It’s hard to believe now that Chase McDermand’s first start of the 2023 Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota season ended with him on the trailer without a spot in the main event. His doubters have since been silenced, as he drove to Victory Lane for the second time in two races Saturday night at 81 Speedway.
His clean sweep of the Series’ first trip to Kansas was completed in exciting fashion after winning Friday night at Humboldt Speedway. McDermand and the Mounce/Stout Motorsports crew showed up to 81 on Saturday, still hungry for more, and got the job done – driving around Series points leader Cannon McIntosh on a restart in the final 10 laps to bag the $4,000 grand prize and McDermand’s third career Xtreme Outlaw victory.
His second win of the season now sets him third in the Series points standings – a far cry from 22nd, where he sat after that first race in Du Quoin back in mid-March.
“To be able to climb back out of the hole we were in early… It means a lot to be able to be able to do that this early in the season,” McDermand said.
Neither Feature win over the weekend was handed to him. Like Friday, McDermand had to pass one of the fastest cars on the track to get the win.
Rolling off the starting grid on the outside pole, McDermand slipped back to fourth in the opening laps but was able to gather it back in after a restart on Lap 11. Two laps and two passes for position later, he had only McIntosh in his sights and made a beeline for his rear bumper.
The field was soon faced with another restart on Lap 18. Though McIntosh was fast and had led the last eight laps, he still could sense the area where he was lacking.
“I could feel it start to struggle on corner exit,” McIntosh said. “I figured at some point, somebody would be coming.”
Lo and behold, the exit of Turn 2 was where McDermand decided to pull the trigger. He got a great jump on the restart and carried a full head of steam through Turns 1-2, zooming past McIntosh on the bottom to take the lead.
“I knew where I was running had been good – a little bit lower into Turn 1 and off of Turn 2,” McDermand said. “I got a really good run there. I was able to get side-by-side with him and then clear him.
“I didn’t want to get too good of a run going into Turn 3, so I had to run low enough to block the slider if it was coming.”
Now with the lead and the laps winding down, McDermand hit the jets and began to pull away from the field. Even a green-white-checkered finish at the end could not slow him down as he cruised to his second win in two nights.
“I was just trying to hit my marks,” McDermand said of his plan for the green-white-checkered finish. “Turns 1-2 I hit it right maybe three-quarters of the time, and the other corners – I just couldn’t get a good run off of 2, so I knew I had to hit that corner right, especially having Cannon and Gavin [Miller] behind me.”
Though he was a bit bummed about having to settle for runner-up two nights in-a-row, McIntosh was happy to retain the points lead with his fourth podium finish in the first five Series races thus far.
“It’s good to come out of here with the points lead and have a consistent weekend,” McIntosh said. “Hopefully, we can continue to do the same thing going into the next races we have.”
Completing the podium was 16-year-old Gavin Miller, who charged from 13th on the grid to third in 25 laps to record his best career Xtreme Outlaw finish in his first full-time season at the controls of a Keith Kunz Motorsports Midget.
“We’re making big gains every single race, and I’m still learning,” Miller said. “It’s crazy to me how far I’ve come so far, only having a year of experience, and not that many races, either.”
The Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota breaks for two weeks before returning to action May 23-24 at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, NC. Tickets will be available at the gate on race day. If you can’t be at the track, stream all the action live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 40-Chase McDermand; 2. 08-Cannon McIntosh; 3. 97-Gavin Miller; 4. 71-Jade Avedisian; 5. 26-Chance Crum; 6. 7X-Thomas Meseraull; 7. 25K-Taylor Reimer; 8. 5D-Zach Daum; 9. 2X-Landon Brooks; 10. 19M-Ethan Mitchell; 11. 28-Ashton Torgerson; 12. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold; 13. 7W-Brendon Wiseley; 14. 59-Laci Ferno; 15. 96-Cody Brewer; 16. 07-Scout Spraggins; 17. 52J-Corey Joyner; 18. 7U-Kyle Jones; 19. 1H-Henry Chambers; 20. 58-Daniel Whitley; 21. 21E-Emilio Hoover; 22. 70-Cade Cowles