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Driver Profile

Zach Boden opens sophomore season with Badger Midgets on April 29 at Beaver Dam Raceway

Zach Boden opens sophomore season with Badger Midgets on April 29 at Beaver Dam Raceway

BEAVER DAM, Wisc. — April 26, 2018 — Last year during his rookie season with the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association (BMARA), the main focus for Zach Boden was to get seat time, laps and experience. He parlayed that into a very solid season, finishing third in points, with series champion Robbie Ray and four-time title winner Scott Hatton, the only drivers ahead of him. Now, entering his sophomore season, Boden is focused on picking up his first win in a midget to add to his resume, which boasts a number of Micro Sprint victories.

The 2018 Badger Midget season opens for Boden on Sunday, April 29 at Beaver Dam Raceway as part of the Wipperfurth Memorial Triple Crown, which was postponed by inclement weather last weekend. The event features the Badger Midgets, along with the Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association (IRA) Outlaw Sprint Series and the Wisconsin wingLESS Sprint Series presented by AutoMeter. The event will mark the first time ever that the three series have competed at the same track on the same night.

“You definitely get a little anxious waiting for the season to start,” said Boden. “Sponsors, car owners and everyone is ready to go. You kind of expect delays, though, at this time of the year. Scheduled races in April can be great, because everyone is ready to go, but we understand that Mother Nature sometimes doesn’t cooperate this time of the year.”

The Badger Midgets are visiting Beaver Dam for the first time since 2010, but Boden has laps at the high-banked, third-mile in a Micro Sprint. In fact, he won at Beaver Dam in 2015 with the Badger 600 Micro Series. In that race, the native of Cambridge, Wisc., took the lead on lap-7 and paced the remainder of the 15-lap contest. Boden also set the Micro Sprint track record at Beaver Dam in 2015.

“I would hope having raced there will benefit us a little bit, but you never you,” he shared. “Last time we were there, in the spring, it was a really fast track. It held moisture all night long. It was one of the best surfaces I have ever seen. They always do a great job over there of prepping it to get it as good as possible and give us the best surface that they can.”

While Mother Nature delayed the start of the season in Wisconsin, Boden has a race under his belt already as he headed south to race indoors at DuQuoin, Ill., last month. The 25-year-old finished ninth, after starting 19th, which earned him the Hard Charger Award.

“Getting behind the wheel at DuQuoin helped knock some of the rust off and get the reaction time back. Being able to get back in the seat again, is one of those things that once you do it, you have it again. You want to be in the seat consistently and as much as you can.”

Looking back at his rookie season in a midget, Boden picked up 11 top-10 finishes, with seven of those being top-five runs in 13 starts. He finished a season-best second at Wilmot Raceway on August 12. Boden wrapped up the season with three straight top-five finishes.

“Overall, we were happy with last season,” he said. “Obviously we are still chasing that first win. Last year we were chasing Scott Hatton and Robbie Ray and guys who have a lot more experience that us and a lot more laps. That’s where having Harlan (Kittleson), Jeff, Dave and the guys that are with me helps out, because they have the experience behind the wrenches and behind the car to pretty much give me the best car or pretty close to it every night and that helps.”

Boden has built a solid resume in the Micro Sprint ranks over the last few seasons. He scored five wins with the Badger 600 Micro Series in 2015 and followed that up with four wins in 2016 and another four in 2017. While a Midget is vastly different from a Micro Sprint, Boden is able to translate some of what he learns in a Micro to the Midget.

“It’s two completely different feels between the Micro and the Midget,” explained Boden. “At the same time, a lot of the things like the shock set-up and general set-up of the car does transfer over. That’s a big advantage, because as a driver, I can rely info back to my crew guys a little bit better than say a driver with no experience. I think coming into our second year with the midget that our experience last year helped us out. Driving the Micro helps as well. Any laps you can get, in any type of race car, helps somewhere along the line.”

The event at Beaver Dam will open a 24-race schedule for the Badger Midgets this year, which will take the series to seven different tracks, including a trio of races during Illinois Speedweek in June. The season will conclude on September 22 right back at Beaver Dam Raceway, with the same three open wheel classes that are running this weekend. Boden is looking forward to fans being able to see three distinct types of open wheel race cars.

“There should be a good car count in all the classes at Beaver Dam,” said Boden. “I expect to see good racing across the board in all three classes. The midgets probably won’t be quite on the gas as much as the 410-winged sprint cars, but it will be racy. It’s a good choice to have the three classes that they’ll have.”

Pit gates will open at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 for the Wipperfurth Memorial Open Wheel Triple Crown at Beaver Dam Raceway. Grandstand gates will open at 2:30 p.m., with qualifying at 3:30 p.m. and racing at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.wismotorsports.net.

For more information on the Badger Midget Racing Association, visit http://www.bmara.com.

Twitter: @SLS_Promotions

Facebook: SLS Promotions LLC

Article Credit: Tony Veneziano

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