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SULLIVAN WINS SEASON FINALE, BAGS MODIFIED CHAMPIONSHIP

LAKEPORT SPEEDWAY
Source — Nadine Strauss
Date Posted — August 25, 2002
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LAKEPORT, California -- David Sullivan of Kelseyville started third row outside, took the lead away from Chuck Pruett on the 20th lap, and drove to his third modified victory at the Lakeport Speedway Saturday night during the fourth annual Jim McKinney Memorial. Sullivan took over the points lead at the mid point in the season and continued his good fortune all the way to the end to earn the title of 2002 NCRA modified champion. It was Sullivan’s first championship under the Northern California Racing Association banner.

Ukiah’s Dan Knight set fast time of 12.852, started at the back of the pack, made an outside pass on

leader Jim Stillman on lap 25, and drove to a convincing victory in the Airport Auto Brokers Late Model Series. Jeremy Hopkins of Lakeport finished fifth which was good enough to take the Lakeport Speedway late model championship.

Dusty Barton of St. Helena inherited the lead in the final rounds and held off Stuart Lydon of Salinas to win his third mini stock feature. But is was Lydon who was crowned 2002 mini stock champion.

And Ukiah’s Jimmy Sorrels held off the challenges of Don Baker for 30 laps to post his first career victory in the Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa bomber division. Fifteen year old Derek Thorn set fast time, his 18th of the season, and finished fifth to claim the 2002 Bomber championship.

After last week’s big crash in the modified division, only 15 cars were on hand for the final points race and the field was reduced to 13 after Thomas Wright and Wade Wittman were eliminated in heat race action. Before the race could begin, Mike Smithhart, who had also been involved in the earlier crash, had to pit for a flat tire, moving the outside row ahead. Kevin Barba pulled ahead of Rod Harper at the drop on the green flag with Chuck Pruett and Sullivan following him to the front.

Pruett inched by Barba on lap six to take the lead and Terry McIntire took over second on 10. McIntire dropped back in line opening the door for Sullivan and at the mid point in the race it was Pruett, Sullivan, McIntire, Barba and Aaron Hicks. Both Hicks and Bob Strauss drove around Barba on 17 just before the yellow flew for a Sean Sweeney spin. At the same time David Furia’s car lost power and stalled in turn four.

When racing resumed Pruett and Sullivan ran side-by-side until Sullivan pulled ahead for good on lap 20. Hicks battled Pruett the next seven laps with Strauss tight on Hicks trail. Hicks finally made the pass for second on the white flag lap and Strauss passed Pruett for third the same time. Sullivan paced the field to the checkered flag for the win followed by Hicks, Strauss, Pruett and McIntire.

Furia set fast time of 13.078, Strauss won the dash and heat wins went to Gary Lowblad and Sweeney.

The late model 30 lapper saw Jeff Atkinson and Mike Swaney side-by-side until Atkinson’s car lost power and pulled into the infield. Swaney led lap #2 but was chased by Jim Stillman who took contol on the third go round. Kevin Estep assumed the second slot at the same time with Hopkins and Knight next in line. The lapping process began on lap 12 and Knight stole third from Hopkins two rounds later. Knight picked off Estep on 16 and set his sights on Stillman.

Knight caught Stillman and drove the high groove all the way for the win. Stillman settled for second in front of Mike Doss, Estep and Hopkins. Estep won the dash and heat wins went to Swaney and Stillman.

In mini stock action Tim Bunce took the early lead but relinquished it to Justin Potter on the 6th ro-round. Barton followed Potter to the front with Rod Gard in third and Shawn Shearer fourth. Potter drifted high on lap 17 opening the door for Barton who drove under Potter for the lead. Potter regained the number one spot three laps later when Barton got caught behind lapped traffic. Barton was sifted all the way to sixth before he could get back in line.

Shearer took second away from Gard on a lap 23 restart and with only three laps to go, Shearer dove under Potter, the two made contact with Potter spinning. Rod Gard spun to avoid the melee and Shearer was sent to the back. This left Barton out in front where he drove to victory. Lydon finished second with John Barker third, Jonathan Reynolds fourth and Patt Lucas fifth.

Gard set fast time of 13.945, Shearer won the trophy dash and fast heat and Lydon was the other heat race winner.

Nineteen drivers took the green flag in the bomber feature with Sorrels and Dave Johnson sharing the front row. Sorrels pulled ahead at the start and as Johnson faded, Baker moved to the high side to challenge Sorrels. The lone caution period came on the 13th circuit when Gary Collin’s car lost a wheel.

The second half of the race saw Sorrels and Baker swap places on each pass but at the checkered flag it was Sorrels by a bumper. Baker finished second with Kenny Grinols third, Joe Sloan fourth and Thorn fifth. Darren Tubbs was the dash winner and Bill Mucci, Baker and Michael Bishop claimed heat races.

Auto racing takes a break for the Lake County Fair and returns to action on September 14 for the 7th annual Bomber Bash with twin 50 lap features each paying $500 to the winner. NCI-4 modifieds will also be on the racing card.

MODIFIEDS

Fast Time: David Furia, 13.078; Trophy Dash: Bob Strauss, Terry McIntire, Furia, Thomas Wright

Heat 1: Gary Lowblad, Chuck Pruett, Derrick Crayford, John Tredway, Kevin Barba, Rod Harper, Wade Wittman

Heat 2: Sean Sweeney, Strauss, McIntire, Furia, David Sullivan, Aaron Hicks, Mike Smithhart, Wright

Main Event: Sullivan, Hicks, Strauss, Pruett, McIntire, Lowblad, Sweeney, Smithhart, Tredway, Crayford, Barba, Harper, Furia

LATE MODELS

Fast Time: Dan Knight, 12.852; Trophy Dash: Kevin Estep, Jeremy Hopkins, Knight, Mike Doss

Heat 1: Mike Swaney, Jeff Atkinson, Kevin Waycik, Bruce Clark, Ed Reives (Captain Planet)

Heat 2: Jimmy Stillman, Estep, Hopkins, Doss, Justin Offenbach, Knight

Main Event: Knight, Stillman, Doss, Estep, Hopkins, Swaney, Offenbach, Clark, Waycik, Reives, Atkinson

MINI STOCKS

Fast Time: Rod Gard, 13.945; Trophy Dash: Shawn Shearer, Gard, Jonathan Reynolds, Dusty Barton

Heat 1: Stuart Lydon, Patt Lucas, Tim Bunce, Harley Sharpe, Jason Compton, Fred Schmidt

Heat 2: Shearer, John Barker, Justin Potter, Gard, Reynolds, Barton

Main Event: Barton, Lydon, Barker, Reynolds, Lucas, Gard, Potter, Shearer, Sharpe, Bunce, Compton, Schmidt

BOMBERS

Fast Time: Derek Thorn, 14.672; Trophy Dash: Darren Tubbs, Thorn, Kevin Medina, Kenny Grinols

Heat 1: Bill Mucci, Geroge Abella, Dave Johnson, April Bertram, Jimmy Sorrels, David Stephens, Duane Mullen

Heat 2: Don Baker, Joe Sloan, Mike Collins, Darrin Knight, Scott Sabol, Gary Collins

Heat 3: Michael Bishop, Grinols, Thorn, Tubbs, Kyle Medina

"A" Main: Sorrels, Baker, Grinols, Slaon, Thorn, Bishop, Kevin Medina, Kyle Medina, M. Collins, Sabol, Tubbs, Knight, Johnson, Abella, Stephens, Bertram, Mucci, G. Collins, Mullen.

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See also
Article posted by RacingWest.com staff on August 25, 2002. http://www.racingwest.com

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