SOMERTON, Ariz. (Jan. 7) – Once he got to the front, there was no catching Ethan Dotson on another record night at Cocopah Speedway’s IMCA.TV Winter Nationals.
Dotson started 12th in the Thursday night IMCA Modified feature at Somerton, then took the lead on the 15th circuit following a restart that had seen frontrunner Alex Stanford exit with mechanical issues.
The California hotshoe then outran opening night winner Tanner Black for the $1,000 victory and accompanying Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berth.
One hundred and sixty-four drivers vied in the second installment of Winter Nationals, including 64 Modifieds and 52 Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods.
Travis Denning led the first four laps in the Modified main before Stanford drove past. He was pulling away before being forced pitside and Denning took over for a single circuit following the restart.
“B” qualifier Black raced from 17th to third on lap 17 and was up to second with four to go, but ran out of time to catch Dotson, who has earned a knack for coming up big at IMCA spotlight events.
Jeff Larson was third, 11th starting Casey Arneson was fourth and 13th starting Zane DeVilbiss checked in fifth. Chaz Baca was next across the stripe as the top six represented as many different states.
Doing double duty, Kyle Heckman won the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature after running the Modified main. Eric Knutson won the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature for the second time in as many nights and Josh Most was in the right place at the right time to take the Northern SportMod prize.
Tony Hill paced the first seven laps before Heckman took charge. Nicholas Johnson, another quick Californian, settled back into second for good on the 13th lap while Bo Partain completed the top three.
The sixth starting Knutson was not part of an early race tangle and took the lead in the Hobby Stock headliner on lap seven. Steve Bitting Jr. took runner-up honors after starting 11th and Matt Olson was third.
Most also made the trip from Iowa and ended in victory lane, piloting a borrowed car from inside row six and leading the last seven laps. Brian Osantowski headed to the pits after pacing the first 18 circuits. Kevin Johnson took second while Taylor Kuehl won her “B,” started 12th and ended third.
Modifieds – 1. Ethan Dotson; 2. Tanner Black; 3. Jeff Larson; 4. Casey Arneson; 5. Zane DeVilbiss; 6. Chaz Baca; 7. Spencer Wilson; 8. Russell Allen; 9. Travis Denning; 10. Jesse Rogotzke; 11. Jerry Flippo; 12. Jason Wolla; 13. Kelsie Foley; 14. Justen Yeager; 15. Kyle Heckman; 16. Austin Kuehl; 17. Grey Ferrando; 18. Casey Skyberg; 19. Braxton Yeager; 20. Bubba Stafford Jr.; 21. Mitchell Mohler; 22. Bob Moore; 23. Kenny Wallace; 24. Ricky Alvarado; 25. Alex Stanford; 26. Joey Price.
Stock Cars – 1. Kyle Heckman; 2. Nicholas Johnson; 3. Bo Partain; 4. Zachary Madrid; 5. Andrew Altenburg; 6. Michael Sheen; 7. Scott Sluka; 8. A.J. Dancer; 9. Blake Adams; 10. Tony Hill; 11. D.J. Werkmeister; 12. Andrew Burg; 13. Rob Stenvold; 14. Patrick Humphrey; 15. Steve Livingston; 16. Hunter Cavanagh; 17. Nick Langer; 18. Joe Gallaher; 19. Aaron Spangler; 20. Race Fisher; 21. Nugget Shupe; 22. Brock Badger; 23. Donald Schott; 24. Dale Jay Kibel.
Hobby Stocks – 1. Eric Knutson; 2. Steve Bitting Jr.; 3. Matt Olson; 4. Jason Duggins; 5. Tim Gonska; 6. Joshua Cordova; 7. Joe Peterson; 8. Brett Vanous; 9. Brandon Bombardo; 10. Scott Tenney; 11. Brycen Daffern; 12. David Crimmins; 13. Zack Tate; 14. Yancy Shupe; 15. Chandler Dodge; 16. Frank Cordova; 17. Jacob Rowley; 18. Pete Terwilleger; 19. Andy Pearce; 20. Rick Hibbard; 21. Mark Merlen; 22. Larry Rust; 23. Brian Johnson.
Northern SportMods – 1. Josh Most; 2. Kevin Johnson; 3. Taylor Kuehl; 4. Phillip Shelby; 5. Shane Paris; 6. Chase Alves; 7. Chris Toth; 8. Ty Rogers; 9. Cam Reimers; 10. Fred Ryland; 11. Logan Anderson; 12. Jake Nelson; 13. Erik Laudenschlager; 14. Brian Carey; 15. Chase Hansen; 16. Tate Johnson; 17. Austen Becerra; 18. Camron Spangler; 19. David Pitt; 20. Jimmy Davy; 21. Brady Bjella; 22. Brian Osantowski; 23. Miles Morris; 24. Bo Partain; 25. Ron Schreiner.