Kyle Schuett surprised many in attendance including himself Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Schuett, of Philo, Illinois, survived a last lap bump from Tanner Thorson to win his first career Dirt Midget race, doing so on the big stage at the inaugural Indy Invitational. As a result of his victory, Schuett scored a $10,000 paycheck as well as a beautiful gold steering wheel trophy and a coveted gold jacket to commemorate his win.
“It feels really good,” Schuett said on the live Speed51 TV broadcast. “I can’t thank all of the people behind me enough. Dan Myers, Jared Chambers, my mom, my dad, everyone that helped get me here. This is a pretty special first midget win, but I’ll remember this for a while.”
Schuett started the 30-lap feature event from the pole position and appeared to be the dominant car early on.
The first and only red flag of the race was displayed on lap 4 as cars were stopped on the track in order to help lower the CO2 level in the arena.
When racing resumed, Schuett restarted from the point and continued to dominate out in front as he navigated lapped traffic. His dominance continued until a late race caution put Tanner Thorson on his back bumper for a restart with less than five laps to go. Thorson stayed glued to Schuett’s back bumper during the closing laps before making contact in turn two with two laps to go.
Making one last attempt to win the race, Thorson powered his No. 67 into turn three on the final lap giving Schuett a huge bump in the middle of the corner. Schuett was able to take the hit, keep his car straight and power off of turn four to score the victory.
“I just had to keep my composure and stay smooth,” said Schuett. “I had to make sure I didn’t get turned right there at the checkered. If I did that, I knew I was good to go.”
Spencer Bayston, Chase Briscoe, two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Shane Cottle completed the top-five. As a result of the contact on the final lap, Thorson fell back to sixth in the finishing order.
Mike Wheeler led flag-to-flag earlier in the night to win the $5,000-to-win Outlaw Karts feature.
Speed51.com will have more from this event including race highlights on the Speed51 Network next week.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Indy Invitational Unofficial Finish
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (IN) – December 12, 2015
|4||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.|
|19||9P||Parker Price Miller|