Ethan Dotson Conquers IMCA Super Nationals

Ethan Dotson (1) battles Ricky Thornton Jr. during the IMCA Super Nationals modified feature Saturday at Boone Speedway. (Shawn Crose Photo)
Ethan Dotson (1) battles Ricky Thornton Jr. during the IMCA Super Nationals modified feature Saturday at Boone Speedway. (Shawn Crose Photo)

BOONE, Iowa – The goal Ethan Dotson set when he started coming to the IMCA Speed­way Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s was achieved Saturday night.

Dotson led all 40 laps of the Modified main event at Boone Speedway, outrunning 2016 champion Ricky Thornton Jr., Cody Laney and defending champion Jeff Aikey in the race to what proved to be $5,800 checkers.

From Bakersfield and the first Californian to win a Super Nationals crown in any division, Dotson weathered five cautions before midway, then a stoppage on the 22nd of 40 laps when intermittent rain brought about a quick track prep session.

Thornton, looking for his second championship of the week after winning Monday’s Deery Broth­ers Summer Series Late Model main event, challenged but never made his bid for the lead stick.

“We’ve been coming to Super Nationals for about six years now,” said Dotson, fourth in main events for the Northern SportMods in 2014 and for the Modifieds last year. “The first time we wanted to get in the tech tent. Then we wanted to win the show.”

“This (win) means everything to me,” he added. “This is the biggest dirt track race in the world.”

Other IMCA Super Nationals winners included two-time champions  Devin Smith in the Stock Cars and Johnathon Logue in the Northern SportMods.

Smith held Abe Huls at bay while Logue bested another former race winner, hometown foe Jake McBirnie, in the Northern SportMod show.

Smith and Logue had both won first championships in 2014.

Dylan Nelson earned his first Super Nationals title with a start to finish run at the head of the Hobby Stock field. Second went to Kevin Bruck.

Drew Armstrong won the Harris Auto Racing Race of Champions for Modi­fieds and Elijah Zevenbergen won the Sunoco Race Fuels Race of Champions for Stock Cars.

Two other events saw their first repeat winners, Corey Madden in the Stephenville Starter Race of Champions for Hobby Stocks and Doug Smith in the BSB Manufactur­ing SportMod Race of Champions.

More than 800 drivers in six divisions competed over the course of the Sept. 2-7 Super Nationals, in­cluding 229 Modifieds and an event record 203 Stock Cars.

Thornton also qualified for the Stock Car headliner, becoming just the second driver to qualify for three main events at the same Super Nationals.

Also of note, Hesston Shaw became the first Oklahoma driver to make the Stock Car main event, and brothers Cody Stone and Cory Stone were the first from New Mexico to make the Hobby Stock show

Twenty-six states, Canada and Australia were represented by entries at the 37th annual Super Nationals, which saw a total purse of $300,000 and $60,000 in contingencies awarded.

The finish:

Ethan Dotson, Ricky Thornton Jr., Cody Laney, Jeff Aikey, Jordan Grabouski, Tom Berry Jr., Hunter Marriott, Cayden Carter, Cory Wray, Zane DeVilbiss, Jeremy Mills, Kelly Shryock, Riley Simmons, Russ Dickerson, Jeffrey Abbey, Chris Abelson, Randy Brown, Anthony Roth, Nick Roberts, Lucas Lamberies, Jeff Taylor, Jesse Sobbing, Corey Dripps, Jon Snyder, Chris Mills, D.J. Shannon, Jimmy Gustin, Tim Ward, Todd Shute, Trent Loverude, Ryan Jenkins, Josh Long, Steven Bowers Jr.