Marriott Tops Park Jefferson Dirt Knights Tour Stop

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Hunter Marriott was the $2,000 IMCA Modified winner of the Arnold Motor Supply Dirt Knights Tour feature Monday at Park Jefferson Speedway. The event was the first in tour history held in South Dakota. (Jim Steffens Photo)

JEFFERSON, S.D. – A driver from Missouri was first to the checkers when the Arnold Motor Supply Dirt Knights Tour for IMCA Modifieds made its first-ever visit to South Dakota.

Hunter Marriott topped the $2,000 to win main event Monday night at Park Jefferson Speedway, putting his name on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot for 2019 with his career fifth tour victory.

Ricky Thornton Jr.’s record streak of three straight tour wins came to an end with a second-place finish. Kyle Strickler, Joel Rust and Chris Abelson rounded out the top five.

Forty-three touring Modifieds from 11 states vied in front of a big crowd at Jefferson, on hand for just the second tour event held outside Iowa.

Joel Rust was the very early leader before 2016 tour champion Abelson took charge. A mid-race caution that caught up Jason Wolla and Jay Noteboom put Marriott on Abelson’s back bumper for the ensuing restart.

Marriott worked the low side of the track to take the lead while Abelson stayed higher up on the track.

Thornton and Strickler finally worked their way past Abelson in the waning laps.

Other winners Monday at Park Jefferson were Mike Nichols in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Andy Hoffman in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Cody Thompson in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and Andy Harris in the Mach-1 Sport Compacts.

The finish:

Hunter Marriott, Ricky Thornton Jr., Kyle Strickler, Joel Rust, Chris Abelson, Bob Moore, Troy Cordes, Kelly Shryock, Corey Dripps, Kyle Brown, Ricky Stephan, Craig Reetz, Jesse Sobbing, Jim Thies, John Parmeley, Josh Most, R.J. Merchant, Jeremy Thornton, Brock Bauman, John Klynsma, Jay Noteboom, Jason Wolla, Al Hejna, Shane DeMey.

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