VINTON, Iowa (Aug. 13, 2023) – Dylan Thornton raced the top groove to a big payday in Sunday’s Bald Tire Bash at Benton County Speedway.
The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car special, which required a tread depth of no greater than 5/32 of an inch on any tire, featured a 50-lap headliner at The Bullring that resulted in a $2,500 winner’s share for the Keystone driver.
From a row two start, Thornton battled pole-sitter Leah Wroten early for the top spot in the Christie Door Company main event.
Working the top side of the fast, smooth quarter-mile, Thornton assumed command just prior to a lap five caution. He maintained the point on the restart and built a five-plus second advantage by the time the race was slowed again just past midway.
As Thornton led, Kyle Olson, Kaden Reynolds, Tom Berry Jr. and Dallon Murty pursued. Murty made his way into second before a stoppage that put him on Thornton’s rear bumper for a late restart.
While pressuring Thornton with just two laps to go, Murty spun in turn two to bring out a final caution. That allowed defending race winner Berry, who started in row eight, the chance to challenge for the win in a green, white, checkered shootout.
Thornton protected the top side when racing resumed to take the win ahead of Berry, Reynolds and Buck Schafroth.
Joel Rust continued his recent dominance in the 25-lap, $1,000-to-win main event for Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds presented by Beaty Excavating.
Rust drove the top side to the early lead from a third row start, then maintained a two second advantage in traffic to score the win ahead of Pennsylvania visitor David Stremme. Jacob Snyder and Chase Weimer completed the top four.
Rayce Mullen earned his first win at The Bullring by topping the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods presented by Houdek Auto Center. Mullen scored the convincing win ahead of what developed into a six car battle for runner-up honors.
Brandon Tharp, who ran second throughout the event, led the six-pack across the stripe for second ahead of Tony Olson and Sam Wieben.
Joren Fisher earned his third win of the year in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks presented by Vermedahl Logistics. He was running down Matt Brown and Dalton Weepie to make it a three-car battle out front when the lead pair made contact with each other. That allowed Fisher to sneak past for the lead and ultimate victory. Justin Wacha, Michael Kimm and Corey VanDerwilt completed the top four.
Steven Schmitz assumed command when contact between frontrunners Nolan Tuttle and Corey Crispin brought out the caution late in the 12-lapper for Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts presented by iHeart Radio. Schmitz took charge when racing resumed to score the win ahead of Lukas Rick, Cristian Grady and Robert Rundle.
Jordan Miklas earned his third win of the season in the INEX Legends presented by Legends.Direct. Miklas won a hard-fought battle with Cole O’Brien midway through the event and then held off Robby Morrison to seal the victory. Michael Weber and Colton Utley rounded out the top four.