Prescott Valley Raceway
Madrid repels teammate, wins at Prescott Valley
By Ryan NeuharthDirtonDirt.com correspondent
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. (Sept. 18) — Anthony Madrid of Phoenix, Ariz., led all 25 laps at Prescott Valley Raceway on Saturday, fighting off repeated challenges from teammate Ricky Thornton Jr. to drive his newly acquired Late Model to his first victory of the season on the Total Seal Southwest Dirt Racing Association.
"It's feels good to get one of these; it's been a long time," said Madrid, whose previous SWDRA victory came 364 days earlier at Prescott Valley. "I wasn't going to slip up and let him get by me. I just had to hold my line and make him use the outside. He's hard to beat."
Thornton, who increased his series points lead, wore a smile afterwards despite his second-place finish.
"Madrid is awesome," Thornton said, recounting his race-long duel. "I was waiting for him to give me a chance but he didn't mess up. I'll finish second to my teammate any time."
Paul Banghart drove a Mike Tahtinen-owned GRT to a third-place finish while Lonnie Parker Jr. and Tommy Hussak III rounded out the top five in the 11-car field.
At the outset, the third-starting Madrid slipped past the front row of Mark Harrison and Joey Moriarty to take the lead while fellow second-row starter Thornton followed Madrid to the front. The top two quickly distanced themselves from the battle for third between Moriarty andï¿½ Banghart while Parker and Keith Noyes jockeyed for fifth.
As Thornton chased Madrid through slower traffic. John Romero and Jason Noll made contact in front of the leaders, allowing Thornton to pull along side Madrid and mount one of several challenges over the races second half.
"I was really tight at the start and had to dial in all the rear break I could just to get it to turn," Madrid said. "It got faster the longer we ran and if (Ricky) would have got next to me I would've gassed it up."
With the teammates out front, Banghart and Moriarty waged a spirited side-by-side fight for third through the race's middle stages. Banghart took the spot for good on lap 21 and just one circuit later Moriarty's night ended with a blown powerplant, his third of the season.
Parker, who inherited fifth when Noyes shredded a right-rear tire, moved up to fourth with Moriarty's departure and stands 16 points behind Thornton with four series events remaining.
Notes: Madrid's MasterSbilt from Mars has a Clements Race Engine and sponsorship from BRT Signs, Sunoco Race Fuels and Arizona Tubes & Hoses. ... The series drew a season-low 12 cars for the second Prescott Valley Raceway appearance. ... Brad Williams, fourth in series points, was absent. ... Frank Waszkiewicz blew a motor in hot laps. ... Third-place Paul Banghart, who has been away from Late Model racing for 15 years, scored his career-best division finish. ... SWDRA competitors take a month off before returning to USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., for the second annual Carl Trimmer Classic on Oct. 15-16.
SWDRA @ Prescott Valley: (1) Anthony Madrid, (2) Ricky Thornton Jr., (3) Paul Banghart, (4) Lonnie Parker Jr., (5) Tommy Hussak III, (6) Brad Whitfield, (7) John Romero, (8) Mark Harrison, (9) Joey Moriarty, (10) Keith Noyes, (11) Jason Noll. Heat race winners: Madrid, Harrison.