USAC Stat Book: Windom & Thorson Accomplish a Feat That Hasn’t Been Done in 43 Years!

NOVEMBER 16, 2021
Chris Windom (#89) & Tanner Thorson (#19T)
(Travis Branch Photo)
STAT BOOK:
WINDOM & THORSON ACCOMPLISH A FEAT THAT HASN’T BEEN DONE IN 43 YEARS!
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Bakersfield, California (November 16, 2021)………Over the last four decades, multiple drivers putting up big feature winning totals during a USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship has occurred about as often as a barely cooked steak. It’s rare.

But, with Chris Windom’s victory last Saturday night during the Western World Championships at Arizona Speedway, he equaled Tanner Thorson with seven feature series wins this season.
Certainly, it’s a noble accomplishment by both, but a deeper dig into the numbers shows that this is one of the most rare accomplishments in recent USAC history.

The last time two different drivers earned at least seven USAC National Midget wins in a single season was, in fact, 1978! That’s 43 years ago for those of you playing at home. That season saw first-time series champ Rich Vogler and Sleepy Tripp score a grand total of 11 and eight wins, respectively.
Interestingly enough, this used to be a common occurrence in the early years of USAC when the Midget series schedule regularly reached 60-70 events per year, peaking at a whopping 79 races held in 1964.

Rex Easton (11) and George Amick (7) were the first duo to accomplish the feat in 1957. The trio of Jimmy Davies (9), Bob Wente (7) and Gene Hartley (7) duplicated seven-win seasons in 1960, marking the first time three drivers did the deal.
Mel Kenyon hit the still-standing high watermark of USAC National Midget feature single season wins during the 1967 season with 17 en route to the second of his seven career series driving championships. Billy Vukovich chimed in with seven victories of his own that same season.

In 1969, four different drivers hit on seven or more victories for the first and only time: Mel Kenyon (14), Bob Tattersall (11), Bob Wente (8) & Lee Kunzman (8).
Jimmy Davies notched seven or more amidst three consecutive championship seasons in 1960-61-62 while Kenyon collected three-in-a-row in 1967-68-69, the first two seasons of which resulted in championships two and three for the “King of Midgets.”

For Windom and Thorson, however, their seasons aren’t quite finished. They’ve still got seven races remaining, all in the state of California, starting on Tuesday, November 16 at Bakersfield Speedway for the November Classic. With seven to go, three more victories are needed to become the first double-digit race winner since Rich Vogler in 1988. Another record we could, perhaps, talk more about next week.

Bakersfield’s round is followed by three-straight nights at the Elk Grove Ford Hangtown 100 at Placerville Speedway on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 18-19-20.

The final stretch includes two dates at Merced Speedway on Tuesday, November 23 and Wednesday, November 24. The season comes to a close with the 80th running of the ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway on its new date of Saturday night, November 27.
Tuesday at Bakersfield, the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets will be joined by the California Lightning Sprints.

The pits open at 2pm Pacific with the grandstands opening at 5pm, the drivers meeting at 5pm and cars on track at 5:30pm.
Adult general admission tickets are $20. Kids 6-12 general admission tickets are $10. Kids 5 and under general admission tickets are free. Pit passes are $45 for USAC members & $50 for non-members.

The NOS Energy Drink November Classic from Bakersfield, and all remaining USAC National Midget races, will be streamed live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/2ZpafUr.

SEASONS WITH AT LEAST TWO DRIVERS WINNING 7 OR MORE USAC NATIONAL MIDGET FEATURES:

1957: Rex Easton (11) & George Amick (7)
1960: Jimmy Davies (9), Gene Hartley (7) & Bob Wente (7)
1961: Jimmy Davies (12) & A.J. Foyt (9)
1962: Jimmy Davies (9) & Bob Wente (8)
1963: Bob Wente (10) & Billy Cantrell (8)
1964: Tommy Copp (8), Mel Kenyon (7) & Parnelli Jones (7)
1965: Bob Tattersall (12), Mel Kenyon (7) & Mike McGreevy (7)
1966: Don Meacham (9) & Bob Tattersall (8)
1967: Mel Kenyon (17) & Billy Vukovich (10)
1968: Mel Kenyon (11) & Henry Pens (7)
1969: Mel Kenyon (14), Bob Tattersall (11), Bob Wente (8) & Lee Kunzman (8)
1970: Dave Strickland (10) & Jimmy Caruthers (7)
1971: Danny Caruthers (12) & Jimmy Caruthers (8)
1972: Pancho Carter (8) & Tom Bigelow (7)
1978: Rich Vogler (11) & Sleepy Tripp (8)
2021: Tanner Thorson (7) & Chris Windom (7)