Lonnie Wheatley, CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (November 24, 2019) – Central Arizona Speedway’s Sixth Annual Desert Thunder Nationals came down to the final lap with Cave City, Arkansas racer Jeff Taylor denying R.C. Whitwell a sweep of the three-race weekend by winning Sunday afternoon’s 30-lap IMCA Modified main event atop the 3/8-mile clay oval in Case Grande.
While Taylor denied Whitwell’s perfect weekend, Sioux City, Iowa’s Cody Thompson completed his three-race sweep of IMCA Sport Modified action and Jack Lacy bested Sunday’s round of Bomber competition.
Taylor jumped into the lead at the outset of the IMCA Modified feature and led throughout, fending off a late challenge from Whitwell.
“We got a little more balance in the car today,” Taylor said afterward. “We held on, the car was pretty good so we’re happy with that.”
While Taylor set the pace ahead of Alex Stanford, Whitwell was working his forward from 16th in his quest to sweep the weekend. Reaching the fourth position by the time a caution flew after 19 laps, he made quick work of Jason Noll and Stanford on the restart to take command of second and set his sights on Taylor for the lead.
A final caution with five laps remaining put Whitwell on Taylor’s rear bumper, but “The Animal” was up to the task and fought off Whitwell’s last gasp bid for the lead.
“It’s different racing here in the day. You can see the shadow off of two,” Taylor explained. “I knew if he ever got beside me and I saw his shadow that I would be in trouble. But I couldn’t run down there so there wasn’t anything I could do about it so if he passed me, then more power to him.”
Taylor held on though ahead of Whitwell with Stanford rounding out the podium in third. Starting deep in the field, Chaz Baca, Jr., worked his way from 20th to fourth with Noll rounding out the top five.
While Whitwell fell one position short of a weekend sweep, Cody Thompson completed it with a third consecutive triumph in the 20-lap IMCA Sport Modified feature.
Working his way forward from four rows deep, Thompson slid past Cody Carver on a lap eight restart and held the point the rest of the way.
“This was an awesome track all weekend,” Thompson commented. “I could feel it latching down in three and four so I was trying to save my tires. Then when we got that caution, I knew it was go time.”
Thompson rolled on to the checkered flag ahead of Carver with Andy Clower, Cory Hemphill and Gerry Glenn rounding out the top five.
Hometown shoe Jack Lacy rounded out the weekend of Bomber competition by racing from ninth to take the checkered flag ahead of pole starter Aaron Collier and Pete Clubb.
Central Arizona Speedway – November 24, 2019, Sixth Annual Desert Thunder Nationals Round Three:
Heat One: 1. 98-Alex Stanford, 2. 27-Mark Carrell, 3. X-Mike Wedelstadt, 4. 10s-Rick Spencer II, 5. 118-Jesse Patterson, 6. 8m-Doug Meeks, 7. 35-Wes Hall, 8. 26-Trevor Miller, 9. 2*-Don Gumke.
Heat Two: 1. 82w-Eston Whisler, 2. 44k-Kelsie Foley, 3. 71s-Brent Schlafmann, 4. 2x-Roy Poeling, 5. 71h-Jessie Hoskins, 6. 09-Kelly Hayes, 7. 55-Marvin Mueller, 8. 157-Joel King, 9. 82-Sherman Barnett.
Heat Three: 1. 5T-Jeff Taylor, 2. 44-Christy Barnett, 3. 44n-Jason Noll, 4. 85T-Roy Meeks, 5. 16-Jimmy Mills, 6. 23c-Chuck Grohnke, 7. 28-Jim Whisler, 8. 36-Bill Miller.
Heat Four: 1. 271-Chris Carroll, 2. 5-Zachary Madrid, 3. 18k-Jacob Pace, 4. 96T-R.C. Whitwell, 5. 75jr-Chaz Baca, Jr., 6. 75-Spencer Wilson, 7. 71az-Tyler Mecl, 8. M22-Sean Stacy.
“B” Main: 1. 75-Spencer Wilson, 2. 71az-Tyler Mecl, 3. 09-Kelsey Hayes, 4. 26-Trevor Miller, 5. 36-Bill Miller, 6. M22-Sean Stacy, 7. 55-Marvin Mueller, 8. 23c-Chuck Grohnke, 9. 28-Jim Whisler, 10. 157-Joel King, 11. 35-Wes Hall, 12. 8m-Doug Meeks, 13. 2*-Don Gumke, 14. 82-Sherman Barnett.
“A” Main (30 Laps): 1. 5T-Jeff Taylor, 2. 96T-R.C. Whitwell, 3. 98-Alex Stanford, 4. 75jr-Chaz Baca, Jr., 5. 44n-Jason Noll, 6. X-Mike Wedelstadt, 7. 5-Zachary Madrid, 8. 71-Brent Schlafmann, 9. 82w-Eston Whisler, 10. 09-Kelsey Hayes, 11. 26-Trevor Miller, 12. 44-Christy Barnett, 13. 2x-Roy Poeling, 14. 71az-Tyler Mecl, 15. 85T-Roy Meeks, 16. 18k-Jacob Pace, 17. 71h-Jessie Hoskins, 18. 44k-Kelsie Foley, 19. 36-Bill Miller, 20. 118-Jesse Patterson, 21. 75-Spencer Wilson, 22. 271-Chris Carroll, 23. 10s-Rick Spencer, 24. 27-Mark Carrell, 25. 16-Jimmy Mills.
IMCA Sport Modifieds:
Heat One: 1. 83g-Gerry Glenn, 2. 00sp-Crystal Hemphill, 3. 198k-Cory Hemphill, 4. 06-Rex Hasley, 5. 12dt-Dixon Tipton, 6. 303-Kyler Reynolds, 7. 55-Michael Soboski.
Heat Two: 1. 25c-Cody Thompson, 2. 11az-Cole Carver, 3. 111-J.J. McCarty, 4. 25-Andy Clower, 5. 15-Speedy Madrid, 6. 39az-Artie Garcia, 7. 25d-Steve Duffy.
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 25c-Cody Thompson, 2. 11az-Cole Carver, 3. 25-Andy Clower, 4. 198k-Cory Hemphill, 5. 83g-Gerry Glenn, 6. 111-J.J. McCarty, 7. 00sp-Crystal Hemphill, 8. 06-Rex Hasley, 9. 12dt-Dixton Tipton, 10. 25d-Steve Duffy, 11. 55-Michael Soboski, 12. 303-Kyler Reynolds, 13. 15-Speedy Madrid, 14. 39az-Artie Garcia.
Heat One: 1. 27c-Nick Posey, 2. 2-Jack Lacy, 3. 42-Cory Jarbeau, 4. 13x-Aaron Collier, 5. 72-Jason Knueppel, 6. 57x-Kayle Snyder, 7. 51r-Ross Krajack.
Heat Two: 1. 9-Paul O’Conner, 2. 87-Charles McDaniel, 3. 28jr-Bransen Lacy, 4. 44-Sierra Weber, 5. 4c-Pete Clubb, 6. 87jag-John Gary.
“A” Main: 1. 2-Jack Lacy, 2. 13x-Aaron Collier, 3. 4c-Pete Clubb, 4. 42-Cory Jarbeau, 5. 87-Charles McDaniel, 6. 87jag-John Gary, 7. 51r-Ross Krajack, 8. 9-Paul O’Conner, 9. 27c-Nick Posey, 10. 44-Sierra Weber, 11. 57x-Kayle Snyder, 12. 72-Jason Knueppel, 13. 28jr-Bransen Lacy.
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