Sunshine Slings the Cushion to Win the Mace Thomas Classic

Tyler Courtney. (Bob Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. (May 14, 2021) – Tyler Courtney rode the rim to his first career Floracing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 feature Friday at I-96 Speedway during the Mace Thomas Classic. Courtney drove around the outside of All Star point leader Ian Madsen for the lead on lap 14 and held onto the top stop during multiple restarts to pick up the $8,500 first prize for the Clauson/Marshall Racing team.

The curb that developed on I-96’s high line played right into Courtney’s strength in the winged car at this point in his career.

“I’m not quite good at the bottom yet in these winged cars leaning how to drive hard but slow down at the same time,” Courtney said about his run up on the cushion during the feature. “This makes it all worth it. This is a big risk going from the top to going back to the bottom and putting yourself out there. Not only me as a driver, but us a team. We have great partners in NOS Energy Drink and a lot of supporters behind us that makes this all possible.”

Ian Madsen led Cory Eliason and Bill Balog on the opening lap with Courtney following in the fourth position. After a caution on the second lap for a spin by Kyle Reinhard in turn three, Balog and Eliason raced for the second position. After trading the position back and forth Balog took the spot.

With Eliason in second Balog found misfortune after contact with Paul McMahan left him with a flat left front tire that brough out the caution flag. Balog made repairs and joined the tail of the field.

Madsen pulled away after the restart while McMahan and Courtney raced for the third position. Courtney took the position on lap eight and began pressuring Eliason for the second spot.

Eliason’s race took a dramatic turn on lap 11 when he slowed with a flat right rear tire in turn three to bring out the caution flag. Eliason’s team changed the tire in time for him to join the tail of the field.

After the restart Courtney immediately pressured Madsen for the lead trying to dive under him in turns one and two. They crossed lines going into turns three and four where Madsen used the top of the racetrack to maintain the lead.

One lap leader Courtney made the move stick driving around the top of Madsen in turns one and two. Madsen tried to use the bottom in turns three and four, but Courtney held Madsen’s’ challenge at bay to maintain the top position.

After a pair of cautions for Elliason slowing in turn one and Greg Wilson stopped off turn four Courtney continued to pull away from Madsen. The final caution flag of the night appeared when Scotty Thiel’s charge up to third position ended sideways between turns one and two. Paul McMahan had nowhere to go and went over Thiels’ left rear tire, airborne off the track, but never lost power and somehow kept his car under power. Thiel however was finished for the evening.

Courtney pulled away on the restart and drove to victory over Madsen. Peck made a late race surge to take the final podium position. McMahan and Rico Abreu rounded out the top five.

Just 13 races into his first full campaign with the All Stars, the moment of victory was still sinking in for Courtney.

“I’m sure the three-and-a-half-hour drive to Joliet tonight will help it set in, but we are going to enjoy this one why we can. It’s hard to win races. Especially at something new like this, but we have one heck of a team. This is just awesome. To beat the two guys we are competing right now for the championship is good, but we want more.”

Mace Thomas Classic
Floracing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1
I-96 Speedway
Lake Odessa, Michigan
Saturday May 14, 2021

Dixie Vodka Qualifying
1. 13-Justin Peck, 13.086[22]
2. 11-Ian Madsen, 13.243[15]
3. 17B-Bill Balog, 13.244[14]
4. 73-Scotty Thiel, 13.279[13]
5. 26-Cory Eliason, 13.330[25]
6. 24-Rico Abreu, 13.348[17]
7. 5-Paul McMahan, 13.370[19]
8. 67-Michael Kofoid, 13.400[4]
9. 21BP-Brinton Marvel, 13.418[9]
10. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 13.429[5]
11. 97-Cale Thomas, 13.435[16]
12. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 13.482[8]
13. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 13.488[18]
14. 4-Cap Henry, 13.514[11]
15. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, 13.546[1]
16. 10-Zeb Wise, 13.549[3]
17. 8M-TJ Michael, 13.619[24]
18. 2-Ricky Peterson, 13.722[2]
19. 41-Thomas Schinderle, 13.751[7]
20. 71H-Ryan Ruhl, 13.759[27]
21. 85-Dustin Daggett, 13.791[31]
22. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.795[28]
23. 22M-Dan McCarron, 13.877[21]
24. 27-Justin Adams, 14.044[23]
25. 21N-Frankie Nervo, 14.079[20]
26. 27QB-Quentin Blonde, 14.208[10]
27. 4T-Josh Turner, 14.229[26]
28. 23-Russel Borland, 14.415[30]
29. 2A-Allen Aldrich, 14.516[29]
30. 27K-Zach Broughman, 14.667[6]
31. 5S-Max Stambaugh, 59.998[12]
32. 16C-Chase Ridenour, 59.999[32]

Ford Performance Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 67-Michael Kofoid[4]
2. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[2]
3. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[3]
4. 10-Zeb Wise[5]
5. 2-Ricky Peterson[6]
6. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[1]
7. 41-Thomas Schinderle[7]
8. 27K-Zach Broughman[8]

All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 21BP-Brinton Marvel[1]
2. 73-Scotty Thiel[2]
3. 17B-Bill Balog[3]
4. 11-Ian Madsen[4]
5. 4-Cap Henry[6]
6. 97-Cale Thomas[5]
7. 5S-Max Stambaugh[8]
8. 27QB-Quentin Blonde[7]

Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 5-Paul McMahan[2]
2. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[1]
3. 24-Rico Abreu[3]
4. 13-Justin Peck[4]
5. 8M-TJ Michael[5]
6. 22M-Dan McCarron[6]
7. 21N-Frankie Nervo[8]
8. 27-Justin Adams[7]

Mobil 1 Heat Race #4 (8 Laps)
1. W20-Greg Wilson[1]
2. 85-Dustin Daggett[2]
3. 26-Cory Eliason[4]
4. 71H-Ryan Ruhl[3]
5. 23-Russel Borland[6]
6. 4T-Josh Turner[5]
DNS: 2A-Allen Aldrich
DNS: 16C-Chase Ridenour

Kears Speed Shop Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 11-Ian Madsen[1]
2. 67-Michael Kofoid[2]
3. 5-Paul McMahan[4]
4. 73-Scotty Thiel[5]
5. W20-Greg Wilson[3]

Elliotts Custom Trailers and Carts Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 26-Cory Eliason[1]
2. 17B-Bill Balog[4]
3. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[5]
4. 13-Justin Peck[2]
5. 21BP-Brinton Marvel[3]

Classic Ink USA B-Main (12 Laps)
1. 97-Cale Thomas[1]
2. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[2]
3. 41-Thomas Schinderle[5]
4. 22M-Dan McCarron[3]
5. 5S-Max Stambaugh[7]
6. 21N-Frankie Nervo[6]
7. 27QB-Quentin Blonde[9]
8. 4T-Josh Turner[4]
9. 27K-Zach Broughman[10]
10. 27-Justin Adams[8]

FloRacing A-Main (25 Laps)
1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[6]
2. 11-Ian Madsen[1]
3. 13-Justin Peck[8]
4. 5-Paul McMahan[5]
5. 24-Rico Abreu[14]
6. 10-Zeb Wise[15]
7. 4-Cap Henry[17]
8. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg[11]
9. 71H-Ryan Ruhl[16]
10. 91-Kyle Reinhardt[12]
11. 67-Michael Kofoid[3]
12. 97-Cale Thomas[21]
13. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[22]
14. 2-Ricky Peterson[19]
15. 85-Dustin Daggett[13]
16. 21BP-Brinton Marvel[10]
17. 73-Scotty Thiel[7]
18. 8M-TJ Michael[18]
19. W20-Greg Wilson[9]
20. 26-Cory Eliason[2]
21. 17B-Bill Balog[4]
22. 23-Russel Borland[20]
23. 41-Thomas Schinderle[23]
24. 22M-Dan McCarron[24]