Ricky Thornton Jr. takes Dirt Dominator crown on Karl Performance IMCA Arizona Mod Tour practice night

By Mike Spieker

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. (February 8, 2018) – The 2nd annual Karl Performance IMCA Arizona Modified Tour got underway Thursday evening with practice night at Arizona Speedway. Following the night’s practice session was the inaugural Dirt Dominator – a $1,000-to-win, 16-car bracket race for the IMCA Modifieds.

Chandler, Arizona driver, Ricky Thornton Jr., walked through the field to capture the overall victory. Thornton Jr. topped Jake O’Neil in the championship round, utilizing the inside line starting position.

“I knew it was going to be tough. Jake [O’Neil] has been really good,” said Thornton Jr. in victory lane. “I picked the bottom because I only ran one lap on the top. I knew I just had to get out front and not mess up.”

Thornton Jr. took the lead from O’Neil coming to the flagstand off of turn four after taking the green flag down the backstretch. O’Neil put his No. 0 machine on the cushion, but Thornton Jr. was too strong on the bottom. Thornton Jr. ran unchallenged en route to the victory.

Thornton Jr. defeated Delbert Shannon in the opening round before knocking off Russell Allen and Tim Ward.

With the win, Thornton Jr. is locked into the Dirt Dominator season finale, which will comprise of 16 Dirt Dominator winners throughout the season seen on IMCA.TV. The final Dirt Dominator event will boast a $10,000 check to the winner.

The Karl Performance IMCA Arizona Modified Tour officially kicks off Friday night (Feb. 9) at Arizona Speedway in Queen Creek, Ariz., as a part of the Snowbird Classic, featuring the IMCA Modifieds and Karl Chevrolet IMCA Northern SportMods. The tour heads back to Arizona Speedway on Saturday (Feb. 10) before heading to Casa Grande, Ariz. for a pair of events on Sunday (Feb. 11) and Monday (Feb. 12) at Central Arizona Speedway. Tuesday (Feb. 13) will offer a practice night at Canyon Speedway in Peoria, Ariz and will feature the $1000-to-win King of the Hill bracket race. Racing action continues Wednesday (Feb. 14) and Thursday (Feb. 15) as a part of the Desert Classic at Canyon Speedway before race teams head to the final track of the series at Cocopah Speedway in Yuma, Ariz. for a trio of shows. Friday through Sunday (Feb. 16-18) the Karl Performance Arizona Modified Tour will invade Cocopah Speedway’s IMCA Winter Nationals where a champion for both the IMCA Modifieds and Northern SportMods will be crowned.

Each night along the tour, Modified drivers will be competing for a hefty $1,500-to-win top prize, while Northern SportMod drivers will be racing for $600-to-win. A record-breaking 117 IMCA Modifieds and 52 Northern SportMods are pre-registered for the 2nd annual Karl Performance IMCA Arizona Modified Tour.

Round 1:
Corneliusen def. Sluka
Ward def. Alvarado
Allen def. Taylor
Thornton def. Shannon
O’Neil def. Simmons
McSpadden def. Johnson
Laney def. Parmeley
Lynn def. Rogers

Round 2:
Ward def. Corneliusen
O’Neil def. McSpadden
Thornton def. Allen
Laney def. Lynn

Round 3:
Thornton def. Ward
O’Neil def. Laney

Round 4:
Thornton def. O’Neil

Photo by Melissa Coker – melissasoutonalimb.smugmug.com