By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Show Low, AZ
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Show Low, AZ -- Defending series champion and current point leader Wayne Noyes from Phoenix became the first three time feature winner in 2003 for the Southwest Dirt Late Models as he outdueled fellow heat race winner Randy Anderson for the $1,000 win Saturday night at Thunder Raceway high in the Arizona mountains. No other driver has won more than once as W Noyes and second ranked Mike Tahtinen have pulled away from the field in the series point race. Anderson was the $500 second and climbed all way to third in points as incoming third ranked Jeff Manka was able to compete after a tough half-mile show at Manzanita the previous weekend. Lonnie Parker Jr finished third ahead of Karl Tipton, the previous Show Low winner in 2003. Tahtinen followed up his Manzanita win with a fifth. The Pro Stocks drew a season high 15 cars and usual Central Arizona Raceway competitor Don Earven from Globe visited with wins in both his heat and feature. Yvonne Doyle from Flagstaff enjoyed her best race ever with a second ahead of Paul Gates. Jeremy Cheadle used his mini stock feature win to take the track point lead from Rick Haase. Haase led by two points entering the show, but ran third behind usual dirt modified racer Jeff Anderson.
The Southwest Dirt Late Models brought a 15 car field that was divided into a pair of heat races. Anderson won the first heat ahead of Troy Ruebke and Randy Burrows on the action filled, high banked 1/4 mile clay oval. W Noyes won heat 2 ahead of Parker Jr and Dennis Gates. W Noyes outdueled Anderson for the main event win with Parker Jr third ahead of Tipton, Tahtinen, Ruebke, Chris Cross, Jerry Fincher, Willie Parker and Keith James. Tipton and Parker Jr also moved by the absent Manka into the 4th and 5th point positions. Next up for the traveling series is their longest road trip of the year as they race back to back events at El Paso Speedway Park and The Speedway of Southern New Mexico on July 11-12. They return to Thunder Raceway on July 19.
The large turnout of Pro Stocks allowed for a three heat format. Earven beat Jarrod Davis in heat 1 and Loren Hunt outraced Doyle in heat 2. Ron Butler and point leader Jay Niver were 1-2 in heat 3. Earven then won the main event ahead of Doyle, Gates, Brad Dorsey, Butler, Jeremy Stalter, Wayne Totherow Jr and Charlie Mitchell. It was a tough race for Niver, Hunt and Davis as they ran 12th, 14th and 15th. The mini stocks ran a 7 car heat race and a six car feature. Haase did win the heat with Anderson second ahead of Cheadle. Cheadle was the feature winner with Anderson second over Haase, J D Hall, Darrell Craig and Don Sterbutzel.
Thunder Raceway has two big nights of racing on the holiday weekend with the Dirt Modifieds, Dwarf Cars and Mini Stocks racing on Friday, July 4. The Touring USAC Southwest unwinged sprint cars return on July 5 and the dirt modifieds will be a racing a second $600 to win show that night.