Armstrong Thrills With Pepsi Nationals Score
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. – Caleb Armstrong scored a thrilling victory in 31st annual Pepsi Midget Nationals at Angell Park Speedway on Saturday Night.
The event, sanctioned by The Stark Automotive Group/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series, concluded their 76th anniversary season of sanctioning midget auto racing. Car owner Hans Lein captured the Car Owners Championship by 48 points over D&I Motorsports.
Dalton Armstrong took the lead at the start, while Caleb Armstrong passed six cars on the opening lap, moving from 10th position to fourth.
On the second lap a three-car accident involved Darren Hagen, Davey Ray and Bob Schreffler, ending Hagen’s race. Ray would rejoin the field at the tail, eventually finishing fifth.
Thomas Meseraull passed Dalton Armstrong for the lead on the fourth lap, with Caleb Armstrong moving into second place two laps later. Meseraull began lapping slower traffic on lap nine and two laps later encountered heavy traffic, allowing Caleb Armstrong to close the margin to less than one-car length. Dalton Armstrong stalled on the track on lap 11, bringing out the caution.
Meseraull, and Armstrong moved away from the field on the restart. Cautions appeared at the midway point and one lap later for debris on the track.
Meseraull driving the RAB No. 57 ran blistering laps around the track on the cushion, with Caleb Armstrong trailing by a few car lengths. Caleb Armstrong closed to Meseraull’s rear bumper, and took the lead on the backstretch, with nine laps remaining.
There were also several tight battles through the field for the top ten positions. Caleb Armstrong pulled to a slight advantage over Meseruall. With five laps remaining Caleb Armstrong continued to increase his advantage over Meseraull.
Caleb Armstrong appeared headed for a comfortable victory, but brushed the turn three wall on lap 28, slightly losing his momentum. Driving the C&A Motorsports Spike/Toyota No.7c finished, Caleb Armstrong was still able to finish 2.98 seconds ahead of Meseruall, Jerry Coons Jr., 2012 Badger Midget champion Bubba Altig and Ray.
“This is a great victory, the car was so perfect on the cushion and lapped traffic made the race interesting, my brush with the wall at the end really damaged the car” commented Caleb Armstrong who became the only the fourth driver ever to win both the Pepsi Nationals and the Turkey Night Grand Prix, joining Bill Engelhart, Kevin Olson and Jay Drake.
Jason Treault led the entire distance en route to winning the 15-lap Badger 600 Micro Series feature, finishing ahead of Gunner Cummings.