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IMCA Modifieds

By: Gary Jacob
Where: Lake Pleasant, AZ
On: 02/03/2001
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Lake Pleasant, AZ --

Forced to come through the C and B Mains after dropping out of his heat race, Arizona legend Terry Belcher Sr outdueled his son Terry Belcher Jr to win the 25 lap IMCA Modified main event in round 4 of the 8 race Barnett's Harley Davidson sponsored Winter Season Saturday night at Canyon Raceway. Belcher Sr's win in his Larry Shaw chassis was worth $1,000 after trading the lead with his talented son in the closing rounds. Belcher Jr ran second ahead of Rick Ward and series point leader Ronnie Wallace from Nebraska. Northern California's Eric Jacobsen dominated the early stages of the race, but slipped off the groove and lost the lead to Texan Christy Georges. Contact racing between Belcher Jr and Georges saw Georges spin for a lap 15 yellow flag with Jacobsen collected in the incident. Belcher Sr had finished 2nd in the C Main and 3rd in the B Main to work his way into the 15th starting spot for the 25 lap A Main.

The 45 IMCA Modifieds were split into six qualifying heats with just the top two finishers in each advancing into the A Main. Heat winners were New Mexico's Dulane Colcleasure, Texan Doug Kirkwood, Jacobsen, New Mexico's Butch Reid, K C Dieckman and Georges. Friday night Manzanita winner Ricky Thornton saw his Pro Chassis modified heavily damaged in a heat 1 crash. Colorado's Bill Lundock won the 15 lap B Main. He led the first 4 laps, then chased Dan Klinder for 6 rounds before he regained the lead on a lap 11 restart. Klinder outdueled Belcher Sr for second with Colorado's Gary Dechant fourth over Ward and Minnesota's Davy Riopelle. The first attempt to start the B Main saw Kingman's Steve Simpson Jr a flip victim in turn 4. The track then took a break to wait for the killer sun to set. Dechant had scored a photo finish win over Belcher Sr in the C Main as Belcher Sr's last lap slide job just fell short. Darren Dodd was third in that 10 lapper over Sherm Barnett.

The lineup for the 25 lap A Main saw Colcleasure and Kirkwood in row 1 and Colcleasure led the first lap. Dieckman ran off the end of the track for a yellow flag and Dechant had to be towed into the pits. Jacobsen had started 5th, but he drove underneath Colcleasure on the restart for the lead with 9th starter Georges quickly into second. Kansas ace Joey Kates took over third on lap 3 and Belcher Jr broke into the top five on lap 6. Belcher Jr took fourth from Chuck Black on lap 9 and Belcher Sr was fifth a lap later. An ugly incident on lap 12 saw Dieckman and Curt Barnett jump out of their cars and start fighting after they tangled. They were both disqualified from their feature finishing slots and suspended from action. On the restart, Jacobsen slipped off his bottom groove and Georges charged underneath for the top spot. Belcher Jr took over second on lap 14 and pulled alongside Georges as they finished lap 15. Belcher Jr and Georges made heavy contact as they raced into turn 1 and Belcher Jr drove up and over the left front corner of the Georges' car. Georges spun and collected Jacobsen and Kates. Georges ended up high-centered on the track lip, but she ran into the back of Belcher Jr when she was freed and the officials blackflagged Georges off the track. On the restart, Belcher Jr led Belcher Sr, Ward, Klinder and Wallace. Belcher Sr got by Belcher Jr for the top spot on lap 18 as Wallace took over fourth. The final yellow came on lap 22 as Black spun and was clipped by Regan Tafoya. Belcher Sr bounced out of the groove in turn 2 on lap 23 and Belcher Jr briefly regained the lead, but Belcher Sr got by on the bottom on lap 24 to make his winning pass. Finishing behind the Belcher combo were Ward, Wallace, Klinder, Riopelle, Kirkwood, Lundock, Tafoya, Kates and Reid. Belcher Sr devoted most of the 2000 season to helping Belcher Jr as he moved into the unwinged 360 sprint cars.

Summary Heat 1-Dulane Colcleasure, Chuck Black, Max Sadler Jr, Dan Klinder, Curt Barnett. Heat 2-Doug Kirkwood, Joey Kates, Regan Tafoya, Steve Simpson Jr, Conrad Burkhardt. Heat 3-Eric Jacobsen, Dave Chenoweth, Davy Riopelle, Kevin Scarborough, Dave Goulette. Heat 4-Butch Reid, Ronnie Wallace, Rick Ward, Joe Parmeley, Karl Tipton. Heat 5-K C Dieckman, Mark Williams, Bill Lundock, Darin Center, Larry Hunter. Heat 6-Christy Georges, Terry Belcher Jr, Joe Mullins, Brian Combs, Sherm Barnett. C Main-Gary Dechant, Terry Belcher Sr, Darren Dodd, S Barnett, Tipton, C Barnett, Burkhardt, Tyronne Yazzie, Chaz Baca, John Tanner. B Main-Lundock, Klinder, Belcher Sr, Dechant, Ward, Riopelle, S Barnett, Yazzie, C Barnett, Mullins, Tafoya, Dodd, Sadler, Center. A Main-Belcher Sr, Belcher Jr, Ward, Wallace, Klinder, Riopelle, Kirkwood, Lundock, Tafoya, Kates, Reid, Black, Mullins, Colcleasure, Williams, Chenoweth, Dodd, S Barnett, Georges, Jacobsen, Yazzie, Dechant.

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