Thornton triumphs in Wild West Shootout opener
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January 7, 2017  |  by Lonnie Wheatley

Ricky Thornton Jr. took the victory in Saturday night’s opening leg of the 11th Annual Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts atop the 1/3-mile Arizona Speedway near Phoenix.

A total of 138 cars filled the pit area for the first of six rounds of competition over the next eight days.

Racing close to home, Thornton defended his home turf by racing to victory lane in the 25-lap MVT/Border International USRA Modified presented by Arizona Differential main event.

“I slowed down a couple of times when I hit the cushion, I hit myself upside the head and said ‘What are you doing, just drive it’,” Thornton related in victory lane.

After outgunning fellow front row starter R.C. Whitwell for the early lead, Thornton was in command throughout with Fito Gallardo taking advantage of late-race problems for some other contenders to reel in runner-up honors from the 11th starting position.

Shane Sabraski climbed 10 positions to capture third with Shawn Fletcher and Justin Kay rounding out the top five.

The Wild West Shootout continues at Arizona Speedway on Sunday with racing action set to go green at 5 p.m. with ensuing rounds to follow on Wednesday, Jan. 11, and then Friday through Sunday, Jan. 13-15.

Single day tickets are just $20 with the Sunday finale just $25. Fans that take advantage of the six-day discounted pass will enjoy the final night of the Wild West Shootout absolutely free.

Advanced tickets may be purchased online at and ticket pricing/purchasing information can be found online at or by calling the Wild West Shootout office at 520-664-2074.

Wild West Shootout Hotel Information can be found at or by calling the Courtyard by Marriott at 480-461-3000. The Courtyard by Marriott is conveniently located at 1221 S. Westwood in Mesa. Please use event name “Wild West Shootout” when making reservations.

Saturday and Sunday races will go green at 5 p.m. with Wednesday and Friday events starting at 7 p.m.

Arizona Speedway is located just minutes from Phoenix. From Phoenix, take US 60 east to Ironwood Dr., turn right (south) and go four miles. Arizona Speedway is on the right hand side. For more information, visit or call 520-664-2074.

The Wild West Shootout team would like to thank our 2017 partners: Keyser Manufacturing, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Black Diamond Chassis, Club 29 Race Cars, M&W Transport, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Border International, FK Rod Ends, Karl Performance, Total Seal Piston Rings, Pro Power Racing, Hoosier Tire, RHR Swag, Barnett Harley-Davidson, VP Fuels, Earnhardt Dodge, AR Bodies, EZGO, SafeCraft, Envision, Bakersfield Karting Experience, Beaver Stripes, Five Star Graphics and The Courtyard by Marriott.

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United States Racing Association (USRA)
USRA Weekly Racing Series
Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts
Arizona Speedway, Sun Tan Valley, Ariz.
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017


The top 16 in heat race passing points advance to the “A” Main, balance to two “B” Mains.

Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. 5L-Cody Laney, 2. 30-Matt Leer, 3. 30J-Justin Rexwinkle, 4. 111x-Logan Drake, 5. 1s-Johnny Scott, 6. 10c-Chad Olsen, 7. 8-Wesley Summers, 8. D25-David Tanner, 9. 7r-Ryan Gaylord.

Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. 52x-David McDonald, 2. 5m-Tyler McDonald, 3. 7a-Shane Sabraski, 4. 29d-Brad Dierks, 5. 26-Shawn Fletcher, 6. 77T-Tripp Gaylord, 7. 59-Mark Stewart, 8. 78-Cory Wier, 9. 21x-Dustin Bluhm.

Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. G17-Fito Gallardo, 2. 111-Bumper Jones, 3. 34-Mickey Lassiter, 4. J17-Jake Gallardo, 5. A1-Phil Dixon, 6. 6-Casey Skyberg, 7. 23-Matt Gilbertson, 8. 2J-Blake Jegtvig, 9. 7-Wayne McCleskey.

Heat #4 (8 laps): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr., 2. 96rc-R.C. Whitwell, 3. 171-Philip Houston, 4. 131-Royal Jones, 5. 15k-Justin Kay, 6. 65x-Carlos Ahumada Jr., 7. 44-Christy Barnett, 8. L8-Brian Schultz, 9. 15x-Kenny Mayer.

Heat #5 (8 laps): 1. 71-Dustin Strand, 2. 11x-Rich Loftus, 3. R1-Jay Richardson, 4. 71x-Jesse Hoskins, 5. 23-Terry Haren, 6. 1x-Walter Ball, 7. 37jr-Morgan Ward, 8. 51-Alex Guthmiller.

“B” Main #1 (12 laps, top 4 advance): 1. 26-Shawn Fletcher, 2. 7r-Ryan Gaylord, 3. 71x-Jesse Hoskins, 4. 6-Casey Skyberg, 5. 44-Christy Barnett, 6. 78-Cory Wier, 7. 23h-Terry Haren, 8. 30J-Justin Rexwinkle, 9. 23-Matt Gilbertson, 10. 51-Alex Guthmiller, 11. 111x-Logan Drake.

“B” Main #2 (12 laps, top 4 advance): 1. J17-Jake Gallardo, 2. 34-Mickey Lassiter, 3. 77T-Tripp Gaylord, 4. 1s-Johnny Scott, 5. 10c-Chad Olsen, 6. 131-Royal Jones, 7. 65x-Carlos Ahumada Jr., 8. D25-David Tanner, 9. 37jr-Morgan Ward, 10. 21x-Dustin Bluhm, 11. 15x-Kenny Mayer, 12. 8-Wesley Summers, 13. 59-Mark Stewart.

“A” Main (25 laps): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr., 2. G17-Fito Gallardo, 3. 7a-Shane Sabraski, 4. 26-Shawn Fletcher, 5. 15k-Justin Kay, 6. R1-Jay Richardson, 7. 34-Mickey Lassiter, 8. A1-Phil Dixon, 9. 30-Matt Leer, 10. 111-Bumper Jones, 11. 6-Casey Skyberg, 12. 29d-Brad Dierks, 13. 5m-Tyler McDonald, 14. 171-Philip Houston, 15. 71x-Jesse Hoskins, 16. 71-Dustin Strand, 17. J17-Jake Gallardo, 18. 96rc-R.C. Whitwell, 19. 77T-Tripp Gaylord, 20. 1s-Johnny Scott, 21. 11x-Rich Loftus, 22. 7r-Ryan Gaylord, 23. 5L-Cody Laney, 24. 52x-David McDonald.

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