Chase McDermand celebrates his victory in the Badger Midget Series season opener at Wilmot Raceway.

WILMOT — Chase McDermand opened the defense of his Badger Midget Series Championship in dramatic fashion winning the 11th annual “Salute to Harry Turner,” Saturday Night at Wilmot Speedway. The event kicked off the 84th year of sanctioning midget auto racing for the organization, oldest in the country.

McDermand started 18th in the 22-car field. After a false start McDermand stopped in the work area to change a right rear tire rejoining the field at the tail. Nick Baran jumped into the lead pacing the initial two-laps, before Adam Taylor took the lead. McDermand was in nine position on the third lap. McDermand advanced to sixth place three laps later, when the fifth place running car spun directly in front of him, causing him to stop. Jack Routson executed a series of wild flips landing outside the track in Turn One.

McDermand restarted in 16th position and began passing cars again as Taylor increased his lead. McDermand was in fifth position on Lap 11, three laps later McDermand was third and took over the runner-up position one lap later. Taylor’s straightaway lead was erased for a multi-car spin with four laps. McDermand passed Taylor for the lead entering Turn 3 on the restart.

McDermand driving the RMS/Response Management Service/Spike-Honda No. 40 finished ahead of Taylor, Nick Baran, Kevin Douglas, and Kurt Mayhew. Technically McDermand passed twenty-eight cars during the feature event.

“It was a crazy opening night. I just stayed focused to the job at hand and just ran every lap hard trying to pass as many cars as I could, we got a great break with the late race caution that allowed us to close up on Adam (Taylor)” said McDermand.

Taylor holds a six-point lead over McDermand heading into “Recheck Excavating Midget Challenge” July 4 at Beaver Dam Raceway. Joining Badger will be The AutoMeter Wisconsin WingLESS Sprint Series, and the INEX Legends Series.

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