APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. (May 23-24) – After extending his win streak at Arizona Speedway to five, Ricky Thornton Jr. made a beeline to the bank to deposit a pair of $1,000 checks.
Thornton rocketed from mid-pack to win both nights of the third annual John Morris Classic special for IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds at Apache Junction.
The victories were the 15th and 16th in just 25 starts this season for the national championship hopeful. Current national and Larry Shaw Racing Western Region point leader Brian Schultz also started deep in the field and ran second each night.
Thornton started 15th on opening night, passed Don Earven with three laps left and pulled away to win by four car lengths following a restart with two to go.
Eric Center, two days shy of celebrating his 52nd birthday, was third. John Morris Jr. was fourth in the memorial event held for his father and Chaz Baca Jr. was fifth.
Picking the middle line paid off on night two for Thornton, who took the initial green from 12th and was in the runner-up position when the second lap was scored.
He caught Don Hagan for the lead following a lap seven restart and led to the end of the 20-lapper, beating Schultz across the stripe by a comfortable margin.
Baca, Morris and Hagan completed the top five.
Thornton was already qualified for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. Thirty-plus Modifieds saw action each night.
May 23 – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Brian Schultz; 3. Eric Center; 4. John Morris Jr.; 5. Chaz Baca Jr.; 6. Lance Mari; 7. Jason Noll; 8. Guy Norton; 9. Mike Strobl; 10. James Webster; 11. John Parmeley; 12. Shelby Frye; 13. George Fronsman; 14. Nate Warren; 15. Duane Rogers; 16. Don Earven; 17. Ty Rogers; 18. Dallas Caldwell; 19. Mike Martin; 20. Steve Stultz; 21. Dan Radcliffe Jr.; 22. Lance Salo; 23. Dale Liversedge; 24. Mark Stewart.
May 24 – 1. Thornton; 2. Schultz; 3. Baca; 4. Morris; 5. Don Hagan; 6. Strobl; 7. Martin; 8. Mari; 9. Webster; 10. Center; 11. Norton; 12. Ty Rogers; 13. Jeff Collinsworth; 14. Parmeley; 15. Warren; 16. Clifton Maggard; 17. Jim Collinsworth; 18. Jinger Kesler; 19. Brian Tormey; 20. Duane Rogers; 21. Caldwell; 22. Liversedge; 23. Tyler Mecl; 24. Gene Freeman.