Fairbury, IL – After a relatively quiet start to POWRi Illinois SPEED Week for Tanner Thorson, the driver returned to victory lane with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League for his first 2017 win, this time for night number two of POWRi Illinois SPEED Week at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. The Minden, Nevada native started fifth and quickly worked his way towards the front, battling early on with Auckland, New Zealand’s Michael Pickens, POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Rookie of the Year candidate, Zeb Wise, and Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate Rico Abreu.
After an early race yellow, Thorson capitalized on the slowdown to snag the lead from Pickens, however Thorson’s early race lead was short lived as Zeb Wise took the lead the following lap, holding on just long enough before swapping positions with Abreu. Setting a blistering pace, Abreu led Wise and Thorson for the next 13 laps until Wise brought out the red after catching the turn two wall and taking a tumble while running second.
Inheriting the second position, Thorson had six laps remaining to tackle Abreu for the lead. Patiently waiting until the last lap, Thorson had fans on the edge of their seats waiting to see if he would try to make a move going into turn one or wait until the last corner. Heading down the backstretch, it was apparent that Thorson had saved his best move for last as he dove to the bottom of turns three and four, sliding Abreu for the lead. Trying to return the slide job, Abreu made contact with Pickens, causing Abreu to fall back to fourth, while Thorson went on to win the Mesilla Valley Transportation feature event. Pickens took second, while Spencer Bayston quietly took third, rebounding after a hard flip at the Dirt Oval at Route 66 the previous night.
“My guys just gave me a badass car,” said Tanner Thorson. “It started to lay rubber right there and my car was able to hang on the best. I was just waiting for the last lap to see if I could get a run there on Rico. I’d lose it here and there, but we were able to stay there on the last lap and go for it. To be able to win tonight is very rewarding.”
“Our car was just better there on the long run,” commented Michael Pickens. “It started to lay rubber there and then we got really good. We struggled early and just didn’t have enough speed, but we were there at the end.”
“It was a tough night last night, but we had a good racecar last night and another good car tonight,” Spencer Bayston stated. “It built some rubber there and I was a lot better in the long run, but when we got that caution there on the restart, I wasn’t as strong as I needed to be.”
Speedway Motors Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 39 – ZEB WISE, Heat 2: 1NZ – MICHAEL PICKENS, Heat 3: 4A – LOGAN SEAVEY, Heat 4: 8GQ – JIMI QUIN
Toyota Semi Feature Winner: O5 – BRAD LOYET
Mesilla Valley Transportation Feature Winner: 67 – TANNER THORSON
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 67 – TANNER THORSON 2. 1NZ – MICHAEL PICKENS 3. 97 – SPENCER BAYSTON 4. 97K – RICO ABREU 5. 37 – ANDREW FELKER 6. 5D – ZACH DAUM 7. 4A – LOGAN SEAVEY 8. O5 – BRAD LOYET 9. 8GQ – JIMI QUIN 10. 71 – RYAN ROBINSON 11. 3N – JAKE NEUMAN 12. 88 – TERRY BABB 13. 22 – ANDY MALPOCKER 14. 6A – AIDAN ROOSEVANS 15. 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER 16. 71K – TANNER CARRICK 17. 8M – KADE MORTON 18. 87C – DALTON CAMFIELD 19. 77 – DAVID CAMFIELD JR 20. 39 – ZEB WISE 21. 37X – JAKE BLACKHURST 22. 91T – TYLER THOMAS 23. 7 – AUSTIN BROWN
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