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Thomas, Toyota Win Kokomo Thriller On Last Corner Pass

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toyota usacKOKOMO, Ind. (April 7, 2019) – Toyota driver Kevin Thomas Jr., used a last-lap slider coming out of turn three, passing Justin Grant coming out of four and then powered past him to the checkered flag to win a thrilling night two of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ Kokomo Grand Prix at the Kokomo Speedway, Saturday night.

The win is the first of the season for Thomas, who has registered four top-five finishes in the season’s first five USAC races. It also marked the tenth national midget feature win for a Toyota-powered driver in 2019.

Thomas started the race on the outside of row two and moved up into the top three on the opening lap behind Jason McDougal and Grant, but then fell back to fourth behind Chris Windom by lap four.

Thomas continued to run in the top five as Grant eventually passed McDougal for the top spot on lap eight and the field stayed intact through the first third of the 30-lap event. Thomas fell back as far as fifth before beginning to move his way back up through the field as the laps began to wind down.

The Petry Motorsports driver moved up to third behind Grant and McDougal as they began the final third of the race. He sat in third until beginning his late charge by overtaking McDougal for second on lap and then quickly closed on Grant. Ripping the top, Thomas appeared to be on the way to overtaking Grant for the lead when the yellow flag waved on lap 29, just before taking the white flag.

That resulted in a two-lap race for the win. Grant maintained the lead through lap 29 with Thomas diving low heading into one and pulling up alongside Grant through two. Grant held the lead down the back straight before Thomas threw a huge slider at him through three and into four, crossing over Grant to the outside. Grant pulled back up as the two ran side-by-side to the checkers with Thomas taking the victory by .015 seconds. It was the only lap that Thomas led during the event.

C.J. Leary made it two Toyotas in the top five with a fifth-place showing, while Tucker Klaasmeyer finished seventh and Logan Seavey was eighth.

With the victory, Thomas pulls to within four points of the USAC points lead, trailing Tyler Courtney, 358-354. Leary currently sits third. Toyota drivers also hold down sixth through tenth in the standings with Klaasmeyer in sixth, followed by Chad Boat, Seavey, Tanner Carrick and Jesse Colwell.

The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series is back in action May 17 at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill.

Finish

Toyota Saturday Feature Results at Kokomo 

1st

Kevin Thomas Jr.

5th

C.J. Leary

7th

Tucker Klaasmeyer

8th

Logan Seavey

11th

Jesse Colwell

12th

Chad Boat

15th

Dillon Welch

17th

Holley Hollan

18th

Jerry Coons Jr.

19th

Zane Hendricks

20th

Cole Bodine

21st

Tanner Carrick

22nd

Sterling Clint

USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship Points:1-Courtney-358; 2-K Thomas-354; 3-Leary-308;4-Windom-305; 5-Wise-290; 6-Klaasmeyer-274; 7-Boat-273; 8-Seavey-266; 9-Carrick-243; 10-Colwell-234

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