After setting fast time two weeks in a row, Dan Holtz jumped to an early lead and never looked back in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock Car 75-lap main event at Mesa Marin Raceway.
"This crew was awesome tonight," said Holtz. "We needed to be out front because we knew the guys coming over from the West race in Vegas had to start in the back. In practice we had some problems and didnít think we would qualify, but my guys put me back on the track in time and gave me a great car tonight."
"The guys" were Mike Duncan, Jason Small, Jerry Cain and Gary Collins. After two days in Las Vegas competing in the NASCAR Winston West Series, they air-lifted to Meadows, then Limousine Scened to Mesa Marin just in time to start the race in the back since they couldnít qualify. Duncan and Small were sitting #1 and #2 in the points and determined to run for the championship at Mesa Marin. Las Vegas was their only conflict to run both series.
Holtz, who was sitting 11th in the points after an opening night crash was also determined to make a comeback to contend for the championship.
Charlie Watler of Stevenson Ranch started on the pole, but when the green flag flew Dan Holtz of Pacific Palisades and Curtis Malins of Chino jumped to 1st and 2nd and held the positions the rest of the night. Meanwhile, trouble brewed behind them. Collins and Cain among others got tangled in the back and were stuck in the pits by lap four. Then a red flag stopped the action and Small, Aldridge, Watler and others were out by lap 28. Duncan was caught in the carnage, but was able to replace a radiator and get back out only 10 laps down.
When it was all said and done, Holtz was victorious and moved to #2 in the points for the championship, but Mike Duncanís top ten finish was enough to hold onto the points lead.
In other action, Gene Fife of Tehachapi won a close battle between Brian Richardson and Danny Collins of Bakersfield. Fife took an early lead, but it was one-two-three nose to tail for 25 laps.
In the Street Stocks, Mike Riale was victorious again over Mike White, both of Bakersfield. They moved from the back of the pack to take 1st and 2nd position for most of the 20-lap feature. Jerry Swift of Lake Isabella finished 3rd on his first night out this season and Lloyd Wren, Jr. continues to stay in the top five in his rookie year with Mark Tenhet of Tulare posting a 5th place.
"Iím getting a 2nd on my house Ė Iíve found my calling," said Greg Stoffel of the CHP after winning the 911 Race For Youth Series. He started 4th and battled Bob Barton of the DAís office and Captain Bonner of the Bakersfield Fire Dept. to get to the lead. On lap 12 he took charge of the lead for the rest of the 15 laps. He could have lost it coming to the winnerís circle the way he was dancing around the track and once there he jumped out of the car and onto the roof of the CHP #5 to enjoy his first win.
Mesa Marin takes a week off to return on May 6 with the 3rd points race of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock Cars, Modified Stocks, Street Stocks and 911 Race For Youth.