Top five car puts Clonch on top of opening night Ice Breaker podium

What Tim Clonch thought was a top five car proved to be the winning IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, on opening night of the IMCA.TV Ice Breaker at Abilene Speedway. (Photo by Michael Diers, Pole Position Photo)

ABILENE, Texas (Feb. 17, 2023) – Tim Clonch thought he had a top five car.

Then he knew he had a winning one. 

Clonch caught race-long leader Gregory Muirhead just after midway and stayed in front the rest of the way to win Friday’s IMCA.TV Ice Breaker feature for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, earning $1,500 and B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility. 

“We struggled in our heat race and before the feature we threw a big guess at it,” Clonch said of the setup changes made before the main. “I felt I had a top five car but after five or six laps I realized I had a car I could win with, and once I got the lead I knew we’d be tough to beat.” 

Jeffrey Abbey moved up 10 spots to second and Muirhead was third. 

Clonch had returned to the class last season, winning four times at Grayson County Speedway in a Paul Peters Motorsports 2018 B & B ride. 

“We put a lot of time in on this car over the winter and really worked hard on going to this race,” he said. “Now it would be awesome to go to Boone and qualify for the All-Star race.” 

John Webb was in the right place at the right time in winning the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature and David Phillips won his first Smiley’s Racing Products IMCA Southern SportMod feature since July of 2017.

“I knew it was time,” Webb said of his charge to the front after the lead pair tangle just before halfway through the Modified show. “We have struggled at Abilene the last couple years so it was good to be able to get the win and Fast Shafts All-Star eligibility this year.”

Hard charger Tyler Iverson and Robbie Daniels rounded out the top three.

Phillips, who ended a six-year absence from the sport at last fall’s Southern Challenge, led all 20 laps of the $1,000 to win Southern SportMod feature. 

“I ran at Abilene for 12 years, took six years off and when I came back last October it looked like I hadn’t raced for 12 years,” Phillips said. “I just wanted to make the show. Everything else was extra. This was a redemption for sure.” 

Second was John Neal Reid and Tyler Fain was third. 

Sean Leasure was the Mach-1 Sport Compact winner, ahead of Steven Bevils and Frank Lackey.