By: Gary Jacob and Sandy Combs|
Where: Lake Pleasant, Az
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Lake Pleasant, Az -- Manzanita Speedway star Anthony Madrid came out of top of the 20 lap IMCA Modified main event Saturday night at Canyon Raceway as a season high 33 car turnout competed. Madrid made his winning move around defending track champion Joe Warner with just 3 laps remaining and the $500 winner was chased by Warner, Darin Center and Tony Martin. The Victory Racing Wheels Pure Stocks found Steve Bitting Jr in the winnerís circle for a fifth straight race, but he was pushed hard to the win by Ty Weidner. The Arizona Dwarf Cars kicked off a three race Ice Breaker Series and former Show Low champion Randy Anderson won the feature ahead of Kevin Hickson and Jerry Larrabee. The purpose behind the series was to get the street tire clubs to come and race with the Hoosier tire teams with bonus money available for the street tire racers. Derek McCluskey established a new 20 lap record for the mini sprint 600ís by winning the caution free race in 302.74 seconds. That averages 15.14 per lap on the 3/8 mile clay oval. The seperately scored modified midget 250 class also had a first time winner with Ryan Copley on top.
The 33 IMCA Modifieds were divided into four qualifying heat races. Heat winners were Jim Hurd, Danny Price, Robin Boomgaarden and Darin Center. Ron Funk won a large B Main. The 20 lap feature lined up 24 starters and the field included Terry Belcher Jr in his new ride and New Mexicoís Bumper Jones wheeling the Kenny Hatfield car that Belcher Jr used to drive. Three restarts eliminated six cars before a lap was scored. The first restart came when Jones stalled with a flat tire. The big crash came on the second restart as Jim Hurd went off the back stretch and veered back onto the track in front of the pack. Nine cars suffered damage. Terry Belcher Sr broke and stalled on the track for the third restart. Finally, a lap was scored with Warner the early leader over Madrid and Jim Collinsworth. Hurd again stalled to force a yellow with just one lap down. Belcher Jr was third by lap 5, but lost the spot to Center on lap 12. With three laps to go, Madrid got around Warner for the win. Warner ran second ahead of Center, Tony Martin, Belcher Jr, Collinsworth, Danny Shaffer and Rick Ward. NorCal transplant Chris Olexiewicz was 9th.
With the special dwarf car race drawing several Las Vegas area racers, former dwarf car racer and Mohave Valley track champion Jim Bonetti elected to make the tow also. He ran 20th in the A Main.
Heat races for the pure stocks went to Bitting, Stacey Bennett and Geoff Hatch. Corky Warner led the first five laps of the feature with Bitting in second. After Bitting raced into the lead, Hatch worked his way into second and stayed there until he overheated on lap 17. Weidner was chasing down leader Bitting at the checkered flag, but settled for 2nd ahead of Scott Hollon, Floyd Vaughan, Bennett, Brandon Jackson and Robert McClelland.
The dwarf car special drew 27 cars. Ryan Cotrell from Las Vegas established a new six lap track record with his winning time of 101.69 seconds in heat 1. Other heat winners were Anderson, K Hickson and Jeff Adams. Another Las Vegas racer Robert Ewing established an 8 lap track record in his B Main victory as he took 141.68 seconds. The 15 lap feature saw Jerry Larrabee the early leader. Just one lap later, K Hickson raced into the top spot. Anderson passed K Hickson just four laps into the race and he commanded the remainder of the race. The last caution came on lap 12 for a Nick Escobedo spin. Anderson won ahead of K Hickson, Larrabee, Jesse Chinn, Nick Bruce, Dean Riggs, Cotrell and Fred Donaldson. Tim Jones won the bonus money as the highest finishing street tire car.
Heat races for the modified midgets went to the 600 of Steven Sanchez and the 250 of Chad Fife. The all green feature saw McCluskey set his blistering pace to collect the win ahead of the mini sprint 600 contingent. Sanchez ran second ahead of newcomer Kyle Shipley, James Edwards and Ken Caskey. The modified midget 250 had another new winner with Ryan Copley victorious ahead of Matt Biancani, Greg Cox, Fife and Patrick Riddle.