Tyler Thomas Controls Herb Barlow Memorial

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Tyler Thomas (91) races under Nick Knepper at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway. (Mark Funderburk photo)

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — Tyler Thomas won Friday night’s Herb Barlow Memorial midget race at Jacksonville Speedway.

It was his 10th POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League triumph.

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 flag 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.

“This thing is unreal,” said 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.”

The finish:

Tyler Thomas, Logan Seavey, Spencer Bayston, Zeb Wise, Aidan Roosevans, Andy Malpocker, Brayton Lynch, Kyle Schuett, Tucker Klaasmeyer, Colten Cottle, Shelby Bosie, Jake Neuman, Gage Walker, Zach Daum, Nick Knepper, Aaron Schuck, Terry Babb, Tanner Carrick, Robby McQuinn, Broc Hunnell, Daniel Robinson, Holly Shelton.