Strickler & Mari Claim Desert Prelims

Kyle Strickler
Kyle Strickler
Kyle Strickler

PEORIA, Ariz. — Kyle Strickler and Lance Mari nabbed the headlines by topping Friday night’s “Twin Twenties” that kicked off the 27th annual Desert Classic atop Canyon Speedway Park.

While Strickler and Mari earned front row starting positions for Saturday’s $5,000-to-win Desert Classic finale, other Friday night winners included Matt Martinez in Pure Stocks, Merle Zachrison in Renegades, Jason George in IMCA Sport Modifieds and Shawn Fause in Hobby Stocks.

After setting quick time over the field of 43 IMCA Modifieds, North Carolina-based Strickler raced on to victory lane in the first 20-lapper to earn the pole position for Saturday’s finale.  “The High Side Tickler” was chased to the line by Jesse Sobbing with Zane Devilbiss, 17th-starter Kyle Brown, Ricky Alvarado and Jason Noll also locking into the main event.

In the second IMCA Modified 20-lapper, Mari rallied from the tenth starting position to take the win ahead of front row outside starter Ricky Thornton, Jr., with Hunter Marriott, David Brown, Kody Schollp and Jay Foster also earning feature starting berths.

While the top six in each twin 20-lapper locked into Saturday’s main event, those finishing seventh to 12th will be in a Saturday night “B” Main with those 13th on back going to twin “C” Mains.

In Arizona Differential Pure Stock action, Matt Martinez raced from the ninth starting position to rack up yet another win ahead of Speedy Madrid and Jeff Carter.

Merle Zachrison rallied from 15th to capture Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive Renegade honors ahead of Joe Flewelling and Michael Bennett, Jason George captured the IMCA Sport Modified checkered flag ahead of Chris Toth and Shawn Fause bested John Miller to win the Mini Stock feature.