PAPosseRacing.com l March 22nd, 2017
By: Justin Snyder
In the world of racing, you are often only as good as your last results on the track. For Kevin Thomas Jr., that meant he was feeling quite confident after picking up his first career winged sprint car victory March 13 at Arizona Speedway against the Lucas Oil ASCS Southwest Sprint Car Dirt Series in only his 19th career winged sprint car start.
Only 4 races into a planned 80-plus race schedule consisting of a mixture of 360 and 410 sprint car events with the Blazin’ Racin’ Buffalo Wild Wings #82 owned by Todd and Susan LaHaise and managed by Greg McCormick , it was quite the start for the young gun in his inaugural season running winged sprint cars full-time.
“I’m thrilled to get a win this early in the season,” said Thomas Jr. from victory lane. “It’s a huge confidence booster for me, and I’m going to take that, build on it, and keep learning. I can’t begin to thank Greg (McCormick) and Todd (LaHaise) for taking such a big risk on me.”
However after two nights of competition with the World of Outlaws at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Ca. March 17-18 that resulted in not transferring out of the B-Main, it would seem that the team no longer felt the risk outweighed the reward and released the driver from Cullman, AL from his deal with no explanation.
“I have no ill feelings toward the No. 82 team. Sometimes these things are a blessing in disguise,” said Thomas Jr upon learning of his release.
As the old saying goes, the only thing certain in life is change, and for Thomas Jr., that means he is now in the unfamiliar place of looking for a 2017 ride when the season is just beginning for most race teams across the country.
“I’m just going to go do what I do,” said Thomas Jr. “I’m obviously looking for a new ride. I know something will happen. It always does. I’ve got a few calls out already.”
While the timing is not ideal and the release came as a surprise, one could argue that there are few drivers with better resume’s sitting on the sidelines for 2017 and he has to be considered the top free agent for an owner looking for a driver.
Coming off a 2016 season that saw him claim 13 victories as the most winning non-wing driver in the country, the driver affectionately known as “KTJ” by fans is open to opportunities to once again to get behind the wheel, whether winged and non-winged.