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Thorson Holds off Bayston to Win Thriller in Jacksonville POWRi

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PLANO, Texas (June 3, 2017) – Tanner Thorson held off teammate Spencer Bayston to win the action-packed POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League 30-lap feature at the Jacksonville Speedway on night three of Illinois SPEED Week. Toyota-powered drivers led every lap and swept the top six finishing positions in a race that featured extensive passing.

Pole-sitter Tucker Klaasmeyer led the field to green and would occupy the top spot for three laps before Wednesday night winner Michael Pickens used a huge slide job to move in front, only to see Klaasmeyer return the favor before Pickens finally was able to clear him for the lead.

As the intense battle for the lead raged on, Thorson was working his way through the field from his sixth starting position. After a red flag on lap six, Thorson eventually worked past Klaasmeyer for second with Bayston in tow to take over third. At that point, the top three checked out as the race neared the midway point.

Finally, on lap 17, Thorson was able to use a slide job to pass Pickens for the lead with Bayston right on his tail. The top three then traded sliders for the top spot, at times going three-wide before Thorson eventually cleared his opponents, while Bayston would move into second.

Throughout the remainder of the race, Bayston would attempt to slide past his Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) teammate, but was unable to power past. Bayston would make one last big run on the final lap, taking the lead on a slide job into turn one, only to see Thorson dive back under his rival to re-take the lead. He then held off Bayston’s last-corner pass attempt to win for the second consecutive night, with Bayston finishing second and Pickens coming home third. Rico Abreu and Zach Daum rounded out the top five.

“This is pretty awesome,” said Thorson. “I love coming here. We started off strong and then it started to lay down a bit, but it held on for us, so that’s pretty awesome. There’s something to say about racing your own teammates. There’s a lot of respect there.”

The second-place finish gave Bayston his second straight podium finish after a third in Fairbury on Thursday.

“It was a good race,” relayed Bayston. “Hat’s off to the Jacksonville and POWRi guys. They gave us a great race track. That was probably one of the best races I’ve been apart of. I’m just really regretting instead of ripping the top down there, I tried to pinch it off and get underneath him and he obviously beat me.”

Ryan Robinson finished sixth, with Klaasmeyer placing eighth and Logan Seavey was ninth to give Toyota drivers eight of the top-nine finishing positions. KKM’s Tanner Carrick brought it home in 15th.

With his third consecutive podium finish, Pickens continues to lead the five-race Illinois SPEED Week standings with two races remaining.

“We’ve just got to step it up a little bit,” Pickens offered. “We’ll go into tomorrow night and try to do a little better. These tracks are just so much fun. The guys do such a great job with track prep, it’s a shame we don’t get tracks like these back home (in New Zealand) to race on. But, it makes coming up here that much more special.”

The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Illinois SPEED Week continues Saturday night at the Macon Speedway before concluding Sunday at the Lincoln Speedway.

Place
Jacksonville Feature Results
1st
Tanner Thorson
2nd
Spencer Bayston
3rd
Michael Pickens
4th
Rico Abreu
5th
Zach Daum
6th
Ryan Robinson
8th
Tucker Klaasmeyer
9th
Logan Seavey
15th
Tanner Carrick

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series standings (unofficial)

Pos
Car
Driver
Points
1
5D
Zach Daum
2320
2
17
Logan Seavey
2230
3
71
Ryan Robinson
2060
4
97
Spencer Bayston
1990
5
3N
Jake Neuman
1830
6
27
Tucker Klaasmeyer
1800
7
37
Andrew Felker
1640
8
91T
Tyler Thomas
1630
8t
71K
Tanner Carrick
1630
10
67
Tanner Thorson
1420
 
*Bold=Toyota driver

www.toyotaracing.com

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