Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla., will drive the American Racing Custom Wheels Spike-Esslinger in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series on Friday at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway and the Jeff Smith-owned Maxim 360 Sprint Car in the Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior Region on Saturday at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo.
Thomas has finished third at both racetracks in POWRi and ranks quarter-mile Jacksonville and one-third mile Grain Valley among his favorite tracks.
It will be the third event for the 19-year-old Thomas in the Spike, which has father Brian Thomas as its crew chief. He finished eighth at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway on April 11 in a Honda USAC National event in his last outing.
“Jacksonville is one of our better tracks and I’m really excited about racing there in the Spike,” Thomas said. “We’ve learned a lot about the new car in our test and two races and we want to get ourselves into position for our first midget win of the year.”
Thomas will be making his debut with Smith’s team. He has raced in eight ASCS events and won both events in the unsanctioned 6th annual Border International Trucks 305 Sprint Car Shootout on Southern New Mexico Speedway’s 5/16th-mile clay oval on March 27-28 in his ninth and 10th winged sprint car races.
“I’m excited about racing with Jeff’s team and at Grain Valley, which along with Jacksonville is one of my favorite tracks,” Thomas said. “We’ll see how we work together, but I’ve been in his position before and know what to expect. It will be more seat time in a winged sprint car and that’s my focus this year. My next step is to win in a winged 360 and that would be spectacular.”