Ricky Thornton Jr. Wins Open Wheel Nationals

Ricky Thornton Jr.’s second trip to Park Jefferson Speedway almost ended in disaster.

Thornton Jr.’s fortunes changed quickly, though, on Saturday night during the IMCA Modifieds A-Feature at the Open Wheel Nationals event presented by Front Row Challenge Enterprises.

Thornton Jr. started in the middle of the pack based on his third-place finish in his heat race. Early in the IMCA Modifieds A-Feature, there was a major wreck that brought on a red flag. Thornton Jr. was five cars back when he saw the wreck in front of him.

Thornton Jr. was able to avoid the wreck and that put him in a decent position for the restart. Thornton Jr. passed Sean Barragan out of the last corner in lap 21 to take the lead.

From there, all Thornton Jr. did was distance himself from the rest of the field, holding an almost 10-car lead for the final 20 laps as the racer from Adel, Iowa, took home the $1,000 check.

“Overall, the first night in the car to have a win, I definitely can’t complain,” Thornton said. “Toby Kruse called me said we are doing this race and if I wanted to be apart of it and I said heck yeah. It’s nice. I do this for a living so to come out and be able to race while we are in this whole debacle going on, it definitely helps.”