PETERSEN MEDIA: Tanner Carrick brought his 2021 season to an end over the Thanksgiving Holiday week by staying very active as he competed in three USAC National Midget events as well as a pair of winged 360 races.
“It was a busy week, but a great way to end our season,” Tanner Carrick said. “I have to thank the entire Keith Kunz Motorsports team for the opportunity to run out West, as well as my Carrick Motorsports guys for their continued hard work day in and day out.”
Carrick kicked things off with two nights of action at Merced Speedway where he would do double-duty on both nights.
In Sprint Car action on Tuesday night, Carrick would get the night kicked off by timing the CVC/Cemex/Interstate Oil backed No. 83T machine in fastest in his qualifying group, which lined him up in the second row of his heat race.
Working his way forward in the 10-lap heat, the Lincoln, CA driver would next a second-place finish and garner a spot in the Top-Eighth redraw that would set the lineup for the first rows of the feature.
Pulling the seven pill, Carrick would take the green flag from the inside of the fourth row for the 35-lap feature event. Working his way forward when the race came to life, Carrick would race his way up into the Top-5 in the early stages of the race.
With a strong car under him, issues would ensue, and it would result in Carrick getting upside down, which brought his night in the sprint car to an early end.
Tuesday night’s midget action kicked off with Carrick timing his potent KKM entry in 13th fastest in qualifying time trials before pocketing a fourth place finish in his heat race.
Lining up 16th in the Midget feature, Carrick would make some moves in the fast paced feature event but would be unable to make the big run he was hoping to make. Working his way towards a spot in the Top-10, Carrick would close the night out with a 13th place finish and quickly turn his attention to Wednesday night where he would again do the double.
Wednesday night saw Carrick again get off to a strong start in what would be his final winged 360ci event of the season as he timed in ninth fastest in qualifying time trials.
Lining up on the front row of his heat race, Carrick would leave the field in his wake as he rode the Merced Speedway rim to perfection and picked up the win, garnering a redraw berth along the way.
With a little better luck on this night in the draw, Carrick would pull the five pill and line up in the third row to start the 30-lap feature event.
Slipping back in the race’s early goings, Carrick would find himself running hard in the eighth position despite a handful of stoppages that would slow the flow of the feature.
Working up to seventh, Carrick would come on very strong at the end of the race as he would crack the Top-5 and jump into fourth with five-laps left in the feature.
Continuing to surge his way to the front, Carrick would overtake the third position on the 28th, lap before moving into second on lap 29 and setting his sights on Kyle Larson.
Giving chase after Larson, Carrick would have too much distance to overcome as he closed his Sprint Car season out with an impressive late race charge into second.
Midget action on this night kicked off with Carrick timing in 14th fastest and using the prime heat race starting position to pick up the win during heat race No. 2.
With the heat win, Carrick would drastically better his feature event starting position as he rolled off from the seventh starting position for the 30-lap affair.
Just as he did in the Sprint Car feature, Carrick had his elbows up as he began working his way forward.
Using the low groove of the speedway, Carrick would surprise the lead trio on the 17th lap as he entered the fray and battled with Buddy Kofoid and Chris Windom.
Jumping into second, Carrick would keep pace with his KKM teammate Kofoid, until the 24th lap where Carrick would hit the cushion wrong and send his machine upside down off turn two, bringing his night to an abrupt end.
Despite the disappointing end to his run in Merced, CA, Carrick had high hopes for Saturday’s Turkey Night Grand Prix in Ventura, CA which would mark the end of his 2021 racing season.
Running the unique Turkey Night format, Carrick would time in 16th fastest in time trials which would then line him up 16th in the feature event after transferring through his qualifier.
On a surface that wasn’t conducive for passing, Carrick had a long 98-lap feature mired deep in the field. When the feature came to an end, Carrick capped his season off with a 20th place finish.
“We were really good in both cars at Merced, CA earlier in the week, unfortunately we don’t have a ton to show for it,” Carrick said. “Turkey Night we didn’t get timed in well, and with the way the track was, it was really a bummer to start that deep in the field. Overall, it was a really good year, and I can’t wait to get 2022 kicked off.”
Tanner Carrick would like to thank CVC, Cemex, Interstate Oil, Conti, Harris and Sloan, Emerald, Timberworks Construction, Kaeding Performance, and Arai for their continued support.
BY THE NUMBERS: Starts: 69, Wins: 7, Top 5’s: 28, Top 10’s: 39
ON TAP: Tanner Carrick’s 2021 season is complete.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay up to speed with Tanner Carrick by following him on Twitter @Carrick_Tanner or @CarrickMotorsp1, and by clicking over to www.tannercarrick.com.