By Tony Steele
PEORIA, Ariz. – Through most of the winter racing at Canyon Speedway Park, it was the out-of-towners flexing their muscles in the premier IMCA Modified division.
Jason Wolla swept both Winter Challenge events while Spencer Wilson and Hunter Marriott split victories during the Arizona Modified Tour. Marriott took another win in the preliminary night of the Desert Classic until finally a local in Chaz Baca Jr. brought home a win for the Arizona boys as he took home $3,000 in the 40-lap Desert Classic feature.
One of the largest storylines of the year at CSP will begin on Saturday, March 11 as the IMCA Modifieds start their season-long journey toward the crowning of a champion. Last year’s title went to Mike Strobl, who topped the standings over Nate Warren by 28 points.
Steve Stultz was third at the end of the season with Jay Foster ending the year in fourth and Guy Norton rounded out the top five. A new year is upon us and the racing should be intense all year as more drivers such as former Arizona State Champion Ryan Roath and 2016 feature winner Bubba Stafford take on the top drivers in the valley for the crown.
IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars join the card as the point season continues for their fourth race of the year.
The first three have all gone to George Fronsman but Cody Center is biting at the bit to take home his first trophy of the season. Fronsman has found a few different ways to victory lane. Desert Classic weekend was a sweep for Fronsman where he led the majority of Friday’s show, fending off Center, and then walking away on night two as Center has mechanical issues that caused his car to fade late. Race three seemed to be going Center’s way until the final lap when a slip up in turn two allowed Fronsman to get by. Look for the battle to rage on up front as we look to see who will jump up to challenge the top two runners during the remainder of the season.
Jason Crowe was finally victorious one week ago after some rough IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock outings dating back to last season. Crowe was the third winner in three points paying events, as Joe Peterson and Joe Vlasity both took wins two weeks ago. Peterson won on a last lap pass over Bradley Stafford, where Vlasity dominated night two of the Desert Classic. Crowe came out strong at the March Meltdown and never looked back, besting Peterson and Stafford.
Stafford is making a strong case to be the fourth different winner this weekend as he has come away with two strong races that failed to produce a victory. Both Dean and Merle Zachrison have looked quick early on in the season, building towards a great 2017 for the Hobby Stock class.
Admission prices for the season opener are $15 for adults. Seniors (60 and over) and military are $12 and children ages 11 & under are free. All-access pit passes can be purchased for $35 for adults, while ages 7-11 are $20 and six and under are free. All minors under the age of 18 must have a minor release form filled out and notarized prior to entry into the pits. The form can be found on the track website.