Famous Modified DESERT CLASSIC Takes Place October 9, 10 & 11, 2009
Canyon Speedway Park Press Release Peoria, AZ October 5, 2009. The year-end famous Modified Desert Classic is around the corner as locals build anticipation for the forty lap main event this upcoming weekend. Canyon promoter Doug Gabbard opted to return the IMCA modified sanctioning body to the Peoria, AZ oval after a five-year hiatus. A few concessions can be found on the tracks website that helped for a smoother transition back to the nationally recognized racing organization.
The 2009 season started off with a successful Modified Winter Challenge Series that runs from late January through February each year. Canyon fans saw a home state driver and a traveler from halfway across the country win the IMCA Modified opening weekend double header at Canyon Speedway Park's Modified Winter Challenge Series. Local racer Ricky Thornton Jr. topped Saturday's show pocketing a grand for his work in the first IMCA event held at Canyon since the 2004 season. Traveling from Iowa, Rich Lewerke picked up a $1,000 winning payout of his own on the Sunday show. The 2009 Winter Challenge Series did not disappoint anybody with 81 different competitors signing in on the drivers list in the modified division alone for the series.
Next up Canyon hosted the inaugural IMCA sanctioned Wild West Modified Touring Southern Series. Another local racer put his name in the record books as Guy Norton of Peoria, AZ went to victory lane at his home track after leading all thirty laps. Norton won after damaging his left front A-arm with about five laps to go. Then coming out of turn number four to take the checkered flag his gear exploded. Alvarado, Brown and Foster tried to split the wounded car of Norton but Norton pulled it off in a photo finish victory. In the second night of racing another traveling racer in his WW1 numbered modified would not be denied. After finishing second place the night before Ricky Alvarado from Delta, CO took the top spot in the feature.
After all was said and done, "The Boss" Bo Hatfield in his number 777 hot rod wrapped up the regular season and took home the 2009 Canyon modified points championship. Hatfield is from Arizona and celebrated his first championship in his Hatfield Race Car known as a HRC. "The Boss" looks to add another prestigious win to his resume as the Desert Classic draws near. Past Arizona track champions and local racers that have pre-registered for the Classic include 14j-Jay Foster, 5m-Anthony Madrid, 44n-Jason Noll, 11-Shawn Zelenka and 41-George Fronsman. Other local favorites racing the "Classic" include 2009 Canyon points runner up third in IMCA state points is the 4az-John Morris. A fan favorite that returned to racing a modified late this season is the very competitive Arizona product 18-Terry Belcher Junior.
Racing the Classic with a very successful 4tw team is the fifteen-year-old driving sensation Tim Ward from Mesa, AZ. The young hot foot marked the "Mesa Missile" requires a paragraph on his own with his paramount season. Ward was voted into the 2009 IMCA Super National All-Star modified race. Ward also racked up a 2009 AZ State IMCA Modified championship, a 2009 Prescott Valley Raceway points championship, he took fourth in the Modified ButlerBuilt IMCA Western Region Regional Point Standings and the 2009 IMCA Western Region Rookie Of The Year.
The Desert Classic general admission tickets are $15, seniors or military can purchase a $13 ticket and children 12U are free. An all access pit pass may be purchased for $30 at the back pit entrance. The pit gate will be open all day Friday through Sunday. Practice on Friday will run from 6:30 to 9:30pm. Everyone will be cleared out or the pit area each day Saturday and Sunday to purchase pit passes at 3pm.The drivers meeting will take place at 5:30pm each night.Wheel packing and hot laps are to begin immediately following the driver meeting.RACING WILL START AT 7:00pm Saturday and Sunday night. Tune into the live webcast at www.canyonspeedwaypark.com and listen to the CSP announcers.