By Lonnie Wheatley
PEORIA, Ariz. (Jan. 23) – Tim Ward raced forward from the seventh starting position to take IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified honors over a stout field of 41 competitors on opening night of the Winter Challenge Weekend at Canyon Speedway Park.
The new Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier earned $1,250 and took the checkered flag ahead of defending track champion Ricky Thornton Jr. as Missouri’s Hunter Marriott topped his “B” feature and rallied from 18th to take third.
Brian Schultz raced from 15th to fourth with defending national champion Zane DeVilbiss rounded out the top five.
Ward was quickly up to second and led briefly before a couple early cautions. Thornton passed him for the front spot before two more yellows came out.
After falling back to third, Ward got his opportunity when the caution flag waved again late in the contest. He went high to pass Schultz and then Thornton coming out of turn two and down the back straightaway, and drove to his first feature win of the season.
Feature results – 1. Tim Ward; 2. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 3. Hunter Marriott; 4. Brian Schultz; 5. Zane DeVilbiss; 6. Darrell Bradford; 7. Aaron Spangler; 8. Jeff Sheppard Jr.; 9. Jay Marks; 10. Paul Stone; 11. George Fronsman; 12. Nate Warren; 13. Mike Strobl; 14. Steve Stultz; 15. Bo Partain; 16. Trent Gaust; 17. Scott Sluka; 18. John Parmeley; 19. Jason Noll; 20. Garrett Funk; 21. Mark Stewart; 22. Caleb Stone; 23. Jesse Williamson; 24. Mike Jergens.
Heat winners were Stewart, Ward, Thornton, Jergens and Sheppard. “B” feature winners were Marks and Marriott.