OSWEGO, NY – Despite not qualifying for the Atlantic City TQ Midget Gambler’s Classic, Fulton race driver Tyler Thompson displayed veteran poise and further improvement behind the wheel of his Team Tapout Racing No. 98T machine as he went up against more than 60 of the best short track racers in the nation.
Following a successful qualifying attempt in the finale of the Indoor Auto Racing Championship event in Allentown, Pa., earlier this month, Thompson kicked off his Atlantic City bid in fine fashion driving to the ninth fastest speed in warmups chasing Modified stars Erick Rudolph, Jimmy Blewett, Justin Bonsignore, Andy Jankowiak, Ryan Preece and Timmy Solomito.
In time trials the pulse quickened and Thompson held his ground in terms of speed, matching his practice numbers, putting the No. 98T 23rd in the final order.
With a 28-car invert for the night’s A-Main Qualifiers, Thompson would start from the front row in his 20-lap Friday night qualifier.
Quickly settling into the second position, Thompson began plotting his move for the race lead before contact from behind sent Thompson spinning while running as the runner-up.
Restarting in 16th position, Thompson kept his composure and began working to the front before a flat left rear tire sent him to the pits.
Despite the DNF, Thompson managed a 10th place effort.
Combined points from time trials and the Friday night qualifier set the lineups for Saturday night’s heat races and Thompson’s stout effort put him inside the second row for his 10-lap heat.
With two cars qualifying from the heat to the A-Main, Thompson rode third early before settling for fourth among a top shelf group of competitors including Briggs Danner and Allentown feature winner, Scott Kruetter.
Thompson’s last chance to make the dance was the 12-lap B-Main, with only the winner qualifying to the night’s 40-lap finale.
In a wild race, Thompson was confronted with a series of setbacks which saw him have to restart from the tail of the field on several occasions.
With victory being the only way into the feature, Thompson fought back on each occasion, driving to the front yet again.
Before long, Thompson was in a three-car battle for the win, but fell just short, missing out on the prestigious Gambler’s Classic by only two positions.
“We gave it our all,” said Thompson. “We definitely didn’t get the finish we wanted, but everyone worked hard and we never gave up, even though we were faced with tough circumstances. We’ll be ready for Albany next month.”
The finale of the Indoor Auto Racing Championship fueled by VP Racing Fuels will take place at the Times Union Center in Albany, on February 9-10.
To learn more about how you can attend the series finale and watch Tyler in action, visit online at www.indoorautoracing.com.
Visit www.facebook.com/TeamTapoutRacing to keep up to date with Thompson’s racing efforts through the season.
If interested in team information, or to contact Tyler, please consult team owner Jason Simmons at (315) 591-4303 or [email protected]
Team Tapout Partners: Ashley Lynn Winery, CNY Power Equipment, D&S Landscaping, Dan Kapuscinski Motorsports Promotions, JCB, Liftech, Lindsey Aggregates, Morrison Performance, Nice Price Auto Sales, Performance Manufacturing, Rolfe Schnur Motorsports Marketing, S&W Firewood, Slack Karts.