National Dirt
Friday, 25 January 2019


Cole Bodine in action during the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season. Cole Bodine in action during the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season. Rich Forman Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Speedway, Indiana………USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Rookie of the Year contender Cole Bodine has been tabbed by Petry Motorsports to compete full-time on the series’ trail in 2019.

Bodine, of Rossville, Ind., will be teamed with USAC Triple Crown champion Jerry Coons, Jr. and nine-time 2018 USAC National feature winner Kevin Thomas, Jr and Arizonian Sterling Cling.

“I think Cole is a kid who deserves an opportunity,” Petry stated in the team’s press release.  “He’s a hard worker and has paid his dues.  I’ve heard nothing but great things about Cole on and off the track, so he will be a great fit for us.”

Bodine made his USAC National Midget debut in 2018 for Clauson Marshall Racing, substituting for Zeb Wise while he recovered from injury.  Bodine was impressive when given the shot, scoring a runner-up finish in only his fourth career start at Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex, leading 28 of the 40 laps in the feature before eventual champ Logan Seavey scooted by for the win with just four laps remaining.

Following that, he was given an opportunity to close out the season for the team, scoring an 11th place finish in the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway, the second-best finish by a Rookie in the event this year.

Bodine joins the Petry team with two formidable talented, veteran teammates who will be a valuable asset to the 20-year-old driver as he gets acclimated to the 34-race schedule for the first time in his young career.

“I think Cole can go a long way,” Petry added.  “A lot of younger kids don’t respect what it takes to get there, and I think Cole does. He just brings all of the things we want with a veteran in Jerry and KT (Kevin Thomas, Jr.), who is very driven and knows where he wants to be. So, it’s a great mix, and I think Cole will do great things here.”

Jason McDougal drove for Petry a year ago, but parted ways with the team earlier this week, allowing Bodine the opportunity for the ride.  It was an outfit that caught Bodine’s eye, which has him eager to join in on the surging Petry midget stable.

“If there was any other team I noticed in the pit area other than Keith Kunz and Clauson-Marshall as being top notch, it was Scott Petry Motorsports,” Bodine said.  “They have come a long way and always roll out beautiful equipment.  They are tough to beat.”

Bodine’s first step in the Petry car will arrive very soon, on February 8-9 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. for the beginning of “Winter Dirt Games X.”

“It’s all kind of surreal, but I have a feeling that when I’m heading to Florida and roll out a car with my name plate on it, it will kind of all set in,” Bodine exclaimed.

“Running for Rookie of the Year is one of my goals,” Bodine noted. “I also want to get better and better every time I get in the car.  I want to learn something every time I go on to the track.  I don’t want to settle for being a seventh or 12th-place driver.  I want to go out with the confidence that I can win every time I’m on the track.”

This year, the USAC Midgets will make their debut at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track in Ocala on Thursday, February 7, with an open practice, followed by two consecutive, full nights of racing on Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9.

Cars hit the track for engine heat at 6:30pm Eastern on Friday and at 5:30pm on Saturday.

The following week, USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car racing returns to Ocala once again for the ninth consecutive year to kick off its season at “Winter Dirt Games.”  The mini-series will take place at Bubba Raceway Park with an open practice night on Wednesday, February 13, then three complete full programs on Thursday, February 14, Friday, February 15 and Saturday, February 16.

All nights of racing from Ocala will be live on http://www/