UKIAH, California — A last-lap attempt by second place runner Trevor Cristiani produced a photo finish at the line with David Miller of Coquille, Oregon claiming the Airport Auto Brokers Late Model 75 lap feature by inches over Cristiani at Ukiah Speedway Saturday night. It was Miller's second win in the series and Cristiani's fourth second-place finish.
In other racing action Mike Lovell of Willits held off the challenges of Jeremy Doss to win his second main event in the Airport Auto Brokers Legends Cars class. Corey James of Laytonville was awarded the win in the Speedy Signs Street Stock feature after Terry Pittman was penalized for rough driving on the final lap. Brandon Verde of Redwood Valley held off the challenges of Ron Duke Jr. to capture the Bud Bomber 30 lapper, and Jamie Gallant of Ukiah collected his third consecutive win in the 4-Banger division.
AIRPORT AUTO BROKERS LATE MODELS
The late models were fully inverted for the start of their race with Mike Neilson and Miller sharing the front row. Miller forged ahead at the start with both Clay Caturegli and Jimmy Stillman using the outside lane to pass Neilson for second and third. Mike Doss was dropping fuel on the track causing a lap-7 yellow when he spun in his own fluid. Doss pitted for repairs but was black-flagged three rounds later, loosing three laps to the field before he got back on the track.
Meanwhile Miller and Caturegli were battling side-by-side for the lead when Miller's car pushed high into Caturegli and the two leaders lost ground to Cristiani and Stillman. AABLM officials stopped the race to put Miller to the back.
Six rounds later Junior Roddy attempted to get under Caturegli. The two made contact, Caturegli broke loose, and Roddy drove around him. Caturegli drove hard into the next corner, his car pushed high into Roddy and the pair both spun off the track.
The restart saw Cristiani take off leaving the battle for second to Stillman and Corey James. Another tangle with Roddy and Caturegli stopped the race on 25, and six laps later James made an inside pass on Stillman as Miller was working his way back to the front. Miller passed Stillman on lap 32 and set his sights on the leaders.
Cristiani had a commanding lead, lapping most of the field when Caturegli's engine failed and spilled oil on the track. James spun in the oil on turn two and Cristiani hit the oil and spun in turn four. The late models race to the yellow with Miller the first lead-lap car to reach the line. At the same time the lapped cars of Stillman, Doss, Neilson and Keith Nelson picked up a lap. Officials put all lapped cars to the rear and the final 15 saw Cristiani hound Miller on each pass. As the duo was entering the final turn Cristiani bumped Miller, Miller got loose and Cristiani pulled along side. Miller brought the car back under control where the drag race to the finish saw Miller hold on by inches to take the win. Cristiani finished second (again) with James third, Allen Gibney fourth and Neilson fifth. Jeremy Donahoo set fast time and won the dash but retired his car early with mechanical woes.
ARPORT AUTO BROKERS LEGENDS CARS
The 15 car Legends field saw Junior Morfin out in front of Dave Land III at the start but when Morfin pushed high Codi Barba dove low to steal the lead. Caity Miller followed Barba to the front as both Lovell and fast qualifier Jeremy Doss were weaving their ways through traffic. The first yellow flew on lap six when Logan Zampa spun on the front stretch. Lovell made an outside pass on Land for third with Scott Sabol and Doss following his line.
The race was slowed again on 14 when Chase Majdic and Jim Sturges came together. On the restart Miller's car broke loose, drifted into Barba's lane, the two cars locked wheels resulting in both cars slamming hard into the front-stretch wall. This put Lovell and Sabol next to each other with Doss next in line. Sabol did a 360 spin in turn two but kept going only losing spots to Doss, Luis Tyrrell, Cameron Austin and Land.
Lovell took off leaving the battle for second to Doss and Tyrrell. Tyrrell made several attempts to get under Doss but was unsuccessful and at the finish line it was Lovell, Doss, Tyrrell, Sabol, Land and Austin. John Peters, Zampa, Bill Kistenmacher and Kevin Coburn rounded out the top 10. Heat race wins went to Land and Doss.
SPEEDY SIGN STREET STOCKS
Mechanical problems plagued the Street Stock class all day long with RJ Randall breaking in hot laps and fast qualifier Shelby Helm breaking an engine in the heat race. Only three cars took the green flag in the feature with Corey James powering by Louis Hoaglin at the drop of the green flag. Terry Pittman pulled in behind James and the race was on. Hoaglin slowed and was lapped on 17 and retired to the pits the following pass. This left only James and Pittman where they raced nose-to-tail in the non-stop event. Going into turn four on the white-flag lap Pittman drove low, clipped James' car sending James into a wild spin. Pittman continued on but was penalized one position for rough driving giving the win to James. Pittman won the heat race.
George Abella pulled ahead of Bubba Allen where the pair ran one-two the first 9 laps of the bomber 30 lapper with Rick Jelton in third and Rick Tommila fourth. The pack stayed tightly bunched making it difficult for the faster back-runners to make ground. Tommila pushed high on 10 allowing Verde to gain ground. On lap 11 Duke drove between Tommila and Bob Mook as Verde made an outside pass on Allan for second.
The races was halted on lap 14 when Ray Strain spun in turn four, and when racing resumed Verde forged ahead of Abella to take the lead. Duke pulled off another three-wide drive, this time filling the gap between Tommila and Rick Jelton. Kevin Brackett spun for a lap-20 yellow, and at the same time Jesse Frey lost it and retired to the pits. The following round Tommila and Jimmy Sorrels came together with Sorrels loosing a tire and Tommila getting a flat.
Verde chose the upper groove for the restart and pulled ahead of Abella on lap 22. Duke assumed second spot the next round and set his sights on Verde. Mook inched by Abella in the closing laps and the finish was Verde, Duke, Mook, Abella and Anthony McCoy. Rounding out the top 10 were Jelton, Allen, Tim Buzzard, Strain and Tommila.
The 4-banger action saw all events using the chicane course with Jesse Hutchins setting the one-lap track record of 19.501 seconds and James Gard winning the heat race. Hutchins was eliminated from main event action when his car broke in the heat race. Jimmy Sorrels stole the lead away from pole setter Gard on lap six while inside the tires. Next it was Jed Jones' turn to try Gard, but when he pulled along side in turn four, Gard's car turned right sending both cars off the track. Gard was black-flagged was excessive roughness and Jones restarted in the back. Sorrels was set back one spot at this time for rough driving leaving the lead to Jamie Gallant .
Jones retired his car to the pits on lap 15, and at the checkered flag it was Gallant, Trevor Abella and Sorrels.
Auto racing continues at Ukiah Speedway this Saturday night with the return of the Bill Binns Machine Shop Modifieds and the Dennis Furia Heating & Air Bandoleros . Gates open at 5 pm each night with racing at 7 pm. A complete schedule can be found on line at www.UkiahSpeedway.com.