By Mike Spieker
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (Feb. 12) – He already has wins at many of IMCA’s biggest events on his resume.
Ricky Thornton Jr. added another when he took the $1,500 Karl Performance Arizona IMCA Modified Tour checkers Monday night at Central Arizona Speedway.
Thornton started outside of row two and quickly made his way to the front. By lap four of 25 circuits, Thornton had reeled in leader Ryan Gaylord. Thornton executed a perfect slide job in turns three and four to take the lead while Casey Arneson ran within striking distance in third.
Once out front, Thornton set sail and checked out from the field throughout the remainder of the caution-free main event.
Further back in the top five, Arneson and Hunter Marriott, battled for third. The door opened for Marriott when Arneson pushed up the track in turn two. Marriott took the position and set his sights on Gaylord for the runner-up spot.
Marriott quickly erased Gaylord’s advantage but had trouble maneuvering by the no. 7R in lapped traffic. With six to go, Marriott ducked to the inside of Gaylord in turn one, amidst a handful of lapped cars, to move into second.
Once clear of Gaylord, Marriott looked to track down Thornton, but by then Thornton had opened up an insurmountable lead.
Already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot, Thornton cruised to the checkers as Marriott, Chris Abelson, who started 14th, Gaylord and Arneson rounded out the top five.
Bo Partain charged from eighth to capture the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature win. Ryan Moser led the first 13 circuits before Partain took over up front and checked out.
The Karl Performance Arizona IMCA Modified Tour heads to Canyon Speedway Park Tuesday night for practice, before a pair of consecutive events at the Peoria clay oval. The tour wraps up Feb. 16-18 at Cocopah Speedway.
Feature results – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Hunter Marriott; 3. Chris Abelson; 4. Ryan Gaylord; 5. Casey Arneson; 6. Jake O’Neil; 7. Ethan Dotson; 8. Zachary Madrid; 9. Brice James; 10. Jason Wolla; 11. Troy Heupel; 12. Jeff Larson; 13. Shawn Strand; 14. Spencer Wilson; 15. Anthony Roth; 16. Tanner Black; 17. Chad Andersen; 18. D.J. Shannon; 19. Brint Hartwick; 20. Duane Rogers; 21. Tripp Gaylord; 22. Mark Carrell; 23. Darin Center; 24. Lance Mari; 25. Kody Scholpp; 26. Rick Spencer.