Victory Lane photo courtesy of Ben Thrasher

Ricky Thornton, Jr., Tops Desert Thunder Nationals Opener at Central Arizona Speedway

Lonnie Wheatley, CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (November 20, 2020) – Ricky Thornton, Jr., kicked off the Seventh annual Desert Thunder Nationals by racing to victory lane in Friday night’s 25-lap IMCA Modified feature event atop the 3/8-mile Central Arizona Speedway clay oval.

While Thornton, Jr., bested the Modified ranks, Cody Thompson bounced back from heat race issues to take IMCA Sport Modified honors, Steve Shumaker scored the Pure Stock win and Cameron LaRose and J.W. Henderson claimed Power 600 Micro Sprint honors as 128 cars filled the pit area for the first of three days of Desert Thunder Nationals action.

After starting third in the 30-lap IMCA Modified feature, Thornton, Jr., battled past Don Geist to take command on the fifth round and then denied any Jake O’Neill challenges for the point after a pair of late cautions to secure the win.  O’Neill and Jeff Larson filled out the podium with Chaz Baca racing from 20th to fourth and 15th-starter Zachary Madrid rounding out the top five.

“I knew Jake was going to be tough, him starting 12th probably helped me out a little bit,” Thornton, Jr., stated after posting the win aboard the No. 20RT entry.

After cutting a tire in heat race action, Cody Thompson raced from sixth to win his “B” Main and then rallied from the 18th starting position to win the 25-lap IMCA Sport Modified feature and open up a bid for a second consecutive three-race sweep of Central Arizona Speedway’s Desert Thunder Nationals.

Starting nine rows deep, Thompson cracked the top three by the eighth round and then took the lead away from Ty Weidner two laps later en route to victory lane.  Alves followed Thompson around Weidner for second and challenged Thompson for the point in the latter rounds before settling for runner-up honor.  Weidner earned the show position with Ron Schreiner and Austen Becerra rounding out the top five.

“I just had to be patient and try not to abuse the tires,” the Sioux City sensation commented in victory lane.

Steve Shumaker raced from the third row outside to top the 20-lap Pure Stock feature ahead of Kevin Risacher with Jack Lacy, Bud Marshall and Virgil McArthur rounding out the top five.

On the inner oval, Cameron LaRose beat Colton Hardy and Shon Deskins to the line in the Power 600 Non-Wing Micro Sprint feature with J.W Henderson leading the way to the checkered flag in the Restricted Micro Sprint main event.

Central Arizona Speedway’s Sixth Annual Desert Thunder Nationals resumes with Saturday night’s second of three rounds that gets under way at 6:00 p.m. featuring IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, Pure Stocks Power 600 Micro Sprints.

 

Central Arizona Speedway – November 20, 2020 Seventh Annual Desert Thunder Nationals Night One Results:

IMCA Modifieds:

Heat One:  1. 5-Jeff Taylor, 2. 10T-Don Geist, 3. 10s-Rick Spencer II, 4. 44-Christy Barnett, 5. 82-Easton Whistler, 6. 55b-Mike Brandon, 7. 32ak-Tim Jauhola, 8. 12gn-Guy Norton.

Heat Two:  1. 20rt-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 2. 55ak-Scott Sluka, 3. 18k-Jacob Pace, 4. 22m-Sean Stacy, 5. 8m-Doug Meeks, 6. 2x-Roy Poeling, 7. 6F-Jeff Foster, 8. 16st-Sean Tyson (DNS).

Heat Three:  1. 44k-Kelsie Foley, 2. 5k-Mike Kirby, 3. 5m-Zachary Madrid, 4. 99-Shawn Strand, 5. 71s-Brent Schlafmann, 6. 18jr-Ricardo Olagu, Jr., 7. 5w-Wes Meeks, 8. 157-Joel King.

Heat Four:  1. 44T-Tanner Black, 2. 82sb-Sherman Barnett, 3. 75-Spencer Wilson, 4. 75jr-Chaz Baca, 5. 6-Eric Center, 6. 118-Jesse Patterson, 7. 8r-Nate Warren.

Heat Five:  1. 89-Tony Steward, 2. 18jt-Jeremy Thornton, 3. 5b-Brenda Kirby, 4. 61-Chad Stevens, 5. 4x-Dalon Helm, 6. 15s-William Slocum, 7. 12-Matt Aukland.

Heat Six:  1. 0-Jake O’Neill, 2. B1-Jeff Larson, 3. 27-Mark Carrell, 4. 23c-Chuck Grohnke, 5. 18ak-Bob Jauhola, 6. 15-Chris Carroll, 7. 02-Koby Lamasney.

“B” Main One:  1. 44-Christy Barnett, 2. 82-Easton Whistler, 3. 12-Matt Aukland, 4. 55b-Mike Brandon, 5. 71s-Brent Schlafmann, 6. 4x-Dalon Helm, 7. 61-Chad Stevens, 8. 157-Joel King, 9. 12gn-Guy Norton, 10. 18jr-Richard Olagu, Jr., 11. 32ak-Tim Jauhola, 12. 15s-William Slocum, 13. 99-Shawn Strand.

“B” Main Two:  1. 75jr-Chaz Baca, 2. 22m-Sean Stacy, 3. 15-Chris Carroll, 4. 23c-Chuck Grohnke, 5. 8m-Doug Meeks, 6. 5w-Wes Meeks, 7. 18ak-Bob Jauhola, 8. 6F-Jeff Foster, 9. 02-Kobe Lamasney, 10. 8r-Nate Warren, 11. 2x-Roy Poeling, 12. 118-Jesse Patterson, 13. 6-Eric Center.

“A” Main (30 Laps):  1. 20rt-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 2. 0-Jake O’Neill, 3. B1-Jeff Larson, 4. 75jr-Chaz Baca, 5. 5m-Zachary Madrid, 6. 44T-Tanner Black, 7. 55ak-Scott Sluka, 8. 18K-Jacob Pace, 9. 82-Easton Whistler, 10. 27-Mark Carrell, 11. 44-Christy Barnett, 12. 75-Spencer Wilson, 13. 44k-Kelsie Foley, 14. 89-Tony Steward, 15. 10s-Rick Spencer II, 16. 5b-Brendy Kirby, 17. 18jr-Jeremy Thornton, 18. 10T-Don Geist, 19. 12-Matt Aukland, 20. 15-Chris Carroll, 21. 82sb-Sherman Barnett, 22. 5-Jeff Taylor, 23. 5k-Mike Kirby, 24. 22m-Sean Stacy.

 

IMCA Sport Modifieds:

Heat One:  1. 0-Dakota Girard, 2. 1s-Shelby Alves, 3. 14e-Justin Erickson, 4. 5-Ron Schreiner, 5. 45m-Eric Murphy, 6. 69-Jackie Frye, 7. 12rh-Robert Holmes, 8. 7x-Casey Murdoch, 9. 22-Austen Becerra.

Heat Two:  1. 15-Speedy Madrid, 2. ZERO-Darin Center, 3. Z28-Ty Weidner, 4. 69LK-Ron Poe, 5. 33y-David Jones, 6. 77-Justin Thornton, 7. 172-Luke Silber, 8. 11-Wes Meeks, Jr., 9. 12h-Rick Akers.

Heat Three:  1. 79J-Joey Jock, 2. 99-Adam Echter, 3. 06w-Michael Wrightsman, 4. 56b-Sheyne Bradley, 5. 69x-Marcos Bojorquez, 6. 83g-Gerry Glenn, 7. 100-Crystal Hemphill, 8. 7-Scott Kepner, 9. 303-Kyler Reynolds.

Heat Four:  1. 7tg-Heath Dry, 2. 10x-Michael Soboski, 3. 06-Rex Hasley, 4. 111-J.J. McCarty, 5. 8w-Koty McGullam, 6. 3-Terry Belcher, Jr., 7. 25c-Cody Thompson, 8. 67-Abby McUlebrueck, 9. 75c-Bo Partain.

“B” Main One:  1. 22-Austen Becerra, 2. 69-Jackie Frye, 3. 83g-Gerry Glenn, 4. 100-Crystal Hemphill, 5. 69x-Marcos Bojorquez, 6. 12rh-Robert Holmes, 7. 45m-Eric Murphy, 8. 7x-Casey Murdoch (DNS), 9. 7-Scott Kepner (DNS), 10. 303-Kyler Reynolds (DNS).

“B” Main Two:  1. 25c-Cody Thompson, 2. 75c-Bo Partain, 3. 33y-David Jones, 4. 12h-Rick Akers, 5. 11-Wes Meeks, Jr., 6. 67-Abby McUlebrueck, 7. 172-Luke Silber, 8. 8w-Koty McGullam, 9. 3-Terry Belcher, Jr., 10. 77-Justin Thornton.

“A” Main (25 Laps):  1. 25c-Cody Thompson, 2. 1s-Shelby Alves, 3. Z28-Ty Weidner, 4. 5-Ron Schreiner, 5. 22-Austen Becerra, 6. 75c-Bo Partain, 7. 14e-Justin Erickson, 8. 33y-David Jones, 9. 99-Adam Echter, 10. 15-Speedy Madrid, 11. 06-Rex Hasley, 12. 10x-Michael Soboski, 13. 69LK-Ron Poe, 14. 69-Jackie Frye, 15. 12h-Rick Akers, 16. 79J-Joey Jock, 17. 06w-Michael Wrightsman, 18. 7TG-Heath Dry, 19. 0-Dakota Girard, 20. 111-J.J. McCarty, 21. ZERO-Darin Center, 22. 100-Crystal Hemphill, 23. 83g-Gerry Glenn, 24. 56b-Sheyne Bradley.

 

Pure Stocks:

Heat One:  1. 47-Virgil McArthur, 2. 2jr-Jack Lacy, 3. 44s-Steve Shumaker, 4. 03-Kevin Risacher, 5. 262-Julia Alves, 6. 94-Matt Rice, 7. 28b-Steve Ballenger, 8. 61m-Chaz Baca.

Heat Two:  1. 6-Michael Wrightsman, 2. 124-Bud Marshall, 3. 53-Ricky Thornton, Sr., 4. 505-Brittany Manson, 5. 82-Clay Arseneau, 6. 9-Don Stersuteel, 7. 12-Shawna Meeks.

Heat Three:  1. 28-Donald Comstock, 2. 7x-Casey Murdoch, 3. 87J-Jared Wilson, 4. 16b-Richard Bennett, 5. 33-Andy Wheat, 6. 85-Gavin Meeks, 7. 25jr-Albert Saenz, Jr.

“A” Main:  1. 44s-Steve Shumaker, 2. 03-Kevin Risacher, 3. 2jr-Jack Lacy, 4. 124-Bud Marshall, 5. 47-Virgil McArthur, 6. 82-Clay Arseneau, 7. 7x-Casey Murdoch, 8. 53-Ricky Thornton, Sr., 9. 16b-Richard Bennett, 10. 33-Andy Wheat, 11. 6-Michael Wrightsman, 12. 87J-Jared Wilson, 13. 28-Donald Comstock, 14. 25jr-Albert Saenz, Jr., 15. 85-Gavin Meeks, 16. 262-Julia Alves, 17. 505-Brittany Manson, 18. 94-Matt Rice, 19. 61m-Chaz Baca (DNS), 20. 28b-Steve Ballenger (DNS), 21. 12-Shawna Meeks (DNS), 22. 9-Don Stersuteel (DNS).

 

Power 600 Non-Wing Micro Sprints:

Heat One:  1. 35-Logan Calderwood, 2. 41-Colton Hardy, 3. 52-Cameron La Rose, 4. 43e-Eddie Hamblin, 5. 20-Shon Deskins, 6. 1T-Taylor Whitefield.

Heat Two:  1. 24-R.J. Johnson, 2. 8-Jake Branum, 3. 21x-George Zills, 4. 05-Josh Spatola, 5. 06-Matt Sanchez, 6. 33-Rowdy Ladd (DQ).

“A” Main:  1. 52-Cameron La Rose, 2. 41-Colton Hardy, 3. 20-Shon Deskins, 4. 05-Josh Spatola, 5. 35-Logan Calderwood, 6. 8-Jake Branum, 7. 33-Rowdy Ladd, 8. 43e-Eddie Hamblin, 9. 06-Matt Sanchez, 10. 1T-Taylor Whitefield, 11. 24-R.J. Johnson, 12. 21x-George Zills.

 

Power 600 Restricted Micro Sprints:

Heat One:  1. 36-Tuesday Calderwood, 2. 7-Jesse Johnson, Jr., 3. 7j-J.W. Henderson, 4. 78-Brody Wake, 5. 13-Elijah Gile, 6. L8-Ethan Stevens, 7. 24-Hudson Storment.

Heat Two:  1. 75T-Tyler Johnson, 2. 99-Justin Spear, 3. 16-Connor Jacobs, 4. 43-Bradley Cox, 5. 26-Corbin Rueschenberg, 6. 28-Mick Gile, Jr.

“A” Main:  1. 7j-J.W. Henderson, 2. 13-Elijah Gile, 3. 36-Tuesday Calderwood, 4. 26-Corbin Rueschenberg, 5. 7-Jesse Johnson, 6. 78-Brody Wake, 7. 28-Mike Gile, Jr., 8. 75T-Tyler Johnson, 9. 16-Connor Jacobs, 10. 45-Bradley Cox, 11. 24-Hudson Storment, 12. L8-Ethan Stevens, 13. 99-Justin Spears.

 


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