Drake Stars At Canyon Speedway Park
PEORIA, Ariz. — Steve Drake and Mark Stewart were among those taking top honors during the opening night of the inaugural running of the Mr. Excitement 40 paying tribute to Terry Belcher that took place on Friday night at Canyon Speedway Park.
While Drake bested the West Coast Late Models and Stewart topped the IMCA modified ranks, other winners on the opening night of the two-night event included Matt Martinez in Viper Smart Start Pure Stock action and Joe Peterson in Renegade competition.
Drake raced from the second row inside for his second West Coast Late Model score of the year, beating 19th-starter Keith James to the line with Anthony Madrid, Tommy Malcom and Bud Grossenbacher rounding out the top five.
Mark Stewart picked off his first IMCA Modified score of the year at CSP from the front row outside with seventh-starter Ricky Thornton Jr., moving one night closer to the track championship by taking runner-up honors one position ahead of Jason Noll, who ranks as his closest contender with just one night of points racing remaining. Fifteenth-starter D.J. Wood and James Webster filled out the top five.
Matt Martinez added his second Viper Smart Start Pure Stock win in the last three outings from the third row outside with Ty Weidner, Jeff Manka, point leader Chris McCurdy, Jr., and Michael Humphreys next across the line.
Joe Peterson raced from the fifth starting position for his first Renegade feature win of the year, denying runner-up John Romero his fifth win of the year after rallying from tenth. Joe Flewelling chased the lead duo to the line with Paul O’Connor and Jonathan Stalhut also in the top five.