From the tail to the front, Thornton wins a thrillerJoyce Eisele
May 4, 2019
It was dubbed “Car Wars” at the Boone Speedway on Saturday night. The IMCA Modifieds were vying for extra cash as well as a coveted Darth Vader trophy. Ricky Thornton, Jr. went home with both. Donavon Smith fended off his brother to take the IMCA Stock Car win. In the IMCA SportMod division, Hunter Longnecker took the victory, and Daniel Smith took a trip to victory lane in the IMCA Hobby Stock class. Joel Huggins led the entire MADCRA Mod Lite feature to go home victorious, and in the first appearance for the Racesaver Sprint Cars, it was Mike Houseman taking the checkers. The night cap was the 2-person Cruisers with the duo of Mason and Agan taking the win.
The 15-lap MADCRA Mod Lite feature went the entire race caution free after the initial start was called back. Joel Huggins led those entire 15-laps on his way to his first win at Boone Speedway in 2019. Tim Gannon finished as the runner up, and Joe Glick was third. Fourth went to Mike Kennedy, and rounding out the top five was Randy Bryan.
Hunter Longnecker got his first IMCA Northern SportMod feature win last year at the speedway, and last evening, matched it by taking the checkers. Longnecker got out to the lead early and led the entire 18-lap caution plagued race. Jake McBirnie came from fifteenth starting spot to take the runner up position. Cam Reimers held off Cory Pestotnik at the finish line as they went third and fourth respectively, and Chad Ryerson came from starting in the back row to take fifth.
The IMCA Modifieds were the featured class of the night with $1,000 on the line for the win in the night’s 25-lap A main event. They qualified through heats, and then through two qualifiers that each paid $250 to the winner. Kelly Shryock and Ricky Thornton, Jr. took that money. This placed them on the front row of the main event, with an option to start at the rear for extra money. Shryock turned down the option, but Thornton was game on!
The starting line up had Kelly Shryock and Randy Havlik starting side by side on the front row after Thornton opted to go to the rear and start twenty-fourth. As the green flag fell, Shryock nabbed the immediate lead. The first handful of laps had Jimmy Gustin setting his sights on the leader as he ran second, with Josh Gilman, Mike VanGenderen, and Randy Havlik hanging tough. Then suddenly, all eyes went to the 20RT of Ricky Thornton that was on the move from the rear! By lap nine, Thornton had made his way into fourth place, had the crowd on its feet…. and he wasn’t done yet! In the meantime, Jimmy Gustin had wrestled the lead away from Shryock and was having visions of taking home the Darth Vader trophy. Thornton made his way into third place and then went to work on Gustin and Shryock. At lap nineteen, Thornton got the job done, and took the lead as the crowd went wild! There was no denying Thornton on this May the Fourth (be with you) night, as he did what seemed the impossible and took the double checker victory. Shryock finished second, Gustin was third, Tim Ward took fourth place, and Mike VanGenderen completed the top five.
Donavon Smith took the win in the IMCA Stock Car class. Smith came from starting eleventh to take the feature win. He had to fend off the advances of twelfth place starter, brother Devin Smith who finished a close second. Third went to opening lap leader Calvin Lange, fourth was Scott Davis, and leader for much of the race, Craig Carlson, faded to finish fifth.
The RaceSaver Sprints made their 2019 season points debut with a 20-lap feature. Mike Houseman was the man atop the podium at the end, savoring a victory. Houseman got out to an early lead and pulled away to finish well ahead of the competition as the checkers flew. Tyler Thompson was a distant second, third went to Mike Moore, C J Houseman finished in fourth, and Joel Thorpe took fifth place.
The IMCA Hobby Stocks had extra incentive as they were running for a $500 payday for winning the 18-lap feature. Daniel Smith took the cash home in this event. Smith bested runner up and earlier leader John Watson. Shaun Wirtz came from row five to finish in third place, fourth went to ninth row starter Dylan Nelson, and opening night winner Aaron Rudolph was fifth.
Racing continues next Saturday night, May 11 with racing in all divisions. Grandstands open at 5, hot laps are 5:45, and racing at 6:30.