By Richie Murray
Speedway, Indiana (December 9, 2019)………Tanner Carrick, who this past year became one of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget division’s five first-time winners, has found a new home with Petry Motorsports to chase a USAC Midget championship in 2020.
The 17-year-old Carrick, of Lincoln, Calif., will join the Petry Motorsports team after spending the past three seasons behind the wheel for Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian, for whom he captured 2017 USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year honors as well as his first career series victory in July of 2019 at Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex.
Major strides were made during Carrick’s 2019 season where he garnered career highs in top-fives (6) and top-tens (18) while making all 31 feature events. Carrick aims to take his game to another level in 2020 with a team that itself won twice this past year in the series with driver Kevin Thomas, Jr.
“I’m super excited,” Carrick exclaimed. “How it all sounds and from everything I’ve watched them do, it seems like it’s going to be a better fit for me. I feel like it’ll be really good, starting out with something new and starting out fresh for a new season and getting the opportunity to work with (teammates) Kevin Thomas, Jr., Jerry Coons, Jr. and (car owner) Scott (Petry).”
Carrick’s initial plans for 2020 were to head back to the west coast for a schedule made up primarily of sprint car races near his California home. However, a deal was worked out between he and team owner Scott Petry for Carrick to join a surging team that also features Thomas and Coons, the former of which won in 2019 at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway and at Arizona Speedway in San Tan Valley, while Coons is a USAC Triple Crown champion.
“Tanner is a young gun with a lot of talent,” Petry was quick to acknowledge. “Obviously, he proved a lot with Keith. He really came on at the end of this year. It’s a perfect opportunity for us to bring in the young kid with talent that we’ve always wanted with a couple veterans that we know can help mentor and coach the younger kids. That’s been our goal from day one, to bring in young talent and help build them up.”
The 2020 season openers for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship and the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship begin in February at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. Midgets hit the track for practice on Feb. 6 with two full nights of racing to follow on Feb. 7-8. The sprints take their turn the following week with practice on Feb. 12 and three-straight nights of full racing programs on Feb. 13-14-15.