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Tyler Thomas primed for Jason Leffler Memorial POWRi Midgets at Wayne County
Posted by: newsla on Aug 25, 2014 - 06:14 AM
Tyler Thomas primed for Jason Leffler Memorial POWRi Midgets at Wayne County

Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla., will be racing against one of the strongest Midget fields this year Tuesday in the second annual Jason Leffler Memorial sponsored by Great Clips at Wayne County Speedway.


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The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series-sanctioned event is also one of the nation’s most lucrative, paying $10,000 to the winner. Proceeds from the event, which had an overflow crowd a year ago at the one-eighth mile track, will go to the Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Fund, established to support the son of the late former USAC national champion and NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck driver.

“It’s a race for a good cause and hopefully we can bring that purse ($10,000) home,” Thomas said. “There are only two other Midget races that pay that much and none pay more. I’m really excited about it. It’s a really cool race track and we’ll be racing against a great field.”

The entries are expected to include top drivers from POWRi and Honda USAC National Midgets. Reigning World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car champion Daryn Pittman, who has 12 victories this season in WoO, and former USAC Triple Crown national champion and current NASCAR Sprint Cup driver JJ Yeley have also committed to the event.

Thomas is having an outstanding season in POWRi. He has one victory, was champion of the Illinois Speed Week Midget and is fourth in the points even though he’s also racing in the NASCAR Whelan Series’ Late Model Pro Series at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway. The 18-year-old has one victory, a pair of runner-ups and one third in four starts at New Smyrna in his opening four races in a stock car and on pavement.

“We’re not running for points in POWRi, but it’s pretty cool that we’ve been able to stay up there and still run the Late Models,” Thomas said. “We want to win more races, but we’ve had a great season overall.”

Thomas finished third in his most recent Midget outing on Aug. 17 at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis., in an event tri-sanctioned by POWRi and USAC National Midgets and Badger Midgets. He climbed from 10th starting position on the very fast one-third mile track, passing two cars in the final two laps.

“We had an open red-flag situation and it gave us a chance to make some changes and take a shot at running the bottom,” Thomas said. “We ran right up there to fifth before leveling off some. Those two we passed were racing hard for third on the last couple of laps and it gave us a chance to hit the bottom and get to third. It was really tricky down there. If I could stay right against the tires, it was pretty good down there.”

Following the Leffler Memorial, Thomas will return to New Smyrna for his fifth Late Model Pro race on Sept. 6 and will race on Sept. 7 in POWRi’s Charlene Meents Memorial at Belle-Clair Speedway in Bellevlle, Ill.

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