What had been billed as Winter Nationals Weekend at Cocopah Speedway became the Jesse Sobbing show.
Sobbing swept the three IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified features, topping $750 to win events Thursday and Friday night before capturing the $3,000 checkers on Saturday evening.
“I would have been glad to go down there and win just once,” said Sobbing, also the overall Winter Challenge Series champion. “We had a few weekends like this in a Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod but we’re still learning the Modified. There’s a lot we have to learn, especially with suspension.”
The new Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier won his heat race each night. He’d started on the pole and inside row two in the Thursday and Friday features, then raced his way from 10th starting into the lead before midway in Saturday’s 30-lapper.
George Fronsman finished a distant second. Defending race winner Bobby Hogge IV, Larry Hood and Dylan Smith rounded out the top five.
Jeremy Mills won his ‘B’ feature, passed eight cars and ended in sixth.
Just a couple cautions interrupted the Saturday show. Sobbing followed the middle to bottom line much of the way, going to the higher line to get around slower traffic. He was running with lapped cars on the final circuits.
“The track was pretty slick and dirty. It was my kind of track,” said Sobbing, who makes the switch to a Modified after having won the Northern SportMod national championship a second time in 2012.
Mills, Hood, Jason Noll and Smith completed Friday’s top five.
Sobbing finished fourth three times, then second in Winter Challenge Series races at Canyon Speedway Park that preceded Cocopah events. Drivers from a dozen different states and two Canadian provinces competed over the course of the series.
Ty Rogers won Friday’s Northern SportMod feature. Ben Kates collected the Saturday checkers.
Feb. 8 Feature Results
Modifieds – 1. Jesse Sobbing, Glenwood, Iowa; 2. Jeremy Mills, Garner, Iowa; 3. Larry Hood, Bakersfield, Calif.; 4. Jason Noll, Peoria; 5. Dylan Smith, Osceola, Neb.; 6. George Fronsman, Surprise; 7. Zane DeVilbiss, Farmington, N.M.; 8. Scott Drake, Joplin, Mo.; 9. Jay Noteboom, Hinton, Iowa; 10. Brad Pounds, Bakersfield, Calif.; 11. Bobby Hogge IV, Salinas, Calif.; 12. Alex Stanford, Chowchilla, Calif.; 13. Bill Meyer, Mohave Valley; 14. Jeff Streeter, Madera, Calif.; 15. Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.; 16. Jason Briese, Cleghorn, Iowa; 17. Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler; 18. Brody Spangler, Dove Creek, Colo.; 19. Ryan Roath, Phoenix; 20. Stacey Mills, Webb, Iowa; 21. Mark Stewart, Sedona; 22. Spencer Wilson, Minot, N.D.; 23. Marlyn Seidler, Underwood, N.D.; 24. Bobby Horton, Yuma.
Heat winners were Drake, Mills, Noll, Hogge, Sobbing and Hood. ‘B’ feature winners were Thornton and Meyer.
Northern SportMods – 1. Ty Rogers, Summerton; 2. Chris Toth, Holtsville, Calif.; 3. Tim Reese, Yuma; 4. Steve Worstell, Chula Vista, Calif.; 5. Cody Daffern, Brawley, Calif.; 6. Stephen Streeter, Madera, Calif.; 7. Leonard Jones, Yuma;8. Ron Pegues, Brawley, Calif.; 9. James Dupre, Yuma; 10. Brian Kerwin, Yuma.
Feb. 9 Feature Results
Modifieds – 1. Sobbing; 2. Fronsman; 3. Hogge; 4. Hood; 5. Smith; 6. Jeremy Mills; 7. Noteboom; 8. Drake; 9. Bryan Burnes, Lemoore, Calif.; 10. Pounds; 11. Stanford; 12. DeVilbiss; 13. Streeter; 14. Thornton; 15. Aaron Spangler, Dove Creek, Colo.; 16. D.J. Wood, Peoria; 17. William Gould, Calera, Okla.; 18. Meyer; 19. Stewart; 20. Mari; 21. Anthony Madrid, Phoenix; 22. Noll; 23. Seidler; 24. Briese; 25. Brody Spangler.
Heat winners were Smith, Sobbing, Hood, Madrid, Hogge and Thornton. ‘B’ feature winners were Joll and Mills.
Northern SportMods – 1. Ben Kates, Tonganoxie, Kan.; 2. Toth; 3. Worstell; 4. Rogers; 5. Reese; 6. Oscar Duarte, Yuma; 7. Pegues; 8. Daffern; 9. Dupre; 10. Streeter; 11. Kerwin.
by Bill Martin