Gordies Speed Center/IMCA Winternationals
In early January I took a trip down to Yuma for some racing at Cocopah Speedway for the IMCA Winternationals, a big multi-day dirt race that brings some of the best modified racers from around the country. While down in Yuma I stopped into Gordie's Speed Center to see good friend Doug Rivera and shoot some photos for an upcoming article in Arizona Extreme Motorsports Magazine.
Founded by the late Gordie Rivera it has been a staple in the automotive community in Yuma since 1969. Today it is run by his son Doug and Gordie's wife Debbie.
The showroom is lined with any aftermarket part needed to customize a hot rod or even a racecar.
Lining the walls of the shop were numerous photos of customer cars along with photos of his pro stock car he raced over the course of 40 years.
Doug Rivera behind the counter helping a few racers who are in town for the IMCA race at Cocopah Speedway
Doug would let me take photos of the back of the shop which Gordie housed his pro stock car and would spend countless hours machining parts and pieces for his pro stock car.
Tucked into one of the bottom shelves was just a few of the many engine blocks machined by Gordie over the years.
On another rack were crankshafts machined by Gordie. Gordie was one of the last in pro stock to machine his own parts and build his own engines. Despite not having major financial backing and with the support and the help from friends and family he finished top ten four times in NHRA competition and was considered one of the best independent racers in the country.
Doug and Debbie continuing on the family tradition.
Later that night I would head down to Cocopah Speedway for the opening night of the IMCA Winternationals. This nine-day event featured some of the top dirt modified racers in the country. IMCA SportMods and stock cars would also compete in this event. Doug would also compete in his modified during this event.
Much like when he and his dad raced it was a family affair as Doug's son Colin would help out as his crew for the race.
Doug climbs into his car prior to taking some warm-up laps.
A wonderful tribute to Gordie on the side of his car.
Jake O'Neil from Tucson races to the outside of Don Gumke from Jamestown, ND in the opening lap of the modified B-Main.
Jardin Fuller all the way from Memphis, MO races his way through turn 3 in the first B-Main race.
Bill Miller from Yuma gets a little bump from Braxton Yeager.
Marvin Mueller from Yuma
Kollin Hibdon from Pahrump, NV.
Braxton Yeager races to the inside of Marvin Mueller & Travis Mosley
Joey Price in the #4X from Great Fall, MT races to the inside of Travis Mosley from Batesville, AK.
This is the first time I have ever shot at a dirt track and I would learn quickly that dust in the air would get lit up by the flashing making the picture look like the inside of a snow globe, it is something I would have to learn to work around
Dallas Caldwell from Tucson, AZ.
R.C. Whitwell also from Tucson would finish 3rd in the first B-Main race and would transfer into the A-Main
Regan Tafoya from Farmington, NM would not fare as well as he would fail to finish the first B-Main race.
Travis Mosley in the 31M gets tangled up with Gaitlin Laytham from Toledo, OH in the fourth turn.
Gaitlin would continue on to finish the race.
Doug Rivera would start on the outside of the 2nd row for the second B-Main race.
Bricen James from Albany, OR would parlay his outside pole starting spot into a win in the second B-Main race.
Ross Statham from Canada races to the inside of Mike Lerwill from Lakeside, CA.
One thing I always like to do is try some different stuff with the camera. As the race settled down I would slow the shutter speed on the camera to get some high-speed blur shots. Here are a couple local racers, Jason Penny in the #98 and Scott Tenney in the #21T
J.C. Parmeley races three-wide to the inside of Aron Spangler and Steffan Carey in the opening laps of the IMCA stock car feature.
Lonnie Foss' engine would let go in spectacular fashion in the middle of the feature race.
Kevin Roberts from Gresham, OR would try and make it three wide entering turn three underneath Gene Henrie of Cedar City, UT
Race Fisher from Dove Creek, CO carries the left front tire through the turn. His night would end in spectacular fashion as he would be involved in a wild crash that saw him flip over.
J.C. Parmeley took exception to some agressive driving displayed by Race Fisher and caused the crash that saw both of their nights end and J.C. was listed as a DQ in the results.
Jake Smith from Delta, UT.
Nuggett Shupe from Moab, UT goes for a late-race spin
Steffan Carey from Bloomfield, NM would take the runner-up spot in the main event.
Troy Jerovetz all the way from Iowa Falls, IA would take home the win in the IMCA stock car main event.
Shelby Frye from Chandler, AZ would lead the field to the green in the SportMod main event.
Mike Wells from Pahrump, NV got turned sideways which caused him to jump the dirt berm and send me jumping back a few feet.
Joey Klemish from Farmington, NM would get turned sideways in front of the field.
Douglas Hilkemnn from Wynot, NE.
Tyler Inman from Altoona, IA would runner-up in the SportMod main event.
Taylor Kuehl from Cave Creek, AZ.
Slade Pitt from Rock Springs, WY.
Camron Spangler from Dove Creek, CO races inside of Joey Klemish.
Michael Johnson from Bakersfield, CA turns around local racer Jimmy Davy. This race had numerous cautions that caused the race to be cut short.
Shelby Frye would lead wire to wire to take the win in the SportMod feature.
Ricky Thorton Jr., one of the best dirt modified racers in the country came to Cocopah for the Winternationals
Austin Kuehl from Cave Creek.
Even with the dirt flying I like this shot of Tom Berry Jr. because of the glowing rear brake rotor.
Terry Hurt from Omaha, NE racing inside of Doug Rivera.
Tim Ward from Chandler.
It was the first time I got to watch Doug race his modified and he had a good showing for the night, finishing 3rd in the B-Main to qualify for the main event against some of the best modified racers in the country.
Jessie Hoskins from Longdale, OK races inside of John Parmalee of Phoenix in the closing laps of the race.
Ricky Thorton would dominate the 25 lap main event to take home the opening night feature win of the IMCA Winternationals.
This will wrap up my blog from Gordies Speed Center and the IMCA Winternationals. For it being the first time shooting at a dirt track I felt like I did a good job and more importantly it was fun. Hopefully, I get to cover more dirt races soon.