MERCED, California -- Former IMCA Modified champion Bob Williamson scored the victory in the 25 lap IMCA Modifed Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. Veteran Tim Ragsdale grabbed the victory in the 25 lap CCMR Food 4 Less Series Street Stock feature. Lester Beavers won his first 20 lap Hobby Stock Main Event, while the Pure Stock 20 lap feature went to Aaron Widick for the second straight week. Robb Schropp won the 20 lap Central Valley Sportsman feature.
A strong field of IMCA Modifieds consisted of nine drivers with at least one championship in their career. Former Merced IMCA Modified champions won six lap heat races as Jack Stanford edged former Chico, Marsyville and Sacramento champion Randy McDaniel to win the first heat and Williamson finished in front of Sparks, NV visitor Smith Bill III in the second heat. Both Stanford and Williamson wheel D&M Performance Chassis. After going winless in his point runner up season last year, Williamson finally brought it home to a much needed 25 lap feature victory ahead of defending champion Ramie Stone and Gardnerville, NV visitor Robert Miller, who each have a feature win so far this season. Bill Saltzman finished fourth ahead of Mark Hamblin and Chico visitors Duane Cleveland and McDaniel. Williamson, Stone and Miller are all tied for the point lead after three events.
Rookie Red Williams held off Ragsdale to win his six lap Street Stock qualifying heat race. Jack Chapman Jr. won his heat ahead of Willie Livingston. Ragsdale continued his impressive night with a 25 lap Main Event victory ahead of Randy Brewer and Phillip Lust, the winners of the first two features of the season. Buddy Thatcher held off his son Rucky Thatcher to score the fourth place finish. Defending champion John Clarke was sixth ahead of top rookie and point leader Mark Funkhouser. Funkhouser now holds a slim five point lead over the tied Brewer and Ragsdale in the championship battle.
In Pure Stock action, Chris Shelton started the night off with a six heat race win ahead of Jim Ford. Third generation racer Aaron Widick backed up his feature win of a week earlier with another 20 lap victory with Ford grabbing his second runner up finish of the night. Rookie Shane Hausmann finished third ahead of Shelton and Deak Sherrell. Incoming point leader Dan Holcomb lost that lead after a disappointing sixth place finish. Ford now leads Widick by ten points with Holcomb now 15 points back in third.
The Hobby Stocks ran two qualifying six lap heat races, and hard luck racer Rusty Penrod and Marshall Weaver scored the victories. Lester Beavers made the switch from Pure Stocks midway through last season, and he finally scored his first 20 lap feature win ahead of Weaver and point leader Mike Hamilton, both of whom have one feature win this season. Andrew Krumm finished fourth ahead of Penrod. 2002 Pure Stock champion Raul Rodriguez Sr. made his Hobby Stock debut with a sixth place finish in front of second generation racer Garrett Steitz. Hamilton leads Krumm by four points in the championship battle as Beavers is six points back in third.
The Central Valley Sportsman action started off with second generation racer Robb Scropp scoring a six lap heat race victory ahead of Tim Goodson. Schropp continued a great night with a victory in the 20 lap Main Event. Jason Belton finished a career best second ahead of T. Goodson, Gary Tucker and Kevin Freitas. Schropp holds a six point advantage over Freitas after two events with Belton 13 points back in third in the championship battle.
H 1 Jack Stanford, Randy McDaniel, Robert Miller.
H 2 Bob Williamson, Smith Bill III, Kurtis Moore.
MAIN EVENT Williamson, Ramie Stone, Miller, Bill Saltzman, Mark Hamblin, Duane Cleveland, McDaniel, Bill, Garrett Steitz, Mike Gillard, Ray Lasswell, Stanford, Moore, Brian Folkner, Aaron Barnell, Troy Stone, Tim Etchison Jr.
H 1 Red Williams, Tim Ragsdale, Randy Brewer.
H 2 Jack Chapman Jr., Willie Livingston, Mark Funkhouser.
MAIN EVENT Ragsdale, Brewer, Phillip Lust, Buddy Thatcher, Ricky Thatcher, John Clarke, Funkhouser, Chapman, Johnny Moreno, Willie Livingston, Frank Machado Jr.
H 1 Rusty Penrod, Andy Welch, Andrew Krumm.
H 2 Marshall Weaver, Lester Beavers, Scott Van Gelder.
MAIN EVENT Beavers, Marshall Weaver, Mike Hamilton, Krumm, Penrod, Raul Rodriguez Sr., Garrett Steitz, Patrick Presley, Russ Wells, Van Gelder, Welch, Dave Parker.
H 1 Chris Shelton, Jim Ford, Dan Holcomb.
MAIN EVENT Aaron Widick, Ford, Shane Hausmann, Shelton, Deak Sherrell, Holcomb.
H 1 Rob Schropp, Tim Goodson, Gary Tucker.
MAIN EVENT Schropp, Jason Belton, T. Goodson, Tucker, Kevin Freitas, Brad Goodson.