TWO IN TUCSON
TUCSON, AZ – Tucson Speedway held its annual Trunk or Treat Grand Finale race Saturday night to crown its season champions. Although not in the running in the Super Late Model season point’s chase, Team Northern Provincial Pipelines was part of the action. The race night started off strong for Darrell Midgley and Brandon Carlson as both drivers finished third in their Heat races. In the Saturday night Feature, the only Canadians in the field had difficulty finding speed which was seen earlier in the night. Midgley finished 7th and Carlson finished 14th. “We blew it,” admits Midgley, “it was a missed opportunity for us.”
Prior to the race weekend Midgley and Team NPP had several on-track test sessions. “We ran the fastest laps we’ve ever run in Tucson.” Cool evening temperatures in the Arizona desert may have played a factor. “We started the race with the tire pressures way down,” says the Sidney, British Columbia driver, “the tires never came up to temperature (in the race). It pushed like a dump truck. I was so disappointed.” Midgley ran as high as second but dropped to 5th by lap 7. At the halfway point of the 40 lap Feature, Midgley was running 7th where he remained till the checkered flag flew. “We just didn’t keep up with the race track.”
Midgley’s teammate, Brandon Carlson, was a last minute addition to the Saturday night lineup. The Victoria, British Columbia driver was in Tucson to shakedown the Team NPP #81C. The car was going to be parked after testing so Carlson could help crew for Midgley. “That was the plan,” says Carlson, “we weren’t even going to race. The car was really quick off the trailer.” Carlson admits some chassis adjustments were his undoing. “After doing OK in the Heat race we just thought we’d make a small change for the Feature.” Carlson labored near the tail end of the field the entire race. “We lost the race track. The car was so loose I just couldn’t drive it. We elected to ride around waiting for the caution.” No caution flag flew in the Feature. At the halfway point of the Feature Carlson was running 13th. “We definitely learned what not to do (with the setup).”
Both Midgley and Carlson now patiently wait for the end of November. Tucson Speedway hosts their annual Turkey Shoot race weekend on the 29th and 30th. Darrell Midgley finished 5th at last year’s Turkey Shoot 125. Brandon Carlson made his Tucson Speedway debut at the 2017 Turkey Shoot race and finished 9th.