Tanner Thorson celebrates his victory in the 36th Chili Bowl. (Brendon Bauman Photo)
Tanner Thorson celebrates his victory in the 36th Chili Bowl. (Brendon Bauman Photo)

Tanner Thorson Shifting Focus To Winged Racing

CONCORD, N.C. – On Saturday, Tanner Thorson and Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports were on top of the motorsports world as Chili Bowl champions.

Now, they’re ready to focus on their next chapter with a wing on top of the No. 19AZ.

Thorson and company are planning a schedule of more than 50 races with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series this year. It’s part of a plan towards hopefully going full-time with the series next year. 

“This is just all a part of the evolution to get to the highest level of racing, and for us, that’s the World of Outlaws,” said team co-owner Andy Reinbold. “It’s something we’ve been talking about for quite a while and we’re finally ready to do. We’ll be getting our feet wet with the wings this year, but we’ll still hit some of the big USAC shows along the way. I think the timing couldn’t be any better, especially coming off the Chili Bowl win.

“The lofty goal is definitely to be full-time on the road with the Series in 2023, but obviously that depends on how this year goes first,” Reinbold added. “A lot of that just has to do with the finances of it all, and hopefully landing a sponsor granted our performance is what we expect.”

In limited action, Thorson has shown plenty of promise with the World of Outlaws. The Minden, Nev., native has appeared at 23 events with nine feature starts from 2015-21, with three top-10 finishes to his credit. He established his career-best of second-place after starting 13th at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., finishing second to 10-time series champion Donny Schatz.

Since then, he’s earned the 2016 USAC National Midget championship and enjoyed a breakout 2021 campaign with 12 total victories across USAC’s sprint car and midget divisions. The 25-year-old gasser was also the 2019 Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year aboard a CJB Motorsports No. 88 entry.

Informally, Thorson also has the advantage of relying on and learning from his soon-to-be father-in-law Stevie Smith, who is currently 10th on the all-time World of Outlaws win list with 84 victories.

“I love a challenge, and that’s exactly what this will be,” Thorson said. “I felt pretty comfortable and had some good runs when I ran wing stuff in the past, but I know this is going to be a different animal and it’s one I’m ready for. This is the best I’ve ever felt as a race car driver, so I’m excited to see what we can do.”

Thorson’s first race with the World of Outlaws will come on March 4-5 at Texas’ Cotton Bowl Speedway. The Reinbold-Underwood No. 19AZ team will then follow the series throughout California at venues such as Tulare, Merced, Ocean, Bakersfield, and Perris.

The team plans to hit Crown Jewel events such as the Historical Big One, the Kings Royal, the Knoxville Nationals and the Gold Cup Race of Champions as well.

error: Content is protected !!