The Nationals @ Kings Speedway

HANFORD, CA (May 25) – Ricky Thornton Jr made his 2014 Late Model debut in a huge way. And a long way from home.


Traveling nearly 600 miles, the Phoenix, AZ modified ace filled in the #5 Jeff Manka owned Super Late Model over the Memorial Day weekend and swept the C&D Bonding West Coast Shootout “The Nationals” doubleheader at Kings Speedway. The 23-year-old earned a cool $5,000 for his efforts over the weekend in the Evit Career and College Prep/APC/MDM Accounting sponsored Rocket race car. It was Thornton’s first visit to the venerable 3/8-mile central California facility.


Thornton is the fifth different WCLM event winner in 2014 and the first driver to find victory lane two times this season.


In Saturday’s action, Thornton Jr started 12th in the 21-car lineup and wound his way through the field to outrun WCLM point contenders Bobby Hogge of Salinas, CA and Steve Drake of San Luis Obispo, CA for the win. Series point leader Clay Daly of Watsonville, CA finished fourth followed by Rob Sanders of Bakersfield, CA. Thornton was leading his heat race but ran over a driveshaft and damaged his radiator. The #5 team replaced the radiator but was forced to start deep in the feature field. Hogge suffered transmission problems during his heat race relegating him to a 15th starting position in the feature but recovered nicely as the hard charger finished in the runner-up position.


On Sunday, Thornton Jr started third and had to deal with Drake on his bumper most of the 30-lap feature. After trading the lead a few times in lapped traffic, Drake eventually settled for second with Daly finishing third. Defending champion Tony Toste of Pismo Beach, CA improved three positions from Saturday with a fourth place finish. Rob Sanders capped a strong weekend with his second fifth place finish. Sanders was also the fast qualifier and dash winner. Sunday heat winners were Hogge, Sanders and Nick Bartels of El Segundo, CA.


The C&D Bonding West Coast Shootout Late Models will be back in action on July 12th at the Stockton 99 Dirt Track in Stockton, CA. For more information you can

The West Coast Late Model Shootout and Chris Kearns Presents would like to thank the following for their support this season: C&D Bonding, RoadRunner Fabrication, Pearsons Auto Wrecking, Drake Farms Transportation, Toste Construction, Toste Grading and Paving, Papich Construction, West Coast Boring, Hoosier Tires, Five Star Grafix, Precision Pipe & Steel, AAA Car Buying, A-1 Spring & Supply, and KRC Safety

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