After a seven-lap side-by-side battle with Chuck Pruett, Aaron Hicks of Grass Valley pulled ahead and drove to his third modified victory Saturday night at the Lakeport Speedway.
With only two laps to go, Kelly Gray of Clearlake passed points leader Kevin Barba in lapped traffic and went on to win his sevnth mini stock feature. And 16 year old Darrin Knight of Kelseyville held off the challenges of Jeremy Nowlin to lap claim to his second main event win in the Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa bomber division.
The modified 30-lapper saw Chuck Pruett pull ahead of Justin Offenbach at the drop of the green flag with Mark Marek pulling Offenbach for second. The action was slowed on lap four when Freedom Hawthorne missed the exit gate and stalled her car on the back stretch. When racing resumed, Offenbach lost control and spun with the pack scrambling to avoid Offenbach’s parked car. All competitors continued with Pruett back in the lead.
Marek challenged Pruett the next few laps but lost ground in the high groove allowing Hicks and Danny Bishop to gain position. Hicks pulled along side of Pruett and eventually pulled ahead for good on lap 13. Points leader Rick Rose worked his was through traffic and was running fourth at half-way. Bishop drove around Pruett for second on 16 and Rose picked off Pruett two laps later.
The final yellow flew on lap 23 when Don Miller spun on the front stretch. The final seven laps saw Gary Lowblad and trophy dash winner David Furia gain position, and at the checkered flag it was Hicks, Bishop, Rose, Furia, Lowblad and Pruett.
Rose set fast time of 13.008 and heat wins went to Mike Smithhart and Pat Hinchcliff.
Gray set fast time of 14.629 over the 18 car mini stock field and the inverted pack saw Glenn Koeppel and teenager Doug Turner on the front row. Turner pulled ahead at the start but relinquished the lead to Dean Reep on the second lap. Turner and Wade Whitman tangled and spun on lap four to slow the race, and after three unsuccessful restarts, track officials swapped places with Reep and Andrew Snider. Snider lead the next 13 laps with Stuart Lydon in second and Gray in third.
When Snider caught slower traffic, he tapped the John Gregory car and Gregory spun. Track officials sent Snider to the back and Lydon found himself in the lead. Kevin Barba entered the picture and stole the number one spot away from Lydon on 14. Gray swapped places with Lydon the following round and the front-runners spent the next 13 laps weaving through lapped traffic.
With only two laps to go, Barba got trapped behind Justin Mincey and Gray drove around him to take the win. Barba settled for second ahead of Peter Unruh, Reep, Lydon and Snider.
Heat wins went to Ron DeKeyser III and Rod Gard. Gray set fast time of 13.629 and Barba won the trophy dash.
Multiple crashes in time trials and the heat races reduced the 24 car bomber field to 19 cars so track officals canceled the "B" main and run all 19 cars in the feature event. Pole setter Chuck Maves led the first eight laps, but dropped from first to almost last when he got caught behind the lapped car of Harley Sharp. This gave the lead to Kenny Grinols with Michael Bishop in second and Knight in third.
Lap 13 saw Ruben Serrano and Chuck Egger come together and hit the wall with Jeff Davis also parking his car in the turn three concrete. All three cars were towed to the pits. Bishop beat Grinols to the line on the next restart just before another yellow flew when Kevin Estep spun his new bomber. When action resumed, Grinols lost ground in the high groove. Knight drove the remaining laps for the win. Jeremy Nowlin finished second with trophy dash winner Sean Sweeney third, Bishop fourth and Arlene Pruett fifth.
Points leader Mark Maines set fast time of 14.816 and finished sixth. Heat wins went to Estep, Kevin Waycik and Serrano.
Racing resumes at the Lakeport Speedway this Saturday night, August 26 for the final points race for NCRA modifieds, mini stocks and bombers. The Airport Auto Brokers late models and the NCI-4 modifieds will also be on hand for the 2nd annual Jim McKinney Memorial.
Fast Time: Rick Rose, 13.008
Trophy Dash: David Furia, Terry McIntire, Gary Lowblad, Rose
Heat 1: Mike Smithhart, Chuck Pruett, Don Miller, Mark Marek, Justin Offenbach, Scott Feil, Rich Potts, Freedom Hawthorne
Heat 2: Pat Hinchcliff, Aaron Hicks, Danny Bishop, Thomas Wright, Rose, Furia, McIntire, Lowblad
Main Event: Hicks, Bishop, Rose, Furia, Lowblad, Pruett, Potts, Wright, McIntire, Marek, Hinchcliff, Smithhart, Offenbach, Feil, Miller, Hawthorne
Fast Time: Kelly Gray, 13.629
Trophy Dash: Kevin Barba, Gray, Stuart Lydon, Peter Unruh
Heat 1: Ron DeKeyser III, Glenn Koeppel, Doug Turner, Tom Burger, John Gregory, Justin Mincey, Ty Ligon
Heat 2: Gard, Andrew Snider, Rick Reynolds, Unruh, Wade Whitman, Lydon, Dean Reep, Barba, Gray
Main Event: Gray, Barba, Unruh, Reep, Lydon, Snider, Gard, Reynolds, Ligon, Burger, Mincey, Gregory, DeKeyser, Whitman, Turner, Koeppel, Robert Schmidt
Fast Time: Mark Maines, 14.816
Trophy Dash: Sean Sweeney, Chuck Egger, Jeremy Nowlin, Maines
Heat 1: Kevin Estep, Jimmy Sorrels, John Hawthorne, Rod Harper, Harley Sharp, Royce Tibbets
Heat 2: Kevin Waycik, Chuck Maves, Kenny Grinols, Arlene Pruett, Wes Stillwell, Michael Bishop, George Abella, Richard Hadley
Heat 3: Ruben Serrano, Jeff Davis, Sweeney, Nowlin, Egger, Maines, Darrin Knight, Don Baker
Main Event: Knight, Nowlin, Sweeney, Bishop, Pruett, Maines, Stillwell, Baker, Grinols, Maves, Waycik, Sorrels, Estep, Egger, Serrano, Davis, Sharp, Hawthorne