Parker closes Manzanita with SWDRA victory
PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 12) — Lonnie Parker Jr. of El Mirage, Ariz., celebrated Easter at Manzanita Speedway as the historic track ran its last-ever Late Model event. The five-time series champion earned $1,000 for his third victory in four 2009 starts on the Southwest DIRTcar Racing Series. | Slideshow
The victory for the third-starting Parker was the series-leading 57th of his career. Series rookie R.C. Whitwell of Tucson, Ariz., rallied from 17th to finish second while 16th-starting Terry Belcher Jr. of Phoenix was third. Keith Noyes of Tucson and hometown driver Anthony Madrid rounded out the top five in the race postponed until the holiday after a Friday rainout.
Notes: Parker's GRT Race Car is sponsored by Parker Concrete. ... The property at Manzanita, which hosted auto races since 1951, was sold to a crane company. ... Among those on hand for the track's final event were former open-wheel racers Lealand McSpadden and Ron Shuman, who piloted pace cars. ... Mike Tahtinen scratched from the feature lineup. ... Next up for SWDRA competitors is a May 9 event at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.
SWDRA @ Manzanita: (1) Lonnie Parker Jr., (2) R.C. Whitwell, (3) Terry Belcher Jr., (4) Keith Noyes, (5) Anthony Madrid, (6) Jeremy Thornton, (7) Jaime Throckmorton, (8) Mike Brigner, (9) Joey Moriarty, (10) Brad Whitfield, (11) David Vennard, (12) Keith McKinney, (13) John Romero, (14) Art Lacy, (15) Ted Robinson, (16) Wes Hall, (17) Bruce Duckett.