Tyler Thomas wins Belle-Clair heads for Indiana Midget Week

From Tim Tuttle

Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla., enters the five-event Indiana Midget Week, part of the Honda USAC National Midget Championship riding in a crest of confidence built upon the performance of his American Racing Custom Wheels Spike-Esslinger in the Illinois Speedweek Midget championship.

Thomas won at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville on Sunday, his fifth in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Series, and also finished third at Quincy Raceways. He started on the pole at Jacksonville Speedway and led half of the 30-lap feature before a mechanical failure eliminated him with two laps to go and he finished 16th.

“We have a really good car and I’m really excited to race in Indiana Midget Week,” Thomas said. “Maybe we can get our first USAC win this week. It’s been a struggle for us the past two years in Indiana Midget Week, it’s been our toughest week in both seasons, but I’ve got a car now that I have the confidence to put anywhere on the track.”

The 19-year-old Thomas has finished seventh at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway an eighth at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway in the two previous Honda USAC National Midget features this season.

Indiana Midget Week begins Wednesday at Gas City I-69 Speedway and continues Thursday at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Friday at Bloomington Speedway, Saturday at Lawrenceburg Speedway and Saturday at Kokomo Speedway.

Thomas’ victory in the Illinois Speedweek finale on Sunday was his first in a Midget and fourth overall this season. He’s also had one win in a Pro Late Model at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida and two 305 winged Sprint Car victories at Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces.

“It felt really good to get the job done a Belle-Clair,” Thomas said. “We did it in a great field that included Keith Kunz’ team (Christopher Bell, Rico Abreu, Tanner Thorson) and Bryan Clauson. It makes it a little bit more sweet.

“We got the car dialed in on Thursday (at Quincy) in the heat and except for changing tires, we never touched it and we were fast everywhere We had a car we could have won with every night.”