Thomas Heads To Valley Speedway, Lucas Oil Speedway With Unfinished POWRi Business

Tyler Thomas led a combined 24 laps in three POWRi Lucas Oil National/West
Series features at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo., and Lucas Oil
Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., in 2012, but he wasn’t able to capitalize on his
show of speed to take home a victory. The 17-year-old from Collinsville,
Okla., will be trying to complete unfinished business when the series returns
to one-third mile Valley on Friday (May 3) and three-eighths mile Lucas Oil
on Saturday (May 4).

Thomas led the opening seven laps at Valley in both features and the
initial 10 at Lucas Oil. He finished third at Valley on May 4, but brake
failure late in the June 8 feature sent him tumbling from a top-three finish to
ninth. At POWRi’s lone stop at Lucas Oil, Thomas was leading when the drive
line failed.

“I enjoy running Grain Valley,” Thomas said. “It’s super fast and racy
and I think we’ll have a good shot at it (winning) as long as we keep
everything together on the car. I like going to Wheatland, too, as long as the
track is right. It seems to be pretty racy and it’s wide with opportunities
to pass.

“The competition in POWRi is really tough and you’ve got to be really up
on the wheel in the heat races and hope you get some passing points to
start up front.”

Thomas has three POWRi National Midget wins in one-and-a-half seasons. He
won in his debut race at age 15–the youngest in the history of the series-
at West Plains (Mo.) Motor Speedway in 2011. Thomas was fifth in the
championship last season, winning at Du Quoin, Ill., and Macon, Ill., and made
the feature in all 26 events entered. He had five top-fives and 11 top-10s.

Thomas finished sixth in the season opener at Jacksonvillle, Ill., last
Friday (April 26) night.

“The track was really tricky and I was trying to run on the smooth part
and dodge the holes,” Thomas said. “I kind of had my own line and we got up
there for a little while (laps 5 through 7) after starting 14th and we
still got a really good finish. As long as we keep those finishes up there, we’
ll be a contender for the championship.

“Last year if we didn’t’ have a top three, it was a DNF. Our goal is to
eliminate DNFs and replace them with top -fives and top-10s. If we finish
races, we’ll win some races and get some top-fives.”

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series top-10 points standings (after 1 of
35 events); 1. Shane Cockrum 200, 2. Andrew Felker 190, 3. Darren Hagen
180, 4. Dalton Armstrong 170, 5. Danny Stratton 160, 6. Tyler Thomas 150, 7.
Caleb Armstrong 140, 8. Jake Blackhurst 130, 9. Brad Kuhn 120, 10. Justin
Peck 110.

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series 2013 race winners: Jacksonville,
Ill.-Shane Cokcrum.

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