Moriarty tops Parker for SWDRA win at Tucson
TUCSON, Ariz. (June 16) — Fourth-starting Joey Moriarty of Phoenix, Ariz., took the lead from James Chavez Jr. on the third lap Saturday, then held off six-time series champion Lonnie Parker Jr. for a Southwest Dirt Racing Association victory at Tucson International Raceway.
Parker finished second with Art Lacy, Chavez and tail-starting Bruce Duckett rounding out the top five finishers in Moriarty’s second career SWDRA victory. The feature was shortened to 20 laps because of time constraints and an 11 p.m. curfew.
Brad Williams got the jump at the outset from outside the front row, but a broken axle gave the lead to Chavez on the second lap. Chavez went high in turn two a lap later and Moriarty, Parker and Lacy dropped Chavez to fourth.
Moriarty was out front after 10 laps when Troy Ruebke, Rick Butler and Bud Grossenbacher tangled in turn one, ending the race for all three drivers. Parker tracked Moriarty but couldn’t make the pass for the lead the rest of the way.
Notes: Moriarty previously fielded a car for two-time SWDRA champ Ricky Thornton, Jr., but he’s no longer with the team. ... Tucson native R.C. Whitwell was in action in the modified division but didn’t compete with the Late Models. ... A rare early summer rainstorm hit Tucson early in the day but blew through; it caused a little extra wheel-packing before the night’s action. ... Jeremy Thornton had mechanical problems in his heat race and scratched from the feature. ... Third-place finisher Art Lacy drove the No. 24az car owned by Mike Tahtinen, a car usually driven by Terry Belcher Jr. ... Next up for SWDRA competitors is a July 21 event at Tucson.
SWDRA @ Tucson: (1) Joey Moriarty, (2) Lonnie Parker Jr., (3) Art Lacy, (4) James Chavez Jr., (5) Bruce Duckett, (6) Chris Duchas, (7) Jerry Fincher, (8) Bucky Andrews, (9) Bud Grossenbacher, (9) Rick Butler, (11) Troy Ruebke, (12) Brad Williams. Scratched: Jeremy Thornton.