Thornton Reigns In Super Nationals Modified Finale

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Ricky Thornton Jr. celebrates with his son in victory lane after winning the modified finale during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals. (Tom Macht Photo)
Ricky Thornton Jr. celebrates with his son in victory lane after winning the modified finale during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals. (Tom Macht Photo)

BOONE, Iowa – Ricky Thornton Jr. ended the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s on Sunday in the same place he started it on Monday – in victory lane.

Thornton completed an incredible week at Boone Speedway with a victory in the Super Nationals modified feature that closed out the week at the third-mile dirt oval.

He opened the week by winning Monday’s Super Nationals late model feature and on Saturday he picked up a victory in the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational for the modified division. He’s the first driver to win two Super Nationals features in the same week.

The only blemish on his record was Sunday’s stock car feature, where he finished 17th after being collected in a late wreck.

“We were pretty good in that too until I broke a brake line,” Thornton said of his finish in the stock car feature. “It sucks, but at the same time it has been one heck of a week.”

Thornton started the 40-lap main event from the pole of the three-wide start, but gave up the top spot to defending Super Nationals champion Ethan Dotson coming out of turn two. Dotson would lead the first lap, but behind him fourth-place starter Cody Laney was on the move.

Laney hugged the inside line and challenged Dotson for the lead, taking the top spot on the third lap as Thornton gave chase from the third position. Dotson and Thornton soon engaged in a battle for the second position, with Thornton taking it on the sixth lap before a caution slowed the field with seven complete.

Ricky Thornton Jr. (20) battles Ethan Dotson during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals modified finale Sunday at Boone Speedway. (Tom Macht Photo)
Ricky Thornton Jr. (20) battles Ethan Dotson during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals modified finale Sunday at Boone Speedway. (Tom Macht Photo)

The field got one lap in before before the caution waged again, setting up another restart with Laney at the point. Laney held serve on the restart, with Thornton and Dotson battling over second. Thornton eventually emerged the victor in his battle with Dotson before setting off in pursuit of Laney.

Thornton continued to pursue Laney as the leaders caught the tail of the field. At halfway Thornton was a few car lengths off Laney’s bumper and two laps later he began hounding him for the lead.

With 17 laps complete Thornton went to the top in turn one, which allowed him to get a big run coming out of turn two. The move worked to perfection as he blew by Laney to take the race lead down the backstretch.

From there Thornton worked traffic to perfection, pulling away from Laney as Dotson began to challenge him for second. Thornton would lead the remainder of the distance to earn his second Super Nationals championship of the week and his second in the modified class. He previously won the Super Nationals modified crown in 2016.

“I kind of took off there and I was a little too loose,” said Thornton, who earned $7,000 for his victory. “I was loose and the dryer the track got the car actually came to me, which doesn’t make sense. I was hoping we didn’t have a yellow there at the end. I was kind of hanging on there at the top and my signal guy Nick let me know I had a decent sized lead.”

Laney held off Dotson to finish second, with Tom Berry Jr. and Todd Shute completing the top-five.

The finish:

Ricky Thornton Jr., Cody Laney, Ethan Dotson, Tom Berry Jr., Todd Shute, Jeff Larson, Nick Meyer, Tanner Black, Grey Ferrando, Trent Loverude, Joel Rust, Anthony Roth, Troy Cordes, Kyle Heckman, Zane DeVilbiss, Justin O’Brien, Jake McBirnie, Chris Elliott, Jordy Nelson, Matthew Meinecke, Zachary Madrid, Clay Money, John Parmeley, James Goodson, Jesse Skalicky, Jimmy Gustin, Nick Roberts, Clay Hale, Richie Gustin, Chris Abelson, Darron Fuqua, Steven Bowers Jr., A.J. Ward.

Every night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s on Sept. 7-13 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!