May 5, 2001 – Bakersfield, CA – Brandon Miller of Bakersfield raced more than 70 of 75 laps out front of the "Oasis Air 75." Rod Johnson, former Irwindale Track Champion, was chasing Miller all night – sometimes getting close but never close enough to make the pass. Miller found his line two weeks ago when he won his first Late Model race in 2001. He was driving it consistently until lap 74. Coming out of turn 2 he went higher than his usual line, something seemed to give way on Miller’s #68. Johnson took the advantage and got by Miller for the win. Miller had to settle for 6th. It was a big win for Johnson, his first Late Model win ever.
That makes five for five new winners in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series this season – Kevin Vernon, Mike Duncan, Dan Holtz, Brandon Miller and now Rod Johnson.
Lots of good racing was happening behind Miller and Johnson with Kevin Vernon, Gary Collins, and Dan Holtz timing their attack on Miller’s lead. Holtz made his move on Collins on lap 23. Vernon and Holtz were gaining on Johnson, then Vernon looped it in turn four and Holtz had no where to go but the pits. Both were out for the night.
The race for 3rd became a challenge between Collins, Kevin Small and Kevin Thompson. Small pulled on Collins in the turns but Collins would get him on the straights and Thompson ultimately had to settle for 5th .
Kevin Thompson was able to secure the Timber Wolf Hard Charger Award for the night.
The best race of the night was in the Limited Late Models. Mike White, last year’s Street Stock Champion, and Gene Fife, last year’s Modified Stock Champ battled each other with Brian Richardson close enough to take advantage. White put his new car to the test tonight and it was up for the challenge. Fife couldn’t get by him although he tried for forty laps. With lots of side-by-side action, Fife was finally able surprise White at the line to take the checkered. White congratulated Fife in the winner’s circle. Each knew they had given the fans a great show.
In Street Stocks Tony Alvarez took his #11 from the back of the pack all the way to the front by lap 5. Earlier this week, on Time Warner Cable‘s Inside Motorsports Live, he told host Larry Collins, it took him several years to get his Street Stock dialed in and now it was dominating his competitors. But it seemed Lloyd Wren, Jr., who won the earlier Trophy dash would be a contender for Alvarez in the main event. He bumped and chewed on Alvarez hard when he could get close enough, but Alvarez had too much for him. Wren had to settle for 2nd. Josh Horn took 3rd followed by Robert Faihtinger and JR Garcia.
The 911 Race for Youth Series started with the Dale Bryan, Bakersfield Fire Department, and the Steve Humphreys, Bakersfield Police Department, getting together. Injuries sustained to the Fire Department’s #1 car sent it to the pits for the night. Mark Montoya of the Kern County Park Rangers got the advantage and took the lead and kept it for the remainder of the race. The Moe Helmerson of the CHP had to make his way through traffic to come in 2nd follwed by the Garrett Hamilton, DA, and Steve Humphreys, BPD.
Next week the CAM SuperModifieds celebrate the Vukovich Cup, plus Limited Late Models, Street Stocks and 911 Race For Youth Series. Gates open at 5 and races begin at 7:30.