Jason Leffler Memorial Goes Indoors with USAC Midgets Saturday Night In Southern Illinois

2019 Southern Illinois Center Midget winner, Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.)
(Neil Cavanah Photo)

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Du Quoin, Illinois (December 16, 2021)………A boat load of wintertime talent will compete for Jason Leffler Memorial gold this Saturday night, December 18, as USAC Midgets go indoors for a non-points, special event – the $8,000-to-win Jason Leffler Memorial Presented by Fatheadz Eyewear at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin.

Among the near 40 entries expected to compete are inaugural Jason Leffler Memorial winner Zach Daum (Pocahontas, Ill.), who captured the race back in 2013. The lone past event winner will compete for veteran car owner Jack Harris.

Also entered for Saturday’s race is 2013 USAC National Midget champion Christopher Bell (Norman, Okla.), a wintertime Southern Illinois Center midget winner in 2017. The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series winner for Joe Gibbs at Daytona’s Road Course will make his debut for RMS Racing, who won in December at Du Quoin in 2018.

Three-time USAC National Midget feature winner Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.) won his very first at the Southern Illinois Center in March of 2019. Joining him on the Dave Mac Motorsports team for the weekend is Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.), who recently earned Rookie of the Race honors with a 3rd place finish at the Turkey Night Grand Prix in Ventura, Calif.

NASCAR’s Cup Series Rookie of the Year for 2021, Chase Briscoe (Mitchell, Ind.), has previous midget experience in December at the Southern Illinois Center, but Saturday night, in his Briscoe Racing ride, would mark his first career Jason Leffler Memorial appearance.

Daniel Robinson (Ewing, Ill.) is the most recent midget winner at the Southern Illinois Center, reigning triumphant in September at “The Center.” He’ll race for car owner A.J. Felker in Saturday night’s round.

Making their first Southern Illinois Center appearances are west coast racers Cory Eliason and Chance Crum for Rudeen Racing. Eliason (Visalia, Calif.) has finished second in the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car standings in each of the last two years and nearly pulled off a USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget victory in his first series start at Arizona Speedway in November. He’s joined by Rudeen teammate and three-time 2021 USAC Midwest Regional Midget feature winner, Crum (Snohomish, Wash.).

The USAC Midget Special Event welcomes the 8th running of the Jason Leffler Memorial presented by Fatheadz Eyewear indoors for the first-time ever on the 1/5-mile dirt oval. The previous seven editions of the $8,000-to-win event have taken place at Wayne County Speedway in Wayne City, Ill.

Saturday’s lineup presents a complete program for Midgets with pits opening at 10am Central, pill draw at 11:30am, the drivers meeting at 2:30pm, hot laps at 3pm and opening ceremonies at 5pm with racing to follow, utilizing a format similar to the Chili Bowl with drivers accumulating points based on their advancement and finishing position during the heats and qualifying races, which will seed the starting lineup for the 50-lap feature.

Indoor pit stall rentals for midgets are $40 each (10’ x 10’ stall) which can be reserved until December 8 by messaging the Jason Leffler Memorial Race Facebook page.

Micro sprint preliminary events will take place the night before, on Friday, December 17, at the Southern Illinois Center, featuring Winged Outlaws, Non-Wing Outlaws, A Class (Wing), Restrictors and Junior Sprints with hot laps, heat races and semi-features while all main events will be held on Saturday.

On Friday, pits open at 10am Central with pill draw at noon, the drivers meeting at 4pm, hot laps at 4:30pm and racing to follow.

The thrills of midget racing on a dirt bullring in southern Illinois remain unchanged with the event’s new venue. The Leffler Memorial has featured seven different winners in its previous seven editions. Since the dawn of the event in 2013, a new winner has emerged on each and every occasion.

The event honors the life and memory of Leffler, the four-time USAC National driving champion (1997-98-99 Midget & 1998 Silver Crown) who lost his life in a sprint car accident at New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway in June of 2013.

Ten previous USAC-sanctioned midget events have been held at the Southern Illinois Center, including four in recent years during the month of December. Those wintertime classics were won by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2015), Tyler Courtney (2016), Christopher Bell (2017) and Thomas Meseraull (2018).

Saturday night’s Jason Leffler Memorial can be watched LIVE on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3frPoW6.

Tickets for the Jason Leffler Memorial Presented by Fatheadz Eyewear are now on sale at https://sneed-motorsports-llc.ticketleap.com/.

JASON LEFFLER MEMORIAL ENTRY LIST:

08 Cannon McIntosh

08B Austin Barnhill

08m Mitchel Moles

3 Joel Thorpe

3N Jake Neuman

4A Dillon Silverman

4F Chad Frewaldt

5 Chase Briscoe

5K Jordan Kinser

5o Chase Howard

6D Don Dawson

7 Cody Beard

7XT Christopher Bell

11 Kayla Roell

14R Jody Rosenboom

15 R.J. Corson

15c Carter Chevalier

20 Derek Doerr

23 Patrick Lawson

26 Cory Eliason

26R Chance Crum

28Q Sean Quinn

35 Tyler Robbins

37 Daniel Robinson

38 Braydon Cromwell

41 Oliver Akard

51 Will Armitage

53 Sean Robbins

55 Chuck Walker

56 Garrett Thomas

56x Mark Chisholm

72 Sam Johnson

77s Travis Berryhill

81 Rylan Gray

88 Terry Babb

91 Zach Daum

JASON LEFFLER MEMORIAL WINNERS:

2013: Zach Daum (8/28)

2014: Daryn Pittman (8/26)

2015: Bryan Clauson (10/23)

2016: Brady Bacon (10/20)

2018: Tyler Thomas (10/21)

2019: Tyler Courtney (10/17)

2020: Tanner Thorson (10/9)

JASON LEFFLER MEMORIAL WINS:

1-Brady Bacon, Bryan Clauson, Tyler Courtney, Zach Daum, Daryn Pittman, Tanner Thorson & Tyler Thomas

PAST JASON LEFFLER MEMORIAL RESULTS:

(2013-14 sanctioned by POWRi & 2015-present sanctioned by USAC)

2013 FEATURE: 1. Zach Daum, 2. Shane Cottle, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Shane Cockrum, 5. Bryan Clauson, 6. Chett Gehrke, 7. Dereck King, 8, Andrew Felker, 9. Hud Cone, 10. Daniel Robinson, 11. Bobby East, 12. Parker Price-Miller, 13. Tyler Robbins, 14. Justin Grant, 15. Jake Blackhurst, 16. Austin Brown, 17. Christopher Bell, 18. Darren Hagen, 19. Tim Siner, 20. Colten Cottle, 21. Tyler Robbins, 22. Seth Motsinger.

2014 FEATURE: 1. Daryn Pittman, 2. Christopher Bell. 3. Bryan Clauson, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Zach Daum, 6. Spencer Bayston, 7. Andrew Felker, 8. Darren Hagen, 9. Rico Abreu, 10. Tanner Thorson, 11. Chris Windom, 12. Tyler Thomas, 13. Dave Darland, 14. Daniel Robinson, 15. Garrett Aitken, 16. Nick Knepper, 17. Shane Cockrum, 18. Colten Cottle, 19. Chett Gehrke, 20. Austin Brown, 21. Brady Bacon, 22. Parker Price-Miller, 23. Seth Motsinger.

2015 FEATURE: 1. Bryan Clauson, 2. Rico Abreu, 3. Zach Daum, 4. Daryn Pittman, 5. Payton Pierce, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Jonathan Beason, 8. Danny Stratton, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 11. Andrew Felker, 12. Tracy Hines, 13. Kyle Schuett, 14. Anton Hernandez, 15. Ryan Robinson, 16. Tanner Thorson, 17. Isaac Chapple, 18. C.J. Leary, 19. Dereck King, 20. Tyler Thomas, 21. Darren Hagen, 22. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 23. Austin Brown, 24. Spencer Bayston, 25. Justin Peck, 26. Tyler Courtney.

2016 FEATURE: 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Carson Macedo, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Andrew Felker, 6. Alex Bright, 7. Chett Gehrke, 8. Spencer Bayston, 9. Dave Darland, 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 11. Shane Cottle, 12. Justin Peck, 13. Grady Chandler, 14. Jonathan Beason, 15. Chad Boat, 16. Riley Kreisel, 17. Ryan Robinson, 18. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 19. Andy Malpocker, 20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 21. Jake Neuman, 22. Brayton Lynch, 23. Damion Gardner, 24. Colten Cottle, 25. Holly Shelton, 26. Jason McDougal, 27. Rico Abreu, 28. Gage Walker. NT

2017 FEATURE: Rained Out

2018 FEATURE: (starting position in parentheses) 1. Tyler Thomas (2), 2. Chad Boat (4), 3. Tyler Courtney (3), 4. Justin Grant (16), 5. Jonathan Beason (18), 6. Christopher Bell (7), 7. Spencer Bayston (8), 8. Zeb Wise (12), 9. Logan Seavey (9), 10. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (17), 11. Ryan Robinson (21), 12. Cole Bodine (11), 13. Sam Johnson (23), 14. Alex Bright (14), 15. Jerry Coons, Jr. (10), 16. Brady Bacon (6), 17. Tanner Carrick (15), 18. Dave Darland (13), 19. Jake Neuman (5), 20. Holly Shelton (20), 21. Tucker Klaasmeyer (22), 22. Jason McDougal (1), 23. Zach Daum (19).

2019 FEATURE: (starting position in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (3), 2. Tyler Thomas (1), 3. Jason McDougal (2), 4. Logan Seavey (19), 5. Justin Grant (6), 6. Chris Windom (10), 7. Brady Bacon (16), 8. Daryn Pittman (15), 9. Sam Johnson (13), 10. Tucker Klaasmeyer (18), 11. Jesse Colwell (4), 12. Russ Gamester (21), 13. Gio Scelzi (11), 14. Daniel Robinson (8), 15. Zeb Wise (17), 16. Thomas Meseraull (12), 17. Tanner Carrick (7), 18. Jake Neuman (14), 19. Cannon McIntosh (22), 20. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (5), 21. Andrew Layser (20), 22. Holley Hollan (23), 23. Jerry Coons, Jr. (9).

2020 FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Thorson (6), 2. Chris Windom (2), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (4), 4. Cannon McIntosh (1), 5. Daison Pursley (3), 6. Tyler Courtney (10), 7. Kyle Cummins (11), 8. Chase Randall (5), 9. Emerson Axsom (7), 10. Justin Grant (9), 11. Jerry Coons Jr. (15), 12. Cole Bodine (20), 13. Cody Brewer (18), 14. Robert Dalby (19), 15. Tyler Thomas (14), 16. Chase Johnson (12), 17. Buddy Kofoid (17), 18. Kaylee Bryson (22), 19. Sam Johnson (21), 20. Hayden Reinbold (23*), 21. Brady Bacon (13), 22. Logan Seavey (8), 23. Jason McDougal (16). NT