Ricky Thornton Jr
RTJ caps off Illinois Speedweek with 21st-to-4th charge at Farmer City
After a thrilling win in the 37th annual Ralph Latham Memorial a week prior, Ricky Thornton Jr. returned to action on Wednesday at Spoon River Speedway (Canton, IL) for the opener of the second annual Illinois Speedweek.
Getting a slow start to the evening on the unique 3/8-mile oval, Thornton recorded a seventh-place finish in his heat, relegating him into a B-Main. Needing to place third or better to make the opener, Ricky fell short with a fifth-place outing.
With the 48-car field divided into two groups again on Thursday at Lincoln Speedway (Lincoln, Ill.), Ricky timed in ninth-fastest in his group before grabbing the third-and-final transfer spot in his heat. Starting the $23,023-to-win A-Main in 18th, Thornton displayed an impressive charge forward as he was up to sixth in the closing laps but got turned around while challenging for fifth. He salvaged a 13th-place finish in the 50-lapper.
For the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Farmer City 74 on Friday evening at Farmer City Raceway (Farmer City, Ill.), Thornton’s fifth-place finish in his heat relegated him into a B-Main for another shot at the $25,000-to-win A-Main. Shortly before his consolation race was set to take the track, a persistent rain shower postponed the remainder of the program to Monday, May 15th.
On Saturday evening at Fairbury Speedway (Fairbury, Ill.) for the FALS Spring Shootout, Ricky had to take a provisional into the main event after missing a transfer spot in his heat and B-Main. With $30,000 on the line, Thornton wheeled his way up to fifth but hard contact with the front-stretch wall on lap 46 brought a disappointing end to his night.
Starting the rain-delayed Farmer City 74 in 21st on Monday evening, Thornton advanced forward 17 spots in the 74-lap affair to register a fourth-place finish. He chased Brandon Sheppard, Gordy Gundaker, and Brian Shirley to the checkers with Hudson O’Neal coming in fifth.
Ricky is currently ninth in the latest Castrol FloRacing Night in America point standings and third in the LOLMDS chase.
Article Credit: Josh James image