WATSONVILLE, California -- Leading all the way from his front row starting position, Joe Antonetti scored an impressive victory in the NASCAR Grand American Modified main event Friday night at Watsonville Speedway. It was the second win of the season for second generation racer Antonetti, who currently ranks second in the standings. Former track champions Kenny Nott Jr. and Bobby Hogge IV finished second and third, respectively. Driving his potent Ford Mustang, Rod Herrick won his fifth 20 lap American Stock feature of the season ahead of Wally Kennedy and Tom Reilly.
Doing double duties with a Street Stock and a Grand American Modified, Eric Jacobsen set the Grand Am fast time with a 16.030 lap to edge Hogge's 16.120. Point leader Bobby Scott Jr. won the four lap Trophy Dash, and Jacobsen loaded up his Modified with mechanical woes. Bob Skellen impressed with his six lap heat race victory, and David Robe beat a serious challenge by second ranked Steve Pemberton in his heat race. Todd Hermasillo was the other heat winner.
Antonetti had the outside front row for the main event and set the pace from the drop of the green flag ahead of Mike Brumit. Hogge stalled with a flat for a lap two caution flag, and Antonetti continued to lead Brumit and David Soito Jr. on the restart. Soito spun in Turn 4 of the fifth lap to hand third to Ken Nott Jr. Brumit was pressuring Antonetti hard for the lead on lap seven when Robe spun in Turn 4 for a caution flag. Antonetti stayed with the outside for the restart and led Brumit and Nott. A lap eight caution flag flew for Hermasillo, and Brumit pitted with a flat during the caution period. Antonetti led Nott and Jeff Priddy on the restart, but a low move in Turn 2 of the 11th lap gained Scott third from Priddy. Hogge was back up to fifth behind Pemberton when a lap 13 caution flag flew for Priddy in Turn 4. Antonetti and Pemberton rode the outside into the 1-2 slots on the restart, but Pemberton stalled from second as Antonetti led Nott and Hogge back to the lap 18 caution flag. Antonetti led through three more restart the victory as Nott held off Hogge for second in a good battle. Brumit and Scott rounded out the top five finishers.
The American Stocks ran three six lap qualifying heats with wins going to Paul Duncan, Sean Fry and Steve Remde. Duncan also won the four lap Trophy Dash. Herrick had the pole for the main event, but outside starter Riley raced into the lead at the drop of the green flag. A lap two caution flag flew for Fry, and Herrick took the lead from Riley on the restart. W. Kennedy also raced by Riley for second. Herrick started to pull away from W. Kennedy, and the battle was for third between Riley and Phil Greene. An outside move on the back stretch of the eighth lap gained Greene third. Craig Johnson spun in Turn 3 for a lap 17 caution flag. Herrick had put lapped cars between himself and W. Kennedy and would continue to lead the restart as an intense four car battle began between Riley, Green, Bill Sorg and Sam Kennedy began for third. Riley retook third on the restart. Contact between Riley and Green on the final lap allowed Sorg and S. Kennedy to make this a blanket, four-car race for third to the flag, but nobody got near runaway winner Herrick. W. Kennedy was a solid second, and Riley just beat Green, Sorg and S. Kennedy back to the line in that order.
FT-Eric Jacobsen 16.030.
DASH-Bobby Scott Jr., Joe Antonetti, Bobby Hogge IV, Jacobsen.
H 1-Bob Skellen, Joey Golz, Andy Obertello, Mike Franco Jr., Fred Lind.
H 2-David Robe, Jeff Buckner, Steve Pemberton, Ken Nott Jr., Joe Antonetti.
H 3-Todd Hermasillo, Mike Brumit, Scott, David Soto Jr., Bobby Large.
MAIN EVENT-Antonetti, Nott, Hogge, Brumit, Scott, Jeff Priddy, Obertello, Lind, Skellen, Golz, Buckner, Soito, Large, Robe, Hermasillo, Pemberton.
H 1-John Dawson, Sam Kennedy, Tom Reilly, Bill Sorg, Jerry Hooper.
H 2-Sean Fry, Paul Duncan, Rod Herrick, Wally Kennedy, Joel Allen.
H 3-Steve Remde, Phil Greene, Craig Johnson, Brian Huebner, Tracy Cotten.
DASH-Duncan, Kennedy, Fry, Dawson.
MAIN EVENT-Herrick, W. Kennedy, Reilly, Greene, Sorg, S. Kennedy, Duncan, Remde, Cotten, Allen, Dawson, Norm Ayers, Huebner, Hooper, Johnson, David Freil, Fry, Mike Kofnovic, Gary Baker.