SOMERTON, Ariz. (Jan. 5, 2024) – His streak of fifth place finishes came to an end Friday night, when Jeremy Mills topped the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature at Cocopah Speedway.
The Iowa long tow, an IMCA.TV Winter Nationals regular the last three years, had placed fifth in four consecutive Somerton starts dating back to last January. He started on the pole and led all 25 laps in ending that streak despite the best efforts of Thursday winner Ethan Braaksma.
“We’ve been coming here the last few years and I’ve finished second a couple times but had never won at Cocopah before,” said Mills, who earned $1,000 and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility with his career 135th win in the division. “I’d finished fifth the last four features here. I was just trying to do better than that.”
“It means a lot to be able to win at Cocopah,” he continued. “There are so many good cars here. It’s hard just to qualify out of the heat.”
Braaksma worked his way up from fifth to challenge, swapping the front spot with Mills in lapped traffic.
Braaksma went low, Mills high to split a lapped car after taking the white flag. Mills ultimately got to the final set of turns with the lead and motored to the much-anticipated win on the inside line.
“It was a good race, a respectful race,” said Mills, now tied for 30th all-time on the IMCA Modified career wins list.
Defending national champion Chaz Baca was third, defending series champion Tim Ward fourth.
Dylan Thornton beat Bo Partain and Shelby Williams to the $1,000 IMCA Sunoco Stock Car checkers, with opening night winner Zane DeVilbiss and Thursday winner Cole Czarneski completing the top five. Thornton is already B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational eligible.
Miles Morris repeated his $1,000 winning ways in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods, with Nathan Speten making his way from 11th starting to second. Jason Bannister took third.
Jaeden Strandberg led Ryan Gilland and Nathan Deragon across the stripe for the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock win.
Oliver Monson paced the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts. Wednesday and Thursday winner Kaytee DeVries was second, Jacob Cordova third.