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BALDRIDGE, FAST REBOUND FOR MERCED VICTORIES

Merced Speedway
Source — Don Martin II
Date Posted — August 04, 2001
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After a disappointing eighth place finish in the 100 lap Timmy Post Memorial Race a week earlier, Danny Baldridge Jr. rebounded by leading most of the way to win the 25 lap Street Stock main event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. It was the fifth win of the season for Baldridge to go along with his heat and dash wins, and the last place finish of incoming point leader Jimmy Lust will tighten up the point race considerably. Point leader Robin Fast had a fifth place finish the previous week, but she came back strong this week to win the 25 lap Pure Stock main event ahead of rival Mike Hamilton and Danny Holcomb. It was all part of an exciting five division night of racing on the CCMR Food 4 Less Series sanctioned one-third mile clay oval.

Lust's night started out well as he set the Street Stock fast time with a 19.637 lap to just beat Clarke's 19.712 effort. Baldridge won the four lap trophy dash from the pole an then won his six lap heat race. Lust won the other heat race, but a motor problem sent him into the infield at the waving of the green flag for the main event. Johnny O'Brien Jr. led the early laps of the main event, and an outside move on the back stretch of the third lap gained Baldridge second from Al Loewen. Baldridge had the outside groove working for him and made the pass on O'Brien for the lead in Turn 4 of the fifth lap. A low pass in Turn 4 of the ninth lap gained Clarke third from Loewen, and Clarke made an inside pass on O'Brien in Turn 4 of the 12th lap for second. O'Brien spun trying to regain the position but recovered in the back without a yellow. Loewen was third, but he spun in Turn 1, collecting Jack Chapman Jr. Randy Brewer clipped the spun Loewen mount and would cross the line third, but he was put to the back by track officials for being a part of the yellow. Baldridge led Clarke and Thatcher on the restart. O'Brien made a low pass in Turn 2 of the 24th lap to take third from Thatcher, but Thatcher made the outide pass on the back stretch of the final lap to regain the position. Baldridge scored the much needed victory ahead of Clarke, Thatcher, O'Brien and Brewer.

Raul Rodriguez and Hamilton each won six lap Pure Stock qualifying heat races with Hamilton also winning the four lap trophy dash. Deak Sherrell paced the opening lap of the main event before spinning in Turn 2 to hand Fast the lead ahead of Holcomb and Chris Shelton. A lap three caution flag flew for Martin Hernandez in Turn 1, and Fast led Holcomb and Shelton on the restart. Last starter Hamilton was fourth on lap nine and made an outside pass on the front stretch of the 11th lap to take third from Shelton.

Rodriguez and Sherrell tangled in Turn 2 for a lap 12 caution flag, and Fast led Holcomb and Hamilton on the lap 16 restart. Rodriguez stalled in Turn 3 for a lap 22 caution flag to end his race. Fast led Holcomb and Hamilton on the restart. Hamilton made one of his familiar outside groove passes out of the final turn to take second from Holcomb on the last lap as Fast was the happy winner ahead of Hamilton, Holcomb, Shelton and Rob Zoellin.

RACE RESULTS

STREET STOCK

FT-Jimmy Lust 19.637. DASH-Danny Baldridge Jr., John Clarke, Lust. H 1-Baldridge, Buddy Thatcher, Johnny O'Brien Jr. H 2-Lust, Clarke, Jack Chapman Jr. MAIN EVENT-Baldridge, Clarke, Thatcher, O'Brien, Randy Brewer, Al Loewen, Chapman, Lust, Dwayne Warren (DNS).

PURE STOCK

H 1-Raul Rodriguez, Lorraine Mounce, Rob Zoelin. H 2-Mike Hamilton, Martin Hernandez, Robin Fast. DASH-Hamilton, Fast, Hernandez. MAIN EVENT-Fast, Hernandez, Danny Holcomb, Chris Shelton, Zoelin, Deak Sherrell, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Mounce.####

See also
Article posted by RacingWest.com staff on August 04, 2001. http://www.racingwest.com

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