When the sun went down over the Ukiah valley, the AABLM drivers slid into their Late Models and lined up for another Saturday night of octane injected 75 lap competition. After the dust finally settled it was Cloverdale’s Clay Caturegli, driving the black #45 sponsored by Fletcher Fabrication, Cloverdale Auto Parts, Eagle Tech and B & C Automotive, prepared by Tom Caturegli and family, who took the checkered flag
The drivers and crew ignored the heat and put their best effort into setting fast time. Mike Doss qualified the fastest with his time of 12.699, followed by Mike Lovell with 12.730, Kevin Ostern 12.735, Trevor Cristiani 12.750, Allen Gibney and Clay Caturegli tied with a
12.762 rounding out the top 6, with barely 3 / 10ths of a second between the top 15.
The fast dash lined up according to a card draw, with Trevor Christiani starting on the pole and Doss on his outside, this is how they finished, with Christiani beating out Doss by a nose. Following closely were, Gibney, Caturegli, Lovell and Ostern.
The B dash also lined up by card draw, Ken Gifford pulled the ace putting him on the pole and Berndt Akerstrom on his right. Gifford took the checker, followed by Akerstrom, Rod Skidmore, Mike Bourbon, Myles Anderson and newcomer Keith Nelson of Ukiah.
20 Late Models qualified for the main event, making Ukiah Speedway the place to be. A 10 invert put Forrest Kuecker on the pole and Straka on his outside, followed by Eric Graham, Jeremy Hopkins, Caturegli and Gibney. Mike Doss, driving his 36x, accepted the bonus challenge and elected to start in the back. This bonus challenge was put up by Allen Gibney of Pacific Auto Body, who is giving $100 to the fast timer if they elect to start in the back, and still win the main event! Nobody won the challenge at the last race, so the pot rolled over to $200.
Kuecker gabbed the lead on the start and lead the next 47 laps.
Hopkins moved into 2nd on lap 30 and started putting pressure on Kuecker. On lap 48 Hopkins used the lap traffic to get around Kuecker, Caturegli followed Hopkins for 2nd. Hopkins, Caturegli and Kuecker were swerving in and out of lap tap traffic, Hopkins and Kuecker using the outside groove and Caturegli making the bottom work for him until lap 60.
The field was slowed numerous times with cautions, the one that stood out the most was the last caution on lap 60 which involved the lead cars. Hopkins and Kuecker got collected with lap traffic and ended a great run for both of them. Kuecker clocked one of the fastest laps during the main event with a 12.730. Caturegli skated through the crash and was in the lead when the red flag was thrown. On the restart, Caturegli got a good start and put a few car lengths on Ostern followed by Gibney, Doss, Lovell and Cory James. The point’s leader Ostern had a tire go down on the restart and started losing positions. With only 15 laps to go, he stayed on the track not to bring out any more yellows and Finished 10th, 2 laps down. By lap 62 Doss was in third and looking to claim the bonus challenge. The next dozen laps were caution free and Jim Stillman finished 6th, James finished 5th and Lovell finishing 4th was glad to get the monkey off his back and complete a race. Doss, unable gain any more position, finished 3rd and Gibney with another best finish of 2nd. Clay Caturegli “MR UKIAH” with his 2nd win this season, joins the elite group of Ostern & Graham in being multiple winners this season.
See You at the Track