CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (Jan. 5-6) – Two IMCA Modified drivers accustomed to taking Grand Canyon State checkers started their 2013 season with more of the same.
George Fronsman topped Saturday’s opening Wild West Shootout event at Central Arizona Raceway while Scott Drake was the Sunday feature winner. Both 25-lap events paid $1,000 to win and were Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifiers.
IMCA career win number 48 for Fronsman, a former Allstar Performance Arizona State champion, came ahead of Ricky Alvarado, David Karst, Tim Ward and Jason Noll. Drake, the defending Winter Challenge Series champion, led Karst, Ricky Thornton Jr., Noll and Jesse Williamson across the stripe.
Fronsman drew the opening night pole but fell back to fifth at the start. He stayed in the lower line and began working his way back toward the front around lap 15, got the lead back with five to go and caught lapped traffic with the checkers in sight.
Alvarado, Karst and Ward were virtually three-wide in the final circuits before finishing in that order.
“This is a real good, wide track,” observed Fronsman. “Even if it dries up, there’s still plenty of room to pass.”
Drake started outside row one and led every time around the track on Sunday. Four cautions slowed the race over the first eight circuits.
Karst stayed within two or three car lengths much of the way. Thornton and Noll raced their ways through the field to finish in the top four and Williamson had a long run in second.
“We run really well in Arizona. We won the series out here last year,” Drake said, “so we’ve done pretty good when we’ve been able to avoid mechanical problems.”
He’d exited the Saturday show with motor issues with 10 laps left. Fronsman had similar prob¬lems on Sunday, breaking while winning his heat and being unable to start the feature.
The first IMCA Modified event of 2013 drew 48 entries. Three more Wild West Shootout shows are scheduled at Casa Grande, on Wednesday, Jan. 9, and Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12 and 13.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m., and racing starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Gates open at 1 p.m. and racing be¬gins at 4 p.m. for each weekend event.
Central Arizona Raceway
IMCA Modified Features
Jan. 5 – 1. George Fronsman; 2. Ricky Alvarado; 3. David Karst; 4. Tim Ward; 5. Jason Noll; 6. Zane DeVilbiss; 7. Spencer Wilson; 8. Jason Beaulieu; 9. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 10. Tommy Fain; 11. Aaron Spangler; 12. Lance Mari; 13. Jesse Williamson; 14. Garrett Funk; 15. Jason Briese; 16. J.R. Herrera; 17. Taylon Center; 18. Zach Hamilton; 19. Russell Allen; 20. Tyler Mecl; 21. Trent Guest; 22. Brody Spangler; 23. Rich Hesse; 24. Scott Drake
Jan. 6 – 1. Scott Drake; 2. David Karst; 3. Ricky Thornton, Jr.; 4. Jason Noll; 5. Jesse Williamson; 6. Anthony Madrid; 7. Richie Gustin; 8. Jason Briese; 9. Taylon Center; 10. Jay Parvin; 11. Derek Huggins; 12. Tommy Fain; 13. Zach Washburn; 14. Rich Hesse; 15. Brody Spangler; 16. Spencer Wilson; 17. Tyler Mecl; 18. Dylan Barnhardt; 19. D.J. Wood; 20. Shelby Frye; 21. Lance Mari; 22. Ricky Alvarado; 23. Zane DeVilbiss; 24. Zach Hamilton; 25. George Fronsman