Thornton is $20,000 richer after Race For Hope 74 victory 

By Mike Spieker BATESVILLE, Ark. (Sept. 30) – Ricky Thornton Jr. captured the inaugural Race For Hope 74 title Saturday night at Batesville Motor Speedway. Thornton took the lead on lap 28 of 74 before going on to score the $20,000 IMCA Modified payday. “This one is definitely at the top of my list of races I’ve ever won, honestly,” said Thornton in vic­tory lane following the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier. “It’s definitely the most money I’ve ever won. It’s pretty cool to get it done in Larry Shaw’s backyard.” Preliminary night feature winners Kyle Strickler, Justin Kay, and Jordan Grabouski led the 27-car field to the green for the three-wide start. Strickler grabbed the lead on the opening lap while Grabouski settled into second. Kay and Thornton both moved by Grabouski on the low side on lap four to take second and third, respectively. By halfway of the first 40-lap segment, Kay remained within five car lengths of Strickler, as the lead duo distanced themselves from the rest of the field. Thornton found [Read More]


Grabouski grabs Race For Hope 74 qualifier Win 

By Mike Spieker BATESVILLE, Ark. (Sept. 29) – Jordan Grabouski captured the third and final Race For Hope 74 qualifying night feature Friday at Batesville Motor Speedway. Grabouski started fourth on the 30-car starting grid before taking the lead on lap eight. “Sometimes when you struggle, you need to do your homework. We did our homework tonight and made a few changes on the car. The thing was a rocketship tonight,” said Grabouski in vic­tory lane. Travis Dickson took the lead on the opening lap from the outside front row starting spot. Mean­while, Grabouski moved by Chad Andersen and Brian Hartwick to claim the runner-up spot at the completion of lap one. Seventh starting Jason Wilkey charged his way into third by lap three after driving around Ander­son. The caution waved on lap five after Hartwick spun in turn four. Jacob Murray had nowhere to go and made heavy contact with Hartwick. Both drivers were OK. On the restart, Dickson pushed into turn one, which allowed Grabouski to easily take the lead exiting turn two. Tyler [Read More]


Kay captures Thursday Race For Hope 74 IMCA Modified qualifier at Batesville 

By Mike Spieker BATESVILLE, Ark. (Sept. 28) – Justin Kay captured night two of the inaugural Race For Hope 74 IMCA Modified special at Batesville Motor Speedway Thursday evening. Kay led 21 of the 25 laps en route to the victory, which locked him into the front row for Saturday’s $20,000 to win main event. “I’ve never been here before. What an awesome race track,” said Kay in victory lane. “I knew what line I needed to run and I just had to hit my marks. Ricky (Thornton Jr.) has been so good lately and Kelly (Shryock) has been doing this a long time … this is just awesome. I’m so excited.” The race got underway with Kay, Dennie Gieber and Jason Wilkey on the front row for the three-wide start. The green flag was quickly replaced with the caution on the opening lap as Tyler Droste and Tyler Ste­vens got together exiting turn four. Droste was able to rejoin the field while Stevens was done for the night. On the complete restart, Wilkey raced his [Read More]

Kyle Strickler

Strickler dominates opening feature at the Race For Hope 74

By Mike Spieker BATESVILLE, Ark. (Sept. 27) – Kyle Strickler backed up his overall quick time qualifying run on Tuesday with a dominating performance in Wednesday night’s Race For Hope 74 IMCA Modified preliminary feature. The Mooresville, N.C., driver started in the middle of the front row for the three-wide start, which ran 10 rows deep. Strickler jumped out to the lead on the opening lap as Wendell Wallace and Steven Bowers Jr. settled into second and third, respectively. Strickler quickly opened up a full straightaway lead by lap five, while Wallace and Bowers fought for the runner-up position. As Strickler approached lapped traffic at the midway point of the 25-lap event, he didn’t waste any time getting around slower cars. The two-time IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s champion made a three-wide pass around two lapped cars that were battling for position as he continued to stretch out his lead over Wallace. Strickler was still battling heavy lapped traffic as the race advanced to the closing stage but he held a steady [Read More]


Strickler paces IMCA Modifieds during Race For Hope 74 time trials

By Mike Spieker BATESVILLE, Ark. (Sept. 26) – A stout field of 91 IMCA Modifieds checked in at Batesville Motor Speedway for the first of five nights of action during the Race For Hope 74. Tuesday began with practice for all competitors and concluded with time trials, which set heat race lineups for the remainder of the week. Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., set the overall quick time with a lap of 16.913 seconds, averag­ing 79.82 mph around the high-banked, 3/8-mile clay oval. Strickler was the only driver to run a lap in the 16-second bracket. Chris Abelson of Sioux City, Iowa, was second quick with a time of 17.068. Both drivers have locked themselves into Saturday night’s $20,000 to win, minimum $2,000 to start main event by virtue of their top-two qualifying efforts. Wednesday through Friday’s program will feature 15 qualifying heat races with a nightly feature, where the top eight finishers will automatically transfer into Saturday’s main event. On Saturday, the night will be highlighted by the 74-lap, Race For Hope 74 feature. [Read More]