Thornton strikes IMCA Modified gold at Park Jefferson’s J & J Fitting Iron Cup

Ricky Thornton Jr. returned to Park Jefferson Speedway to take the $7,000 IMCA Modified check­ers in Saturday’s J & J Fitting Iron Cup main event. (Photo by Jim Steffens)

JEFFERSON, S.D. (Aug. 8) – Ricky Thornton Jr. added his name to the list of J & J Fitting Iron Cup champions on Saturday night as the Adel, Iowa, driver invaded Park Jefferson Speedway and left with the famed IMCA Modified Iron Cup along with a $7,000 top prize.

The 35-lap feature went green with Cody Laney and Lance Mari making up the front row.  The California-based Laney found the top groove to his liking and controlled the race through the mid-point.

Thornton became the first driver to find the tacky bottom groove on turn four and passed slowly gained on Laney. 

A caution flag was all Thornton needed and he powered off the bottom of four to take the lead going into one.  

Meanwhile, Sioux City Excitement Chris Abelson was mounting a serious challenge and rolled into the second spot.  One last caution was enough for Thornton and he pulled away for the 2021 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying victory with Abelson second and Tripp Gaylord in third. 

A number of drivers had strong runs mid-pack with Joel Rust, Chris Mills and Zach Dockter each passing seven cars. 

Joining Thornton in picking up Iron Cup titles were Jesse Sobbing in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Monty Ferriera in the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars, Cody Thompson in the Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods, Malik Sampson in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Ramsey Meyer in the Mach-1 Sport Compacts.

Casey Arneson was the winner of Friday’s 15-lap IMCA Modified Race of States. 


Modified feature – 1 Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Chris Abelson; 3. Tripp Gaylord; 4. Casey Arneson; 5. Jesse Sobbing; 6. Cody Laney; 7. Ethan Dotson; 8. Tanner Black; 9. Jake O’Neil; 10. Joel Rust; 11. Chris Mills; 12. Bob Moore; 13. Zach Dockter; 14. Lance Mari; 15. Sean Barragan; 16. Ricky Stephan; 17. Jim Thies; 18. Jason Schneiders; 19. Devon Schlumbohm; 20. Jeff Berens; 21. Jim Mathieson; 22. Nicholas Carpenter; 23. Ethan Braaksma; 24. Shane DeMey; 25. Bob Flesh­man; 26. Kelsie Foley.

Modified Race of States – 1. Arneson; 2. Black; 3. Laney; 4. Stephan; 5. Moore; 6. Foley; 7. Rust; 8. Sobbing; 9. Berens; 10. Gaylord.