Tanner Thorson

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Ninety drivers entered for BC39 midget race at Indianapolis

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Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Christopher Bell and Chase Briscoe are among the 90 entries for the second annual Driven2SaveLives BC 39 on Wednesday and Thursday at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This is the third largest field for a USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event in the past three decades. Twenty-six drivers will advance to the feature on the quarter-mile track located in Turn 3 of IMS’ infield. The winner of Thursday’s A-Main will collect $15,000.

Also entered are NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley, IndyCar driver Conor Daly, NASCAR on NBC reporter Dillon Welch and Karsyn Elledge, granddaughter of Dale Earnhardt.

Brady Bacon led the final nine laps to win last year’s event, which pays tribute to the late Bryan Clauson.

 

BC39 ENTRY LIST (90 Drivers)

00 LUKE HOWARD/Overland Park, KS (Jay Mounce)

08 CANNON McINTOSH/Bixby, OK (Dave Mac Motorsports)

1 KARSYN ELLEDGE/Mooresville, NC (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

1BR CHASE JONES/Greenwood, IN (SFH Racing Development)

1K BRAYTON LYNCH/Springfield, IL (Rusty Kunz Racing)

1NZ MICHAEL PICKENS/Auckland, NZ (RMS LLC)

1ST ALEX BRIGHT/Collegeville, PA (Daryl Saucier)

2 RYAN HALL/Midlothian, TX (Mark Bush)

2J J.J. YELEY/Phoenix, AZ (Jeff Taylor)

2x MATT LINDER/Hoschton, GA (Mark Bush)

3 RICH DRANGMEISTER/Hobart, IN (Rich Drangmeister)

3N JAKE NEUMAN/New Berlin, IL (Jim Neuman)

4A JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (RAMS Racing)

4D ROBERT DALBY/Anaheim, CA (Ken Dalby)

5 KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL (Petry Motorsports)

5B CHASE BRISCOE/Mitchell, IN (Chase Briscoe Racing)

5D ZACH DAUM/Pocahontas, IL (Daum Motorsports)

7 CRITTER MALONE/Pittsboro, IN (Seven LLC)

7BC TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

7s JON STEED/Rushville, IN (Steed Motorsports)

7u KYLE JONES/Kennedale, TX (Trifecta Motorsports)

7x THOMAS MESERAULL/San Jose, CA (RMS LLC)

8 RANDI PANKRATZ/Atascadero, CA (Wally Pankratz)

9 CHRIS BAUE/Indianapolis, IN (Chris Baue)

9B CLINTON BOYLES/Greenwood, MO (Jay Mounce)

9H EMILIO HOOVER/Broken Arrow, OK (James Hoover)

10 LANCE BENNETT/Aurora, CO (Olivia Bennett)

10A MICHAEL KLEIN/Elsmere, KY (Mike Wallace)

11L AARON LEFFEL/Springfield, OH (Chuck Taylor)

11m KENDALL RUBLE/Vincennes, IN (Martin Motorsports)

11T TOMMY KOUNS/Lebanon, IN (Chuck Taylor)

12 BILLY WEASE/Noblesville, IN (Amanda Wease)

15 DAVE DARLAND/Lincoln, IN (Petry Motorsports)

15DJ DAVID PRICKETT/Fresno, CA (Neverlift Motorsports)

15J JEFF WIMMENAUER/Indianapolis, IN (Jeff Wimmenauer)

15s SHANNON McQUEEN/Bakersfield, CA (Broc Garrett)

15x CARSON GARRETT/Littleton, CO (Broc Garrett)

17 RICKY STENHOUSE JR./Olive Branch, MS (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

17BC CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

19 SPENCER BAYSTON/Lebanon, IN (Brodie Hayward)

19m ETHAN MITCHELL/Mooresville, NC (Bundy Built Motorsports)

20 CODY WEISENSEL/Sun Prairie, WI (Kevin Weisensel)

21 CHRISTOPHER BELL/Norman, OK (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

21D JUSTIN DICKERSON/Pittsboro, IN (Mike Dickerson)

21F JONATHAN BEASON/Broken Arrow, OK (Team Ripper)

21KS C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Team Ripper)

21m MARIA COFER/Macdoel, CA (Team Ripper)

22 JOHN HEYDENREICH/Bloomsburg, PA (John Givens)

23m DAVID BUDRES/Beloit, WI (Manic Racing)

25 JERRY COONS JR./Tucson, AZ (Petry Motorsports)

25B STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA (Steve Buckwalter)

27 TUCKER KLAASMEYER/Paola, KS (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

28 ACE McCARTHY/Tahlequah, OK (Jim Neuman)

31 TRAVIS BERRYHILL/American Canyon, CA (Manic Racing)

32J CHRIS JAGGER JR./Warsaw, IN (Chris Jagger Jr.)

35 CONOR DALY/Noblesville, IN (Petry Motorsports)

39BC ZEB WISE/Angola, IN (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

41 OLIVER AKARD/Ft. Myers, FL (Dan Akard)

43 BRENT BEAUCHAMP/Avon, IN (Kevin Arnold)

46 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN (Gamester Racing)

47BC ANDREW LAYSER/Collegeville, PA (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

50 TONY DiMATTIA/Malvern, PA (Tony DiMattia Motorsports)

54 MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH (Steve Bordner)

54m RAY SEACH/Beloit, WI (Manic Racing)

55 NICK DRAKE/Mooresville, NC (Troy Cline)

56AP COLTEN COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Travis Young)

56x MARK CHISHOLM/Cheyenne, WY (Mark Chisholm)

57D DANIEL ROBINSON/Ewing, IL (McCreery Motorsports)

57K KEVIN STUDLEY/Plainfield, IN (Kevin Studley)

61 TREY OSBORNE/Columbus, OH (Mel Kenyon)

67 Logan Seavey/Sutter, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

67F KYLE O’GARA/Beech Grove, IN (SFH Racing Development)

67K HOLLEY HOLLAN/Broken Arrow, OK (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

71 JESSE COLWELL/Red Bluff, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

71B ROBERT BELL/Colfax, IA (Robert Bell)

71K TANNER CARRICK/Lincoln, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

71s CODY SWANSON/Norco, CA (Marcie Campbell)

72 SAM JOHNSON/St. Peters, MO (Joe Johnson)

76 KEN DRANGMEISTER/Hobart, IN (Ken Drangmeister)

76E BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)

76m JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)

77B BLAZE BENNETT/Parker, CO (Olivia Bennett)

81 DILLON WELCH/Carmel, IN (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

84 CHAD BOAT/Phoenix, AZ (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

85 GIO SCELZI/Fresno, CA (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

88 TYLER NELSON/Olathe, KS (Tyler Nelson)

91T TYLER THOMAS/Collinsville, OK (Brian Thomas)

97 KYLE LARSON/Elk Grove, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

97A AUSTIN O’DELL/Rochester, IL (Patrick O’Dell)

TBA Tanner Thorson/Minden, NV (TBA)

Friday 5: ‘Chaotic’ qualifying is entertaining and shouldn’t change

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Last week’s Cup qualifying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway raised the question of is qualifying more about entertainment or sport?

It was fascinating to watch cars parked on pit road and drivers waiting for someone to go because nobody wanted to be the lead car. They all wanted to be in the draft.

While that took place, spotters counted down the time remaining in the session.

It became a game of who would blink first and take off.

When it was time to go, there was chaos. Cars darted around each other. In the final round, Joey Logano went four-wide on pit road. Ricky Stenhouse passed Logano on the inside and left pit road ahead of him.

“Is chaos a bad thing?” Logano asked NBC Sports’ Jerry Bonkowski this week. “I think that’s the question we have to ask ourselves. Is it chaos? Yes. Is it entertaining? Oh yeah, it’s entertaining, there’s a lot going on. So I don’t know if it’s wrong and we should be changing much.

“I think there’s a couple safety aspects we can add to pit road while we’re jockeying around for position and stuff like that. But as far as the entertainment value, will you get the lap in before the clock runs out, will you get a big enough draft, will they all go out for a second time and you get a big pack again, are they going to knock somebody out of the round? That’s good.

“I don’t know why we would change much of that, I think it’s OK. Yeah, it’s a little chaotic, it’s crazy and none of us has it figured out or scienced out the way we want to have it yet, but that’s competition, that’s just what it is.”

Logano is right. While there was a randomness to who won the pole at Las Vegas, qualifying was as entertaining as any session in recent years.

What happened last week was reminiscent of qualifying at Talladega in October 2014. NASCAR divided teams into two groups for the opening round and each had five minutes. The top 24 overall times advanced.

Most cars stayed on pit road until they hit their cutoff mark to complete two laps. Not everyone made it. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier were among the cars that didn’t make it to the start/finish line before the session ended. Their fastest laps didn’t count. They both failed to qualify. It’s the only race Stenhouse has failed to make since his 2013 rookie Cup season.

These days, 36 chartered cars are guaranteed a starting spot. That prevents a situation Stenhouse experienced five years ago with a well-funded team.

But that doesn’t ease all the angst. Some competitors were frustrated at Las Vegas because the draft negates who has the fastest car. It’s all about being in the right place to draft and turn the quickest lap. Being in that position can be as much luck as skill.

What happens in qualifying can impact the race. Teams pick pit stalls based on their starting spot. A poor qualifying effort can lead to issues in the race.

Logano is aware of that. He qualified 27th at Atlanta and his team had limited options on where to pick their pit stall. Crew chief Todd Gordon chose a stall behind Alex Bowman’s pit and in front of Martin Truex Jr.’s pit.

Rarely do strong teams pit next to each other because they don’t want to have to go around a car to enter their stall or be blocked in by the car in front. Logano faced that situation at Atlanta. He lost more than 10 spots on each of his first two pit stops because he couldn’t get around Bowman’s car to exit his stall.

That leads back to the question of should qualifying be about entertainment or sport?

The decision today will be easy. The fastest car will be rewarded because teams are not expected to draft.

This issue that will come up again in the coming weeks, though, when the series heads to Auto Club Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.

“Texas, I don’t know,” Logano said. “I think there’s going to be parts of the track that you want to draft and parts of the track when you’re going to want clean air. When you get to Turns 1 and 2, you’re going to want some air on the car to be able to get through the corner with as much wide open time as possible. That one’s a real question for me.

“I think Kansas is a no-brainer, you’re definitely going to be drafting. As for Fontana, it’ll be interesting. I think there’s going to be some drafting going on there, but I think it’ll be split up a little bit, kind of like the way Atlanta was, kinda 50-50.”

There’s no splitting this issue. It’s about entertainment. Let chaos reign in qualifying.

2. Second to Kyle Busch

For all the wins Kyle Busch has amassed in his NASCAR career, there is a recurring theme.

The runner-up to Busch in more than a third of the 197 races he’s won across Cup, Xfinity and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series has been one of five drivers.

Kyle Busch celebrating a NASCAR win has been a familiar sight through the years. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

The driver who has finished runner-up to Busch the most in those races is Kevin Harvick. He’s done so 18 times — five times in Cup, 10 times in Xfinity and three times in Trucks. The total equates to 9.1 percent of the time Busch has won a NASCAR race, Harvick has been second.

Carl Edwards is next on the list with 15 runner-up finishes to Busch. He’s followed by Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano with 13-runner-up finishes. Next is Kyle Larson, who has placed second to Busch eight times.

Combined, Harvick, Edwards, Keselowski, Logano and Larson have finished second to Busch in 67 of his 197 wins (34 percent).

They are among the 60 drivers who have placed second to Busch in a race he won. The list includes three NASCAR Hall of Fame members (Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Ron Hornaday Jr.), two Indianapolis 500 winners (Sam Hornish Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya) and drivers who have combined to win 48 NASCAR titles in either Cup, Xfinity or Trucks.

The list could grow this weekend. Busch is entered in both the Cup and Xfinity races at Phoenix.

Here is who has finished second to Busch in Cup, Xfinity and Trucks races and how often:

18 — Kevin Harvick

15 — Carl Edwards

13 — Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano

8 — Kyle Larson

7 — Todd Bodine, Matt Crafton

6 — Erik Jones, Johnny Sauter

5 — Greg Biffle, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Ron Hornaday Jr., Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart

4 — Jeff Burton, Austin Dillon

3 — Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Daniel Suarez, Martin Truex Jr.

2 — Mike Bliss, Terry Cook, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, John Hunter Nemechek, Timothy Peters, David Reutimann, Elliott Sadler

1 — Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne, James Buescher, Kurt Busch, Colin Braun, Jeb Burton, Brendan Gaughan, David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon, Daniel Hemric, Sam Hornish Jr., Parker Kligerman, Jason Leffler, Sterling Marlin, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Brett Moffitt, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Newman, Nelson Piquet Jr., Ryan Preece, Brian Scott, Reed Sorenson, Brian Vickers, Bubba Wallace, Cole Whitt

3. Multiple surgeries

Tanner Thorson, who competed in 11 Gander Outdoors Truck Series races last season, is recovering after he was involved in a highway crash early Monday morning in Modesto, California.

The 2016 U.S. Auto Club national champion had surgery Monday night for a broken left arm, according to the USAC Racing. Thorson had surgery Wednesday on his broken right foot. He also suffered a cracked sternum, broken ribs and a punctured lung, according to USAC Racing. The organization said that Thorson’s family hopes the 22-year-old can return home soon.

According to a preliminary investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Thorson was driving a 2019 Ford pickup that was towing his sprint car when he approached slower moving traffic shortly before 4 a.m. PT. Thorson’s truck struck the rear of a vehicle. KCRA, an NBC affiliate in Sacramento, reported that vehicle was a milk truck.

The impact sent the milk truck into the next lane where it was hit by another vehicle and then came back across the road and was struck another car. The driver was uninjured. A passenger in the truck was transported from the scene with minor injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol. Thorson’s vehicle came to rest on the shoulder and caught fire.

4. First time in new garages at Phoenix

ISM Raceway at Phoenix debuted its new garages and layout when NASCAR raced there in November.

One person missing that weekend was Rodney Childers, crew chief for Kevin Harvick. NASCAR suspended Childers the final two races of last year as part of penalties imposed to the No. 4 team for failing inspection after its win at Texas. So Childers missed the new look at Phoenix – until this weekend.

Childers shared his excitement of being in Phoenix on Thursday night.

5. Remarkable record

Kevin Harvick has finished in the top five in half of the 32 Cup races he’s run at Phoenix. He has nine wins there. Jimmie Johnson has 15 top-five finishes in 31 Cup races there. He has four wins there.

Despite the dominance of the two, they have combined for one win (by Harvick) in the last five races at Phoenix. The other winners in the last five races at Phoenix are Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano.

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Tanner Thorson suffers multiple injuries in highway crash in California

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
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Tanner Thorson, who drove in 11 Gander Outdoors Truck Series races last season, was injured in a highway crash Monday morning, according to a release from the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP report states that its Modesto, California branch was alerted at 3:56 a.m. PT of an incident on State Route 99. The report states that when emergency personnel arrived at the scene, a 2019 Ford pickup towing a hauler was “fully engulfed” and three additional vehicles were involved in the collision.

The report states that Thorson was transported to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, California, with “major injuries.”

U.S. Auto Club Racing reported Tuesday that Thorson had surgery Monday night for a broken left arm. USAC Racing also reported that Thorson suffered a crack sternum, broken ribs and a punctured lung. Thorson is expected to make a full recovery.

Speed Sport reported that Thorson’s parents confirmed he was involved in the accident and that their son was scheduled for surgery. KCRA, an NBC affiliate in Sacramento, California, reported that Thorson suffered broken bones.

According to a preliminary investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Thorson was driving the 2019 Ford pickup when it approached slower moving traffic. Thorson’s truck struck the rear of a vehicle, which KCRA reported was a milk truck.

The impact sent the milk truck into another lane where it was hit by another vehicle and then came back across the road and was struck another car. The driver was uninjured. A passenger in the truck struck by Thorson’s pickup was transported from the scene with minor injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol. Thorson’s vehicle came to rest on the shoulder and caught fire.

KCRA, citing the California Highway Patrol, reported that Thorson didn’t slow down in time upon entering a construction zone.

The 22-year-old Thorson won the 2016 U.S. Auto Club national midget championship. His best finish in the Truck series last year was 13th at Iowa for Young’s Motorsports. David Smith ranks Thorson 34th on his top 60 NASCAR prospects of 2019 at Smith’s site motorsportsanalytics.com. Thorson finished 10th in the Chili Bowl Nationals in January.

Kyle Larson wins preliminary event at Chili Bowl

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Kyle Larson won the A feature Tuesday night to advance to Saturday night’s A main at the Chili Bowl Nationals. It was his fifth preliminary event win at the Chili Bowl. Zach Daum finished second.

Larson took the lead on Lap 6 of the 25-lap feature and went on to the win.

MORE: Tuesday night race results from Chili Bowl

MORE: Monday night race results from Chili Bowl

“We’ll move on to Saturday and try to be better,” Larson said in the press conference afterward.

NBCSN broadcaster Dillon Welch finished seventh in the 24-car field. Alex Bowman placed ninth. Tanner Berryhill, who will be a Cup rookie this season, was 10th.

The Chili Bowl continues the rest of the week, culminating with Saturday night’s main event.

JJ Yeley, Landon Cassill and Rico Abreu are among the drivers scheduled to race Wednesday night at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, event.

Thursday’s racing will include two-time defending winner Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier and Karsyn Elledge, daughter of Kelley Earnhardt Miller. Kasey Kahne and Tanner Thorson are among those scheduled to race Friday.

Thorson won Tuesday night’s Race of Champions. Larson was second, Bell placed third and Yeley was fifth in that event.

 

When NASCAR, IndyCar drivers compete at Chili Bowl

Chili Bowl Nationals
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The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals begin today in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The event lasts six days and culminates in the championship feature Saturday.

Xfinity Series driver Christopher Bell will attempt to win his third straight title in the Chili Bowl. In the field of more than 350 hopefuls, there will be 12 other drivers with NASCAR or IndyCar ties, including Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne and Alex Bowman.

PODCAST: Christopher Bell talks Chili Bowl, rivalry with Kyle Larson

Here is the schedule of preliminary races this week that include drivers with NASCAR and IndyCar ties.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Chase Briscoe

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Kyle Larson
Alex Bowman
Tanner Berryhill

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

JJ Yeley
Landon Cassill
Conor Daly (IndyCar)
Rico Abreu

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Justin Allgaier
Christopher Bell
Karsyn Elledge (Kelley Earnhardt-Miller’s daughter)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Kasey Kahne
Tanner Thorson

Click here for the complete list.