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Thomas sets sights on USAC Midget 74th Turkey Night Grand Prix


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Tyler Thomas sets sights on USAC Midget 74th Turkey Night Grand Prix

PERRIS, Calif. (Nov. 24, 2014)After a successful weekend in the Western World Championships in Arizona, Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla., sets his sights on one of the biggest midget races in the world Thursday in the 74th Turkey Night Grand Prix at Perris Auto Speedway.

The 98-lap feature on the half-mile track is the season finale for the Honda USAC National Midget championship. The 18-year-old Thomas has run partial midget schedules this season in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and USAC plus seven races in the Late Model Pro division at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway and has one win in POWRi and Late Model Pro. Hes 10th in the USAC National points and a victory in the Turkey Night Grand Prix would elevate a very good season into a great year.

Theres a lot of history in the Turkey Night Grand Prix and to put my name on that trophy and take it home would be a dream come true, Thomas said. We havent been running for points this season and its a surprise to be in the top 10 in USAC. Weve had a very good year and to be top 10 in USAC, sixth in POWRi National points and ninth in the overall national midget points is a big accomplishment.

Thomas finished 14th in the feature in his initial Turkey Night Grand Prix last year.

Thomas was sixth on Saturday and eighth on Friday in the Western Worlds at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.

Thomas won a nine-car, eight-lap qualifying race to get into the feature on Saturday, starting ninth.

We stayed around ninth for the first half of the race, Thomas said. It was one-line racing and almost everyone was running the top. It was very difficult to pass. The car and track came to me in the second half and I figured out a good line, working the bottom in turns three and four, and it all came together. The car was really fast at the end and I wish wed have had two more laps. I found something different, but it took too long for it to work.

Thomas qualified in seventh position and ran second in his heat to start seventh on Friday.

We missed the setup a little and it got too tight to do anything on top, Thomas said. I stayed on the bottom.

In Thursday nights event, Thomas won his heat, but finished 18th in the feature after flipping on the 12th of 30 laps.

It was my fault, he said. I turned over because I biked on the cushion.

In addition to his outstanding midget campaign, Thomas had one win, four second places, a third and a fourth in his seven Late Model races this year.

For further information, go to www.TylerThomasMotorsports.com.

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