SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (February 14, 2017) – Night four of the inaugural IMCA Arizona Modified Tour took drivers, race teams, and fans alike to Arizona Speedway for a Valentine’s Day special Tuesday night. Lucas Schott found victory lane by night’s end to become the fourth different Modified winner in as many nights.
Troy Gemmill used his front row starting position to race his way to the lead as the green flag flew on the opening lap. Gemmill cruised out to a comfortable advantage up front and looked as though he had the car to beat early on.
The first caution of the race fell on lap seven. At the green, Schott, who started in the ninth position, had already reached the second spot and put pressure on Gemmill as the pack charged into turn one. On the following circuit, Schott completed a big slide job on Gemmill in turn two to momentarily take the lead, but Gemmill countered with a crossover move to regain the point.
Lap nine proved to be disastrous for Gemmill as his No. 721 machine slowed to a stop in turn one, costing him the lead and, potentially, the win. As a result, Schott inherited the lead for the ensuing restart.
Once the race resumed, Schott was untouchable as he drove to the feature win by a margin of 4.759 seconds over his car owner, Mike Wedelstadt.
“It’s a little weird when you are side by side with your car owner,” said Schott in victory lane. “But I’ve got to thank Mike for letting me drive his car. It’s a pretty quick hot rod.”
Chase Allen drove from 13th to round out the podium, while Jeremy Thornton and Jimmy Gustin finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
The IMCA SportMods had a highly contested main event, beginning with Fred Ryland and Cory Hemphill battling for the point early on. On lap seven, Hemphill looked to have a run on Ryland coming out of turn four, but he looped his No. 00SP machine to bring out the caution. On the restart, Robbie Conway moved from fourth the second and set his sights on Ryland.
With three to go, Conway placed a bid for the lead out of turn four, but just as he did so the caution flew for a spin that occurred right in front of the leaders. Ryland led the field to the green-white-checkered restart and immediately jumped out to a three car length lead, but Conway was still hot on his heels.
As they came to the white flag, Conway again pulled even with Ryland out of turn four and led by a half car length at the line. Conway completed the pass in turn one and drove away from Ryland on the final lap to steal the win.
Austin Kiefer, Eric Folstad, and Brian Roode rounded out the top five.
The IMCA Stock Cars also had a last lap pass for the win to conclude their main event. Jason Rodgers of Selden, Kan. edged out George Fronsman by a mere 0.021 seconds at the line to take the win. Rodgers, who came from fourth, led only one lap the entire feature; the last. Aaron Spangler, Elijah Zebenberger, and Brendon LaBatte rounded out the top five.
Racing continues Wednesday, February 15th at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz. Watch every lap live on IMCA.tv.