Ricky Thornton Jr
RTJ banks two win weekend in Modified at Gateway, charges to third in Late Model
Ricky Thornton Jr. enjoyed a stellar weekend behind the wheel of both the Mike Learman Racing No. 20RT The Short Gear / LRD Products / Royal Race Car / Mullins Racing Engine Modified and his SSI Motorsports No. 20RT Dyno One Inc./ Excel Floor Covering/ Sub-Surface of Indiana/ Longhorn Chassis/ Clements Racing Engine.
He swept the weekend action in the Modified division and recorded a podium finish in the Super Late Model finale.
“What a weekend at the Dome for us in both the Modified and Super Late Model. These Royal Race Cars that Mike Learman is building are something special, and I encourage everyone to check them out. This car drove like a dream both nights and we got a pair of wins. I really appreciate Mike and Lauren (Learman) for having me drive it,” Thornton Jr. said. “We were really good in the Late Model too. We missed the lock-in spot by one position on Thursday but we got in on Saturday and raced from 13th to third. It was a great weekend, and we really appreciate all of the great sponsors and fans for their support. Next up, we’ll be competing at the Tulsa Shootout later this month.”
Ricky Thornton Jr. visited the Dome at America’s Center (St. Louis, Mo.) on Thursday afternoon to compete in the Super Late Model and Modified ranks in the opening round of the sixth annual Gateway Dirt National presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts.
With the 119-car Super Late Model field split into two groups, Thornton followed up the fastest lap in time trials on Thursday with a heat race win. Starting the $5,000-to-win preliminary feature in fifth, Ricky gained one spot in the 25-lapper to finish fourth.
Aboard the Mike and Lauren Learman-owned No. 20RT Royal Race Cars Modified on Friday, Ricky secured his spot into Saturday’s main event with the eighth win of the season in the 20-lap preliminary feature.
After dashing to an eight-lap heat race victory, Thornton grabbed the lead on the fifth circuit of the prelim and never looked back, taking the checkers 2.060 seconds ahead of Mike McKinney.
On Saturday, Thornton edged his way into the $30,000-to-win Super Late Model feature with the second-and-final transfer spot in his qualifier. Advancing through the field 10 spots in the 40-lap affair, Ricky raced to a third-place finish, which came behind Tyler Erb and Tanner English.
Rolling off fourth for the Modified A-Main, Ricky wrestled away the lead from Jordan Grabouski on lap 20 and led the final 10 circuits to capture his second win of the weekend and ninth of the 2022 campaign. He pocketed a $10,000 prize ahead of Mike McKinney, Grabouski, Kyle Steffens, and Chase Holland.
Full results from the weekend are available at www.GatewayDirt.com.
Next on tap for ‘RTJ’ is a quartet of divisional action at the upcoming 38th annual Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout at the Sagenet Center (Tulsa. Okla.) on Dec. 26-31. Ricky will be pursuing Golden Driller trophies in the Stock Non-Wing, Stock Wing, Outlaw Wing, and Outlaw Non-Wing divisions.
Full event information is available at www.TulsaShootout.com.
Article Credit: Josh James Artwork image