Kevin Thomas Jr. Is Tri-State USAC Star

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Kevin Thomas Jr. en route to victory at Tri-State Speedway. (Neil Cavanah photo)

HAUBSTADT, Ind. — Kevin Thomas Jr. picked up his fourth AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Championship victory of the season Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway.

Thomas took the lead from fast qualifier Kyle Cummins on the fourth lap of the quarter-mile bullring and led the remainder of the 40-lap event for the victory despite a green-white-checkered finish.

Thomas led Cummins when the green flag waved for the final restart, but heading into the final corner on the final lap Thomas responded to Cummins’ final haymaker by crossing underneath him off turn four to defeat Cummins by the blink of an eye, a scant margin of .053 of a second to win the $12,500 prize.

“You have to restart on a very racy race track with Kyle Cummins on your tail, what do you do,” Thomas pondered. “You just got to drive your (rear) off and hope for the best. These guys gave me a great racecar. To set up a car here to run 40 laps with as much as the track changes, that’s pretty amazing. Hats off to them for reading the racetrack right and making all the right changes. Kyle Cummins is the king of this place. To beat him here doesn’t happen very often and, last time, it didn’t happen.”

Cummins finished second with Thomas Meseraull, Chet Williams and Tyler Courtney rounding out the top five.

USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship (co-sanctioned with the Midwest Sprint Car Series), Tri-State Speedway, Haubstadt, Ind., Sept. 16, 2017

Unique Breedz/Prosource Qualifying: 1. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.624; 2. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-13.843; 3. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-13.916; 4. Shane Cottle, 57, Hazen-13.942; 5. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-14.032; 6. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Schnapf-14.046; 7. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.126; 8. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 9K, KT-14.126; 9. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-14.180; 10. Aric Gentry, 10, Gentry-14.185; 11. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-14.202; 12. Dave Darland, 17GP, Dutcher-14.238; 13. Chet Williams, 38, Williams-14.285; 14. Carson Short, 21, RCM-14.305; 15. Brian Karraker, 23, Karraker-14.339; 16. Brady Short, 11p, Pottorff-14.368; 17. Scotty Weir, 17G, On The Gass-14.388; 18. Dakota Jackson, 3, Jackson-14.396; 19. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.417; 20. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.448; 21. Donny Brackett, 4B, Brackett-14.476; 22. Kendall Ruble, 17, Ruble-14.492; 23. Mario Clouser, 6, MCM-14.504; 24. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-14.639; 25. Thomas Meseraull, 5B, Briscoe-14.643; 26. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling/Hayward-14.670; 27. Collin Ambrose, 36, Ambrose-14.714; 28. Jon Stanbrough, 81, Stanbrough-14.819; 29. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-15.050; 30. Ben Knight, 45K, Knight-16.114; 31. Jeff Pritchett, 2J, Pritchett-NT; 32. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-NT.

Simpson Race Products First Heat (10 laps): Meseraull, Brackett, Hodges, Stanbrough, Mattox, Ambrose, Knight, Pritchett.

Competition Suspension Second Heat (10 laps): Williams, Leary, Chapple, Courtney, Boespflug, Clouser, Schmidt, Karraker.

Chalk Stix Third Heat (10 laps): Thomas, Stockon, Gentry, Jackson, Darland, C. Short, Schnapf, Ruble.

Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat (10 laps): Cummins, Grant, Cottle, Windom, Ballou, Bacon, Schnapf, Ruble.

Semi (12 laps): Boespflug, Ballou, C. Short, Darland, B. Short, Mattox, Weir, Bacon, Schanpf, Ruble, Ambrose, Clouser, Schmidt, Knight, Pritchett.

Feature (40 laps): Thomas, Cummins, Meseraull, Williams, Courtney, Windom, B. Short, Ballou, Leary, Grant, Boespflug, C. Short, Darland, Brackett, Stockon, Chapple, Hodges, Bacon, Jackson, Gentry, Mattox, Stanbrough, Cottle, Ruble.