By Mike Spieker
YUMA, Ariz. (February 17, 2018) – Round seven of the Karl Performance Arizona IMCA Modified Tour brought the series to Cocopah Speedway. Brookfield, Missouri’s Hunter Marriott remained untouchable during Friday night’s 25-lap, $1,500-to-win main event.
Marriott led every trip around the three-eighths mile dirt oval, despite challenges from Casey Arneson and Jake O’Neil throughout the race.
“Tonight was one of the toughest races I have had to race in a long time,” said Marriott in victory lane. “I could hear them guys back there the whole time. I knew I had to keep my corner entry speed up or else they were going to eat me up. I straightened the car up after I saw that car on the outside of me and just hoped the right rear would stay up. I was burning it into the corner pretty hard.”
Marriott grabbed the race lead at the drop of the green flag from the pole position. The man on the move early was Casey Arneson, who drove from sixth to second by lap three. Arneson continued his charge forward and challenged Marriott for the point on lap four.
With Marriott protecting the bottom, Arneson pulled along the outside of Marriott by rolling through the middle of the corners. The lead duo raced door to door for three consecutive laps before Marriott eventually prevailed.
The field was slowed on lap seven after Ricky Thornton Jr. spun and made contact with the turn three wall.
On the ensuing restart, round two winner, Jake O’Neil, powered into the second position. O’Neil searched every inch of Cocopah Speedway, trying to find enough speed to reel in Marriott. Around the halfway point, O’Neil found something around the high side of the speedway and began to close in on Marriott. However, O’Neil could never get within three car lengths of the leader as Marriott cruised to his third win on the tour.
O’Neil, Cody Laney, Jason Wolla, and Arneson rounded out the top five.
Bo Partain picked up his second IMCA Northern SportMod win of the tour. Partain took the top spot away from Ethan Braaksman on lap six. Once out front, Partain didn’t look back. The driver of the no. 75C checked out to nearly a four second lead and took the win over Austin Howes. Ben Chapman, Jimmy Davy, and Chris Toth rounded out the top five.
Photo by Melissa Coker.
- Hunter Marriott, 2. Jake O’Neil, 3. Cody Lanely, 4. Jason Wolla, 5. Casey Arneson, 6. Anthony Roth, 7. Chris Abelson, 8. Jeff Taylor, 9. Aaron Turnbull, 10. Ryan Gaylord, 11. Lance Mari, 12. Tanner Black, 13. Dylan Goplen, 14. Ethan Dotson. 15. Kody Scholpp, 16. Tim Ward, 17. Chad Andersen, 18. Marlyn Seidler, 19. Casey Skyberg, 20. Ed Turnbull, 21. Bob Moore, 22. Paul Stone, 23. Spencer Wilson, 24. Austin Kuehl, 25. Tripp Gaylord, 26. Ricky Thornton Jr.