Canyon Speedway Park
Thornton continues roll with victory at Canyon
By Ryan NeuharthDirtonDirt.com correspondent
PEORIA, Ariz (May 29) — Series rookie Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., continued his hot start on the Total Seal Southwest Dirt Racing Association, winning Saturday at Canyon Speedway Park for his third victories in the first four SWDRA events of the season. The third-starting Thornton outdueled front-row starters Karl Tipton and Jason Noll on the first lap and led the rest of the way for a $1,000 victory on the Arizona-based tour.
Thornton's fellow modified competitor Jason Noll of El Mirage, Ariz., driving for Keith McKinney, chased the series point leader the entire 25-lap distance. Noll pulled alongside Thornton amid traffic on the ninth lap, but the first of three cautions thwarted the bid. Noll never made another serious challenge and settled for a series-best runner-up finish.
Art Lacy of Casa Grande, Ariz., ended up third while six-time SWDRA champ Lonnie Parker Jr. rallied from 17th to finish fourth. Brad Williams of Tucson, Ariz., rounded out the top five in the first of two Memorial Day weekend events at Canyon.
Notes: Thornton's Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Ride Now Power Sports, Hollywood’s Body & Paint, Sunoco Race Fuels, Lone Star Racing, Metal by Woods and Manka Motorsports. ... Cory Hemphill was eliminated on lap 12 after being collected by a spinning Karl Tipton. ... After breaking an engine last weekend at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway, Joey Moriarty broke the engine again at Canyon. ... Butch Reid, Marc Herrera and Alan Bowers towed from New Mexico while Cody and Chris Barnett traveled from Hesperia, Calif. ...Jeremy Thornton returned to action behind the wheel of the Keith Noyes-owned No. 50; he drove the Parker Concert No. 48 last season.
SWDRA @ Canyon: (1) Ricky Thornton Jr., (2) Jason Noll, (3) Art Lacy, (4) Lonnie Parker Jr., (5) Brad Williams, (6) Bruce Duckett, (7) Jerry Fincher, (8) John Cornell, (9) Anthony Madrid, (10) Jeremy Thornton, (11) Tommy Hussak III, (12) Chris Barnett, (13) Karl Tipton, (14) Brad Whitfield, (15) John Romero, (16) Mike Tahtinen, (17) Marc Herrera, (18) Joey Moriarty, (19) Cory Hemphill, (20) Cody Barnett. Heat race winners (among 26 cars): Thornton, Moriarty, Madrid, Lacy. Consolation winner: Parker.