By Lonnie Wheatley
PEORIA, Ariz. (Nov. 7) – Ricky Thornton Jr. proved his mastery of the 1/3-mile Canyon Speedway Park clay oval by racing to victory lane to capture the $5,000 winner’s share in Saturday’s 27th annual Desert Classic Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified main event.
The 40-lap finale quickly turned into a non-stop battle between Thornton and Kyle Strickler, who topped Friday’s qualifying session and then won his 20-lap qualifier to earn the pole starting position.
The duo swapped the lead several times along the way before Thornton, the 2014 CSP track champion, came away with the victory.
After Strickler failed to pass post-race tech inspection, Iowan Jesse Sobbing was promoted to runner-up with Friday’s second “Twin Twenty” winner Lance Mari rounding out the podium in third.
New Mexico’s Zane DeVilbiss and Missouri’s Hunter Marriott rounded out the top five.
Already qualified for the 2016 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot, Thornton also took top pure stock honors.
Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature winners were Jason George on Friday and Chris Toth on Saturday.
Nov. 6 Feature Results
Northern SportMods – 1. Jason George; 2. Chris Toth; 3. Adam Etcher; 4. Tony Hill; 5. Chuck Black; 6. Larry Price.
Nov. 7 Feature Results
Modifieds – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Jesse Sobbing; 3. Lance Mari; 4. Zane DeVilbiss; 5. Hunter Marriott; 6. Jason Noll; 7. Kyle Brown; 8. Tim Ward; 9. Ricky Alvarado; 10. Kody Schollp; 11. David Brown; 12. Thomas Berry; 13. Mike Strobl; 14. Tommy Fain; 15. Chaz Baca Jr.; 16. Jay Foster; 17. Don Hagan; 18. Bryson Curry; 19. John Parmeley; 20. Jim Perkins; 21. Aaron Spangler; 22. Guy Norton; 23. Robert Hellebust; 24. Kyle Strickler.
Northern SportMods – 1. Toth; 2. Hill; 3. Echter; 4. Wes Meeks; 5. Black; 6. George, 7. Price; 8. David Harrington; 9. Doug Meeks.