Hemphill leads every lap for first SWDRA victory
By Ryan NeuharthDirtonDirt.com correspondent
SHOW LOW, Ariz. (July 4) — Starting outside the front row, Cory Hemphill of Phoenix, Ariz., jumped into the lead at the outset of Sunday’s 30-lap Summer Spectacular at Thunder Raceway and raced to his first-ever victory on the Total Seal Southwest Dirt Racing Association.
Just like Saturday’s feature won by Keith Noyes, passing was at a premium around the quarter-mile oval as the final running order was virtually set after the opening circuit. Hemphill outgunned polesitter Lonnie Parker Jr. for the lead followed by Brad Whitfield, Noyes and Brad Williams, piloting Mike Tahtinen’s GRT after wrecking his Rocket Chassis the previous night.
Hemphill led the holiday parade all the way in a race slowed by a season-low two cautions. Bruce Duckett brought out a lap-two yellow and James Chavez, Jr. later made heavy contact with the tire barriers protecting the pit entrance abutment, collecting John Romero and Duckett.
Notes: Hemphill’s MasterSbilt Race Car is sponsored by Team Speed, Ohlins Shocks, Red Line Oil and Best Choice Properties. ... Runner-up Lonnie Parker Jr. cut into the points lead of Ricky Thornton Jr., who finished sixth. ... The number of SWDRA races which will make up the second half of the season remains up in the air because Tucson Raceway Park’s planned transformation to dirt from asphalt hasn’t been approved by the Pima Country Fair Board. ... The next SWDRA event is scheduled for July 17 at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.
Summer Spectacular: (1) Cory Hemphill, (2) Lonnie Parker Jr., (3) Brad Whitfield, (4) Keith Noyes, (5) Brad Williams, (6) Ricky Thornton Jr., (7) Joey Moriarty, (8) Tommy Hussak III, (9) Butch Reid, (10) Jerry Fincher, (11) Bruce Duckett, (12) John Romero, (13) James Chavez Jr. Scratched: Art Lacy, Justin Thornton. Heat race winners (among 15 cars): R. Thornton, Moriarty.