MADERA, California — Just weeks after the conclusion of the DMS Driver Challenge, midgets were back on track at Madera Speedway, only this time it was in competition with the USAC Western States Midget Series. At the end of the night, Challenge participants had filled the podium.
Tanner Swanson, wheeling Roy McKenney’s #88, passed Scott Pierovich late in the race and led the final seven laps to record the victory, his first in midget competition. Swanson was edged out for quick time on the night by Levi Roberts, who carried the DMS house car to a time of 13.806 seconds.
“We started ninth but got by all the cars in the outside lane pretty early. After we got up to second, traffic helped me get to the lead just a few laps from the end there…it was nice to get a win for Roy right away,” Swanson said of his race.
DMS Racing owner Marc DeBeaumont could only look on as the Challenge drivers and his own cars battled throughout the race.
“It was great to watch those guys race hard out there. We were pleased with the way Levi ran for us out of the box, and obviously Tanner was aggressive and did a great job getting up to the front so quickly,” DeBeaumont said, adding, “I think it speaks volumes about the guys we had in the Challenge and how well that deal worked to produce those results in the first race of the season.”
In his first race with the DMS team, Roberts started from row five alongside Swanson and came home a close third. He was especially good late in the race and looks forward to working closely with the DMS team to enter asphalt midget races throughout the 2009 season.
“Marc and the guys had the car comfortable for me from the beginning, so we ripped off a good qualifying lap and just had to get through traffic in the feature since we started a ways back. I was glad to have a solid debut with DMS and can’t wait to race the midgets again,” Roberts said.
Challenge competitors Alex Schutte and Kyle Dickerson came home with strong finishes as well, posting sixth and eighth, respectively. Kody Swanson ran the second DMS entry to a fourth-place finish.
The DMS house cars will race again at Madera on April 25th when Bryan Clauson and DMS Driver Challenge winner Alex Bowman contest the 100-lap “Gerhardt Classic,” again at Madera Speedway. This will be Bowman’s first race after turning 16, the legal age to race in USAC. Bowman was in attendance on Saturday, helping the team at the track and preparing for his debut.
Stay tuned to DMSdriverchallenge.com for updates on the upcoming schedules of the DMS midgets this season. Also, be sure to stay informed on the accomplishments of all those who took part in the DMS Driver Challenge, as the site will contain the latest news on each of the drivers.