GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — Tanner Thorson charged from seventh starting position, battling Andrew Felker and Zach Daum for the win, to claim his 15th career victory with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League on the opening night of the inaugural Thunder in the Valley at Valley Speedway Friday night.
Starting on the front row, Daum and Grady Chandler led the field to green after misfortune struck the original polesitter Ace McCarthy, forcing an early ending to his night before it had even begun.
Ryan Robinson was set to start outside the front row, but gremlins sent him to the work area during the parade lap and he started at the tail of the field. At the drop of the green flag, Grady Chandler took the early advantage over Zach Daum. However, on lap three off turn four, Zach Daum overtook Chandler for the lead with Andrew Felker in tow.
By lap nine, Felker was in charge as he ripped past Daum in the middle off turn four. The action slowed for a caution on lap 11 for Terry Babb and Holly Shelton off turn two, allowing the field to bunch back up. Lined back up, Felker led Daum, Thorson, and Bayston to green.
By lap 16, Thorson had moved into the second position past Daum and looked to set his sights on Felker for the lead. With 21 laps in the books, Thorson over took Felker, rolling the bottom off turn four and sneaking into the lead.
As the laps wound down, Thorson led Daum and Felker to the line. Spencer Bayston took fourth, while Tucker Klaasmeyer rounded out the top five.
“There’s something about this track that I really take to and a lot of it probably comes from go-karts and being patient on the bottom,” Thorson said. “These guys gave me a brand new car. I was getting worried that I couldn’t really win anything and these guys busted out a new car for me and it definitely worked. Big Al puts a super tune up on the thing every time I’m out there and I’m really happy to be here.”
“With about three to go there, I was fourth,” commented Zach Daum. “I got stuck on the bottom and the bottom went away. I was just too tight the whole race. We’ll work on it and free it up for tomorrow. I got beat there and I just thought it was going to slick off there and tightened it up a little bit too much and I should have just left it alone and not second guess myself too much. Second’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. We’ll work on it and get it ready for tomorrow.”
Joe B. Miller won the companion WAR sprint car feature.
Tanner Thorson, Zach Daum, Andrew Felker, Spencer Bayston, Tucker Klaasmeyer, Wesley Smith, Ryan Robinson, Andy Malpocker, Jake Neuman, Matt Moore, Jodie Robinson, Logan Seavey, Tanner Carrick, Holly Shelton, Zane Hendricks, Kory Schudy, Joey Wirth, Chad Winfrey, Dustin Gilbert, Grady Chandler, J.D. Black, Clinton Boyles, Terry Babb, Ace McCarthy, Cannon McIntosh.