Race Weekend Central

Daily Dirt: Shane Paris 1st Repeat Winner of 2023 IMCA Winter Nationals

Winning Moment: Pahrump, Nev.’s Kollin Hibdon grabbed his first win of 2023 in dominating fashion, smoking the IMCA modified field in a caution-free feature at Cocopah Speedway Thursday (Jan. 5).

Dramatic Moment: Marshall, Minn.’s Jim Horejsi came within a car length of going two for two in stock car competition.

In a Nutshell: Mercifully, the IMCA Winter Nationals found some form of rhythm after a painfully long opening night Wednesday.

See also
Daily Dirt: Tim Ward, Big One Highlight Night 1 of 2023 IMCA Winter Nationals


What They’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning

It’s a damn shame there’s not more money in stock car racing today. The first half of the stock car feature Thursday night was more old-school (and entertaining) than a refurbished North Wilkesboro ever will be.

I get that it’s a weekday in January, but the emptiness of the grandstands at Cocopah Speedway the first two nights of the IMCA Winter Nationals would make a Sun Belt bowl game blush.

Thursday night’s IMCA racing program finished up nearly 90 minutes earlier than Wednesday’s. I’ll still go to my grave saying that a mid-week program running more than six hours is complete overkill. The sport compacts haven’t been causing inordinate problems, but adding a fifth class is a bridge too far for the IMCA Winter Nationals.

Tim Ward went from feature winner Wednesday to B-main winner Thursday. I’ll say this for IMCA racing, there’s parity in it.

Thursday’s IMCA TV stream was a master class on how to use drone cams. Instead of disorienting at-speed shots, using them as perspective on wreck scenes and surveillance for replays at speed made for a very comprehensive show for viewers at home.

Leaving Arizona for a bit, the late model world saw a shift with the announcement that the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series will operate under DIRTcar sanction for the 2023 season. The Comp Cams tour is already undergoing massive changes this year, with longtime fixture Logan Martin departing to tackle the World of Outlaws late model circuit and the entire season being streamed on Flo Racing. Anything to homogenize rulebooks. 

Finally, in some sad news that all knew was coming, the dismantling of I-80 Speedway in Nebraska is soon to begin, with the track auctioning many of its assets in the coming week. 

Hero of the Day

Two nights in and the IMCA Winter Nationals already has its first repeat winner. For the second straight evening, Muscatine, Iowa’s Shane Paris bested fellow Iowan Cam Reimers, this Thursday night pouncing after Reimers jumped the cushion while leading inside of 10 laps to go and driving off to another win in the IMCA sport modified division. While Reimers earned no shortage of camera time for his ripping the cushion and attempt to diamond turns 1 and 2, Paris’s steady line scored the trophy.

Paris also as of Thursday night leads the Winter Nationals in terms of checkered flags, with four through two nights of racing (feature and heat wins both nights). His $1,500 in winnings is also tops thus far based on the posted payout flyer.

See also
2022 Dirt Racing Awards: Jonathan Davenport, Matt Sheppard & Year of Superman

Victim of the Night

We’ll stick with the sport modifieds, as while Thursday on the whole was a far tamer affair at Cocopah Speedway, Brunswick, Neb.’s Douglas Hilkemann endured probably the hardest contact with a wall that any driver has so far at the IMCA Winter Nationals, pounding the barrier in turn 1 during the fourth IMCA sport modified B-main. 

Shout Outs

Ward’s B-main win in his IMCA modified leaves him with three checkered flags at the IMCA Winter Nationals, the only driver other than Paris to have more than two two nights in.

Thursday night’s hard chargers at Cocopah both posted 13-position gains in their respective features. Descanso, Calif.’s Billy Foultz went from 17th to fourth in the IMCA sport compact feature while Phoenix’s Zachary Madrid went from 16th to third in the IMCA stock car A-main. 

Numbers Game


Dirt track contesting oval racing in the United States Thursday night


Caution flags that flew across five features Thursday night at Cocopah


Highest national car count, at Cocopah Speedway Thursday night (based on heat race starters)

Up Next: The IMCA Winter Nationals carries on for its third night Friday, while Talladega’s annual Ice Bowl event kicks off with heat races. Coverage can be found on IMCA TV and Flo Racing, respectively.

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