Ricky Thornton Wins IMCA Super Nationals & Race of Champions
Ricky Thornton rated his third win of the day Saturday at Boone Speedway as the biggest of his IMCA Modified career, an IMCA Super Nationals championship.
The 34th annual Super Nationals saw a record car count of 906, with drivers from a record-tying 27 states competing. A purse of $300,000 was paid and another $60,000 in contingencies awarded during the Sept. 5-10 event.
After racing from 30th to first to win his IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s qualifying feature and start on the front of the outside row of the main event, Thornton won the Harris Auto Racing Race of Champions.
He finished third behind Jimmy Gustin and Jeremy Mills in the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational, then ended the night by winning the Modified main event – and $7,000.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” said Thornton, from Chandler and the second Arizona driver in Super Nationals history to earn the Modified crown. “To be one of the guys who has won this race is huge.”
Thornton had won both the 100th feature of his IMCA career and the $10,001 to win Legendary at Dacotah Speedway earlier this season. He relocated to Iowa and spent much of the summer racing in Iowa and neighboring states.
After leading the first 12 laps, Thornton found himself chasing pole starter Mike Van Genderen and then Gustin.
He got the lead back following a lap 26 restart and led the last 14 times around the track. Chris Abelson took over second with eight to go; Jordan Grabouski got back into the top four with five laps left.
Also on Saturday, Elijah Zevenbergen became a champion in his first Super Nationals attempt, winning the Stock Car title and $2,350. Dustin Larson prevailed in a Sunoco Race Fuels Stock Car Race of Champions barnburner, earning $1,025.
Doug Smith topped both the Northern SportMod feature and the BSB Manufacturing Race of Champions, taking home checks for $2,150 and $650.
Andrew Burg was the $1,025 Hobby Stock main event winner while Brandon Nielsen scored the $800 Stephenville Starter Race of Champions checkers.
Thornton’s race of champions win was good for $2,200. Gustin earned $1,000 for his second consecutive All-Star Invitational victory.
Champions crowned earlier in the week were Jeffrey Abbey in the first-ever Southern SportMod show at Super Nationals, Joshua Barnes in the Sport Compacts and Jeff Aikey in the Late Models.
Randy and Ryan McDaniel became the first father and son combination to race in the same Modified main event; Cayden Carter qualified for both the Late Model and Stock Car shows.
Courtesy of IMCA
2016 IMCA SUPER NATIONALS
SATURDAY FINAL RESULTS
Modifieds – 1. Ricky Thornton, Jr., Chandler, Ariz.; 2. Chris Abelson, Sioux City; 3. Jimmy Gustin, Marshalltown; 4. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb.; 5. Dylan Smith, Osceola, Neb.; 6. Kelly Shryock, Fertile; 7. Tyler Droste, Waterloo; 8. Anthony Roth, Columbus, Neb.; 9. Josh Most, Red Oak; 10. Tim Ward, Chandler, Ariz.; 11. Scott Drake, Joplin, Mo.; 12. Dean Abbey, Roanoke, Texas; 13. Jay Noteboom, Hinton; 14. Cody Laney, Torrance, Calif.; 15. Brandon Long, Little Suamico, Wis.; 16. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton; 17. Mike VanGenderen, Newton; 18. Jeff Schroyer, Elkhorn, Neb.; 19. Albert Wolfgram, Boone; 20. Josh Truman, Indianola; 21. Ryan McDaniel, Olivehurst, Calif.; 22. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.; 23. Joel Rust, Grundy Center; 24. Johnny Whitman, De Pere, Wis.; 25. Ryan Ruter, Kanawha; 26. Brian Irvine, Oelwein; 27. Corey Dripps, Reinbeck; 28. Todd Shute, Des Moines; 29. Randy McDaniel, Olivehurst, Calif.; 30. Myron DeYoung, Stanton, Mich.; 31. Scott Simatovich, State Center; 32. Johnny Saathoff, Beatrice, Neb.; 33. Shane DeMey, Denison.
Stock Cars – 1. Elijah Zevenbergen, Ocheyedan; 2. Mike Nichols, Harlan; 3. Derek Green, Granada, Minn.; 4. Marcus Fagan, Adair; 5. Travis Barker, Sioux City; 6. Dustin Larson, Rushmore, Minn.; 7. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa; 8. Brandon Taylor, Granbury, Texas; 9. Kyle Vanover, Beatrice, Neb.; 10. Jay Schmidt, Tama; 11. Donavon Smith, Lake City; 12. Randy Brands, Boyden; 13. Shaun Bruns, Danube, Minn.; 14. Josh Daniels, Carlisle; 15. David Brandies, Wilton; 16. Abe Huls, Carthage, Ill.; 17. David Smith, Lake City; 18. Jim Powell, Lecompton, Kan.; 19. Allen Schmidt, Holstein; 20. Travis Prochaska, Iowa Falls; 21. Brandon Conkwright, Wamego, Kan.; 22. Jeremy Swanson, Westby, Mont.; 23. Jason Davis, Norton, Kan.; 24. J.J. Baumli, Lathrop, Mo.; 25. Lance Deal, Fort Dodge; 26. Mel Elsberry, Orange City; 27. Chris Mills, Sioux City; 28. Troy Woelber, Hull; 29. Chad Palmer, Renwick; 30. Mike Hathcock, Venus, Texas.
Hobby Stocks – 1. Andrew Burg, Adel; 2. John Watson, Des Moines; 3. Shannon Anderson, Des Moines; 4. Matt White, Nashua; 5. Dustin Graham, Boone; 6. Benji Irvine, Oelwein; 7. Malik Sampson, Worthington, Minn.; 8. Trevor Holm, Chandler, Minn.; 9. Jesse VanLaningham, Beatrice, Neb.; 10. Dustin Lynch, Boone; 11. Leah Wroten, Independence; 12. Aaron Rudolph, Grand Junction; 13. Jeff Ware, Columbus, Neb.; 14. Bill Bonnett, Knoxville; 15. Jeremy Oliver, Chilton, Texas; 16. Drew Barglof, Sioux Rapids; 17. Chanse Hollatz, Clear Lake; 18. Tejay Mielke, Norfolk, Neb.; 19. Myles Michehl, Fort Dodge; 20. Solomon Bennett, Minburn; 21. Andrew Bertsch, Minot, N.D.; 22. Andrew Borchardt, Plymouth; 23. Zac Smith, Mason City; 24. Matt Olson, Morton, Minn.; 25. Shay Simoneau, Damar, Kan.; 26. Sal Hernandez, Columbus, Neb.; 27. Corey Madden, Avoca; 28. Jason Kohl, Missouri Valley; 29. Gary Pesicka, Burt; 30. Tyson Overton, Carlisle.
Northern SportMods – 1. Doug Smith, Lanesboro; 2. Clinton Luellen, Minburn; 3. Randy Roberts, Boone; 4. Daniel Gottschalk, Ellis, Kan.; 5. Tyler Soppe, Sherrill; 6. Jake Sachau, Denison; 7. Jake Simpson, Algona; 8. Robby Rosselli, Minot, N.D.; 9. Daniel Drury, Eldora; 10. Chad Shaw, Trimble, Mo.; 11. Kyle Prauner, Norfolk, Neb.; 12. Dakota Sproul, Ellis, Kan.; 13. Jason Vejtruba, Atwater, Minn.; 14. Chad Ryerson, Wellsburg; 15. Ben Chapman, Clarence; 16. Josh Pfeifer, St. Paul, Neb.; 17. Adam Armstrong, Carlisle; 18. Brandon Williams, Des Moines; 19. Curtis Veber, Polk City; 20. Benjamin Schultze, Algona; 21. Colby Fett, Algona; 22. Tyler Watts, Beloit, Kan.; 23. Austin Schrage, Cresco; 24. Danny Dvorak, Vinton; 25. James Kleinheskel, Columbus, Neb.; 26. Danny Myrvold, Westbrook, Minn.; 27. Austin Howes, Memphis, Mo.; 28. Austin Frye, Taft, Calif.; 29. Sam Wieben, Dysart; 30. Wyatt Block, Tigerton, Wis.
Modified All-Star Invitational – 1. Jimmy Gustin, Marshalltown; 2. Jeremy Mills, Garner; 3. Ricky Thornton Jr., Harcourt; 4. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb.; 5. Ricky Stephan, South Sioux City, Neb.; 6. Kyle Strickler, Mooresville, N.C.; 7. Corey Dripps, Reinbeck; 8. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.; 9. Kevin Sustaire, Emory, Texas; 10. Kevin Green, Waco, Texas; 11. Kyle Brown, Madrid; 12. A.J. Ward, Ionia, Mich.; 13. Kellen Chadwick, Oakley, Calif.; 14. Kelly Shryock, Fertile; 15. Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.; 16. Cody Gearhart, Turpin, Okla.; 17. William Gould, Calera, Okla.; 18. Jason Wolla, Ray, N.D.; 19. Ethan Dotson, Bakersfield, Calif.; 20. Scott Sessions, Milton, Fla.; 21. Travis Hagen, Williston, N.D.; 22. Scott Hogan, Vinton; 23. Cody Laney, Torrance, Calif.; 24. Richie Gustin,Gilman; 25. Jay Noteboom, Hinton; 26. Chris Abelson, Sioux City; 27. Ryan Ruter, Kanawha; 28. Brian Irvine, Oelwein; 29. Cory Sample, Winnemucca, Nev.; 30. Ryan McDaniel, Olivehurst, Calif.
Modified Race of Champions – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.; 2. Jimmy Gustin, Marshalltown; 3. Ricky Stephan, South Sioux City, Neb.; 4. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb.; 5. Joel Rust, Grundy Center; 6. Brandon Monson, Denison; 7. Kelly Shryock, Fertile; 8. Brian Knoell, Falun, Kan.; 9. Dustin Andersen, Omaha, Neb.; 10. Scott Hogan, Vinton; 11. Richie Gustin, Gilman; 12. Cody Laney, Torrance, Calif.
Stock Car Race of Champions – 1. Dustin Larson, Rushmore, Minn.; 2. David Smith, Lake City; 3. Donavon Smith, Lake City; 4. Brian Blessington, Breda; 5. John Oliver Jr., Danville; 6. Casey Woken, Norton, Kan.; 7. Jason Rogers, Selden, Kan.; 8. Randy Brands, Boyden; 9. Hesston Shaw, Hennessey, Okla.; 10. Dan Mackenthun, Hamburg, Minn.
Hobby Stock Race of Champions – 1. Brandon Nielsen, Spencer; 2. Trevor Holm, Chandler, Minn.; 3. Chanse Hollatz, Clear Lake; 4. Eric Stanton, Carlisle; 5. Daniel Smith, Lake City; 6. Jeff Ware, Columbus, Neb.; 7. Corey Madden, Avoca; 8. Benji Irvine, Oelwein; 9. Jason Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb.; 10. Justin Luinenburg, Reading, Minn.
Northern Sport Mod Race of Champions – 1. Doug Smith, Lanesboro; 2. Cory Rose, Boone; 3. Erik Laudenschlager, Minot, N.D.; 4. Nick Meyer, Whittemore; 5. Clinton Luellen, Minburn; 6. Jake McBirnie, Boone; 7. Danny Dvorak, Vinton; 8. Benjamin Schultze, Algona; 9. Jesse Skalicky, Fargo, N.D.; 10. Bryan Herrick, Curtis, Neb.