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WALL TWP., N.J. -- Shaun Gosselin, of Oswego, N.Y. won his first career USAC Wirtgen Northeast Ford Focus Midget feature in the series first appearance at Wall Township Speedway Saturday night.
Gosselin, 16, capitalized on his pole position by leading all 25 laps of the feature. The CTI Performance Torque Converters/Magee Trailer Sales Hawk-Ford Focus Zetec No. 26 tyro kept ahead of series points leader Ryan Smith by .537 sec.
Gosselin led 14 of 15 starters home at an 90.531 mph average pace. That pace was slowed when one car spun on lap 23 and two separate last lap spins brought out the yelow and checkered flags. Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway micro sprinter Jesse Hartman pulled Nick Wean's spare No. 78X Stealth- Ford Focus into the pits on lap 12.
Gosselin's previous best finish had been second to Smith in the first of Twin 25s held at Oswego Speedway June 17. The former quarter midget, micro and mini sprint driver led the first 25's two laps and the first eight in the second - the latter being won by Jeff Abold.
"I drive 125cc Honda micro sprints at Lime Rock Speedway in New York," said Goesslin. "The handling is about the same as the Focus midget - but the midget has a lot more power."
The first-year Wirtgen Northeast tour is one of 10 USAC-sanctioned regional series. The three-year old series features spec 375 horsepower Zetec engines powering various full-sized midget chassis. The engines are based on the 2-liter, four cylinder mills found in passenger Focus cars.
The Focus series is the first midget series at WTS since the ARDC sanctioned a July 27, 1979 program. The banked, paved one-third-mile oval hosted the first NASCAR Midget race in 1953. The USAC National Midgets, URC and NEMA - the latter as a co-sanction with ARDA have also paid visits to the New Jersey Shore track. WTS regularly hosts the American Three Quarter Midget Racing Association, which also ran Saturday.
"I haven't been on pavement fore going on the tour this year," said Gosselin. "I like this fast banked track."
USAC officials placed Gosselin on the pole after finishing second to Ryan Osborne in their 10-lap heat; Aaron Wall won the other qualifier.
Gosselin was fourth fastest to Smith in time trials. Smith, of Kunkletown, Pa., and his No. 55 S&S Speedways Stealth-Focus led the 15 qualifiers with a 12.936 sec., 92.75 mph record.
Smith, 17, leaves WTS with 494 points. He is 44 points ahead of Abols with three scheduled races to go. The tour's next stop is Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway Aug. 26 as part of the "Boston Louie Memorial Challenge."