Yuma’s Reese gets his record, and a win, at Cocopah

Yuma’s Reese gets his record, and a win, at Cocopah

Posted: Monday, May 18, 2015 10:58 pm

Timmy Reese had one goal: To break the one-lap, 20-second mark.

As it turns out, he had the speed to do just that, and in the end it was that new found quickness that helped him win his first feature event of the season in what turned out to be a drag race to the finish line.

“Winning the race is obviously a little sweeter but I really wanted to break that 20 mark,” said a smiling Reese from Budweiser Victory Lane at Cocopah Speedway on Saturday night after taking the IMCA Sport Modified Division win in Round 6 of the Cocopah Speedway Racing Series.

“The car was the fastest it’s ever been. I set my three fastest laps, three laps in a row. It was a big deal for me to break 20.”

However, Reese drove his fastest sub-20-second lap of the race early in the 20-lap event, a 19.655-second lap on Lap 2. By the end of the race, keeping his composure was more important.

Those early fast laps helped Reese pull out to a sizable lead which was erased by a caution flag. After that, Holtville’s Chris Toth, who had made his way to the front after starting fifth on the grid, was able to apply close pressure and on the white flag lap nearly beat Reese to the checkered flag.

Reese wasn’t even sure he had won, the finish was that close. It wasn’t until the official finish came over the radio that he knew he had pulled it off.

“It looked like I won, but I knew it was close,” said Reese. “I knew (Toth) was coming. I could hear him and I could see him on the last lap and I just stayed into it. I knew I had to stay on the hammer and maintain my line, focus on my race and don’t worry about their race.”

Also what had been a rocket ship for a race car early on, had turned into a handful to control in the late laps.

While Reese and Toth made their way through lapped traffic, contact with a slower car with six laps remaining resulted in Reese’s car losing its left rear coil spring, “and as I was coming off the turn I would come out high and it would carry me right down to the low part of the track. I think I came into (Toth) one time but I just tried to maintain my line.”

Toth, the division point leader, finished second, Mesa’s Cody Graham was third, Yuma’s Kyle Smith was fourth and Brawley’s Cody Daffern rounded out the top five.

In other racing action Saturday night, Chandler’s Ricky Thornton Jr. logged his second straight feature event win in the IMCA Modified Division; Yuma’s Manny Baldiviez won the IMCA Stock Car Division feature event; and Yuma’s Jason Beshears won the IMCA Hobby Stock Division feature event.

Baldiviez’ win broke a tie for the division point lead with Yuma’s Joey Essay, who finished third in the feature event. Baldiviez now has a two-point lead over Essay as the series enters the summer break.

The next race on the schedule is Sept. 26.

Cocopah Speedway Racing Series Round 6 Notebook

• Manny Baldiviez’ fourth feature event win in the IMCA Stock Car Division is a series best among all drivers. Jason Beshears (IMCA Hobby Stock), Ricky Thornton Jr. (IMCA Modified) and Chris Toth (IMCA Sport Mod) have two wins each.

• Manny Baldiviez’ win breaks a tie with Joey Essay for the top spot in the IMCA Stock Car Division title run. Baldiviez now leads Essay by two points.

• Golden Valley’s Jeffry Sheppard Jr. started the night with a two-point lead over Imperial’s Steven McCollough in the race to the IMCA Modified Division series championship. Sheppard, who finished fifth in the night’s feature event, now leads McCollough, who finished 13th, by 10 points.

• Hard charger distinction for the night goes out to Casa Grande’s Brian Schultz, who went from 12th on the grid to finish third in the IMCA Modified Division feature event. Schultz also started the night as the national point leader in the IMCA Modified Division.

• Other Hard Chargers were: Ricky Thornton Jr., who went from eighth on the grid to win the IMCA Modified Division feature event; Cody Daffern, and Jason Penny, who each gained six positions in the IMCA Sport Modified feature event; Manny Baldiviez and David Jones, who each gained five positions in the IMCA Stock Car feature event, with Baldiviez taking the win; and Leonard Manos, who went ninth to second in the IMCA Hobby Stock feature event.

• IMCA Sport Modified Division feature event winner Timmy Reese led the 20-lap race from flag to flag; Jason Beshears led 13 laps of the 20-lap IMCA Hobby Stock feature event; Manny Baldiviez led 14 of 15 laps in the IMCA Stock Car feature event; and Ricky Thornton Jr. led the last 19 laps of the IMCA Modified feature event.

– Randy Hoeft

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