Dotson & Thornton Win Super Nationals Qualifiers

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Ethan Dotson won Wednesday’s first Modified qualifying feature at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. (Carl Larson Photo)
Ethan Dotson won Wednesday’s first Modified qualifying feature at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. (Carl Larson Photo)

BOONE, Iowa – Ethan Dotson took the next step toward winning his first IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s championship while Ricky Thornton Jr. took the next toward winning his second of the week Wednesday at Boone Speedway.

Dotson, from Bakersfield, Calif., got the best of fellow Shaw Racing Western Region foe Zane DeVilbiss in topping the first Modified qualifier feature. Thornton, meanwhile, led all 25 laps of the second qualifier. The 2016 champion at Boone, he’d started the week by winning Monday’s Deery Brothers Summer Series Late Model main event.

Top four finishers from each qualifier advance to the inside row of Saturday’s main event.

DeVilbiss, from Farmington, N.M., Corey Dripps of Reinbeck and Jeremy Mills of Britt completed the top four behind Dotson. Tom Berry Jr. of Newburg, N.D., Tim Ward of Harcourt and Jeffrey Abbey of Comanche, Texas, chased Thornton to the checkers.

Abbey had qualified for Saturday’s Stock Car main event earlier in the program. He’d won the Southern SportMod crown at Super Nationals in 2016.

Pole starter DeVilbiss led the first 18 circuits of the opening qualifier, giving up the front spot after trading paint with Dotson coming out of the second turn.

Dotson was still the leader when fourth running Eric Elliott and fifth running Jimmy Gustin got together and Elliott ended up on his roof on the front stretch with two laps to go, then led the last two laps after the race restarted.

Cautions on the third, 11th and 15th laps were all that slowed Thornton in his drive to the checkers in the second qualifier.

Berry and Ward shuffled Abbey back to fourth on lap 16 but neither had anything for Thornton after that.

Veterans Dripps and Mills both make career seventh starts in the Saturday show at Boone. Dripps first qualified in 1996, Mills in 1999.

Thornton is in for the sixth time, Ward for the third and Dotson and DeVilbiss both for the second. Berry and Abbey are both in the Modified dance for the first time.