Thornton sweeps Dakota Classic Tour features at Estevan

Ricky Thornton Jr. was a double winner Monday night at Estevan Motor Speedway, topping Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour features for both the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. (Photo by Byron Fichter)

By Jackson Braun 

ESTEVAN, Sask. (July 8) – Ricky Thornton Jr. is on an absolute roll. 

The Adel, Iowa driver has hit his stride right at the perfect time, and doing double duty has not been a hindrance. 

Thornton grabbed his second victories of the 30th annual Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour in both the $2,400 to win IMCA Modifieds and $800 to win IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars Monday night at Estevan Motor Speedway. 

In the 30-lapper for the Modifieds, Billy Kendall and Jason Wolla led the field to green. Kendall held the lead over Thornton and hometown driver Kody Scholpp as one lap was put into the books. Contact between Kendall and Wolla in the first corner led to a ruffled quarter panel on the Kendall machine. 

A bobble by Thornton in the middle of turns one and two opened up a lane for Scholpp to get around. Scholpp was hooked up around the corners and powered around Kendall, then started to strengthen his lead while Thornton made the move around Kendall to grab second. 

A restart forced Scholpp to deal with Thornton again and the two exchanged numerous sliders battling for the top spot. 

Eventually, Thornton’s momentum off the corners was too much for Scholpp to keep up with. A late race caution was helpful for Tom Berry Jr. and Casey Arneson, as Berry made his way into the second spot and Arneson followed. Jeff Taylor and Hunter Marriott also finished inside of the top five. 

In a similar fashion, another hometown favorite Austin Daae and Dalton Flory tried to hold off Thornton for as long as they could in the Stock Car feature, but Thornton’s racing experience and wicked fast equipment proved too much for the local hitters. 

Daae finished runner-up, Flory was third, Matt Speckman fourth and Jeremy Swanson fifth. 

Feature Results

IMCA Modifieds – 1. Ricky Thornton, Adel, Iowa; 2. Tom Berry Jr., Newburg, N.D.; 3. Casey Arneson, Fargo, N.D.; 4. Jeff Taylor, Cave City, Ark.; 5. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.; 6. Kody Scholpp, Estevan; 7. Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.; 8. Tyson Turnbull, Estevan; 9. Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.; 10. Joel Rust, Grundy Center, Iowa; 11. Tanner Black, Otis, Kan.; 12. Lucas Lamberies, Clintonville, Wis.; 13. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton, Iowa; 14. Aaron Turnbull, Estevan; 15. Spencer Wilson, Minot, N.D.; 16. Justin O’Brien, West Union, Iowa; 17. Tyler Hall, Fertile, Minn.; 18. Billy Kendall, Baxter, Minn.; 19. Myles Tomlinson, Turtle Lake, N.D.; 20. Don Gumke, Jamestown, N.D.; 21. Jon Plowman, Woodbine, Iowa; 22. Les McLenehan, Estevan; 23. Ed Turnbull, Estevan; 24. John Corell, Jamestown, N.D.; 25. Travis Olheiser, Dickinson, N.D.; 26. Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.; 27. Joey Galloway, Manor; 28. Jason Wolla, Ray, N.D.; 29. Shawn Strand, Mandan, N.D.

IMCA Stock Cars – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr., Adel, Iowa; 2. Austin Daae, Estevan; 3. Dalton Flory, Williston, N.D.; 4. Matt Speckman, Sleepy Eye, Minn.; 5. Jeremy Swanson, Estevan; 6. Elijah Zevenbergen, Ocheyedan, Iowa; 7. Devon Gonas, Midale; 8. Joe Flory, Williston, N.D.; 9. Michael Swallers, Minot, N.D.; 10. Jace Iverson, Tioga, N.D.; 11. Keith Mattox, Ray, N.D.; 12. Joren Boyce, Minot, N.D.; 13. Gary Goudy Sr., Stoughton; 14. A.J. Zimmerman, Cleveland, Minn.; 15. Randy Schultz, Swift Current; 16. Gary Goudy Jr., Stoughton; 17. Brad Levorson, Cabri; 18. Mike Hagen, Williston, N.D.; 19. Scott Gartner, Jamestown, N.D.; 20. Chase Davidson, Macoun; 21. Alvin Dube, Regina.