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Tanner Thorson Set For Knoxville Nationals Debut

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

By Jacob Seelman - July 28, 2019

KNOXVILLE, Iowa – Popular sprint car and midget racer Tanner Thorson, who rallied back from a highway accident in March that put him out of a race car for three months, will tackle the biggest stage in all of sprint car racing in two weeks’ time.

Thorson announced Sunday evening that he has joined forces with CJB Motorsports and will make his debut appearance at the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals with the team Aug. 7-10.

The Minden, Nev., native will drive the No. 88 entry for CJB, with Maestro’s Classic, Bn3th, Yuba-Sutter Aviation, Walker Performance Filtration and Factory Kahne serving as major sponsors of the effort.

He’ll be racing as a teammate to World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series regular Shane Stewart, who drives CJB’s primary No. 5 entry, at both the Capitani Classic and the Knoxville Nationals.

“This is something that we started working on a little while ago,” Thorson said. “I’ve been in contact with Barry (Jackson, CJB’s team manager) before and my crew chief out in California – Lee Lindgren – is pretty close with him and they seem to talk quite a bit. Barry’s stuff and CJB’s equipment ... I feel like they’re one of the best out there and they’re a team that I wanted to be associated with somehow.

“We just started talking, and this deal came about,” Thorson added. “I’m really excited about it.”

Thorson first made a name for himself in midget racing, winning the 2016 USAC National Midget Series championship with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, but he’s focused more and more on his skills in winged sprint car racing over the past two years.

Most recently, Thorson drove for the Clyde Lamar-owned Tri-C Motorsports sprint car operation in California and on the West Coast, but Knoxville will mark his first race back in a winged sprint car since his highway accident in the spring.

“I’d like to say I’m a winged racer now,” noted Thorson. “Obviously, my history is in midget racing and that’s what I built my name up with, but I love winged sprint cars and the challenge they present. I feel like I’m a student of the sport, as well, and this is something that I feel that I’m ready for.

“I have no laps around Knoxville, but I feel that with everyone at CJB around me, it’ll be a bit easier.”

For more on Thorson’s upcoming drive at the Knoxville Nationals, subscribe to our sister site – – to read an exclusive feature story detailing the announcement.



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