Chance Krum (26) races under Carter Sarf on Friday at the Federal Auto Circuit at I-55. (Photo by Mark Vonderbork)
Biveley, Mo. – The wait is over. On his 43rd start across the National Dwarf competition, Chance Krum finally got his long-awaited ride into victory lane Friday night at the Federal Motor Speedway on I-55.
Earning his long-awaited win with the POWRi-approved Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series, Crum had to tackle a fierce Karter Sarff throughout the opening 30-lap stage of Ironman weekend.
Snohomish, Washington, rolled off center stage thanks to a six-car reversal drawn by Michael Pickens, and he quickly made a good fortune. After driving the opening four laps aboard Rudeen Racing #26, Crum quickly lost control of the pole position when Sarff flew over speed for the fifth circuit.
Sarf, the 19-year-old, opened his lead to 969 seconds on lap 12 before the warning changed everything with Crum able to regroup and refocus. Once back in the green, the duo made an exciting match for the leader as they swapped first place on several occasions while racing each other and racing on a tricky and treacherous third mile roof.
Krum officially regained the lead with the cross-flags waving on lap 15, and although he never ceded it during the second half, he never built a comfortable lead. The gap was no bigger than five tenths of a second during the latter half, and Sarf consistently kept the applied heat with both drivers chasing their first win in the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series.
The slightest swaying on the last lap brought it closer at the checkered flag as Crum slid high and Sarff nailed the bottom to create a drag race to the line – a race that Crum won in just 0.303 seconds over Sarff.
“This is really special,” Crum said beaming. “We were so close to winning our first National Midget so many times, but we couldn’t even get the job done. It’s kind of funny, because those track conditions aren’t my forte at all. It’s a testament to my father [Kevin Crum]Brother [Hunter Crum]Trevor [Reed] And how hard they have worked to improve this car.”
It’s a hugely satisfying moment for the Crum family, who moved from Washington to Indiana last year in pursuit of a bigger roster in motorsport. It’s also a bonus for Rudeen Racing, the successful nationwide sprint car team that entrusted Chance and his family with building the Midget Division.
“Kevin and Monica Rudin took a chance on me, and I can’t thank them enough,” Crum added. “We had a blast. It was a lot of hard work, but I think we are starting to see it pay off. This new series has been fun to run and I am happy to be here to compete in a field like this.”
His runner-up admission was bittersweet Sarf was in his family-owned 21k entry.
“I’m definitely disappointed, but this is the best race I’ve ever had in Beveli, so I guess you can say we’re getting better,” Sarf said. “I think we have the car to win it tonight, but we have another chance to get it done tomorrow. Hopefully the track will be somewhat similar and I can do a little better job on my part to get that win we deserve.”
Pickens finished third on the podium, enjoying a string of first matches on Friday night. This was his first-ever Xtreme Outlaw Midget, his first-ever appearance at Missouri’s I-55 Raceway and his first night of driving with Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports.
“We’ve gotten better and better as the long distances go and the laps go down,” Pickens noted. “I owe a big thank you to Dave Mac Dalby for giving me the opportunity to get equipment in such nice shape. I really want to end this trip with a win, so I hope we can get it done tomorrow night.”
Advantage (30 laps): 1. 26 Crum Chance (1); 2 – 21k – Carter Sarf (3); 3. 08 $ – Michael Pickens (6); 4- 97- Brenham Crouch (4); 5. 9M – Zach Daum (9); 6. Seven You – Kyle Jones (2); 7. 85- Jerry Koons Jr. (16); 8. 61 – Jacob Denny (11); 9. 01 – Bryant Wiedeman (19); 10 – 25 K Taylor Reimer (15); 11. 72 J – Sam Johnson (20); 12. 51B-Joe B. Miller (13); 13. 71K- Dominic Jordan (21); 14. 21 E Emilio Hofer (8); 15. 84- Jade Avedisian (10); 16. 84 X- Jessie Love (14); 17. 77W-Joe Wirth (7); 18. 19M – Ethan Mitchell (17 years old); 19. 40-Chase McDermand (5); 20- 97A- Mitchell Davis (12); 21. 17- Kevin Thomas Jr. (18).