Mari, Black are best at Cocopah’s Winter Nationals Hangover

Lance Mari’s Friday night IMCA Modified feature win at Cocopah Speedway’s Winter Nationals Hangover paid $1,000 and put him on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. (Photo by Bobby McMorris)

SOMERTON, Ariz. (Jan. 29-30) – Lance Mari outran everybody on opening night for his first IMCA Modified feature win of the season before Tanner Black collected his third Cocopah Speedway checkers of the month, on night two of the Winter Nationals Hangover. 

Mari drew Friday’s pole start and led all 25 laps in Friday’s $1,000 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying victory at Somerton. The final caution waved with eight to go and Darrell Hughes II chased fellow Californian Mari across the stripe.

“Everything ran pretty well. The track was good and I could get past lapped traffic when I got to it,” Mari said. “It was a good showing for us, our sponsors, everybody.” 

Tim Ward was third and Kollin Hibdon rounded out the top four. 

Fifth on Friday, Black went back to the setup drawing board to find some extra speed on Saturday. He started outside the front row and led the distance, holding off the tenacious Hughes after getting caught in traffic.

“It’s hard to get one feature win,” said Black, already an All-Star candidate who’d topped Jan. 6 and Jan. 9 Cocopah Winter Nationals features. “It feels good to get this many so quick.”

Bricen James, Hibdon and Chaz Baca ran 3-4-5.

Larry Brigner and Leslie Gill were IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature winners while IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock winners were Josh Cordova and Scott Tenney. 

Chris Toth won both weekend Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod features. Billy Ayres Jr. put on a passing demonstration sweeping the Mach-1 Sport Compact main events, winning from 13th starting on Friday and from ninth on Saturday.