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Jade Avedisian showing she's ready to contend for championships | Daily 5-25-2023

Why I think Jade Avedisian could be a championship contender this season, plus Wednesday results, and what to watch tonight from Lucas, the Outlaws, and more. Let's go!

It's Thursday, May 25th, I'm Justin Fiedler. This is DIRTRACKR Daily.

I wanted to kick today off with just a few thoughts on Jade Avedisian and her future. I'll talk about Wednesday Millbridge results here shortly, but when you look at the box scores the past two nights, she doesn't feature super prominently in them. Ninth on the first night, and sixth last night. She was battling with her teammate Gavin Miller for second on Tuesday when the two made contact setting off a big crash. But she did bounce back to finish ninth after a trip to the work area. She currently sits third in the Xtreme points behind Cannon McIntosh and Chase McDermand, and is third in USAC points behind Jacob Denney and Daison Pursley after three races. With all the midget seat shuffling in the offseason, you wondered who might emerge as contenders this season with Buddy Kofoid off to refocus on sprint cars. Keith Kunz Motorsports picked up Ryan Timms and flipped Jade from Chad Boat as they looked to restructure with Kofoid gone, Kaylee Bryson off to try other things, Daison Pursley making changes, and Bryant Wiedeman going to Boat's team. Along with Timms and Avedisian, KKM has fielded cars this year for Gavin Miller, Taylor Reimer, Mariah Ede, and a few others. With Timms already having won a few times in the midget and his stock being high, it would be easy to call him the Kofoid replacement and KKM's best title contender. But I think we need to consider Avedisian a serious threat for both series titles. She's already won this season with Xtreme, and was consistent through the opening USAC weekend. And that consistency we've seen from her is why I think she could make a run. Her past four USAC races were all top tens, including a fourth at Merced last year and a second at Belleville. In her past eight Xtreme races, she has seven top nine finishes, including two wins. She also has a top 10 with POWRi at Port City on a night she struggled, and her lone blemish on the season is a 16th on a tough track at Pevely back in April. When she announced the move to KKM back at the beginning of the year, I said she was one of the more exciting young prospects in the sport, and she's done nothing but cement that since then. Midget racing is absolutely brutal, and if drivers can find ways to stay consistent and get good finishes regularly, even when things go sideways, they will end up in good spots. Racking up top five and top ten finishes and keeping her average finishes in the six to seven range where she is right now with both series will put her in contention all year. I do believe both championships are wide open, and she'll get plenty of seat time this season to continue getting better. Realistically, I thought it might take her a year to get comfy at KKM under the eye of Toyota, but with what we've seen so far, we probably shouldn't overlook what's possible.

Alright, as for what happened last night at Millbridge, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series closed out a two night show with a $5000 to win main event. Defending series champion Zach Daum had a night to forget on Tuesday, and it didn't get better on Wednesday. He was in the night's B-Main and picked up the final transfer spot for the feature, but it got weird right after the checkered. He was following Carson Hocevar across the line and as the race ended, Hocevar made a move towards the top of the track, only Daum was there. The two made contact and Daum ended up airborne into the catchfence destroying his race car. He was unable to start the feature and credited with 21st. It's not often you see a big crash like that after the checkered flag. In the main event, it was a similar story to the Tuesday show. Cannon McIntosh started fifth, got to the lead on lap 10 and was in control from there. It was his fourth win in seven races, and sixth top two finish. His only other result was an 18th indoors at DuQuoin. Headed to Tri-City and Wayne County next week, he's pulled out to an 89 point lead in the championship over Chase McDermand. McDermand ended up third last night after starting on the pole. He was nipped late by hard charging Taylor Reimer who went 12th to second. The night's 600 non-wing micro feature victory went to Jake Andreotti behind the wheel of Chase Briscoe's car. Reimer ran up front again in a Chad Boat car finishing second, with Sheldon Creed ending up third. Briscoe was going to run both nights himself, but scratched on Tuesday with engine issues, and then put Andreotti in the micro.

The busy week for USAC continued last night with the sprint cars at Circle City. Robert Ballou started on the pole of the feature, and he was looking to bounce back from a strange DNF the night before at Terre Haute. He bowed out of that feature early after a massive hole was poked in his fuel tank. He did lead laps early last night, but ended up settling for a fifth place finish at the end. Out front, Jake Swanson was to the lead around Ballou in traffic on lap 12 and that was basically it. The feature was only slowed by a single caution, so it was non-stop traffic for much of the show and Swanson navigated it really well. It was his second win of the season, but first in a points paying event. Behind him Kyle Cummins finished second and Brady Bacon was third. Cummins good run was enough for him to take the points lead with another night at Circle City on tap for Thursday. An interesting sidenote about this week around Indy. Several guys are running both the Little 500 on the pavement at Anderson and some of these other races, so they'll be running back and forth like they did yesterday. That list includes Bacon, Emerson Axsom, CJ Leary, and Logan Seavey. Today at Anderson includes practice and qualifying, with time trials expected to end around 3:30PM. It's then about a 45 minute ride from Anderson down to Circle City where the drivers' meeting starts at six. Definitely a jam packed week for a lot of these guys.

Looking around the country today, you have no lack of options for races to check out. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series starts the Show-Me 100 weekend at Lucas Oil Speedway. Chris Ferguson won the big $50,000 show last year, and there should be no lack of cars to battle it out this season. Other drivers with recent wins at Wheatland include Johnny Scott, Jonathan Davenport, Hudson O'Neal, and Tim McCreadie. This is the final event before the first Chase for the Championship cutoff and Ricky Thornton Jr. enters the weekend with the points lead over Hudson O'Neal. There won't be much drama in that department though, as Ross Robinson has the final locked-in spot and is 170 points clear of Boom Briggs. Tonight and Friday are $6000 to-win full programs with drivers earning points to setup Saturday's action. If you can't get there, racing is live on Flo.

The World of Outlaws Late Models are also racing this weekend with three nights at Sharon Speedway in Ohio. Nick Hoffman is fresh off his first Outlaw win on Tuesday at Stateline, and will look to keep that momentum rolling. Just like Lucas, the next two nights will feature $6000 to win main events, with $25,000 going to the winner on Saturday. Chris Madden currently leads Ryan Gustin and Kyle Bronson in the standings. You can watch this one live on DIRTVision if you're too far away to go.

If you want some winged sprint car action, the All Stars are at Bridgeport tonight before stops at Williams Grove and Port Royal coming up this weekend. All four shows this week pay at least $10,000 to win, with Sunday's Bob Weikert Memorial at Port paying $29,000 to win. Tyler Courtney continues to lead the championship, with the Rudeen 26, and McCandless 29 in tow. It will be a tough weekend though for All Star regulars, as the full compliment of Posse drivers will be on hand. This one is live on FloRacing as well.

Elsewhere, the XR Workin' Man Series is at Cherokee Speedway tonight for $10 grand to win. Tyler Erb won earlier this week with this series, but he'll be off to Wheatland with Lucas. This one will be a dogfight between all the southern regional guys like Ross Bailes, Carson Ferguson, and others. And the USMTS modifieds kick off three nights at Deer Creek Speedway with a $3000 to win show tonight. Jake O'Neil is the current points leader over Rodney Sanders and Dan Ebert with 14 races complete so far. We've already had 10 different winners to start the season and plenty of more guys are capable of scoring before the year is over. This one is live on RacinDirt if you want to watch.

That's it for the show today, make sure to check out today's streaming schedule over at dirtrackr.com.

Hope you guys have a good Thursday out there, we'll see you back here tomorrow.