his second career Eastern Storm championship was clear – finish fifth or better and the title was his regardless of where Moles or Leary wound up.

Seavey, without any added pressure on his back for the Eastern Storm title, started his race from the pole position and burst out to the early lead ahead of outside front row starter Jake Swanson. However, a bevy of cautions on the tight confines resulted in four early stoppages by the end of the fourth lap.

The fourth such halt to the event resulted in serious ramifications for the Eastern Storm title race. On lap five, 22nd running Englishman Tom Harris came to a complete stop on the back straightaway to necessitate a yellow flag. As the field whoa’d up, fourth running Bacon was tagged in the left rear tire by fifth place Kyle Cummins.

Under the subsequent yellow flag, Bacon pulled into the pits and did not return, abruptly ending his title hopes. However, the culprit ending Bacon’s quest was actually engine related with him reporting to this reporter that the problem under the hood had arisen prior to the contact with Cummins.

In the coming laps, Danner ramped up his pursuit of Seavey for the race lead. Danner slid Seavey for the top spot in turn three on 10th lap, then tried again a half lap later in turn one on lap 11. However, each time, Seavey was patiently waiting for Danner to sweep across his nose before charging back under to retake the lead.

The night’s only red flag was displayed on lap 20 when eighth place running Ricky Lewis biked and turned over in turns one and two. The damage was extensive the car, requiring a hook to tow it away while Lewis exited and walked away from the scene under his own power. Lewis, however, was the recipient of the Inferno Armor Fire Move of the Night for his heat race performance in which he went topside on the final corner of the final lap to score a dramatic victory.

Upon the resumption, Danner, the 2021 Action Track USA SpeedSTR champion, continued to shadow Seavey all the way around the 1/6-mile dirt oval, and on lap 26, dove to the inside of Seavey in turn three to overtake the number one position and lead at the line by a wheel. However, Seavey had the inner line entering turn one on lap 27 and ripped the lead right back out of Danner’s hands.

With six to go, the pair remained locked horn-to-horn as Danner made yet another bid for the lead, sliding past Seavey in turn three on lap 35, but once again, Seavey answered by turning down and driving back by to secure the lead for another lap, then entered turn one moments later on the bottom to thwart any thought Danner may have had of slide jobbing his way to the front once more.

“I was using all the tools inside the cockpit to make myself better,” Seavey explained. “I just kept trying to tell myself to keep driving harder. I feel like the harder I run, the more grip I make. There at the end, I started to struggle there. I could hear him, and I heard him up on the fence into three. As good as I was crossing him over, I knew I was in trouble if I didn’t really get up there and hit the wall really good to get a run down the front stretch.”

In crunch time during the final five lap stretch, Seavey occupied the low to middle lines while Danner was getting himself wound up on the top side of the racetrack. The 40th and final lap was no exception, but this time, Seavey slid from the bottom of turn three all the way up to the outside wall. Danner took corrective measures and turned down underneath Seavey off turn four. However, Seavey had just enough to edge Danner at the line by the distance of roughly half a front wheel.

“I feel like Briggs was a bit faster for most of the race,” Seavey admitted. “But for the most part, I could hear him for most of the race and I was just doing everything I could to hold him behind me. He threw a lot of sliders at me, but luckily, that cushion off four was treacherous.”

Meanwhile, finishing third a distant 2.786 seconds back was Moles who secured the Eastern Storm championship by a 28-point margin over Bacon with his fifth consecutive top-five result to close out the week.

Entering Eastern Storm, Moles was seventh in the USAC National Sprint Car standings and had only finished inside the top-five once in his first 16 starts to begin the season. However, the team certainly found its stride this past week with Moles concluding the final five races with results of 5th, 2nd, 2nd, 5th and 3rd in his Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports/AME Electrical – Mesilla Valley Transportation/Spike/Stanton Chevy.

“We’ve been kind of struggling getting into this week, actually,” Moles acknowledged. “We just rallied together to make sure our stuff was right before we came out here, and it worked out. I think we ran top-five every night except for breaking a mag box while running fifth at Grandview.”

In the process, Moles became just the third driver in the 17-year history of Eastern Storm to win the title without the aid of a feature victory, joining Bryan Clauson (2013) and C.J. Leary (2019), but his run of consistency was second to none.

“No one wants to run second,” Moles lamented. “But we’re running second to Seavey or Danner who has one of the best cars in general out here, if not the best. He’s been up front every night too. It sucks for Brady. I think he had mechanical issues and I thine he was going to lock it up if he just finished where he was, but we’ll take them as we get them.”

During the first 16 races of the USAC National Sprint Car season, Joey Amantea had earned just one single, solitary top-10 result. In six USAC Eastern Storm starts, he finished inside the top-10 on four occasions. At Action Track USA’s closer, he advanced from 20th to 10th to earn a $100 bonus courtesy of Irvin King.

In Honest Abe Roofing Qualifying, Kyle Cummins recorded his 15th career USAC National Sprint Car fast time award, moving him to 31st all-time alongside USAC national champions Kenny Irwin Jr., Sammy Sessions & Brian Tyler.



USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 16, 2024 – Action Track USA – Kutztown, Pennsylvania – 17th USAC Eastern Storm – 1/6-Mile Dirt Oval

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-10.539; 2. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-10.657; 3. Briggs Danner, 39, Hogue-10.677; 4. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-10.718; 5. Jake Swanson, 2B, 2B Racing-10.748; 6. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-10.800; 7. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-10.840; 8. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-10.841; 9. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-10.860; 10. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-10.935; 11. Ricky Lewis, 41, Stensland-10.937; 12. Alex Bright, 27, Heffner-10.954; 13. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-10.959; 14. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-11.088; 15. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-11.109; 16. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-11.166; 17. J.T. Ferry, 18J, Ferry-11.248; 18. Carmen Perigo, 21, Stehman-11.254; 19. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-11.325; 20. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-11.354; 21. Charles Davis Jr., 47, Davis-11.382; 22. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-11.773; 23. Scott Frack, 39x, Frack-12.073.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Chase Stockon, 5. Tom Harris, 6. Hunter Maddox, 7. Carson Garrett, 8. Kevin Thomas Jr. NT

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Ricky Lewis, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Matt Westfall, 4. Daison Pursley, 5. Joey Amantea, 6. Jake Swanson, 7. J.T. Ferry, 8. Scott Frack. 1:58.918

T.J. FORGED / CAR IQ THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Mitchel Moles, 2. Logan Seavey, 3. Briggs Danner, 4. Robert Ballou, 5. Carmen Perigo, 6. Alex Bright, 7. Charles Davis Jr. 1:58.339

FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (1), 2. Briggs Danner (4), 3. Mitchel Moles (9), 4. Justin Grant (7), 5. Daison Pursley (5), 6. Kyle Cummins (6), 7. Jake Swanson (2), 8. Kevin Thomas Jr. (10), 9. Robert Ballou (12), 10. Joey Amantea (20), 11. C.J. Leary (11), 12. Chase Stockon (14), 13. Hunter Maddox (16), 14. Alex Bright (13), 15. J.T. Ferry (17), 16. Tom Harris (22), 17. Carson Garrett (19), 18. Ricky Lewis (8), 19. Charles Davis Jr. (21), 20. Scott Frack (23), 21. Matt Westfall (15), 22. Brady Bacon (3), 23. Carmen Perigo (18). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-25 Logan Seavey, Lap 26 Briggs Danner, Laps 27-40 Logan Seavey.

**Ricky Lewis flipped on lap 20 of the feature.

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-1406, 2-C.J. Leary-1385, 3-Brady Bacon-1361, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1354, 5-Daison Pursley-1329, 6-Mitchel Moles-1225, 7-Justin Grant-1221, 8-Robert Ballou-1202, 9-Kyle Cummins-1173, 10-Jake Swanson-1065.

FINAL USAC EASTERN STORM POINTS: 1-Mitchel Moles-399, 2-Brady Bacon-371, 3-C.J. Leary-366, 4-Justin Grant-360, 5-Daison Pursley-358, 6-Logan Seavey-354, 7-Briggs Danner-350, 8-Robert Ballou-341, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-336, 10-Kyle Cummins-322.

USAC NATIONAL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Daison Pursley-109, 2-Robert Ballou-103, 3-Logan Seavey-94, 4-Joey Amantea-86, 5-C.J. Leary-85, 6-Justin Grant-78, 7-Kyle Cummins-68, 8-Brady Bacon-60, 9-Matt Westfall-53, 10-Carson Garrett-52.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 22, 2024 – Wilmot Raceway – Wilmot, Wisconsin – 1/4-Mile Dirt Oval



CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: C.J. Leary (10.563)
Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Kyle Cummins (10.539)
Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Justin Grant
Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Ricky Lewis
T.J. Forged / Car IQ Third Heat Winner: Mitchel Moles
Irvin King Hard Charger: Joey Amantea (20th to 10th)
Inferno Armor Fire Move of the Night: Ricky Lewis

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