Marriott motors to IMCA Modified checkers in Challenge Series finale 

Hunter Marriott’s Sunday IMCA Modified win was his second in Winter Challenge Series action at Canyon Speedway Park. (Photo by Tom Macht,

By Tony Steele

PEORIA, Ariz. (Jan. 28) – Hunter Marriott picked up the $1,000 win in Sunday’s IMCA Modified main event evening the score with Ricky Thornton Jr. in the four race Winter Challenge Series at Canyon Speedway Park.

It was apparent from the start the bottom side of the track would be the fastest way around the oval and once Marriott worked his way into the lead early he stayed there to the checkers.

The last half of the race was a major battle through lapped traffic. Cody Laney and Thornton reeled the leader in but Marriott, already a Fast Shafts Allstar Invitational ballot candidate, narrowly held on for the victory while Laney and Thornton ran 2-3.

Jeremy Payne brought his borrowed car home in fourth while defending national champion Jason Wolla was finally able to put together a solid day, earning a heat race win and finishing fifth in the feature.

Speedy Madrid picked up his second win of the series in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods while Cody Center picked up his first win since early 2017 in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. Joe Peterson prevented a sweep by Joe Vlasity in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.

Center put together a quality showing, leading flag to flag for a $500 paycheck. George Fronsman pressured Center until retiring with mechanical problems with three laps to go.

After an early flat tire sent him to the hot pit, Peterson worked his way from worst to first to take the victory in the Hobby Stock feature. A timely yellow allowed Peterson the chance to get his tire changed in time to stay on the lead lap as he re-entered in 13th.

Vlasity led the majority of the race while Peterson was picking off cars every lap on his way back to the front. During a long green flag run, Peterson caught Vlasity and made the winning pass.

Shane Simper did what he could early on to double up in the Northern SportMod main but Madrid worked his way around Simper for the lead before and took the victory. Simper faded late, allowing Chase Alves to finish his strong run in second.

Feature Results

Modifieds – 1. Hunter Marriott; 2. Cody Laney; 3. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 4. Jeremy Payne; 5. Jason Wolla; 6. Chaz Baca; 7. Jason Noll; 8. Spencer Wilson; 9. Anthony Madrid; 10. Garth Dushanek; 11. Austin Kuehl; 12. Guy Norton; 13. Kenny Gill; 14. Bubba Stafford Jr.; 15. Bryson Curry; 16. Brent Schlafmann; 17. Danny Curry; 18. Robby Stancliff; 19. Joey Franklin; 20. Roy Poeling Sr.; 21. Tim Ward.

Stock Cars – 1. Cody Center; 2. Larry Brigner; 3. Dennis Losing; 4. Mike Brigner; 5. Nick Langer; 6. George Fronsman; 7. Derrick Askren.

Hobby Stocks – 1. Joe Peterson; 2. Joe Vlasity; 3. Bradley Stafford; 4. Merle Zachrison; 5. Chucky Thornton; 6. 3-Bill Cole; 7. Kyle Cardinal; 8. Shea Kendig; 9. Allen Hakes; 10. Larry Price; 11. Mark Killian; 12. Tommy Esquera; 13. Mike Hartsock.

Northern SportMods – 1. Speedy Madrid; 2. Chase Alves; 3. Shane Simper; 4. Jason George; 5. Bill Miller; 6. Adam Echter; 7. Rene Madrid; 8. Rene Madrid Jr.; 9. Marlowe Wrightsman; 10. Steve Duffy; 11. Josh Stokes; 12. Jimmy Davy; 13. Dennis Gates; 14. T.J. Wyman; 15. Chris Anderson; 16. Justin Thornton.