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  • Series News Release

KTJ & AJ Show for Five Three Motorsports in '23

Kevin Thomas Jr. and A.J. Fike will share the Five Three Motorsports Silver Crown car in 2023. Photo courtesy USAC Media - Photographer: Indy Racing Images

Series News Release - USAC Media

Speedway, Indiana (February 9, 2023) - Kevin Thomas Jr. and A.J. Fike will share driving duties aboard the Five Three Motorsports USAC Silver Crown car on the dirt for the 2023 season.

Competing for the Joliet, Ill. based team on three half-mile venues will be Thomas (Cullman, Ala.) while Fike (Galesburg, Ill.) will wheel the ride on the two dirt miles at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.

Thomas is one of the era’s finest sprint car pilots on the USAC circuit where he owns 39 career victories. Thomas is still on the hunt for his first career Silver Crown win following four previous runner-up finishes and two fast qualifying times. Together, KTJ and Five Three are shooting for the combination to bring both driver and team their first series triumph.

“I’m very happy to be running in the crown cars again, especially with Five Three Motorsports,” an elated Thomas said. “They always seem to bring a strong car to the track, and after conversations and meeting the team, everyone is on the same page, and we can contend for wins.”

Thomas occupies the same Silver Crown ride that Brady Bacon competed in during the 2022 season. With Bacon’s departure, Thomas rejoins the ranks for the first time since his most recent run in 2021, a fourth place result at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.

“We’re excited to bring someone of KTJ’s caliber into the fold for the coming year,” Five Three Motorsports crewman Aaron Schuck stated. “We have been fortunate to work with great drivers over the years and he is no exception to that.”

Also on board with FTM for the new season is Fike, who possesses an impressive résumé, which includes wins at the Illinois State Fairgrounds’ Springfield Mile in both the USAC Silver Crown series (2012 & 2013) as well as the ARCA Stock Car series (2015). Fike’s 104 career series starts also ranks 18th all-time.

Along with the wins, Fike has found speed and consistency at those tracks, earning himself an average top-10 finish over the course of his Silver Crown career. In 2022, during his lone start of the season, Fike was running inside the top-five late in the going at Du Quoin until he wound up becoming the first Silver Crown driver to leave the “ballpark” at Du Quoin since Jerry Russell 31 years earlier in 1991.

“Following our wreck at Du Quoin, although it was hard on the team, I feel like we were able to take some time to regroup and push this program even further to the positive,” Schuck explained. “That definitely comes with the addition of a new primary sponsor for the year in Horizon Carpentry who we truly can’t thank enough for stepping on board.”


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