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Jul 17, 2014 - 06:27 AM
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Tyler Thomas Goes For 2nd Straight Win In Late Model Pro At New Smyrna
Posted by: newsla on Jul 17, 2014 - 06:22 AM
Tyler Thomas Goes For 2nd Straight Win In Late Model Pro At New Smyrna

Tyler Thomas, an 18-year-old from Collinsville, Okla., will go for his second straight victory and third top-three finish in three Late Model Pro races in a 50-lap feature Saturday at New Smyrna Speedway.


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Thomas had never driven stock cars or raced cars on pavement before finishing third in his Late Model Pro debut in a 50-lap feature at the half-mile track on May 17. He won on June 21, leading all 25 laps from the outside of the front row. Prior to racing at New Smyrna, Thomas had raced Midgets and Micro Sprints on dirt. He began his career in karting.

“My goal is to win every chance I have, but the biggest thing is finishing the race and getting all the stock car experience I can,” Thomas said.

Thomas will test at New Smyrna on Friday. He’s a development driver for Florida short-track star Tim Russell’s team and expects to run 60 to 80 laps in the test.

“Each time we go to New Smyrna, I’m learning,” Thomas said “We don’t do long runs, five to 10 laps, and I can kind of feel the changes right off. We’ve been able to change shock packages and it’s been easy for me to tell and feel the changes in the car. The test is cool. We get the opportunity to try different things on the car and go out and feel it. But you learn so much more in the races.”

Thomas continues to race Midgets, primarily in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series. He had a strong run at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway in his most recent outing last Friday (July 11) ruined by a power steering failure. Thomas finished 20th in the feature.

“I finished second in my heat and started ninth,” Thomas said. “I got up to second, but the leader bobbled, I had to lift and went back to fourth. With 10 laps to go, the power steering went out. It snapped to the right and ripped the wheel out of my hand and we went off the track.”

Thomas is running a seven-race schedule at New Smyrna with the Russell team. His fourth race will be Aug. 9.

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