Jacksonville, IL – Tyler Thomas took the win at Jacksonville Speedway for the Herb Barlow Memorial and claimed his fourth win of 2017. Thomas’ Barlow win is the 10th of his POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League career.
Starting outside of row two, Thomas charged to the front and took the lead from Holly Shelton on lap seven. Followed by Nick Knepper, the duo led the charge towards lap traffic as Logan Seavey worked into the top three. With 12 laps in, the first caution appeared as Colten Cottle ended up spun off turn two. Leading the field back to green, Thomas set a torrid pace, while Knepper fended off Seavey. With 18 laps in the books, Seavey overcame Knepper for second, only to have the red come out one lap later after Terry Babb flipped from making contact with the outside wall in turn one.
With 19 laps completed, the field restarted and the hard charging Zach Daum moved his way into the top three on lap 20. Daum started 15th after engine troubles in the heat race caused him not to finish. With seven laps to go, Brayton Lynch tipped over exiting turn four, causing the action to slow. On the restart with Thomas still in control, havoc broke loose exiting turn four coming to the completion of lap 21 as Nick Knepper took a wild ride, involving Gage Walker and Jake Neuman.
Returning to racing, Thomas held off Seavey and eventual third place finisher, Spencer Bayston to claim victory. Zeb Wise took fourth with rookie Aidan RoosEvans snagging fifth, a career-best.
“This thing is unreal,” said Tyler Thomas. “First of all, thanks to Jacksonville Speedway for giving us another badass racing surface like we always have out here. That was pretty fun. I’ve got to thank my dad, Duane Moore, Bobby, Adam, and Courtney Barth, my mom, without all of them I wouldn’t be here right now. This Spike Esslinger is bad fast. This is awesome. Hopefully we can get another one tomorrow.”
“The feature actually went a lot better than I thought it would,” commented Logan Seavey. “I didn’t feel all that comfortable and then fell back to fourth in the beginning and then raced back up to second and raced with Tyler Thomas there for a bit. He just got the best of us and we ended up second. Obviously capitalize with running second on a night like tonight with Daum having a flat tire, we’re going to gain some points. We’ll go onto Spoon River tomorrow.”
“We just didn’t get up far enough in our heat and that put us starting deeper in the feature than we wanted to, but was able to battle our way up to third there,” stated Spencer Bayston. “The car was a little tight on the cushion and we kind of stalled out there. I had to try to find out what would make our car work the best and then there at the end a couple of cars dropped out and we more so inherited third. We didn’t have a winning car, but we’re fortunate enough to roll it home third.
Speedway Motors Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 55 – NICK KNEPPER, Heat 2: 57 – GAGE WALKER, Heat 3: 5C – COLTEN COTTLE, Heat 4: 4A – LOGAN SEAVEY
Toyota Semi Feature Winner: 71K – TANNER CARRICK
Mesilla Valley Transportation Feature Winner: 91T – TYLER THOMAS
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 91T – TYLER THOMAS 2. 4A – LOGAN SEAVEY 3. 97 – SPENCER BAYSTON 4. 39 – ZEB WISE 5. 6A – AIDAN ROOSEVANS 6. 22 – ANDY MALPOCKER 7. 1K – BRAYTON LYNCH 8. 9K – KYLE SCHUETT 9. 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER 10. 5C – COLTEN COTTLE 11. 3B – SHELBY BOSIE 12. 3N – JAKE NEUMAN 13. 57 – GAGE WALKER 14. 5D – ZACH DAUM 15. 55 – NICK KNEPPER 16. 53 – AARON SCHUCK 17. 37X – TERRY BABB 18. 71K – TANNER CARRICK 19. 09 – ROBBY MCQUINN 20. F5 – BROC HUNNELL 21. 57D – DANIEL ROBINSON 22. 67K – HOLLY SHELTON
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