Meet the young stars of USAC's 2023 Midget Week

Posted at 8:17 PM, Jun 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-29 12:24:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS— They’re driving small cars on small tracks, but USAC's newest class of up and coming stars are big on talent for 2023's Indiana Midget Week.

Jacob Denney entered the month of June as the USAC National Midget Series points leader. He’s also just days removed from his high school graduation.

18 years old from Ohio, Denney kicked off Midget Week with a win at Tri-state Speedway.

"I'm just having a lot of fun," Denney tells WRTV's Brad Brown. "That's the best way to do it. If you're not having fun, you shouldn't be doing it so that makes it a lot easier. And i got a good group of guys around me, that makes it a lot more fun."

Jacob is one of several drivers under 20-years-old that are quickly climbing the USAC ranks, following the trail of some racing greats.

18-year old Daison Pursley missed much of the 2022 season after a crash in November 2021. He’s come back from a spinal injury and a long rehabilitation to wheel his car back into the Top 5 of the USAC standings. Pursley’s also making a full-season run in USAC sprint cars this year.

"It's definitely a close battle, I feel like Midget racing in general is so tough. You can be racing ninth and be racing for you life out there," Pursley said. "It's just crazy how talented through the field Midget racing is and it just keep getting younger and younger. I feel like I was a young guy once and now I'm honestly on the older side.

At just 16 years old, Jade Avedisian is more than ready to take on the boys. She’s already put together an impressive dirt track resume with multiple heat race and feature wins prior to taking on USAC full time.

Back in January, Jade was named Rookie of the Year at the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals. She has aspirations of a NASCAR Cup career down the road.

"Everyone's so close, you know five years ago there was definitely top teams and now there's ten top teams," Avedisian said. "So anyone can win on a given night, there's twenty cars that can win this night so that's definitely tough, but that's why when you win it's so rewarding."
Jake Andreotti is 20-years old which is almost an “old man” in Midget racing these days. The California native is making his rookie campaign on the full USAC Midget circuit. Going “all in” for his first taste of Midwest dirt tracks.

 "Everything's different compared to California. We usually get low, rougher tracks and a lot of different characteristics so being out here we have a lot bigger curves and that's more my style," Andreotti said. "I mean, I have all the equipment to go do what I do, I just gotta figure out the tracks as quick as I can and I just gotta go for it."
And don’t forget 21-year old Buddy Kofoid. The two-time defending National Champ drove to the win at Monday’s Midget Week event at Circle City Raceway.

Denney finished 2nd in the feature, just missing a third-straight win.

Indiana midget week continues on Wednesday at Gas City’s I-69 Speedway.

Putnamville and Bloomington follow into the weekend. Lawrenceburg and Kokomo cap the weekend.

7 races will take place in 8 nights for one of the biggest mid-season crowns in the series