Berry finds preferred line for Early Thaw IMCA win

His second start of the season saw Tom Berry Jr. score his first Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature win of the season, during the Ernie Mincy Early Thaw at Central Arizona Raceway. (Photo by Ron Pelton Jr.)

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (Jan. 19, 2024) – Tom Berry had to hustle to get a couple late post-season wins in Arizona last year.

He found victory lane much sooner this year, winning Friday’s night two Ernie Mincy Early Thaw feature for Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds.

“I fell back to fourth (from third starting) and was thinking that’s where I would finish,” said Berry, a DNF after running up front in the Thursday opener. “The high line was the preferred line and it took me three or four laps to get the lead once I found it.”

The $1,000 checkers were the first of the season and career 72nd in the class for Berry, who piloted a Mike Wedelstadt owned car at Casa Grande. IMCA’s 2020 national champion was already eligible to qualify for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational.

“We raced in Arizona in 2015 and won twice at Cocopah in the Turkey Classic Harvest Hustle last Thanksgiving,” he said. “We got started early this year, getting the win in our second start.”

Opening night winner Chaz Baca, Ricky Alvarado and Spencer Wilson rounded out the top four.

Bo Partain won the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature from the pole, collecting $750 along with B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility.

Scott Sluka was second, Aaron Olson third.

And Cam Reimers won for the second time in as many nights, scoring the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod victory ahead of Joe Docekal and Taylor Kuehl.

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