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Ricky Thorton Jr. Survives Davenport for First Career Lucas Oil MLRA Win

Monday, May 17, 2021
Ricky Thorton Jr. and team celebrate Friday nights Lucas Oil MLRA win at the Davenport Speedway. Photo Credit: Mike Reufer

Davenport, Iowa (May 14, 2021) – Survival and tire management proved to be the key to victory on Friday night at the Davenport Speedway, as Ricky Thorton Jr. wired the field to capture the $3,000 top prize and his first career Lucas Oil MLRA feature win. 

Thorton snagged the Illini Racing & Supply Fast Time Award and rolled off on the outside front row alongside DirtonDirt.com Pole sitter Tony Jackson Jr. The lead duo battled for the top spot into turn one and off the exit of turn two on the opening lap with Thorton seizing control. The race would go green for the first half of the 30 lapper with Thorton and Jackson Jr. quickly running upon the tail of the 24 car field. 

Jackson made numerous attempts to wrestle the lead away by diving low into turn one, but was never able to complete the pass on Thorton exciting turn two. The first of four StopTech Brakes cautions of the race waved on the eighteenth lap when Jake Timm slowed down the back stretch with a flat right rear tire.

The caution for Timm, set up a series of short runs to the finish with drivers struggling to keep their right rear tires under them. Just two laps later Mike Chasteen lost a right rear followed by another caution on lap 22 when fourth running Spencer Diercks slowed on the track and was forced to the pit area. The nights final StopTech Brakes caution waved with just two laps to go when third running Mason Oberkramer came to a stop on the track with a flat right rear. 

With the green back in the air, Thorton jumped back to the point and cruised to the win on the ¼ mile Davenport Speedway. Tony Toste took advantage of the late restart to slide past Jackson Jr. to score a career best runner up finish, while Jackson Jr. rounded out the top three. Garrett Alberson advanced 18 positions to collect the Casey’s Hard Charger of the race and fourth place honors while Jeremiah Hurst completed the top five. 

Ricky Thorton Jr. (20) and Tony Jackson Jr. (56) battle for the top spot in Friday nights MLRA main event at the Davenport Speeday
Ricky Thorton Jr. (20) and Tony Jackson Jr. (56) battle for the top spot in Friday nights MLRA main event at the Davenport Speeday. Photo Credit: Mike Reufer

Thorton was all smiles after the win and commented in Cedar Creek Beef Jerky Victory Lane by saying, “I could see they were kind of blowing right rears and I never felt like mine ever started chunking out real bad. One time I had a bad stumble off four and I didn’t know if it was a tire or the carburetor, so then I really started thinking. I started driving a lot straighter at the end and it felt a lot better.”

Battling early to maintain the top spot Thorton continued, “I could hear him (Jackson Jr.) there for a while and my signal guy was like he’s right on you. I didn’t want to make any dumb mistakes and take myself out of it, so I followed the lap cars a little longer than want but I made sure I kept my nose clean.”

Tony Toste scored an MLRA career best 2nd place finish on Friday night
Tony Toste scored an MLRA career best 2nd place finish on Friday night. Photo Credit: Mike Reufer

Toste rallied from sixth on the grid to secure the second place spot. “My car just started coming in at the end and I saw people were dropping out with flat tires,” noted Toste. “I was kind of trying to take it easy, but at the same time it’s hard to tell a race car driver to take it easy. I was going but I was trying to be easy on the tires,” he concluded.

Jackson, who completed the podium was able to extend his advantage atop the series standings. “I knew my right rear was going down under that last yellow, so we were lucky to run third. I was probably just as good as him (Thorton Jr.) but I was really having to use my tires up to stay underneath of him. Good racers like that are just not going to mess up. I knew who ever won the battle off of turn two was probably going to win the race,” concluded Jackson Jr.

Saturday night action moves to the historic ½ mile West Liberty Raceway in West Liberty, Iowa. A $5,000 pay day will await the winner.

Davenport Speedway Contingencies 5/14/21
Entrants—33
Lap Leaders—(Ricky Thorton Jr. 1-30) 
Stop Tech Brakes Cautions—(Timm, lap 4), (Chastine, lap 20), (Diercks, lap 22), (Oberkramer, lap 28)
Casey’s “Hard Charger of the Race” – Garrett Alberson (+18)
DirtonDirt.com “Pole Award” – Tony Jackson Jr.
Dynamic Drivelines Crew Chief of the Race – Tyler Bragg
Gorsuch Performance Solutions “10th Place Finisher” – Justin Reed
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher"—Bob Gardner
Illini Racing Supply “Fast Time Award” – Ricky Thorton Jr.
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" –Tony Jackson Jr.
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" –Ricky Thorton Jr.
Racing Junk “Hard Luck Award” – Mason Oberkramer
StopTech Brakes “6th Place Finisher”- Justin Duty
Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” –Justin Reed
Swift Springs “Move of the Race”— Tony Toste
Wrisco Feature Winner— Ricky Thorton Jr.

A Feature 1 30 Laps | 00:20:56.024 | Lucas Oil Products
1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 2. 91T-Tony Toste[6]; 3. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr[1]; 4. 59-Garrett Alberson[22]; 5. 41-Jeremiah Hurst[8]; 6. 15-Justin Duty[10]; 7. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck[19]; 8. 76-Blair Nothdurft[7]; 9. 77Y-Jordan Yaggy[9]; 10. 11R-Justin Reed[20]; 11. 4G-Bob Gardner[16]; 12. 3W-Brennon Willard[17]; 13. 49T-Jake Timm[18]; 14. 55K-Chris Kratzer[13]; 15. 93-Mason Oberkramer[5]; 16. 91P-Jason Papich[11]; 17. (DNF) 32S-Chris Simpson[3]; 18. (DNF) 29-Spencer Diercks[4]; 19. (DNF) 2-Mike Chasteen Jr[14]; 20. (DNF) 17-Tim Simpson[21]; 21. (DNF) 88L-Larry Clawson[24]; 22. (DNF) 58E-Dave Eckrich[15]; 23. (DNF) 25-Chad Simpson[23]; 24. (DNF) 33F-Rickey Frankel[12]

B Feature 1 12 Laps | 00:05:36.261 | Hoosier
1. 3W-Brennon Willard[1]; 2. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck[2]; 3. 17-Tim Simpson[6]; 4. 56W-Gary Webb[4]; 5. 3X-Skip Frey[3]; 6. 44W-David Webster[5]; 7. (DNF) 88L-Larry Clawson[9]; 8. (DNS) 22B-Jonathan Brauns; 9. (DNS) 51F-Matt Furman

B Feature 2 12 Laps | 00:04:16.731 | Sunoco
1. 49T-Jake Timm[3]; 2. 11R-Justin Reed[2]; 3. 59-Garrett Alberson[4]; 4. 5M-Stacy Griffis[8]; 5. 56-Andy Eckrich[6]; 6. (DNS) 25-Chad Simpson; 7. (DNS) 1X-Aaron Marrant; 8. (DNS) 44-Luke Goedert

Heat 1 10 Laps | 00:02:58.294 | Casey's
1. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr[2]; 2. 93-Mason Oberkramer[3]; 3. 77Y-Jordan Yaggy[1]; 4. 55K-Chris Kratzer[4]; 5. 3W-Brennon Willard[5]; 6. 3X-Skip Frey[6]; 7. 44W-David Webster[8]; 8. (DNS) 51F-Matt Furman; 9. (DNS) 88L-Larry Clawson

Heat 2 10 Laps | 00:04:21.496 | Midwest Sheet Metal
1. 32S-Chris Simpson[1]; 2. 76-Blair Nothdurft[3]; 3. 91P-Jason Papich[2]; 4. 58E-Dave Eckrich[4]; 5. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck[6]; 6. 56W-Gary Webb[7]; 7. 17-Tim Simpson[5]; 8. (DNS) 22B-Jonathan Brauns

Heat 3 10 Laps | 00:04:16.198 | My Race Pass
1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 91T-Tony Toste[2]; 3. 15-Justin Duty[4]; 4. 2-Mike Chasteen Jr[6]; 5. 25-Chad Simpson[3]; 6. 49T-Jake Timm[5]; 7. 1X-Aaron Marrant[8]; 8. 44-Luke Goedert[7]

Heat 4 10 Laps | 00:07:19.327 | Performance Bodies
1. 29-Spencer Diercks[2]; 2. 41-Jeremiah Hurst[4]; 3. 33F-Rickey Frankel[6]; 4. 4G-Bob Gardner[5]; 5. 11R-Justin Reed[7]; 6. 59-Garrett Alberson[1]; 7. 56-Andy Eckrich[3]; 8. 5M-Stacy Griffis[8]