By Ben Deatherage
SOMERTON, Ariz. (Jan. 14, 2023) – Five IMCA drivers won feature events and five more wrapped up IMCA.TV Winter Nationals in the Saturday night finale at Cocopah Speedway.
Chaz Baca topped the rain-delayed but caution-free Friesen Performance IMCA Modified main event, earning $1,000. Career win number 88 for the defending track and state champion, already Fast Shaft All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible, came ahead of Brady Bjella and Brandon Beckendorf.
Tim Ward’s 10th place run was just enough to give him the Winter Nationals title.
Veterans Curt Lund and Mike Albertsen tussled ‘til midway of the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car headliner, before Dylan Thornton motored by.
A late-race restart gave Thornton a clear track ahead and he sped to his second $750 checkers in as many nights. Albertsen ended in second, Shelby Williams was second and always-consistent Chase Berkeley wrapped up the title with his ninth place showing.
Levi Kiefer turned back the clock in dominating the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod finale, taking the lead on the opening stanza and, despite lapped traffic and four stoppages, kept the rest of the field in check. The Winter Nationals win, Kiefer’s career third, was his first since 2016.
Miles Morris and Jacob Mallet Jr. completed the top three. Shane Paris was 12th in repeating as Winter Nationals champion.
Brandon Bombardo led the charge from the start of the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock main and felt some heat from Thomas Daffern before capturing his second win of the week.
Thomas Daffern and Brycen Daffern ran 2-3 and Zack Tate wrapped up the Winter Nationals crown in fourth.
After emerging from a three-car battle, Jacob Cordova drove to the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact checkers ahead of D.J. Werkmeister.
Kevin Reuter, an active dusty U.S. Navy service member, sailed to third and earned the Winter Nationals crown for the 4-cylinder class.
As was the case the previous six race nights, the finale brought 200-plus IMCA entries to the Somerton speed plant.