BOONE, Iowa — Ricky Thornton Jr.’s goal of capturing three IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s titles in the same season hit a speed bump during the 16th stock car heat race Thursday at Boone Speedway.
Thornton, who won his second straight Super Nationals late model crown on Monday, was battling for a transfer spot in the 16th stock car heat when he entered turn three a bit hot on the opening lap of the eight-lap race.
The driver from Chandler, Ariz., tried to enter turn three on the top side, but instead of staying on the racing surface he slipped over the top of the track and rolled onto his roof outside of turn three. Thornton wasn’t injured in the incident and will have two more opportunities to advance to the stock car championship feature on Friday.
His luck in the modified portion of Thursday’s program was much better as he captured the victory in his modified qualifier to earn a guaranteed starting position in Saturday’s finale. He previously won the modified championship at the Super Nationals in 2016.
• With rain dampening the proceedings since Tuesday, Friday is set to be a busy day at Boone Speedway. Racing was set to begin at 10 a.m. ET (9 a.m. CT) with what was originally scheduled to be Thursday’s program. Once the Thursday portion of the program is complete, IMCA officials will roll right into Friday’s regularly scheduled program.
However, Mother Nature has already intervened and postponed the start of racing Friday, setting up what could be a very long day for officials, fans and competitors.
• By the end of Friday, 16 more drivers will earn guaranteed starting positions in the stock car and modified main events on Saturday. In addition, Thursday’s program features qualifying for the stock car and modified Race of Champions events. Friday’s program is also scheduled to feature the annual running of the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational for the modified division.
• Two drivers appeared to have locked themselves into Saturday’s modified championship feature via Thursday’s qualifiers, but were later disqualified during post-race inspection.
Mitchell Hunt finished third in the first qualifier, but his result was tossed out, moving Matthew Meinecke into a top-four finish and a spot in Saturday’s race. In the second qualifier, William Gould originally crossed the line in second, but he was also disqualified following post-race inspection. That moved James Goodson into fourth, which locked him into Saturday’s finale.
It is not known at this time why either driver was disqualified. Hunt and Gould will both have the opportunity to qualify again through Friday’s scheduled doubleheader.
• Robert Waechter Jr. had an extra piece of equipment attached to his stock car during his heat race, a rain gauge. The rain gauge was attached to the roof of his car with a pole. Unfortunately, Waechter’s heat race didn’t go as planned after he spun on the frontstretch with three laps complete, ending his night. No word on what the rain gauge read at the completion of the race.
• Riley Simmons, who won the modified portion of the Prelude to the Super Nationals last Saturday night, failed to advance out of his heat race Thursday. He finished seventh and will have to try to race his way into Saturday’s finale again on Friday.
All six nights of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s on Sept. 7-12 will be broadcast live via SPEED SPORT TV affiliate IMCA.TV. Check out all of our coverage of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals on our coverage index page!