Ricky Thornton Jr. started his Spring Nationals legacy while Jordan Grabouski added to his at Beatrice Speedway’s 25th annual event.
Thornton topped the Friday feature for IMCA Modifieds and the Saturday main event for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. Grabouski collected his record-extending career 10th IMCA Modified victory on night two.
Both Modified features paid $2,500 to win and both Thornton and Grabouski were already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. More than 220 race teams from a dozen states and Canada were at Beatrice for the traditional season lidlifter.
While Beatrice is Grabouski’s hometown track, Arizona native Thornton had raced there just once previously with a mid-pack finish at a weekly event to show for his efforts.
“Probably the biggest thing on Friday was that I didn’t win from the front row,” said Thornton, who worked his way up from 11th. “It took about 10 laps to get up to third. I passed Cayden Carter after a yellow around lap 15. Hunter Marriott and I raced hard and clean before I cleared him with five to go.”
Grabouski was the first car out on Friday, sidelined by a broken tie rod that resulted from a multi-car tangle just two laps in.
“I had a rough go of it on Friday and was disappointed in my performance, but it was awesome the way we rebounded,” said Grabouski, who took the high line around Marriott for the lead near midway on night two. “Lapped traffic made it chaotic and I really wasn’t able to shake Hunter.”
Marriott was second and Carter third in both 30 lappers; 22nd starting Jesse Dennis and Jordy Nelson rounded out Friday’s top five while Jeremy Payne and 16th starting Kelly Shryock were fourth and fifth, respectively, on Saturday.
Carter had started 23rd on opening night.
Grabouski was runner-up in the Friday Stock Car feature while Thornton had to do some bouncing back after an early exit of his own.
He went three-wide to take the lead in the Saturday Stock Car feature and outran Friday winner Kyle Vanover to the checkers.
Chanse Hollatz and Taylor Huss were IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock winners. Joe Docekal and Josh Appel won features for the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods.
Ramsey Meyer topped Saturday’s Mach-1 Sport Compact feature.
Modified Feature Results
March 9 – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Hunter Marriott; 3. Cayden Carter; 4. Jesse Dennis; 5. Jordy Nelson; 6. Kelly Shryock; 7. Shane Hiatt; 8.Tyler Droste; 9. Jeremy Payne; 10. Eddie Belec; 11. Cory Wray; 12. Jacob Hobscheidt; 13. Jeff James; 14. Josh Most; 15. Mike Densberger; 16. Chad Clancy; 17. Ryan Jenkins; 18. Scott Smith; 19. Ben Chukuske; 20. Mike Lineberry; 21. Corey Burch; 22. Aaron Benson; 23. Carter VanDenBerg; 24. Jordan Grabouski.
March 10 – 1. Jordan Grabouski; 2. Hunter Marriott; 3. Cayden Carter; 4. Jeremy Payne; 5. Kelly Shryock; 6. Josh Vogt; 7. Jeff James; 8. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 9. Benji LaCrosse; 10. Eddie Belec; 11. Mike Densberger; 12. Brian Mullen; 13. Shane Hiatt; 14. Chad Andersen; 15. Ryan Jenkins; 16. Josh Gilman; 17. Andy Gage; 18. Jesse Skalicky; 19. Josh Blumer; 20. Jared Hoefelman; 21. Jordy Nelson; 22. Tim Watts; 23. Tyler Droste; 24. Josh Most.