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Pickens Edges Bayston for Second Consecutive USAC Indiana Midget Week Victory


PLANO, Texas (June 9, 2017) – Michael Pickens edged Spencer Bayston for the victory as the two Toyota drivers waged a classic battle at the Lincoln Park Speedway on the third night of USAC Indiana Midget Week Thursday night. The race marks the midway point of the six-race competition for the Midget Week title.

Starting fourth, Bayston methodically worked his way to the front, taking the high side to pass leader Alex Bright on lap 13. He held the position as fellow Toyota drivers Chad Boat and Pickens steadily climbed through the field, with Boat moving into second on lap 19 and Pickens, the night’s fast qualifier, climbing into third one lap later.

After a re-start with nine laps to go, Pickens moved past Boat and set his sights on the leader. Pounding the turn one cushion, Pickens was able to close in on Bayston as a caution came out with five to go, setting up an epic finish.

Pickens would dive under Bayston to take the lead on lap 29, but Bayston responded by going underneath Pickens to reclaim the lead coming out of turn two and down the back-straight for the final time. Bayston held the lead into three, but Pickens used a slider through three to come out of turn four with the lead as Bayston charged back at him at the finish, but came up less than a car length short. Overall, there were five lead changes in the final two laps of the 30-lap event.

“I can’t believe we just won another USAC A-Main,” said a jubilant Pickens, who also won Wednesday night’s event at Gas City. “That was such a fun race, with five changes for the lead in the last two laps. We gave it 100% on the last lap and put everything on the line. It doesn’t get any better than this. Right now, all I can say is thank you – to our crew, car owners and our 350 sponsors. And TRD, we couldn’t have done it without them. Now we just need to keep the ball rolling.”

Bayston led 16 of the 30 laps, but came away disappointed with the final result.

“I feel terrible for my guys,” said Bayston. “They deserve a win. Led most of the feature and gave it up on the last lap. We’ll just move on and try again tomorrow.”

Overall, six Toyota-powered drivers would earn top-10 finishes with Rico Abreu in fourth, Boat finishing seventh, Brady Bacon in eighth and Jerry Coons Jr. was tenth.

Pickens, who won the POWRi Illinois SPEED Week championship this past week, now has a 31-point lead over Bacon in the Indiana Midget Week standings. The victory was his fourth and Toyota’s seventh in the last eight races.

Bacon continues to lead the USAC national championship by 41 points over Bayston, with Tanner Thorson (fifth), Coons (seventh) and Boat (ninth) also in the top 10.

Indiana Midget Week competition heads to Bloomington Speedway for night four on Friday.

Toyota – Lincoln Park Speedway
Michael Pickens
Spencer Bayston
Rico Abreu
Chad Boat
Brady Bacon
Jerry Coons Jr.
Ryan Robinson
Zach Daum
Dave Darland
Holly Shelton
Tanner Carrick
Ronnie Gardner
Tanner Thorson

USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-421, 2-Bayston-380, 3-Golobic-331, 4-Grant-330, 5-Thorson-330, 6-Courtney-291, 7-Coons-276, 8-Bright-260, 9-Boat-254, 10-Thomas-237
USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Pickens-236, 2-Bacon-205, 3-Bayston-194, 4-Golobic-180, 5-Abreu-180, 6-Courtney-178, 7-Bright-167, 8-Grant-162, 9-Thorson-155, 10-Boat-147
NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: June 9 – Blooming Speedway, Bloomington, Ind.