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Tyler Thomas runs strong in Turkey Night Grand Prix


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Tyler Thomas runs strong in Turkey Night Grand Prix before elimination from unavoidable contact

PERRIS, Calif. (Nov. 28, 2014)Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla., climbed from 15th starting position to ninth place in the 74th USAC Turkey Night Grand Prix before colliding with another midget that stopped abruptly in this path and caused damage that eliminated him Thursday night at Perris Auto Speedway.

It came over on the radio that the race had gone red (stopped) and usually cars slow down and keep rolling for a short time, Thomas said. The car wasnt too far ahead of me and the driver just stopped. I didnt have anywhere to go.

The accident happened on the 75th of 98 laps on the half-mile clay oval. Thomas restarted at the back, but a vibration forced him to drop out of one of the nations most prestigious midget races. He finished 24th in the final Honda USAC National Midget race of the season.

The drive line was shaking very badly, Thomas said. The car wasnt going to finish the race.

The 18-year-old 10th in the Honda USAC Midget championship. Thomas also was sixth in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and had one win, four runners-up a third and a fourth in seven Late Model Pro stock car races at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway this season.

Thomas enjoyed his second Turkey Night Grand Prix while it lasted.

The track was heavier than we thought it would be and for the first 50 laps, I couldnt keep the front end down, Thomas said. We were too tight. But the car was awesome after that and we were headed for a very good finish.

Thomas will drive a non-wing sprint car for the first time tonight (Nov. 28) and Saturday at Southern New Mexico Speedways three-eighths mile clay oval in Las Cruces. Saturdays first-place purse of $10,000 is the largest for a non-wing sprint car race in Southwest history.

Thomas drove at the track in a 360-cubic inch engine winged sprint car in an American Sprint Car Series National race on Nov. 8. He finished sixth in a car owned by Robert Miller of El Paso, Texas.

It wasnt in our plans until last week, Thomas said. Im excited about it. Its the same car I drove for Robert (Miller) with the wings taken away. I think well do just fine. Ive never driven a non-wing sprint car, but at least I have some experience at the track.

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

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