Making a decision to tow from Las Vegas in search of valuable IMCA Western Regional points, Mark Allison impressed by winning the 25 lap IMCA Modified main event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. Allison became the division's 13th different feature winner at the track this season as he tris to catch leader Jason Pike and Rick Ward in close the Western Regional point race. After racing in Manzanita a night earlier, Ramie Stone finished second in the feature ahead of his brother, Troy Stone. After the leader was taken out by a lapped car, point leader Kevin Freitas won the 20 lap California Sportsman main event ahead of Keith Van Houten and Luis Miranda. It was all part of the four division CCMR Food 4 Less Series event on the one-third mile clay oval.
State IMCA point leader Johnnie Baptista drove the Sheri Thomas owned IMCA Modified to an eight lap qualifying heat race win with Allison winning his heat race. R. Stone scored the four lap trophy dash victory. Duane Fast set the early main event pace ahead of Robert Marsh. A high move in Turn 4 of the fourth lap gained Allison second from Marsh, and he used a similar move a lap later take the lead from Fast. Marsh raced Fast hard for second as Allison pulled away, and an outside move on the front stretch of the 11th lap gained Marsh second as Marcus Aue followed into third. Bobby Smith spun for a lap 13 caution flag, and Allison continued to lead Marsh and Aue on the restart. An outside move on the front stretch of the 15th lap gained R. Stone third, and he raced by Marsh for second a lap later. T. Stone made an outside pass on Marsh for third on lap 22, and a caution flag waived a lap later as Marsh was spun on the back stretch with Aue put to the back by track officials for his part in the incident. Allison maintained his advantage on the restart and brought it home to a much needed victory ahead of R. Stone, T. Stone, Marsh and track point leader Bob Williamson.
Van Houten set the California Sportsman fast time with an 18.400 lap to beat the 18.460 effort of Freitas. Billy Mattos was the four lap trophy dash winner. Mark Jump won the B Dash, and Mike Palberg was the makeup B Dash winner. Freitas set the early main pace ahead of Jump and Palmberg. Mattos slipped past Palmberg for third on lap two with last starter Van Houten gaining fourth a lap later. A high move in Turn 4 of the fourth lap gained Van Houten third, and he took second from Jump with an outside pass on the front stretch a lap later. A caution flag flew for Palmberg's spin in Turn 2 on lap six. Freitas led Van Houten and Jump on the restart. The battles for first and third were entertaining as Van Houten made an outside pass on the front stretch of the 12th lap for the lead. Miranda slipped by Jump with an inside pass on the front stretch on the same lap. Contact between Rob Schropp and Mattos saw both spin in Turns 3 and 4, collecting Palmberg for a lap 14 caution flag. Van Houten led Freisen and Miranda on the restart as Schropp cut a right front tire and went into the infield. Schropp then elected to pit off of Turn 1, right in front of Van Houten lap 15, costing Van Houten the lead. Freitas had the lead over Van Houten and Miranda at that point, and that's the way they finished as Jump and Mattos rounded out the top five.
H 1-Johnnie Baptista, Jack Stanford, Marcus Aue. H 2-Mark Allison, Troy Stone, Bob Williamson. DASH-Ramie Stone, Duane Fast, Stanford. MAIN EVENT-Allison, R. Stone, T. Stone, Robert Marsh, Williamson, Fast, Baptista, Bobby Smith, Bill Saltzman, Aue.
FT-Keith Van Houten 18.400. DASH-Billy Mattos, Kevin Freitas, Van Houten. B DASH-Mark Jump, Mike Palmberg, Luis Miranda. MAKEUP B DASH-Palmberg, Mattos, Jump. MAIN EVENT-Freitas, Van Houten, Miranda, Jump, Mattos, Palmberg, Jason Belton, Rob Schropp (DQ).