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Stone, Smith capture Canyon series features


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Stone, Smith capture Canyon series features


PEORIA, Ariz. (Jan. 30-31) – Their long trips to the track paid off for two visitors on the opening weekend of Canyon Speedway Park’s Winter Challenge Series.


Californian Paul Stone and defending national champion Dylan Smith of Nebraska topped $1,000 to win IMCA Modified main events on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, as drivers from nine states and Canada contended for spots in 30-lap features.


Stone drew the outside row one start and was in and out of the front before nailing down the Saturday checkers. Smith qualified for the Sunday show by winning his “B” feature, started 16th and finally took over the lead with two circuits left.


Cautions slowed the early going on Saturday before Marlyn Seidler slipped past Stone for the point. Chris Dawson challenged Seidler before breaking on lap 13, putting local hotshoe Tim Ward in the second spot.


Last season’s ButlerBuilt Western Region rookie of the year, Ward gave way to Stone before midway, then joined the veteran in passing Seidler when the North Dakota traveler got out of his line.


Stone stretched his advantage over Ward to five carlengths while Smith continued his progress through the field. The final yellow came with three laps left, then Stone pulled away to win ahead of Ward, Seidler, Smith and J.J. Harpole.


“We went down to brush out some of the cobwebs,” said Stone, who plans to return for the final weekend of the series in February. “We didn’t go expecting to win, but it’s always nice when you do.”


After starting 15th in the opener, Smith was an early casualty in his heat race but avoided the multi-car accident in his Sunday “B” and took the feature green from outside row eight.


Moving steadily through the field, Smith again avoided tangles and caught Seidler with two laps left.


“I got some good breaks at the start and missed the wrecks,” said Smith, who’d started thinking last fall about warm weather racing options in 2010 and plans to hit all eight Canyon dates. “By about halfway I was up to sixth and figured if I didn’t get excited, I could win it.”


Seidler, Phil Penney, 20th starting Jason Noll and Jay Foster rounded out the top five. Stone was making another strong top five run before a flat tire at midway relegated him to 16th.


Zach Hamilton beat Garrett Funk and Julie Boettler to the Southwest Racing Specialties Southern SportMod checkers on Saturday. Funk, Darin Center and James Webster made up the top three on Sunday.


Opening night for both divisions had been postponed a week because of inclement weather. Both Stone and Smith were already qualified for the 2010 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.


The Winter Challenge Series for Modifieds continues Feb. 6-7, Feb. 13-14 and Feb. 20-21. Southern SportMods are on Feb. 13-14 and Feb. 20-21 cards.


Saturday Results


Modifieds – 1. Paul Stone, Winton, Calif.; 2. Tim Ward, Gilbert; 3. Marlyn Seidler, Underwood, N.D.; 4. Dylan Smith, Osceola, Neb.; 5. J.J. Harpole, Farmington, N.M.; 6. George Fronsman, Chino Valley; 7. Guy Norton, Peoria; 8. Anthony Madrid, Phoenix; 9. Jason Noll, El Mirage; 10. Matt Higgins, Bloomfield, N.M.; 11. Jason Donnelly, Idaho Falls, Idaho; 12. Shawn Zelenka, Surprise; 13. Fritz Croy, Prescott; 14. Mark Stewart, Sedona; 15. Jay Parvin, Glendale; 16. D.J. Wood, Peoria; 17. Zane DeVilbiss, Farmington, N.M.; 18. Jay Foster, Phoenix; 19. Randy Brown, Chowchilla, Calif.; 20. Reeve Staley, Glendale; 21. Chris Dawson, Post, Texas; 22. Bill Caron, Surprise; 23. Terry Belcher Jr., Buckeye; 24. Ed Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 25. Mike Strobl, Glendale.


Heat winners – Zelenka, Stone, Higgins, Dawson and Seidler. “B” feature winners – Belcher and Foster.


Southern SportMods – 1. Zach Hamilton, Farmington, N.M.; 2. Garret Funk, Phoenix; 3. Julie Boettler, Farmington, N.M.; 4. Lupe Gomez, Phoenix; 5. Darin Center, Mesa; 6. Harland Morehart, Mesa; 7. Ron Neis, Queen Creek; 8. James Webster, Queen Creek; 9. Chris Caldwell, Phoenix; 10. Danny Pearson, Phoenix; 11. Ronald Webster, Vernon.


Heat winners – Funk and Hamilton.


Sunday Results


Modifieds – 1. Smith; 2. Seidler; 3. Phil Penney, Percival, Iowa; 4. Noll; 5. Foster; 6. Madrid; 7. Higgins; 8. Norton; 9. Bob Sanders, Phoenix; 10. John Cox, Glendale; 11. Brown; 12. Mike Jergens, Plover, Iowa; 13. Mark Rodgers, Farmington, N.M.; 14. DeVilbiss; 15. Dominique Askren, Phoenix; 16. Stone; 17. Ricky Alvarado, Delta, Colo.; 18. Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler; 19. Harpole; 20. Wood; 21. Belcher; 22. Turnbull; 23. Ronnie Wallace, McCook, Neb.; 24. Parvin; 25. Staley.


Heat winners – Wood, Belcher, Seidler, Penney and Madrid. “B” feature winners – Smith and Thornton.


Southern SportMods – 1. Funk; 2. Center; 3. Webster; 4. Hamilton; 5. Boettler; 6. Caldwell; 7. Gomez; 8. Morehart; 9. Neis.


Heat winners – Boettler and Funk.



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