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Tim Ward Does The Harvest Hustle

SOMERTON, Ariz. — Cocopah Speedway entered the final weekend of the season with a three-day event titled the Harvest Hustle/Turkey Classic featuring IMCA divisions and a complimentary Thanksgiving dinner before the Thursday night practice session.

A large field of 119 entries on Friday were on hand to tackle the three-eighths-mile track with modifieds, Northern sport mods, stock cars and hobby stocks all IMCA sanctioned. 

Dwarf cars, pure stocks, and two divisions of mini-dwarf cars for drivers from age 5 to 13 were also part of the event.

Modifieds ran a 25-lap main while the other big track divisions were set for 20 laps. Tim Ward redrew the pole and ran 25 smooth laps for the win. With the last 24 laps nonstop, Ward had plenty of lapped traffic to handle, but the Harcourt, Iowa, driver was able to put his car anyplace on the track in order to deal with traffic.

Ricky Thornton Jr. raced Zachary Madrid for a dozen laps before taking second, closed on Ward a couple of times, but slipped backwards when he jumped the cushion in turn two and had to settle for second while Madrid took third.

Miles Morris wasted no time in the Northern Sport mod main, racing from inside row two into the lead by turn two on the opening lap and led all 20 laps. Shane Paris finished second ahead of Ty Rogers. Morris lost his big lead twice due to yellows, but quickly returned to a comfortable lead on each restart. 

Dwarf cars saw Bobby Brown jump into the lead, using the high line in turns 3 and 4 on the initial lap, then establishing a big lead. Brandon Wiley caught up to Brown just past the halfway point and used a slider in turn four to take the lead. Brown came back with his slider in turn four but Wiley held him off to continue leading and was able to collect the win with Brown second ahead of Buddy Atencio.

The pure stocks had three well known Arizona racing names racing for the lead for a while.

Ricky Thornton Sr., Chaz Baca Jr., and Zachary Madrid displayed a three-car battle for the top spot until Madrid spun and later Baca dropped out after slowing. 

The fifth row from the starting grid replaced Baca and Madrid and pressured Thornton but were unable to get past the father of Ricky Thornton Jr. Cody Daffern was a close second and Brycen Daffern was third.

Things went better for Zachary Madrid in the stock car main, first by redrawing the pole, then his car did not suffer any mechanical problems and he dominated the main for the win. Josh Cain was second followed by Scott Sluka.

The hobby stocks started just five cars, but the race was competitive and Joe Peterson got the win.

Zaiden Haines won the mini-dwarf main for drivers age 9 to 13 and Colton Murphy won the mini-dwarf sportsman division for the five to eight age group. A small inner oval provides the playground for the young drivers.