TUCSON — Tucson Speedway lit up the sky and the track Saturday with the Firecracker 50 to celebrate America’s Independence. Six divisions took to the track to battle for the checkered flag, with two of the divisions seeing the same winner.
Mariah McGriff and Sara Houston had the crowd on its feet in the Thunder Truck main event battling first and second, with each taking their turn in the top spot. By lap 18, Houston had the lead with McGriff on her back bumper.
Dustin Jones tried to take second from McGriff but could not make the pass. Houston and McGriff separated themselves from the pack, and McGriff dove low making it a side-by-side battle at the white flag.
Coming into turn two on the final lap, McGriff made her move for the lead, passing Houston on the inside for her first Thunder Truck win of the season.
Ron Schreiner took third from Jones on the final lap. Jones finished fourth.
Earlier in the night, McGriff drove her No. 8 Pro Stock to victory lane after two lengthy red flag delays to clean up oil on the track left by the blown motors of Jeff Halstead and Brian O’Brien.
On lap eight, McGriff found an opening on the high side making it three-wide for the lead with Dustin Jones and Mike Vaughan.
Coming out of turn four, McGriff had the top spot and cruised to the checkered flag for her fourth Pro Stock win of the season.
Alexis Bjork led the Bandit Bandoleros to the green flag, but quickly lost the lead to Quinn Davis. Jeffrey Erickson made it a three-way battle for the lead coming into lap two.
Bjork reclaimed the top spot, while Erickson clung to Bjork’s back bumper until lap four when he took the lead and pulled away from the field.
A caution and red flag on lap eight regrouped the field.
As the safety crew assisted Gage Jarvis, who stalled on the backstretch with a blown motor, Bjork slammed hard into the safety barrier on the exit ramp when the throttle cable stuck in her No. 7 car.
Bjork was not injured in the impact, but the car suffered major damage and she was unable to complete the race.
On the restart, Erickson held off a hard charge from Sebastian Lafia for his second win of the season. Lafia held on for second, while Davis rounded out the podium.
Adam Farr had the pole for the unrestricted Outlaw Bandolero division with Keirstin Jones and Anika O’Brien in second and third, respectively.
O’Brien cleared Jones for second on the first lap.
With the brakes rubbing on her No. 15 car, Jones fell off the pace, driving the car to a third-place finish.
Farr opened up his lead. O’Brien was able to close the gap slightly on Farr, but settled for a second-place finish.
Farr continued to victory lane for his third win of the season.
Gene Preston took the early lead at the start of the first of two Hobby Stock main events.
John Slade and Eddie Benson quickly worked their way through traffic to battle with Preston for the top spot.
Slade took the lead with Benson on his back bumper.
Coming into lap 13, Benson headed to the inside of Slade for a door-to-door battle taking the lead on lap 14.
Slade remained in striking distance of the win, but would have settle for second behind Benson in the first main event.
Slade and Benson would again have to work their way to the front from the back of the field in the second feature race.
Gene Preston, Gary Lacey and Slade raced three-wide for the lead coming into lap two.
Benson thought better of making it four-wide.
Slade took over the top spot. Benson cleared the pack to chase down Slade, but would have to settle for a second-place finish.
Slade drove his No. 14 to Victory Lane.
James Webster and Justin Case had the front row for the start of the Legend main event.
Bradley Erickson dove low on the start taking the lead coming into lap two.
Tyler Hicks followed him into second.
Running third, Edward McClenon spun in front of traffic on lap two.
All cars were able to avoid the car.
Erickson, a rookie in the U.S. Legend Cars, again took charge of the field, holding off Hicks for his first win.
Webster rounded out the top three.
The Modified division rounded out the night with a 50-lap main event.
Keith Lopez and Jeremy Smith led the field to the green flag.
Lopez pulled to the early lead. Gary Goodrich Jr. cleared Smith for second and began closing the gap on Lopez.
David Levitt cleared a four-way battle for third.
Goodrich caught Lopez to battle for the lead on lap 13.
Harrington and Stewart raced nose to tail around Levitt catching the leaders.
Stewart split Lopez and Goodrich to take the lead on lap 21.
Goodrich, Harrington and Lopez raced three-wide for second.
Harrington cleared the cluster to chase down Stewart.
Stewart was able to hold off Harrington for his third win of the season. Goodrich held on to third.
Tucson Speedway is back in action July 20 with the NASCAR Thunder Trucks, Pro Stocks, Outlaw Late Models, Hornets, Legends and Bandoleros. Meet and Greet at 6 p.m. Racing at 7 p.m.
For information, visit www.tucsonspeedway.com.