Thornton takes opening night feature win at Race For Hope 74

By Mike Spieker BATESVILLE, Ark. (Sept. 26) – Picking up where he left off last year, Ricky Thornton Jr. raced to the opening night feature win of Mark Martin’s Race For Hope 74 at Batesville Motor Speedway. Thornton, who is the defending champion of the Race For Hope 74, led all 30 trips around the high-banked three-eighths mile clay oval en route to the Wednesday evening IMCA Modified win. “The car was really good tonight. I was able to jump out front and really run my own race,” said Thornton after the race. “We’ll probably make a few small changes for Saturday but we are ex­cited to roll from the pole.” The top eight finishers in the Wednesday qualifier are locked into Saturday’s $20,000-to win, 74-lap main event. Those drivers include Thornton, Cayden Carter, Jason Hughes, Justin Kay, Drew Armstrong, Ken Schrader, Zack VanderBeek and Joel Rust. Armstrong ran in the runner-up position until the lap 12 restart when Hughes snuck underneath him in turns one and two. On the following circuit, 10th place runner Jake [Read More]


Race For Hope 74 practice, time trials start Tuesday

BATESVILLE, Ark. – Practice and time trials get underway Tuesday night at Batesville Motor Speedway for the top-paying IMCA Modified event of the season. A $20,000 share of the $150,000 Mark and Arlene Martin Hope For Arkansas Foundation Race For Hope 74 main event purse goes to the winner of the Saturday, Sept. 29 headliner. Twenty-seven drivers take the green flag in a race that pays a minimum of $2,000 to start. All IMCA rules will apply and IMCA Speedway Mo­tors Weekly Motors Weekly Racing National, Jet Racing Central Region and Arkansas State points will be awarded. Race For Hope 74 will be broadcast by IMCA.TV. Presenting sponsor is Sweet Manufacturing. Fifteen heat races will be held each night Wednesday through Friday. “D,” “C” and “B” races will follow qualifying features those evenings with points to be awarded toward a special race. Both the Race of States, featuring the fastest car from each state that does not qualify for the main event, and the Manufacturers’ race, featuring the fastest non-qualifying car built by each manufacturer [Read More]


Marriott, Taylor beat Batesville foes for Arkansas Spring Nationals wins

BATESVILLE, Ark. (March 23-24) – A first-time visitor and a regular at Batesville Motor Speed­way both raced their way to victory lane during the Arkansas Spring Nationals. Hunter Marriott topped Friday’s IMCA Modified feature while Jeff Taylor went from last on open­ing night to first in the Saturday show. Both features paid $1,500 to win and both Marriott and Taylor were already on the ballot for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. Marriott started opening night from outside the front row and led the distance, pulling away from everybody en route to his eight Fast Shafts ballot qualifying victory already this season and 11th since last August. After running in lapped traffic much of the way, Marriott won ahead of Tyler Stevens, Peyton Tay­lor, Jeff James and Mark Norris. “We were getting ready to race and decided on Thursday to go to Batesville,” Marriott said. “We went down there to learn and had a pretty good weekend.” Jeff Taylor, a double winner at Spring Nationals each of the last two years, started on the pole, held [Read More]


Perfect forecast for Arkansas Spring Nationals at Batesville

BATESVILLE, Ark. – You couldn’t ask for better weather for this weekend’s Arkansas Spring Nationals at Batesville Motor Speedway. IMCA Modifieds run for $1,500 to win and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berths Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24. Both features pay $1,000 to the runner-up. Mini­mum start money is $150, non-qualifiers earn “B” money and IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Jet Racing Cen­tral Region, Arkansas State and track points will be awarded. The pit gate opens at 4 p.m., the grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 7 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30 p.m. each night. Spectator admission is $10 for adults and free for kids ages 14 and under. Pit passes are $30. An open practice will be from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, March 22. Pit passes that evening are $20. Overnight accommodations are available by calling the Ramada Inn at 870 698-1800 or the Holiday Inn Express at 870 698-2700. Additional information about Arkansas Spring Nationals is available by calling 870 251-0011, at the www.batesvillemotorspeedway.com website or [Read More]


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]