TUCSON, Ariz. — It was a different track but the same story for Ricky Thornton Jr. Friday night at USA Raceway.
Redrawing the pole, the Adel, Iowa, driver dominated the sixth race of the IMCA AZ Mod Tour for his fourth victory during the series.
Critical to Thornton’s success is being part of the redraw for the top six in points. Starting seventh in his heat, he raced to a second-place finish, just enough points to rank sixth. Redrawing the pole made things easier and Thornton was never given a challenge.
Brett Smith held off D. J. Shannon for second while Zachary Madrid was fourth behind Shannon and Jake O’Neil took fifth. A 65-car turnout of IMCA modifieds competed at USA Raceway.
Keith Brown led a lap of the IMCA Northern Sport Mod main before Austin Paul drove under Brown on the backstretch and made what became the winning pass on the bottom of turn three.
Once in front, the Monroe, Iowa driver led the final 19 tours of the three-eighths-mile oval for the win in his first event of the tour. Following Paul across the line were Brown, Ryan Moser, Brady Bjella and Bo Partain.
Paul was the sport mod champion last season at CJ Speedway, located in Columbus Junction, Iowa.
Entering tomorrow’s final tour event, Bjella leads in points by a three-point margin while Thornton is destined to become the tour champion.
The Friday night race was the first event at USA Raceway in nearly two years after Jonah Trussel took over the track late last year.