USAC: Josh Hodges Stars in Final Race of Canyon Speedway Park’s Winter Challenge Series

RaceChaser Staff Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Other Sprint Cars, Southwest, USAC, West 0 Comments

PEORIA, Ariz. — official press release by Lonnie Wheatley — TWC photo —

Josh Hodges and Hunter Marriott brought the curtains down on Canyon Speedway Park’s Winter Challenge with impressive drives to victory lane in Saturday night’s fifth and final round of the series.

While Hodges earned his second USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast non-winged sprint car feature victory of the series and Marriott picked up his second win as well in IMCA Modified action, other Saturday night winners included George Fronsman in IMCA Stock Car vs. Pure Stock action, Paul O’Connor in IMCA Hobby Stocks vs. Renegades and Danny Wagner in dwarf cars.

After sliding past front row starter Stevie Sussex for the lead on the second round, Tijeras, N.M., shoe Josh Hodges countered several strong Bryan Clauson sliders to take Saturday night’s $4,000 USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Car feature winner’s share.

It was the second $4,000 victory of the five-race series for Hodges aboard the Jackson Compaction/Ortega’s Appliance/MVT No. 74x after topping last Sunday’s round three.

“This is awesome, it’s fun to race with these guys I look up to,” Hodges said.  “There’s no one better than Bryan (Clauson), he raced me clean.”

With Hodges racing into the lead early, Clauson just needed three laps to charge from sixth into second as he pursued a fourth win of the series.

Clauson challenged early but nearly looped it turn two on the 11th round.  Clauson made the save, with the race’s only caution flying moments later for a disabled mount in turn one.

With the balance of the 30-lapper run off in non-stop fashion, Clauson kept the pressure on and twice slid by Hodges in turns one and two in the final handful of rounds only to have Hodges successfully counter to retain command.

After Clauson got a good piece of the turn-two wall with the lap-28 slider, Hodges had a clear run to his second win of the year.  Clauson settled for second with R.J. Johnson, Charles Davis Jr., and Andrew Reinbold rounding out the top five.

Just as Hodges denied Clauson a four-for-five Winter Challenge effort, Missouri’s Hunter Marriott did the same to Ricky Thornton Jr., by racing to victory lane in Saturday night’s non-stop 25-lap finale.

Marriott worked past Ryan Gaylord for the lead five laps in the main event and then fought off Thornton the rest of the way to take his second Winter Challenge score aboard the Strange Oval/Friesen Chevrolet No. 62 entry.

“It has been fun racing with Ricky out here,” Marriott said.  “He pushes us so hard here, if it weren’t for him I don’t that we would have to work as hard as we have this week.”

Marriott made a masterful move through a gaggle of lapped cars a handful of laps before the checkered flag to secure the win with Thornton settling for second as Paul Stone, Gaylord and Anthony Roth rounded out the top five.


RESULTS: USAC Southwest vs. West Coast Sprint Cars; Winter Challenge; Canyon Speedway Park; Jan. 30, 2016

A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 74x-Josh Hodges, 2. 16b-Bryan Clauson, 3. 51-R.J. Johnson, 4. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 5. 19-Andrew Reinbold, 6. 16-Mike Martin, 7. 48T-Thomas Ogle, 8. 20-Shon Deskins, 9. 5-Tye Mihocko, 10. 22b-Brian Hosford, 11. 0k-Kenny Perkins, 12. 54-Landon Cling, 13. 98-Matt Lundy, 14. 45-Bob Strait, 15. 2x-Larry Gibson, 16. 27w-Guy Weedman, 17. 50x-Will Perkins, 18. 5x-Matt McCarthy, 19. 11w-Dillon Tanner, 20. 55-Tony Everhart, 21. 21az-Stevie Sussex, 22. 56-Spencer Hill.

CREDIT: The Wheatley Chronicles 

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