Canyon Speedway Park
Thrilling Canyon victory wraps up title for Parker
By M.J. AndersonDirtonDirt.com correspondent
PEORIA, Ariz. (Oct. 13) — Winning a thrilling race with six lead changes, Lonnie Parker Jr. of El Mirage, Ariz., wrapped up his fourth consecutive championship on the Southwest Dirt Racing Association.
Parker went from third to first after the final restart to edge Mark Fowler and Brad Williams in the second-to-last SWDRA event of the season. Tommy Hussak III, who started 12th, and Mike Tahtinen rounded out the top five.
Three complete restarts were required at the outset with Williams jumping to the point when the race got rolling. But Karl Tipton slipped past exiting turn four as the frontrunners made contact on the first lap. Parker, who started outside the fourth row, maneuver up to third by the second lap.
Tipton's lead was short-lived, however, as a broken right-rear shock mount handed the point back to Williams. Parker was stalking Willliams, however, and swept around the leader to take command on the sixth lap.
Fowler, who started 17th after spinning in his heat race, was on the move as he broke into the top five by the seventh lap.
The next 10 laps saw Parker and Williams set a blistering pace with the rest of the pack playing catch up. A lap-15 caution for John Hall's turn-four spin gave the field a break with Parker ahead of Williams, Tahtinen, Hussak and Fowler.
On the restart, Fowler overtook Hussak and Tahtinen to grab third, but another caution appeared on lap 18 for debris. Williams got a good jump on Parker on the restart, moving into the lead as Parker pushed high after hitting a rut. Parker's problems also allowed Fowler to moved into the second spot.
Williams began edging away from the field, but a caution appeared with two laps remaining, erasing his lead and setting up an exciting finish.
On the restart, Williams caught a turn-two rut and went high, opening the door for Fowler and Parker to slip past. But Fowler's lead didn't last long as he also hit a rut and Parker took advantage to grab the lead for good.
Parker took the checkered flag first as Fowler edged Williams by inches at the flagstand for second.
Wes Hall was scheduled to start on the pole, but he tangled with Randy Carder on the first attempted start and both cars were heavily damaged. Carder's night was over while Hall went to the infield to make repairs before rejoining the race. ... John Hall spun in turn two on the second attempted start, and debris forced a third complete restart. ... Only two of 19 starters dropped out of the feature. ... Bruce Duckett scratched from the feature lineup. ... The SWDRA finale is scheduled for USA Race Park in Tucson on Nov. 3 in a $2,000-to-win event.