Bullring Maestro: Seavey is USAC Sprint Top Gun at Macon

Just before the halfway point of Saturday night’s 50-lap Top Gun Weekend finale at Illinois’ Macon Speedway, Logan Seavey was in the midst of a tussle for the lead. Within the blink of an eye, he found himself fifth on the 1/5-mile bullring.

That’s when he got back on the saddle and went to work, methodically picking his way back into contention and into the lead on the 38th circuit before pacing the final 13 laps to earn his eighth USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship victory of the 2024 season.

In doing so, the Sutter, Calif. native pocketed a cool $10,000 while also becoming the first driver to reach the eight-win mark during a USAC National Sprint Car season before the end of June since Tom Bigelow in 1977. That year, Bigelow went on to set a still-standing record of 14 feature victories during the season, and Seavey is well on his way to making a run at the all-time record in his Abacus Racing/MPV Express – C3G CPAs – Indy Custom Stone/DRC/Stanton Chevy.

Furthermore, Seavey, the current series championship point leader, became the first driver to win a feature in multiple USAC national divisions at Macon after scoring a USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship victory in August of 2023.

The lone 50-lap USAC National Sprint Car main event of the year also allowed Seavey to become just the sixth driver in USAC history to capture 50-lap wins with the Silver Crown, National Sprint and National Midget divisions in his career, something only achieved previously by Dave Darland, Dave Steele, George Snider, Tony Stewart and Tracy Hines.

Seavey’s Macon score also came less than two weeks following his victory on the similar, but even smaller 1/6-mile dirt oval at Action Track USA in Kutztown, Pa. The efforts gave him and his No. 57 wins on each of the two smallest tracks on the schedule within the same month.

“We’ve been good at the short tracks, which haven’t really my style lately,” Seavey noted. “It seems like the half-miles are where I go better at. These guys are getting me fast at the short tracks too. It’s a lethal combo and I’m just happy to be driving this thing.”

To kick off the night, Seavey notched fast qualifying honors in the Honest Abe Roofing time trial session. Starting sixth in the feature, Seavey initially fell back one spot before charging forward, picking off one car a lap between laps two and six as he surged to third. By lap 10, he had worked his way into second after early race leader Jadon Rogers slipped sideways in turn two.

Rising from the pole position, Rogers led the opening two laps until Jake Swanson charged under Rogers on the back stretch to take over on lap three. Swanson took control of the next 21 trips, his first laps led in his Daming-Swanson Motorsports No. 5T since he and 2B Racing parted ways a week earlier.

In the meantime, Daison Pursley advanced to second on the 19th circuit as he dove under Seavey in turn one to secure the spot. On the very next lap, Brady Bacon shot to the inside of Seavey on the back straight for the third spot. The pair appeared to make slight contact as Seavey glanced off the wall. Rogers came along for the ride as well, dipping down low in turn three to grab fourth from Seavey who had free fallen all the way back to fifth.

“I thought I gave it away there racing for the lead,” Seavey stated. “Jake got on defense there really hard and chopped me down and broke my momentum. The next thing I knew, I was in fifth. Luckily, it was 50 laps, so I was able to look at the board and I knew I had time. I was confident in my car and these guys gave me a really good one.”

The night’s only red flag occurred on the 24th lap when 13th running Joey Amantea tangled with another car and bounced upside down in turn three. Amantea returned to the lineup, restarting at the tail and finishing 17th.

On the ensuing restart, Pursley jumped up top in turns one and two and drove right around Swanson to become the newest race leader. In tow came Bacon as he drove low to overtake Swanson for second. Seavey soon joined the fray three laps later and began a duel with Bacon in which the two see-sawed their position back-and-forth, to-and-fro. On the 33rd lap, Seavey got into the back bumper of Bacon on the back straightaway, sending Bacon sideways.  On lap 34, both connected again in nearly the same spot as the pair negotiated their way around the lapped car of Joey Amantea.

All the while, Pursley had constructed a sizable lead of 1.368 second, which was wiped away on lap 34 when sixth running Kevin Thomas Jr. slowed to a stop.

On the next restart, the second and third place running Bacon and Seavey swarmed Pursley from both sides, with Bacon sneaking under off turn four to occupy the top spot on lap 36 while Seavey went topside to slot into second around Pursley. Pursley fought back to edge ahead of Seavey off turn four. However, Seavey had his next move lined up perfectly as he shot the gap to split between both Pursley and Bacon entering turn one to take the lead and take off for good on lap 38.

A half lap later, Pursley moved back around Bacon for second. Down the stretch, Robert Ballou found his way past Bacon for third on lap 44. Up front, Seavey was in total command with a 1.792 second lead but was mired in thick traffic until the yellow flag was displayed for Justin Grant who came to a stop with a knocked out front end while battling Swanson for the 10th spot on lap 47.

The incident momentarily erased Seavey’s advantage, but it also erased any semblance of traffic during the final three-lap dash as Seavey sprinted away to a 0.875 second victory over Pursley, Ballou, Bacon and C.J. Leary.

“I just can’t say enough about how good this car was early,” Seavey acknowledged. “I could pass on the bottom. I could go to the cushion and run really hard. I feel like, speedwise, there’s no doubt whose car was the best there. I just didn’t make good moves getting to the front. It got a little hairy there for me. I had to dig a little deeper at the end.”

Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) nailed down his sixth podium finish of the USAC Sprint Car season with a runner-up result in his Team AZ Racing/Apache Transport – Oak Craft Elegant Cabinetry/DRC/1-Way Chevy.

Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) finished a fine third for his best result since his May 3 victory at Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway aboard his Ballou Motorsports/Suburban Subaru/DRC/Ott Chevy.

Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) finished fourth in what was his 500th career feature start, a milestone feat in USAC National Sprint Car history. He’s now just the second driver ever to surpass the 500 starts mark with the series, joining Dave Darland (797 starts).

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) raced his way up to a fifth-place finish after starting 11th on the confines of Macon. The plus-six made Leary the biggest mover of the night and the evening’s hard charger.

Meanwhile, it was a great comeback for Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.). On lap 15, Cummins found himself backwards against the turn three wall. Restarting 19th, he charged up through the field to finish seventh in his backup car. That earned him the night’s Inferno Armor Fire Move of the Night.