SOMERTON, Ariz. – Cocopah Speedway ran the first of seven races as part of the IMCA Winter Nationals on Wednesday, with Tanner Black claiming the $1,000-to-win modified main event.
A total of 161 entries in four IMCA divisions were on hand.
A 62-car turnout of IMCA modifieds moved just the winner from each of the eight heats to the main event, with four additional cars from each of four B mains setting the 24-car lineup for 25 laps.
Russell Allen led 15 laps, with Black trying every line to draw alongside Allen. On lap 16 Black saw just enough space down the backstretch to slip past Allen on the bottom to take the lead.
Black led the final 10 laps to win over Allen and Chad Baca.
Northern sport mods drew 48 drivers with six heats transferring a dozen drivers to the main event, with three B mains matching that total.
Chris Toth redrew the pole and used that benefit plus flawless driving to post a flag-to-flag win. Fred Ryland ran second the entire race and Brian Osantowski started 13th and finished third after an outside pass with six laps remaining.
A 23-car field of IMCA stock cars ran a trio of heats, with the top-four from each in the redraw.
Rob Stenvold led three laps before Blake Adams used the outer line out of turn one on lap 14 to take the lead.
A three car pack racing for the lead became five during the last seven laps and Andrew Altenburg emerged from the pack to lead the last two laps for the win. Alrenburg’s biggest win, however, has been winning several life threatening health problems.
Adams finished second and Michael Sheen was third.
IMCA hobby stocks split 28 cars into four heats, with the top-three heading to the redraw. Joe Peterson led the first three laps until Eric Knutson ran the top shelf and raced out of turn four to take the lead.
Knutson stayed with the top line and Steve Bitting Jr. took the bottom to produce some side-by-side racing for the lead.
With three laps remaining Brandon Bombardo moved into second after also using the upper groove to finish behind Knutson while Bitting settled for third.
The 161-car turnout was believed to be the largest in track history.