Saturday, Oct 01

Payton Freeman wins inaugural Russell Thomas Memorial at Tri County Race Track

Friday, Sep 23 181

A new tradition at Tri County Race Track kicked off on Thursday evening with Payton Freeman finding his way to victory lane.
 

Driving a brand-new Rocket Chassis, Freeman held off a talented field of drivers to win the first running of the Russell Thomas Memorial. The triumph was Freeman’s second in what has been a successful 2022 campaign. 
 

While Freeman was thrilled to win the Russell Thomas Memorial, he admitted Thursday’s victory was something his program needed ahead of this weekend’s World of Outlaws Case Construction Late Model Series doubleheader at Boyd’s Speedway. 
 

“This definitely gives us a boost of confidence going into the two [World of Outlaws] races this weekend,” Freeman said. “Anytime you can build your confidence up before rolling in with those guys is always a great thing. This is a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.”
 

The decision to purchase the new Rocket Chassis nearly a month ago has proven to be beneficial for Freeman and his Dirt Late Model program.
 

Now four races into the new car, Freeman has found a comfort zone despite initially holding some reservations. He hopes the Rocket Chassis will give him the momentum needed to consistently challenge many of the top Dirt Late Model competitors around the country.
 

The additional speed provided by the Rocket Chassis enabled Freeman to enjoy a near-flawless night in the Russell Thomas Memorial that allowed him to grab the top spot from the fourth starting position and add another victory to his growing resume. 
 

“It’s different for sure,” Freeman said. “Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect because we were so used to the Capital cars. I had speed come feature time even though I lacked what I needed in qualifying. We worked hard on the car and got everything right.”
 

Freeman added that qualifying had been a struggle for him prior to the Russell Thomas Memorial. He said that posting the second-best time was a major step in the right direction and hopes similar runs become the status quo for him moving forward.
 

With the World of Outlaws heading to Boyd’s, a track that Freeman won at earlier this year, he is eager to showcase the speed of his Rocket Chassis but stressed that cutting down the mistakes in qualifying and the heats will be crucial towards bring home two solid finishes. 
 

"We’ll definitely have to start out the night good,” Freeman said. “We had good speed [at Boyd’s] all year in the old car, so hopefully we can do the same with this one. You can’t fall behind against [the World of Outlaws] guys, so we have to put ourselves in a position to race comfortably and I think we can do that.”
 

Payton Freeman would like to thank all his supporters and partners, including his parents, crew and fans as well as Freeman Plumbing, Coltman Farms, MPM Marketing, Stilo, KRC Power Steering, K1 RaceGear, Schaeffer’s Oil, Base Racing Fuel, SRI Performance, Rocket Chassis, Shelton Trucking, Chattham & Son Tile, Rod Roberts Trucking, Collins Signs, Sweet Victory Apparel, Accu-Force Dyno & Testers, Swift Springs, Penske Racing Shocks and Strange Oval.

 

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