Colton Hardy was the class of the field as he captured the season opening ASCS Wing Sprint Car event during the March Meltdown at CSP. George Fronsman was able to push his recent mechanical issues to the side as he drove to the win in the Allscapes Stock Cars while Chuck Thornton grabbed his first victory of the year in the Desert Restorations Hobby Stocks. Mason Keefer would take home the $500 payday in the Micro Sprints on the short track and Billy Ayers became the first ever IMCA Sport Compact feature winner in Arizona.
The defending ASCS Wing Sprint Car Champ wasted no time establishing his stronghold on the field to kick off the 2018 as Colton Hardy led flag to flag to take the March Meltdown Sprint Car feature event. After two failed attempts at a start due to a mechanical issue on Jarrett Martin’s machine and then a red flag for a rollover by Josh Shipley, Hardy was able to jump out to the early lead ahead of Matt Rossi. Rossi seemed to be settled into the second spot until midway through the race when Hunter Schuerenberg made his way by after starting the race in the 7th position. Hardy utilized outstanding restarts to create distance on the field until the final restart on lap 13, this time with Schuerenberg sitting behind him. Schuerenberg stuck with Hardy through the final circuits but Hardy was the better car through the lap traffic. Hardy would finish on top with Schuerenberg in second followed by Don Grable, Matt Rossi and Mason Keefer. Schuerenberg and Hardy were heat race winners earlier in the evening.
George Fronsman found himself back on top in the Allscapes IMCA Stock Cars for the first time since late January. Mechanical issues have plagued the defending champion throughout the early portion of the year, including a broken control arm in the season opening event last week. With the gremlins behind him, Fronsman put together an impressive performance to land his third feature win of the year and his first of the points season. Dennis Losing ran second for a majority of the race after leading the first lap until a hard charging Georgie Fronsman was able to get by after a lap 13 restart. The father and son duo paced the field the remainder of the way but Georgie was unable to work his way around the elder Fronsman as the checkered flag flew. Losing would hold on for third while Cody Center and Nick Langer finished off the top five. Fronsman would sweep the night as he also won the lone Stock Car heat race.
Chuck Thornton would become the fourth different feature winner in seven events for the Desert Restorations Hobby Stocks. Joe Vlasity earned three in the Winter Challenge, Joe Peterson has two while Bradley Stafford and now Thornton both own one. In a feature that ran green to checker, Thornton led from flag to flag. Joe Peterson worked his way up from his last row starting spot but simply had too much distance to overcome without any cautions to bunch the field back up. Thornton drove a smooth race and maintained his lead for all twenty laps to land in victory lane. Peterson would finish second while Allen Hakes, Kyle Cardinal and Max Zachrison would round out the top five. Bradley Stafford was the heat race winner earlier in the event, besting Thornton.
Micro Sprints returned to the short track for their second race of the year and it was Mason Keefer, pulling double duty, who found himself in victory lane at the end of the race. Ray Herrera would lead the first ten trips around the small track before contact between himself and second place running Cameron LaRose saw both cars come to a stop in turn four. Keefer dove to the inside to avoid contact with both of the leaders and assumed the top spot for the restart. The race would remain green the rest of the way, with no serious challenges for the lead as Keefer went on to take the win. Paul Martin would finish second, Colton Hardy in third, Kevin Keefer in fourth and Dale Eliason jr finished in fifth. Mason Keefer and Paul Martin were both heat race winners at the start of the night.
Billy Ayers Jr took home the win in the first ever sanctioned IMCA Sport Compact event held in the state of Arizona. Ayers would lead the 15 lap feature flag to flag in what looked to be a somewhat uneventful race. Jackie Parmeley would wind up second and Tish Heistand in third as the debut of the division saw a low car count to kick off the year while others are still getting cars bought and built. As the race seemed to be simply ticking by, Ayers right rear wheel looked to almost fall off, barely being held on by two small welds and a brake line on the bottom. With the top of the tire almost leaning so far to touch the track in the corners, Ayers had his hands full and somehow brought the car all the way to the finish of the race to take the win. Parmeley won the heat race to kick off Sport Compact competition earlier in the day. Sport Compacts will be back in action next week to continue their debut season during the Spring Showcase doubleheader.
Next up at Canyon Speedway Park on Friday March 9th & Saturday March 10th will be the Spring Showcase, featuring the USAC/CRA 410 Sprint Cars, Leading Edge IMCA Modifieds, Arizona Differential IMCA Sport Mods, Modlites and Sport Compacts. Gates open at 5pm both nights with Racing at 7:30pm on Friday and 7pm on Saturday. USAC/CRA will be qualifying both nights, estimated to kick off roughly a half hour before scheduled race time. For more information give us a call at (602) 258-RACE (7223) or visit us at www.canyonspeedwaypark.com.Find us on Facebook and all of our social media accounts to stay updated with the latest from CSP! (Twitter – @racecsp ; Instagram – @canyonspeedwaypark).
Desert Restorations IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat 1 – (8 Laps) 1. 40B-Bradley Stafford ; 2. XX-Chucky Thornton ; 3. 13X-Allen Hakes ; 4. 51-Kyle Cardinal ; 5. 85-Joe Peterson ; 6. 55Z-Max Zachrison ; 7. 75I-David Irvin
A-Main – (20 Laps) 1. XX-Chucky Thornton ; 2. 85-Joe Peterson ; 3. 13X-Allen Hakes ; 4. 51-Kyle Cardinal ; 5. 55Z-Max Zachrison ; 6. 75I-David Irvin ; 7. 40B-Bradley Stafford ; 8. 3-Bill Cole
Allscapes IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1 – (8 Laps) 1. 41-George Fronsman ; 2. 15-Dennis Losing ; 3. 7H-Vance Honea ; 4. 17L-Nick Langer ; 5. 41X-Georgie Fronsman ; 6. $-Cody Center
A-Main – (20 Laps) 1. 41-George Fronsman ; 2. 41X-Georgie Fronsman ; 3. 15-Dennis Losing ; 4. $-Cody Center ; 5. 17L-Nick Langer ; 6. 7H-Vance Honea
IMCA Sport Compacts
Heat 1 – (6 Laps) 1. 72-Jackie Parmeley ; 2. 21x-Tish Heistand ; 3. 94-Billy Ayres Jr
A-Main – (15 Laps) 1. 94-Billy Ayres Jr ; 2. 72-Jackie Parmeley ; 3. 21x-Tish Heistand
ASCS Wing Sprints
Heat 1 – (10 Laps) 1. 19-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 2. 02-Matt Rossi ; 3. 22-Jesse Baker ; 4. 7K-Mason Keefer ; 5. 01-Josh Shipley ; 6. 2B-Billy Chester III ; 7. 33-Steve Cushman
Heat 2 – (10 Laps) 1. 74-Colton Hardy ; 2. 148-Don Grable ; 3. 20Z-Rick Ziehl ; 4. 8-Lance Norick ; 5. 2-Alex Pettas ; 6. 115-Nick Parker ; 7. 7-Mark Clark ; 8. 57-Jarrett Martin
A-Main – (25 Laps) 1. 74-Colton Hardy ; 2. 19-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 3. 148-Don Grable ; 4. 02-Matt Rossi ; 5. 7K-Mason Keefer ; 6. 8-Lance Norick ; 7. 115-Nick Parker ; 8. 01-Josh Shipley ; 9. 22-Jesse Baker ; 10. 2-Alex Pettas ; 11. 33-Steve Cushman ; 12. 2B-Billy Chester III ; 13. 7-Mark Clark ; 14. 57-Jarrett Martin ; 15. 20Z-Rick Ziehl
CSP Micro Sprints
Heat 1 – (8 Laps) 1. 7-Mason Keefer ; 2. 41H-Colton Hardy ; 3. 99T-Andrew Kitto ; 4. 50-Ray Herrera ; 5. 7kk-Kevin Keefer ; 6. 76-Corsair Hancock ; 7. 07-Keelan Matthews ; 8. 28-Mark Morin
Heat 2 – (8 Laps) 1. 1AZ-Paul Martin ; 2. 72-AJ Hernandez ; 3. 20az-Kyle Huttenhow ; 4. 52-Cameron La Rose ; 5. 04J-Dale Eliason Jr ; 6. 2-Billy Van Meter ; 7. 21AZ-Clay Sprau
A-Main – (25 Laps) 1. 7-Mason Keefer ; 2. 1AZ-Paul Martin ; 3. 41H-Colton Hardy ; 4. 7kk-Kevin Keefer ; 5. 04J-Dale Eliason Jr ; 6. 21AZ-Clay Sprau ; 7. 52-Cameron La Rose ; 8. 2-Billy Van Meter ; 9. 07-Keelan Matthews ; 10. 28-Mark Morin ; 11. 50-Ray Herrera ; 12. 20az-Kyle Huttenhow ; 13. 76-Corsair Hancock ; 14. 72-AJ Hernandez ; 15. 99T-Andrew Kitto