Michael Pickens crowned co-champion in US
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Kiwi speedway racer Michael Pickens has enjoyed an incredible week in the United States where he has been crowned co-champion at the Illinois Speed Week.
The dominant midget driver from the recent New Zealand summer collected two feature race wins and was on his way to a third victory on Monday when he was collected by American driver Logan Seavey and sent tumbling into the wall. He finished the race 16th. That was good enough to share the title, however, with American Zach Daum.
"Illinois midget week was run over five races. We won two of them," Pickens said. "We ran second and third and in the last one, we got taken out on the last corner of the last lap and we should have won that one, too. We did enough to win the overall points so that was really cool."
Pickens will remain in the United States this week and compete at the USAC-sanctioned Indiana Midget Week where all of the leading drivers in the sport will feature.
"This week is going to be a lot tougher with USAC - there are more cars and more depth in the field talent-wise so we have to step it up a notch," the Aucklander said.
"They have a different qualifying here. It is time trials - best lap of two with each car doing an individual two laps. The stuff we did last week was qualifying through heats like we have back home in New Zealand. This is a little more cut-throat."