Evan Margeson takes momentum from Pink Lady Classic triumph into Open Wheel Showdown
Tacoma, Washington’s Evan Margeson looks to go from strength to strength in the second half of the 2023 season, with Saturday’s winner of the $30,000-to-win Pink Lady Classic at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway aiming towards the $50,000-to-win Open Wheel Showdown in Las Vegas this December. Margeson is one of 65 pre-entered Winged Sprint Cars readying for the most lucrative pavement open wheel show in the world this December 1-2.
Margeson climbed from 19th starting position in the 100-lap feature, charging to eighth by the lap 38 break. An invert of eight was pulled, placing Margeson on the pole for the second segment. He held the lead to the final break on lap 76. Margeson paced the final 24-laps after a straight up start to claim the impressive $30,000 pay day in Boise, Idaho.
“We qualified mid-pack ish. Took advantage of an early practice on Saturday morning and took a big swing at the car and made a bunch of changes,” Margeson said. “(In the main) the thing was a dream to drive. It made my job super easy.”
The race for the win was between Open Wheel Showdown promoter Davey Hamilton, Jr. and Margeson. Hamilton qualified second and hounded Margeson over the final 24-lap segment.
“I watched Davey in qualifying. He was super smooth and ripped off a helluva lap,” Margeson said. “I was trying to keep him behind me in that second segment to stay out front and be the leader for that third segment. Starts are super critical there and being out in clean air, especially in the winged cars.”
Margeson raced Midgets on dirt and asphalt extensively throughout his career along with selected Winged Sprint Car starts on dirt. He is a veteran of nearly 20 Northwest Focus Midgets wins and two victories in the USAC Western States Midgets, both on half-miles, at the paved Altamont Raceway and the dirt Calistoga Speedway. Margeson has had a great 2023 season, also scoring the Diamond Cup at Meridian in June.
“It’s been a little bit of a transition (to Winged pavement racing). I ran a lot of dirt stuff with the wing so I wasn’t totally green. This is year four with the team I’m running for now. Seems like really the last year we’ve hit on some stuff. It’s been really good,” Margeson said. “I struggled with it the first couple of years. It was me more than anything, trying to get a feel for how to drive it. I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to do it much longer but we’ve really hit on something and it’s been fun to have some success.”
Few drivers in the Open Wheel Showdown have raced on the .375-mile Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but Margeson has made two starts there in USAC Western Midgets, finishing second both times.
“I really like that track and I think it’ll make for some good racing,” Margeson said. “Really from what I can remember, it’s going to be a pretty fast track compared to what we’re used to running out here in Washington and Idaho. It’s a lot about momentum and keeping air on your wing.”
The opportunity to race for $50,000 to win with a packed house and on Speed Sport is something Margeson looks forward to.
“This is a huge opportunity and it’s awesome to see what they’re doing. To take on that kind of task is super cool,” Margeson said. “Being the inaugural one, it’s going to be really really cool. A lot of the top guys will be there and most everybody doesn’t get to see all of them in the same spot. It’s got old school Turkey Night vibes. There’s not a lot of big pavement races anymore, so this one is going to one people don’t want to miss.”
Registration is moving quickly for the inaugural Open Wheel Showdown, with just 75 spaces available for the Winged Sprint Car division. Drivers can learn more at www.OpenWheelShowdown.com
Tickets are also on sale though the Las Vegas Motor Speedway ticket office and online. Details can be found at both www.LVMS.com or the Open Wheel Showdown website.
The event will be telecast through Speed Sport and on the new Speed Sport 1 channel. More broadcast details will be announced soon.