Lonnie Wheatley, CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (February 9, 2020) – Mesa’s Chaz Baca, Jr., bounced back from an opening lap miscue to pocket Sunday afternoon’s $2,000 IMCA Modified winner’s share as the Fourth Annual Arizona Dirt Track Tour stormed into the 3/8-mile Central Arizona Speedway clay oval in Casa Grande.
While Baca, Jr., took the big check, Cody Thompson and Ricky Thornton, Jr., cashed in as well with $750 triumphs in IMCA Sport Modified and IMCA Stock Car action respectively as 93 cars filled the pit area for the third of six Arizona Dirt Track Tour events. The fourth round takes place Tuesday night at Central Arizona Speedway with the green flag flying at 7:00 p.m.
Baca’s triumph in the 25-lap IMCA Modified main event came after getting an opening lap reprieve in which he spun from the pole position in the opening corner. With the series rule giving drivers back their original starting position after a caution on the initial start, Baca, Jr., took full advantage by snaring the early lead and pacing the field all the way to take the win.
“That was a rough start, I didn’t want that to happen,” Baca, Jr., commented in victory lane. “If they didn’t have the rule that everyone gets their spot back, I would have been at the back. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s still a win.”
After another pair of aborted starts to the feature including one that sent front row outside starter Ethan Dotson spinning off the top of turn two, Baca, Jr., gunned into the lead and held off early pressure from Tim Ward.
Ward chased throughout but was unable to mount a serious charge on Baca, Jr., as the laps clicked off.
“He was hitting three a little better than me, I was struggling there,” Ward explained.
Ward settled for second behind Baca, Jr., while Ricky Thornton, Jr., recovered from a heat race off-track excursion to rally from 17th to claim the show position. Thornton, Jr., gained 11 positions in the opening pair of circuits and then scratched his way up to third, falling two positions shy of claiming two wins on the day.
Jeff Taylor took the Modified checkered flag in fourth with Casey Arneson recovering from an early incident to round out the top five while Collen Winebarger, Mark Carrell, John Hansen, Marlyn Seidler and Alex Stanford completed the top ten.
Sioux City, Iowa’s Cody Thompson proved to be the class of the field in the 20-lap IMCA Sport Modified feature, sliding past early pacesetter Bo Partain to assume the point on the seventh round and leading the rest of the way to take the $750 winner’s share.
“I got a good run on the restart and pulled alongside door-to-door and caught the fast part of the track, we were able to hold on the rest of the way,” Thompson commented. “This place is a lot like my home track, that’s why I think I adapt to it pretty well.”
After slipping away from the field, Thompson weathered a pair of late-race restarts to preserve the victory ahead of Partain with Tyler Soppe, Ty Rogers and tenth-starter Brian Osantowski rounding out the top five.
In the 20-lap IMCA Stock Car feature, Ricky Thornton, Jr., took advantage of a second-lap miscue by Andrew Burg to take command and held the point the rest of the way for the $750 triumph.
Burg jumped into the initial lead only to slip off the top of the track entering turn three on the second circuit, handing the lead off to fourth-starter Thornton, Jr.
“I think Burg kinda had the race there, I’m not sure what happened with him in three,” Thornton, Jr., said afterward. “The track started to take a little rubber there, I was a little free at the start and then I was getting tight by the end.”
Behind Thornton, Jr., Canada’s Brendon LaBatte took advantage of a lap 11 restart to take second away from Zach Madrid. The Saskatchewan Roughrider guard held the runner-up position the rest of the way with Madrid, Eric Lloyd and Aaron Hetrick rounding out the top five.
Following an open practice session on Monday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., another full round of the Fourth Annual Arizona Dirt Track Tour takes place on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at Central Arizona Speedway. The card includes another $2,000-to-win IMCA Modified feature along with $750-to-win for both IMCA Sport Modifieds and IMCA Stock Cars.
Central Arizona Speedway – February 9, 2020, Arizona Dirt Track Tour Results:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. C9-Collen Winebarger, 2. 77s-Bricen James, 3. 48k-Kollin Hibdon, 4. X-Mike Wedelstadt, 5. 6-Casey Skyberg, 6. 5m-Zachary Madrid, 7. 33by-Braxton Yeager, 8. 75-Spencer Wilson, 9. 34-Mark Gaylord, 10. 24cws-Jim Cocks.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 23R-Russell Allen, 2. 4tw-Tim Ward, 3. 175-Ethan Dotson, 4. 23n-Clay Norris, 5. 19sb-Lance Mari, 6. 44k-Kelsie Foley, 7. 22-Jeremy Thornton, 8. 20rt-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 9. 19p-Andy Papp, 10. 33y-Justen Yeager.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 98-Alex Stanford, 2. 2a-Casey Arneson, 3. 45-Ryan Roath, 4. 44n-Jason Noll, 5. 18k-Jacob Pace, 6. V13-Grey Ferrando, 7. 15T-Eric Thiesse, 8. 82-Sherman Barnett, 9. 25R-Bryan Renken, 10. 68-Heath Grizzle.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 01a-Drew Armstrong, 2. 44-Christy Barnett, 3. 75jr-Chaz Baca, Jr., 4. 09-Kelsy-Ann Hayes, 5. 7-Marlyn Seidler, 6. 4x-Joey Price, 7. 32n-Mark Norris, 8. 13b-Jess Brekke, 9. 2x-Roy Poeling, 10. 71s-Brent Schlafmann.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 27-Mark Carrell, 2. 5-Jeff Taylor, 3. 8h-John Hansen, 4. 24T-Ryan Jenkins, 5. 21J-Jon Debenedetti, 6. 32-D.J. Shannon, 7. 56d-Garth Dushanek, 8. 10s-Rick Spencer, 9. 6x-Eric Center.
First “B” Main (12 Laps): 1. 20rt-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 2. 09-Kelsy-Ann Hayes, 3. 6-Casey Skyberg, 4. 77s-Bricen James, 5. 24T-Ryan Jenkins, 6. 68-Heath Grizzle, 7. 32n-Mark Norris, 8. 33y-Justen Yeager, 9. 15T-Erick Thiesse, 10. 2x-Roy Poeling, 11. 21J-Jon Debenedetti, 12. 56d-Garth Dushanek, 13. V13-Grey Ferrando, 14. 32-D.J. Shannon, 15. 10s-Rick Spencer.
Second “B” Main (12 Laps): 1. 5m-Zachary Madrid, 2. 19sb-Lance Mari, 3. 23n-Clay Norris, 4. 75-Spencer Wilson, 5. 44k-Kelsie Foley, 6. 4x-Joey Price, 7. 33by-Braxton Yeager, 8. X-Mike Wedelstadt, 9. 13b-Jess Brekke, 10. 22-Jeremy Thornton, 11. 19p-Andy Papp, 12. 82-Sherman Barnett, 13. 24cws-Jim Cocks, 14. 34-Mark Gaylord, 15. 25R-Bryan Renken, 16. 6x-Eric Center.
“A” Main (25 Laps): 1. 75jr-Chaz Baca, Jr., 2. 4tw-Tim Ward, 3. 20rt-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 4. 5-Jeff Taylor, 5. 2a-Casey Arneson, 6. C9-Collen Winebarger, 7. 27-Mark Carrell, 8. 8h-John Hansen, 9. 7-Marlyn Seidler, 10. 98-Alex Stanford, 11. 48k-Kollin Hibdon, 12. 19sb-Lance Mari, 13. 6-Casey Skyberg, 14. 45-Ryan Roath, 15. 23R-Russell Allen, 16. 5m-Zachary Madrid, 17. 18k-Jacob Pace, 18. 23n-Clay Norris, 19. 09-Kelsy-Ann Hayes, 20. 44n-Jason Noll, 21. 01a-Drew Armstrong, 22. 44-Christy Barnett, 23. 75-Spencer Wilson, 24. 175-Ethan Dotson.
IMCA Sport Modifieds:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 83g-Gerry Glenn, 2. 34z-Cory Van Zante, 3. 413h-Kelly Henderson, 4. 99-Brady Bjella, 5. 2k-Taylor Kuehl, 6. 27-Timoth Allerdings, 7. 06-Rex Hasley, 8. 33s-Ben Stockton.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 25c-Cody Thompson, 2. 8T-Ty Rogers, 3. 7-Patti Ryland, 4. 999-Brian Osantowski, 5. 413-Tate Johnson, 6. 96F-Eric Folstad, 7. 69-Dwayne Melvin.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 6-Chris Theodore, 2. 12-Jimmy Terstriep, 3. 69F-Jackie Frye, 4. 80-Cory Parent, 5. 22-Austen Becerra, 6. 69x-Marcos Bojorquez, 7. 303-Kyler Reynolds.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 3T-Tyler Soppe, 2. 1s-Shelby Frye, 3. 71az-Bo Partain, 4. 7J-Fred Ryland, 5. 316-Brandyn Johnson, 6. 21jr-Michael Egurola, 7. 12T-Dixon Tipton.
“B” Main (12 Laps): 1. 22-Austen Becerra, 2. 413-Tate Johnson, 3. 27-Timothy Allerdings, 4. 96F-Eric Folstad, 5. 303-Kyler Reynolds, 6. 33s-Ben Stockton, 7. 80-Cory Parent, 8. 06-Rex Hasley, 9. 69-Dwayne Melvin, 10. 21jr-Michael Egurola, 11. 12T-Dixon Tipton, 12. 69x-Marcus Bojorquez, 13. 316-Brandyn Johnson.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 25c-Cody Thompson, 2. 71az-Bo Partain, 3. 3T-Tyler Soppe, 4. 8T-Ty Rogers, 5. 99-Brian Osantowski, 6. 34-Cory Van Zante, 7. 6-Chris Theodore, 8. 413h-Kelly Henderson, 9. 2k-Taylor Kuehl, 10. 83g-Gerry Glenn, 11. 7J-Fred Ryland, 12. 303-Kyler Reynolds, 13. 7-Patti Ryland, 14. 33s-Ben Stockton, 15. 27-Timothy Allerdings, 16. 99-Brady Bjella, 17. 1s-Shelby Frye, 18. 413-Tate Johnson, 19. 80-Cory Parent, 20. 69F-Jackie Frye, 21. 22-Austen Becerra, 22. 12-Jimmy Terstriep, 23. 96F-Eric Folstad, 24. 316-Brandyn Johnson.
IMCA Stock Cars:
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 20rt-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 2. 57-Brendon LaBatte, 3. 925-Zachary Madrid, 4. 78b-Andrew Burg, 5. 42-Wayne Clink, 6. 07-Andrew Mathers, 7. 70d-Raymond Doyle, 8. 53-Justin Thornton.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 6-Chanse Hollatz, 2. 88-Kevin Roberts, 3. 48-Craig Miller, 4. 07x-Eric Lloyd, 5. 2-Brad Hallin, 6. 44-Aaron Hetrick, 7. 84g-Sean Gentry.
“A” Main: 1. 20rt-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 2. 57-Brendon LaBatte, 3. 925-Zachary Madrid, 4. 07x-Eric Lloyd, 5. 44-Aaron Hetrick, 6. 6-Chanse Hollatz, 7. 07-Andrew Mathers, 8. 70d-Raymond Doyle, 9. 84g-Sean Gentry, 10. 78b-Andrew Burg, 11. 88-Kevin Roberts, 12. 48-Craig Miller, 13. 53-Justin Thornton, 14. 2-Brad Hallin, 15. 42-Wayne Clink (DNS).