Tanner Thorson has made the trip from Indianapolis to Salisbury, North Carolina four times now for Wednesday night racing, and those trips have paid off nearly every time. Thorson visited Millbridge Speedway’s victory lane for the third time on Wednesday night in the Prelude to the Speed51 Open.
Thorson quickly worked his way into the third spot, but it seemed that was as high up the order he’d get.
Leader Buddy Wise, who won the previous round at Millbridge, had pulled away from second and third by over a straightaway and appeared to have it all locked up before trouble struck. Wise tangled with a lapped car in turn three and his chances at a second straight win came to an abrupt end.
That put Thorson second in line for a restart with three laps to go. Thorson’s move all season long has been to clear the restart cone, dive to the inside of turn one and slide right up to the cushion before driving away. That was the move that Thorson used once again to perfection on Wednesday night.
Once he was clear into the lead there was no looking back for Thorson who took the win over Jesse Colwell, Jett Hays, Tanner Gray and Colby Copeland.
“You need those late restarts in a race here, I think,” Thorson told Speed51.com powered by JEGS in victory lane. “It’s fun racing with people when you slide them and they don’t get into you. But this track kind of called for (contact) tonight. There was no letting out. But sliders, man, I love sliders. They’re just fun to do.”
Thorson and the Indy Race Parts team have now won races at Millbridge with two different karts. This week they used a new kart built specifically for next week’s QRC Speed51 Open, which pays out $5,151 to win. So does another win make Thorson the favorite for the Speed51 Open?
“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask all of the other drivers,” Thorson said with a smile.
Thorson’s slider and the full highlights from Wednesday night’s Prelude to the Speed51 Open for all divisions will be available soon on the Speed51 Network.
The QRC Speed51 Open will be seen live on Speed51 TV. A two-day video ticket package can be purchased for $24.99 here: http://speed51.com/51livetv-events/
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Prelude to the Speed51 Open
Millbridge Speedway, Salisbury, North Carolina