Tanner Thorson drives KKM back to the top
Night one of the Missouri Mid-State Midget Nationals
With a new squad of young drivers the Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota Team was back in race winning form at the POWRI West and National Mid Missouri Midget Nationals. As lead driver for the team Thorson set the example at the highest level starting the weekend on the front foot claiming the opening night at Grain Valley.
Thorson settled into his task aboard the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports Toyota-powered Bullet from his 12th starting position .The #67 Bullet with Thorson pressing the pedal slowly gather up the field and was in the race lead by lap 9 after running down the bottom to pass Zach Daum and team mate Spencer Bayston.
By lap 14 Bayston’s chosen top grove finally proved a good decision and he passed Thorson into the race lead. Thorson continued to lead up until lap 18 as the pair race side by side with Bayston claiming the top and Thorson working the bottom. Lap 21 and Thorson finally reclaimed the race lead. Daum left it right to the last corner to make his move into second pushing young Bayston back into the final podium position.This was big return to form for the 5 car KKM team with all drivers making the Main event.
“I can’t thank these guys enough,” stated Tanner Thorson. “Keith, Pete, Big Al, Chuckie, all the guys in the pits. They work their butts off. We have five cars out here, so it gets pretty hectic in the pits. It was getting pretty frustrating to not win a race in so long. It feels pretty good to win this race.”
“I just couldn’t chalk up like they could on the bottom, especially off three,” explained Zach Daum. “That was really the only spot I could see they were beating us at. The cushion went almost off the track in turn four. It wasn’t terrible, I just hate getting beat by those guys. We haven’t won a race yet all year.”
“In the beginning, my line was good, then his burnt up and then my line burnt up,” said Spencer Bayston. “It was disappointing. There at the end, we just got beat. My line burnt up and then I was out of ideas. He had that bottom rolling pretty well. He’s a good driver and he’s a lot of fun to race with, but I hate losing.”
Night one Grain Valley
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 67 – TANNER THORSON 2. 5D – ZACH DAUM 3. 97 – SPENCER BAYSTON 4. 91T – TYLER THOMAS 5. 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER 6. 71K – CARSON MACEDO 7. 72 – GRADY CHANDLER 8. 8 – ALEX SEWELL 9. 88 – TERRY BABB 10. 11A – ANDREW FELKER 11. 11C – CHETT GEHRKE 12. 93K – RILEY KRIESEL 13. 73 – JASON MCDOUGAL 14. 71 – RYAN ROBINSON 15. 67K – HOLLY SHELTON 16. 1K – BRAYTON LYNCH 17. 28 – KORY SCHUDY 18. 7 – AUSTIN BROWN 19. 5X – JUSTIN PECK 20. 3N – JAKE NEUMAN 21. 82M – STEVEN SHEBESTER 22. 4M – MICHELLE DECKER 23. 52 – ANDREW DEAL 24. 17E – BLAKE EDWARDS
Night two of the Missouri Mid-state midget National was actually Tanners Thorson birthday and the Minden Nevada youngster warped up his own birthday present with dominating win from P7.Unlike the night one Thorson was untroubled in taking his 5th career National POWRI win. With Thorson setting the benchmark team mates Spencer Bayston and Carson Macedo stepped up to the challenge giving the team a podium sweep confirming the confidence Keith Kunz has with this young Team.
Holly Sheldon driving the 67K was up to 7th before a mistake dropped her back to 10th and Ryan Robinson finished 17th in the #71.This young squad could not be under a better guiding hand than that of Keith Kunz..The Illinois Speed and the USAC Midget Weeks will be another opportunity for the Team to go to another level.
“This track is pretty sweet,” said Tanner Thorson. “Keith and Big Al put an awesome car underneath me. It’s pretty cool to be able to win on your birthday. These guys have five cars out here. It’s pretty crazy for these guys. They work their butts off at the shop and we come out here and it gets pretty hectic sometimes, but it pays off. ”
“It feels good,” Carson Macedo stated. “I’m just really happy for this team. For Keith to finish one, two, three is pretty awesome. Just goes to show all the hard work they put in. Everyone at Keith Kunz Motorsports works really hard for this. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
“I was really hoping after a strong run last night, we could get the win tonight, but hats off to Tanner and Carson,” said Spencer Bayston. “I enjoy racing with these guys, I’ve gotten pretty close with both of them.”
Night two Wheatland results
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 67 – TANNER THORSON 2. 71K – CARSON MACEDO 3. 97 – SPENCER BAYSTON 4. 5X – JUSTIN PECK 5. 5D – ZACH DAUM 6. 91T – TYLER THOMAS 7. 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER 8. 11A – ANDREW FELKER 9. 67K – HOLLY SHELTON 10. 3N – JAKE NEUMAN 11. 4M – MICHELLE DECKER 12. 11C – CHETT GEHRKE 13. 8 – ALEX SEWELL 14. 7M – CHANCE MORTON 15. 21 – TY HULSEY 16. 5B – ARIEL BIGGS 17. 71 – RYAN ROBINSON 18. 7 – AUSTIN BROWN 19. 72 – GRADY CHANDLER 20. 1K – BRAYTON LYNCH 21. 17E – BLAKE EDWARDS 22. 73 – JASON MCDOUGAL 23. 89 – NICK BAILEY
Photos credits: POWRI & KKM,Holley Shelton racing,Carson Macedo Racing
The next POWRi National Midget show is Friday May 20th at Layette Country Speedway