IMCA Racing returns at Open Wheel Nationals

Ricky Thornton Jr. was the IMCA Modified winner at Park Jefferson Speedway’s much anticipated Open Wheels Nationals. (Photo by Jim Steffens)

JEFFERSON, S.D. (April 25) – Dirt track racing made its much anticipated return Saturday night at Park Jefferson Speedway’s Open Wheel Nationals.

Ricky Thornton Jr. outran a star-filled field, representing nine states, for the $1,000 IMCA Modified feature win. The first sporting event of any kind held in much of the country this spring, the Open Wheel Nationals played out in front of an empty grandstand but with a worldwide audience watching online.

Already a Fast Shafts Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot candidate, Thornton made his charge from seventh starting and caught Sean Barrigan for the lead on the sixth of 25 laps.

The feature stayed green following a lap three caution and Thornton ran with lapped traffic the last nine times around the oval. He pulled away as a multi-car tussle for second ensued behind him.

Fourteenth starting Robby Sawyer was scored second most of the way before 11th starting Jeff Taylor snuck by to take the runner-up finish by all of .023 of a second.

Chris Abelson started 10th and finished fourth while Jim Thies completed the top five. 

Feature results – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Jeff Taylor; 3. Robby Sawyer; 4. Chris Abelson; 5. Jim Thies; 6. Jacob Hobscheidt; 7. Sean Barragan; 8. Kelly Shryock; 9. Joel Rust; 10. Jake McBirnie; 11. Jim Cole; 12. Kenny Wallace; 13. Ken Schrader; 14. Tyler Madigan; 15. Grey Ferrando; 16. Kyle Brown; 17. Aaron Johnson; 18. Matt Bonine; 19. Jason Schneiders; 20. Jordy Nelson; 21. Chris Mills; 22. Jay Noteboom; 23. Shane DeMey; 24. Ricky Stephan.