Ricky Thornton Jr was heated after racing for the lead then going to the wrecker
Update: This post has been updated with an apology from Ricky Thornton Jr.
This week, the Gateway Dirt Nationals returns to the 1/5-mile bulling dirt oval in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The winner of Saturday’s dirt late model main event will be gifted a ride the NASCAR Truck Series event at Knoxville Raceway with Niece Motorsports.
Hear from the heated drivers below.
Before they race for $30,000 on Saturday, the field has been split into two groups for preliminary action. Defending winner Tyler Carpenter started on the pole position for Thursday’s $5,000 to win main event.
When the green flag dropped, Tyler Carpenter opened the gap. However, as he caught the tail of the field, Ricky Thornton Jr and Brandon Sheppard both closed on his bumper.
Tyler Carpenter vs Ricky Thornton Jr
On lap 10, Ricky Thornton Jr closed a four car length gap to Carpetner. The race was on for the first win of the weekend.
Lap cars ran side by side ahead of the race leader. Thornton Jr looked to the middle as Sheppard looked to the outside. They ran three wide for the lead into turn three. Off the corner, Carpenter and Thornton Jr ran even, rubbing doors.
Into turn one, Thornton Jr attempted to split laps cars ahead and box Carpenter in behind a lap car on the bottom lane. Carpenter didn’t let it happen and he drove into the rear bumper of the lap car then pinched Thornton Jr off turn two to hold the lead.
A half lap later, Thornton Jr ran three wide through the middle with the lap cars of Jayme Zidar and David Webster. Zidar didn’t run to the wall off turn four, pinching down on Carpenter and tagging him in the right rear.
Zidar spun across the track at the flag stand. In the process, he collected the 2nd place runner of Ricky Thornton Jr as well as the 3rd place runner of Brandon Sheppard. Both cars were taken out of the race.
Ricky Thornton Jr comments
As Thornton Jr sat parked in the infield, he was heated. Then, a microphone approached…
“Well, I mean, clearly the fucking 28’s a retard,” Ricky Thornton Jr stated to Flo Sports while parked in his car directly after the crash.
“I don’t know what the fuck he’s doing. We’re over here making laps, he just wants to fucking wreck all the lap cars.”
Thornton Jr concluded, “Hopefully, someone dumps his stupid ass.”
Tyler Carpenter comments
Carpenter drove to the race win. He climbed from the car in victory lane and jumped right into it…
“Gordy can kiss my ass. I’m here for me, this crowd and my people. He’s just one of them guys. I didn’t know him from Adam to Eve. He’s just like the rest of y’all, keyboard warriors. That’s why I have it on my spoiler. This race is for all you pussies,” Carpetner responded from victory lane to earlier comments from Gundaker.
“We’re here. I’m in victory lane. I’m going to earn my ass a truck ride and y’all going to have to watch it.”
Carpenter was also asked about Ricky Thornton Jr.
“Well, here’s the way I see it. You don’t come here to make friends. I don’t want to make no damn enemies but I didn’t come here to make friends. I’ll be dag-gone if I give this race up over lap traffic.”
“I don’t think he had a bone in the fight, in clean air. I ain’t trying to toot my own horn, but I was going to win this race.”
He added, “I love being the face of this place. Love me or hate me, I don’t even care. But, I’ll tell you why I love this place, it’s an equalizer. I can’t run with these guys, I can’t even sniff their ass end on them big tracks.”
“It ain’t because I ain’t got the capability. I can wheel as good as anybody. I ain’t got the backbone these guys got. Gotta work every day to feed my kids, my family and run a business.”
Carpenter concluded, “It shows a real racer. If you gotta earn it, bust your ass and you’ll get it.”
Update: Ricky Thornton Jr issues an apology
On Friday afternoon, Ricky Thornton Jr issued an apology:
“Last night in a heat of the moment interview I used a word that was inappropriate, hurtful, and insensitive,” the statement opened.
“It’s not a word that I regularly use in any way and I’m not proud of it. I am extremely sorry to anyone and everyone who was affected by my language choice.”
“I will absolutely do better in the future. In an attempt to make an apology to the community I will be donating $500 to Special Olympics.”
“Thank you so much to Matt at Race Ranch for the Down Syndrome awareness tee. Matt & his team do awesome stuff with Special Olympics & we are super grateful to him for that! “
The statement concluded, “Race Ranch has Ricky’s shirts for sale this weekend in section 112.”