By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Phoenix, AZ
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Phoenix, AZ --
Jumping into the Hollywood Leary car that is normally driven by midget star Ricky Johnson, Darren Williams completed a clean sweep of Sunday's IMCA Modified action by overtaking early leader Dan Fitzgerald in the 30 lap A Main at Manzanita Speedway. Williams has raced the FlexiFlyer house car at the three Canyon Raceway events, but was in the Dave Wilson car for the first two Manzanita shows. He opened the day with a win in his heat, then captured the Dash for Cash sponsored by West Connection Racing. His
feature win was worth $1,000 and Jim Perkins also got around Fitzgerald late to garner the $500 runnerup award. Perkins is driving the Don and Lisa Wood Extreme Chassis in 2000. Perkins was also a heat winner as was Fitzgerald, who salvaged a third place feature finish to go along with his runnerup effort the previous night at Canyon. Young Bumper Jones from Las Cruces, NM had a big day with a 4th in the 30 lapper to go along with a 2nd in his heat and his father Royal Jones ran 6th behind Mountain Region titlest Aaron Spangler from Colorado. R Jones had won the season opener at Manzanita, but skipped week two.
The 33 car turnout was split into four qualifying heats. Johnson won the first ahead of pavement star Jeff Gibson, who was making his 2000 debut. Perkins took heat 2 with B Jones second ahead of Spangler. Manzanita ace Joe Warner edged out R Jones in heat 3 with Aztec Speedway champion Brandon Carley third. Fitzgerald won the final heat with Oregon's Larry Follett second ahead of Kingman's Steve Simpson Jr. The top four from each heat advanced into the 30 lapper where they were joined by 8 transfers from the B Main. Saturday night Canyon winner Kenny Hatfield had his car heavily damaged in a heat race incident and he was done for the day. Brian Gabbard also was a B Main scratch after heat race damage. West Connection Racing sponsored the dash with a $200 award
that was split evenly over the four competing drivers. Williams added this win with Perkins second despite damage that would handicap his feature effort. The star filled B Main saw New Mexico's J J Harpole the winner ahead of Texan Christy Georges, Darin Center and Ricky Thornton. The cars that failed to transfer included Missouri's Bill Kretschmer, Colorado's Larry Thompson, New Mexico's Robbie Haaland, Texan Sherm Barnett and California's Kathy Pierson and Jim DiGiovanni.
Fitzgerald lined up third in the 30 lap A Main and quickly broke into the lead. Only one brief caution slowed the action in the first 25 laps and Fitzgerald set the pace until he found his bottom groove blocked by a slower car. As he worked his way through the lapped traffic, he lost the lead to Williams and second place to Perkins. Williams, Perkins and Fitzgerald were trailed by teenager B Jones, Spangler, R Jones, New Mexico's Scott Logston, Carley, Georges and Center.
When Manzanita Speedway cancelled the Feb 13th date that left just a Feb 20th date on the Winter Season schedule.
The factory stock main event was won by Ken Seastedt ahead of previous week winner Larry Price and newcomer Harry Nevel. An unidentified driver in #2 ran fourth ahead of Glenn Stumm and Dominic Goodwin.
Summary Dash-Darren Williams, Jim Perkins, Joe Warner. Heat 1-Williams, Jeff Gibson, Scott Logston, Randy Harrison, Christy Georges. Heat 2-Perkins, Bumper Jones, Aaron Spangler, Buster Kirk, J J Harpole. Heat 3-Warner, Royal Jones, Brandon Carley, Lenny Toolanen, Joe Mullins. Heat 4-Dan Fitzgerald, Larry Follett, Steve Simpson Jr, Craig Carrajat, Larry Thompson. B Main-Harpole, Georges, Darin Center, Ricky Thornton, Darren Dodd, Mark Williams, Mullins, Davey Riopelle, Sherm Barnett, Thompson. A Main-Williams, Perkins, Fitzgerald, B Jones, Spangler, R Jones, Logston, Carley, Georges, Center, Mullins, Kirk, Follett, Williams, Carrajat, Simpson, Dodd, Gibson,
Thornton, Harpole, Harrison, Toolanen, Warner, Riopelle.