By Mike Spieker
QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. (February 10, 2018) – After a solid third place effort was negated the night before following post-race tech, Jake O’Neil of Tucson, Ariz. cruised to the win on night two of the Karl Performance Arizona IMCA Modified Tour at Arizona Speedway.
O’Neil started on the pole for the 25-lap main event with Kody Scholpp to his outside. O’Neil led the opening circuit with Scholpp in tow. Meanwhile, Jason Wolla, Casey Arneson, and Ethan Dotson raced three wide for third. The race for third quickly became a battle for second as Dotson and Arneson reeled in Scholpp for the runner-up spot. Dotson, who was the lone driver in the top five riding the rim around the thin cushion, squeezed around Scholpp for second and brought Wolla with him.
Wolla snuck by Dotson for second with 18 laps to go, but O’Neil had already stretched his advantage to over two seconds.
Lapped traffic slowed O’Neil’s pace significantly, which allowed Wolla to close the gap to just over a half second. Fortunately for O’Neil, the caution was displayed as Wolla was closing in, which allowed for a clean race track ahead for O’Neil on the ensuing restart.
Wolla fell back to fourth on the restart at the hands of Dotson and Arneson. O’Neil had checked out on the field once again by the time the final caution erased his lead with four laps remaining.
On the restart, a lapped car who was pitside, entered the race track right in front of the leaders. The lapped car ran right in the rubbered up groove, which forced O’Neil to attempt a slide job to get by him. As O’Neil cleared the lapped car, Dotson got a tremendous run on O’Neil and nearly stole the lead exiting turn two. O’Neil was able to hold off Dotson’s charge, as well as a subsequent green-white-checkered restart, to claim his first career Karl Performance Arizona IMCA Modified Tour victory. Dotson, Arneson, Wolla, and Scholpp rounded out the top five.
Ethan Braaksma backed up his win on Friday night to go back to back in the IMCA Northern SportMod portion of the event. Braaksma took the lead from Chris Toth on lap six and went on to lead the remainder of the 20-lap event. Braaksma took the win by five and a half seconds over Bo Partain. Chris Toth, Austin Howes, and Arie Schouten rounded out the top five.
The Karl Performance Arizona IMCA Modified Tour continues Sunday, Feb. 11th at Central Arizona Speedway in Casa Grande, Ariz.
- Jake O’Neil, 2. Ethan Dotson, 3. Casey Arneson, 4. Jason Wolla, 5. Kody Scholpp, 6. Lucas Schott, 7. Russel Allen, 8. Bobby Hogge, 9. Hunter Marriott, 10. Lance Mari, 11. Tim Ward, 12. Dylan Goplen, 13. Cody Laney, 14. Zachary Madrid, 15. Lucas Rodin, 16. Shawn Strand, 17. Spencer Wilson, 18. Ricky Thornton Jr., 19. Chaz Baca Jr., 20. Chad Andersen, 21. Tyler Mecl, 22. Marlyn Seidler, 23. Bubba Stafford Jr., 24. Bill Brack, 25. Chris Abelson, 26. Paul Stone
Photo by Melissa Coker.