Two drivers, Ricky Thornton, Jr. in the Modified division, and Jeff Wollam in Stock Cars, scored first wins of the 2016 season at the Marshalltown Speedway on Fridaynight. Sam Wieben scored his second SportMod feature win, and Mike Morrill won for the second time in the Mod Lite class. The man who has been unstoppable in the IMCA Hobby Stocks, Eric Stanton, kept his perfect season going by winning for the sixth time in a row.
Ricky Thornton, Jr., the Candler, Arizona driver who is calling Iowa home for the summer, made his presence known in the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature. Thornton started thirteenth and grabbed the lead away from last week’s winner Eric Elliott at lap nine. From there on, Thornton took his ride to the topside and never looked back on his way to the checkers. Jake Murray finished second from starting ninth, and third went to eleventh place starter Jimmy Gustin with a late race charge. Kyle Brown finished fourth after starting seventh, and Ronn Lauritzen came from tenth starting spot, to round out the top five. Thornton has had several wins at various tracks, but this was his first victory at Marshalltown this season.
Veteran racer Jeff Wollam returned to victory lane in the IMCA Stock Car division. Wollam, who had run in the top three all night long, made the last lap pass on the back stretch, slipping under Donavon Smith and beating him to the checkers for the win. Smith, had to settle for the runner up spot, third went to Tyler Pickett, fourth to tenth place starter Austin Evens, and Steve Meyer started eighth and finished fifth. Wollam had not won at Marshalltown since August of 2011.
Young Ethan Braaskma led the pack of IMCA Northern SportMods in their 18-lap feature through the first eleven laps. The caution at lap eleven was Braaksma’s nemesis and Sam Wieben’s good fortune. On the restart, Wieben got the jump on Braaksma and flew to the lead. Wieben held the top spot to the checkers and the win. Last week’s winner Jared VanDeest came from twelfth starting spot to finish second and Braaksma held third. It was a tight finish for fourth and fifth, with Cory Rose just beating out Travis Peterson. Wieben won for the second time at the track this year.
Eric Stanton has been unstoppable in the IMCA Hobby Stock division and it was no different on Friday night. He took the win for the sixth straight time, making for a perfect regular season. Stanton started ninth and was in the lead at lap four, keeping it the remaining eleven laps to the checkers flying. Gene Nicklas finished as the runner up, third went to Dustin Graham, Gary Pfantz was fourth and lady racer Leah Wroten was fifth.
Mike Morrill made it back to back feature wins in the Mod Lite class. Morrill led all fifteen laps on the way to victory in the caution free race. Josh May finished second, over Randy Bryan in third, Joel Glick was fourth and Eric Turner rounded out the top five.
Next up at the Marshalltown Speedway is the Deery Brothers Summer Series for IMCA Late Models and the IMCA Hawkeye Dirt Tour for IMCA Modifieds on Tuesday, June 7. Also racing will be the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. Hot laps are 7 p.m. with racing to follow. Then regular Friday night racing returns on June 10 with racing in all five regular divisions. The green flag drops at 7:30.