O’Neil strikes first at Superstition Showdown

Jake O’Neil was the opening night IMCA Modified feature winner at Arizona Speedway’s Superstition Showdown, earning $1,500 and a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berth for his Friday night efforts. (Photo by Tom Macht, www.photofinishphotos.com)

By Ben Deatherage 

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (Feb. 12) – Friday would be the opening leg of the three-night extravaganza of the inaugural Superstition Showdown at Arizona Speedway and 117 entries, including 56 IMCA Modifieds, filled the pit area for the evening.

In the Modified feature, Cody Laney showed the way at the drop of the green. He has his hands full and several drivers shadowed his every move. A caution bunched the field up and on the ensuing restart Laney again was getting nipped at his heels. 

It turned out to be the final restart and as the long green flag run developed, Laney built a comfortable lead. With the race staying green for so long it brought lapped traffic into play. Jake O’Neil, who started sixth, managed to run down Laney and eventually made the pass. 

O’Neil went on to grab the checkers to score the $1,500 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying victory. Laney was second while 14th starting Ethan Dotson rounded out the podium. Cody Thompson placed fourth over fifth finishing Kellen Chadwick.

Bo Partain took full advantage of his inside pole starting spot in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car main. The defending Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod track champion wasn’t quite able to build the largest of leads due to multiple cautions but he did manage to perfect the restarts. 

Partain felt a ton of pressure from behind courtesy of Chanse Hollatz and Zachary Madrid.  Madrid challenged from below while Hollatz tried to sweep from the top.  On the final circuit Madrid tried to make a banzai pass on the final set of corners but unfortunately spun out. 

Despite the pressure, Partain kept the challengers in check to score the victory. Hollatz placed second while Aaron Spangler got third.

Brady Bjella tamed the field in the early stages of the Northern SportMod feature but felt some heat delivered following the last two restarts.  

As the long green flag run developed from the final restart, Erik Laudenschlager got around Bjella for the top spot and led the remainder of the race. 

Chris Toth beat Bjella at the line for second.