Thornton Tops Arizona Mod Tour


SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. — Ricky Thornton Jr. used lapped traffic to his advantage to claim victory in the IMCA modified feature that headlined round two of the IMCA AZ Mod Tour Saturday at Arizona Speedway.

Jake McBirnie took a dramatic win in IMCA Northern Sport Mods.

Starting fourth in the 25-lap main, Thornton raced side by side with Casey Arneson for five laps, Arneson on the bottom and Thornton riding the top line of Arizona Speedway. On lap six, Thornton built up the needed speed on the backstretch and carried it through turn four and edged Arneson at the line.

Once in front, Thornton built a lead only to have Jake O’Neil pull up to challenge the leader. Some traffic worked to Thornton’s advantage as he swiftly maneuvered through the group while O’Neil lost valuable distance completing the same task.

Thornton stretched his lead for the $1,500 win and O’Neil settled for second. Alex Stanford was third ahead of Arneson.

The IMCA Northern Sport Mods had the race of the night in their 20-lap non-stop display. Brady Bjella led seven laps before Kevin Johnson used the low line down the backstretch to take over. Johnson established a comfortable lead, at least it was until hitting late race traffic.

While Johnson’s pace was slowed, Jake McBirnie’s was not and he drew alongside Johnson on the last lap and pounded the top line through turn four to claim a car-length victory at the line. Johnson was left with second and Cole Carver took third.

A field of 89 IMCA modifieds and 41 IMCA Northern Sport Mods competed.