Northern SportMods become fourth IMCA division featured at Canyon Speedway Park

PEORIA, Ariz. – A fourth IMCA division will be featured beginning this season at Canyon Speed­way Park.

Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods are new in 2017 at the Peoria, Ariz., venue, running each night of the Winter Challenge Series in January and the Desert Classic in February.

The SportMods join sanctioned Modifieds, a Canyon staple for more than a quarter century, and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks, both added last season, on regular Saturday race programs.

First local track points for the SportMods, as well as the Stocks and Hobbies, will be given for Feb. 24 and 25 Desert Classic shows.

“With the growth of IMCA and the number of people buying cars, we felt like this would be a good time to sanction the Northern SportMods,” said Canyon owner and co-promoter Doug Gabbard. “It’s a win-win situation. There’s definitely going to be opportunities for racing Northern SportMods in Arizona.”

Arizona Speedway and Central Arizona Speedway both crowned their first local track champions in the class last year. Northern SportMods will run for a fifth consecutive season at Cocopah Speed­way in 2017.

Gabbard purchased Canyon in 2006 and returned to a more hands-on role late in 2016 while hir­ing announcer Tony Steele as co-promoter.

Three hundred tons of new clay were added to make the racing surface a true 3/8-mile oval, with a new track built on the inside for micro sprint and flat track motorcycle events.

A busy, sometimes hectic off-season has also seen installation of elevated aluminum seating on the pit side of the track, relocation of the tech area next to the pit area and completion of a new paved road and bridge leading to the front gate.

“I’m a pretty big believer in consistency. I’m looking forward to getting our season rolling with the four IMCA divisions,” Gabbard said. “A lot of our race teams are excited about running for points on national, regional and state levels.”

Modified points earned at Canyon figure toward the Larry Shaw Race Cars Western Region, Stock Car points in the EQ Cylinder Heads Southern Region and Hobby Stock points in the Southern Re­gion.