Thorson Takes Top Spot in 2016 Midget Power Rankings

The Wheatley Chronicles – Volume IV, No. 48

Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (December 20, 2016) – For the second year in a row, Minden, Nevada’s Tanner Thorson has emerged atop the Midget Power Rankings.  And he did it in style, racking up 16 overall wins en route to capturing this year’s USAC Midget championship.

After scoring seven victories to take the top ranking in 2015 by just 26 points, Thorson landed this year’s number one ranking by a healthy 129 point margin over Keith Kunz Racing teammate Spencer Bayston with Midget rookie Carson Macedo giving Kunz a sweep of the top three positions.

Thorson’s run of victories in 2016 that was punctuated by a three-night sweep of Tri-City Speedway’s Gold Crown Nationals in Granite City, IL, came at a dozen tracks throughout seven different states including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California.

Six of Thorson’s triumphs came in USAC National action with another seven scores in POWRi competition.  He also reached victory lane in POWRi West, USAC Indiana and USAC Western States action.

Indiana’s Bayston climbed a notch from third in the 2015 Midget Power Rankings while California’s Macedo vaulted to third in his first year of Midget action.  Both drivers picked off three wins as the Kunz stable combined for 30 triumphs in 2016.

POWRi champion Zach Daum was fourth with Brady Bacon rounding out this year’s top five.  The balance of the 2016 top ten included Bryan Clauson, Chad Boat, Tyler Thomas, Ryan Robinson and Justin Peck.

Daum and Clauson rank as the only drivers to finish among the Midget Power Rankings top ten over each of the past four years while Macedo, Bacon, Boat, Robinson and Peck each cracked the top ten for the first time.

Title sponsor of the Midget Power Rankings, is the leading source of headline news, results and more for Midget racing throughout the world.

The Midget Power Rankings are a part of the Open Wheel Power Rankings at that also includes STIDA Winged 410s, Infinity Shocks Non-Wing 410s, Rod End Supply Winged 360s, Beaver Stripes Non-Wing 360s and 305s presented by Dodge City Raceway Park.

A look at this year’s Top 50 in Midget Power Rankings is as follows:

RankNameHometownWinsPoints2015 Rank2014 Rank2013 Rank
1Tanner ThorsonMinden, NV167951625
2Spencer BaystonLafayette, IN3666321200
3Carson MacedoLemoore, CA3551NRNRNR
4Zach DaumPocahontas, IL4469822
5Brady BaconBroken Arrow, OK1356423622
6Bryan ClausonNoblesville, IN5317636
7Chad BoatPhoenix, AZ33108870104
8Tyler ThomasCollinsville, OK029410913
9Ryan RobinsonForest Hill, CA028233NRNR
10Justin PeckMonrovia, IN1273201466
11Rico AbreuRutherford, CA4242445
12Tucker KlaasmeyerPaola, KS123028NRNR
13Andrew FelkerCarl Junction, MO2226774
14Holly SheltonSacramento, CA0225NRNRNR
15Alex BrightCollegeville, PA5218521010
16Ronnie GardnerNorco, CA621714199
17Shane GolobicFremont, CA1217545129
18Austin BrownMillstadt, IL3206131618
19Jerry Coons, Jr.Tucson, AZ0193124511
20Matt SherrellOwasso, OK31822248158
21Cory ElliottBakersfield, CA118178NRNR
22Jake NeumanNew Berlin, IL117341193132
23Keith RauchDenver, CO7153236170
24Jason McDougalBroken Arrow, OK314813695NR
25Kyle LarsonElk Grove, CA2146245514
26Michael FaccintoHanford, CA214530NR156
27Steven ShebesterPauls Valley, OK41398699NR
28Dave DarlandLincoln, IN0139161112
29Christopher BellNorman, OK2137511
30Brenden BrightCollegeville, PA5131682440
31Riley KreiselWarsaw, MO712879NRNR
32Grady ChandlerEdmond, OK012570148NR
33Wesley SmithNixa, MO611261NRNR
34Frankie GuerriniSan Rafael, CA010917104115
35Jonathan BeasonBroken Arrow, OK1108604981
36Chett GehrkeBroken Arrow, OK0101392239
37Terry BabbDecatur, IL01001105068
38Trevor KobylarzBirdsboro, PA199482915
39Ryan GrethShartlesville, PA194345827
40Brett ArndtTopton, PA3921123437
41Garrett AitkenParis, IL0901025967
42Davey RayLoves Park, IL4875912162
43Alex SchutteRedding, CA584992899
44Thomas MeseraullSan Jose, CA083519365
45Shane CottleKokomo, IN0781004454
46Kory SchudySpringfield, MO577135NRNR
47Courtney CroneCorona, CA071NRNRNR
48Andy MalpockerSt. Charles, MO0697763NR
49Chris WindomCanton, IL1686315119
50Greg SchaeferFt. Lupton, CO0678188213

Features Completed: 158 (141 in 2015, 126 in 2014, 154 in 2013)

Number of Different Winners: 62 (65 in 2015, 57 in 2014, 66 in 2013)

Number of Drivers to Earn Points: 278 (274 in 2015, 241 in 2014, 248 in 2013)

Past Top Tens in Midget Power Rankings:

2015 – 1. Tanner Thorson (7) 548, 2. Darren Hagen (5) 522, 3. Spencer Bayston (5) 500, 4. Rico Abreu (9) 488, 5. Christopher Bell (8) 438, 6. Bryan Clauson (6) 422, 7. Andrew Felker (3) 383, 8. Zach Daum (3) 379, 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (3) 373, 10. Tyler Thomas (2) 276.

2014 – 1. Christopher Bell (16) 659, 2. Zach Daum (4) 589, 3. Bryan Clauson (10) 555, 4. Rico Abreu (5) 449, 5. Darren Hagen (6) 421, 6. Tanner Thorson (2) 411, 7. Andrew Felker (3) 313, 8. Tracy Hines (2) 304, 9. Tyler Thomas (1) 283, 10. Alex Bright (5) 244.

2013 – 1. Christopher Bell (10) 543, 2. Zach Daum (8) 504, 3. Darren Hagen (8) 415, 4. Andrew Felker (2) 406, 5. Rico Abreu (7) 402, 6. Bryan Clauson (8) 397, 7. Brad Kuhn (1) 325, 8. Tracy Hines (2) 322, 9. Ronnie Gardner (13) 280, 10. Alex Bright (3) 231.

A part of the recurring “The Wheatley Chronicles” series of articles on, the Open Wheel Power Rankings are determined by cumulative points based on a sliding scale dependent upon car count at Sprint Car and Midget events across all sanctions and non-sanctions throughout North America.

The Wheatley Chronicles brings insight and highlights from all variety of racing series throughout the nation in 2016 and beyond along with the Open Wheel Power Rankings on a regular basis.  Please send any comments, questions or advertising inquiries regarding The Wheatley Chronicles at to Lonnie Wheatley at