By Jackson Braun
ESTEVAN, Sask. (July 8, 2019) – Ricky Thornton Jr. is on an absolute roll.
The Adel, Iowa driver has hit his stride right at the perfect time, and doing double duty has not been a hindrance. He grabbed his 2nd win of the 30th Annual Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Modified Tour in both the IMCA Modifieds AND the IMCA Stock Cars. Thornton looks to become the first driver to claim a championship in both classes, as none of the Stock Car champions have raced the tour in the Modified class.
In the 30-lapper for the Modifieds, Billy Kendall and Jason Wolla led the field to green. Kendall was able to hold the lead over Thornton and hometown favorite Kody Scholpp as 1 lap was put into the books. Contact between Kendall and Wolla in the first corner led to a ruffled quarter panel on the Kendall machine.
A bobble by Thornton in the middle of turn 1 and 2 opened up a lane for Scholpp to get around the 20RT ride. Scholpp’s 02 was hooked up around the corners and powered around Kendall. Scholpp started to strengthen his lead while Thornton made the move around Kendall to grab 2nd place.
A restart forced Scholpp to have to deal with Thornton once again. The tension of the hard battle was felt while Scholpp and Thornton exchanged a few sliders battling for the top spot. Eventually, Thornton’s momentum off of the corners was too much for Scholpp to keep up with. A late race caution was helpful for Tom Berry and Casey Arneson, as Berry made his way into the 2nd spot and Arneson followed. Jeff Taylor and Hunter Marriott also finished inside of the top 5.
In a similar fashion, another hometown favorite Austin Daae and Williston’s Dalton Flory tried to hold off Thornton for as long as they could, but Thornton’s racing experience and wicked fast equipment proved too much for the local hitters. Daae finished runner-up, Flory 3rd, Matt Speckman 4th, and Jeremy Swanson 5th.
IMCA Modifieds – 1. Ricky Thornton, Adel, Iowa; 2. Tom Berry, Newburg, N.D.; 3. Casey Arneson, Fargo, N.D.; 4. Jeff Taylor, Cave City, Ark.; 5. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.; 6. Kody Scholpp, Estevan; 7. Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.; 8. Tyson Turnbull, Estevan; 9. Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.; 10. Joel Rust, Grundy Center, Iowa; 11. Tanner Black, Otis, Kan.; 12. Lucas Lamberies, Clintonville, Wis.; 13. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton, Iowa; 14. Aaron Turnbull, Estevan; 15. Spencer Wilson, Minot, N.D.; 16. Justin O’Brien, West Union, Iowa; 17. Tyler Hall, Fertile, Minn.; 18. Billy Kendall, Baxter, Minn.; 19. Myles Tomlinson, Turtle Lake, N.D.; 20. Don Gumke, Jamestown, N.D.; 21. Jon Plowman, Woodbine, Iowa; 22. Les McLenehan, Estevan; 23. Ed Turnbull, Estevan; 24. John Corell, Jamestown, N.D.; 25. Travis Olheiser, Dickinson, N.D.; 26. Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.; 27. Joey Galloway, Manor; 28. Jason Wolla, Ray, N.D.; 29. Shawn Strand, Mandan, N.D.
IMCA Stock Cars – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr., Adel, Iowa; 2. Austin Daae, Estevan; 3. Dalton Flory, Williston, N.D.; 4. Matt Speckman, Sleepy Eye, Minn.; 5. Jeremy Swanson, Estevan; 6. Elijah Zevenbergen, Ocheyedan, Iowa; 7. Devon Gonas, Midale; 8. Joe Flory, Williston, N.D.; 9. Michael Swallers, Minot, N.D.; 10. Jace Iverson, Tioga, N.D.; 11. Keith Mattox, Ray, N.D.; 12. Joren Boyce, Minot, N.D.; 13. Gary Goudy Sr., Stoughton; 14. A.J. Zimmerman, Cleveland, Minn.; 15. Randy Schultz, Swift Current; 16. Gary Goudy Jr., Stoughton; 17. Brad Levorson, Cabri; 18. Mike Hagen, Williston, N.D.; 19. Scott Gartner, Jamestown, N.D.; 20. Chase Davidson, Macoun; 21. Alvin Dube, Regina.