By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Madera, CA
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Madera, CA --
Winning for the third time in 7 races on the Shell Oil Tri-Track Challenge Series and making it 9 wins in 2000 at Madera Speedway, Jim Pettit II from Prunedale emerged as the new point leader for the Shell Oil Series with his $2,500 win in the 100 lap feature for the NASCAR late models Saturday night at Madera Speedway. As the 3rd fast qualifier, Pettit lined up 8th and took the lead from Nathan Tucker on a lap 41 restart. He led the rest of the way and took advantage of a flat tire for incoming series point leader Jason Fensler to take the point lead. Fensler finished a lap down in 9th as fast timer Ron Strmiska Jr was the $1,400 runnerup. Ken Boyd collected $1,000 for third and Pettit's track title hopes also took a boost as closest rival David Philpott broke early in the 100 lapper. With Kenny Kinchen recovering from an appendectomy, Pettit was also offered the ride in his California Asphalt Truck and Pettit made his debut in that class with a 30 lap win. Marc Utheim won the 25 lap street stock main over fast timer and point leader Frank Borges Jr. John Bray Jr came from the fourth row to win the 25 lap Toyota Sedan race. After failing to get his usual fast time, pure stock point leader Frank Mazzei did race to a win in their 25 lap main.
It was the third and final Tri-Track Series race in Madera this season and 23 cars appeared. Strmiska turned a 14.46 lap for fast time honors on the 1/3 mile paved oval, a mark that was later tied by division rookie Bob McCoun. Pettit was just a click back at 14.47 and Fensler duplicated that time a few cars behind Pettit. Boyd turned a 14.53, Kevin Gottula a 14.54 with both Tucker and Cory Petero at 14.56. The inversion for the 100 lap feature came up a ten that put Nevada's C J Jahnke and Troy Ermish on the front row. Madera Speedway ace Mike Swanson followed through on his threat to stop his late model season and did not appear. Pettit started in the fourth row and picked his spots moving forward by using his patented high line around the track. He took the lead from Tucker on lap 41 and made it two straight Tri-Track wins as he won the last event in Stockton. Strmiska Jr was second ahead of Boyd, Kevin Gottula, John Gaalswyk and series rookie of the year hopeful Todd Mumma. Dennis Patterson was 7th ahead of Jeff McCoun, Fensler and Carl Pearce. Philpott was 2nd in the track points, but a mechanical failure on lap 24 ended his night. Fensler had his right rear tire go flat on lap 79. Another Nevada racer Brad Johnson was 11th and Idaho's Clint Curry ran 23rd.
There were ten entries in the California Asphalt Truck action and Bill Nason easily set fast time with his 15.79 lap. Shawn Wolf ran a 15.90 while Donnie Large and Pettit tied for third fast at 16.08. Pettit started on the pole in the 30 lap main and he paced the race wire to wire. Fellow front row starter Large was second and series point leader Wolf ran third ahead of Nason, Mike Lay, Nathan Kircher and Matt Porter.
Borges was easily the fastest of the 13 street stocks at 15.89. Former Altamont ace Jamie McLaren was a feature scratch. Randy Reeves led the first 6 laps of their 25 lap main, but a tap from Bobby Hurst sent Reeves spinning. Both drivers restarted from the rear with Utheim the new leader. Borges challenged Utheim over the remaining laps, but was never able to pull alongside. Reeves did charge back to a third ahead of Hurst, John Bryan and Cindy Clark.
As usual, Chris Lewis was the fastest of the Toyota Sedans with a 18.19 lap. Wayne DePriest ran a 18.24 and David Lander an 18.34. Bray was fourth fast at 18.39 and started their 25 lapper in the fourth row. He gained third when Bobby Allison spun and eventually took the lead from Rick Martin. Lewis climbed through the pack to finish second ahead of Martin, Jeff Doran and Lloyd Green. Jeff Fitch, DePriest and Chris Fennigan rounded out the top 8. There were 15 pure stocks, but Jim Ford was a main event scratch. Bryan Herzog was fast timer with a 19.01 lap and Rob Mello's 19.11 lap nipped the 19.12 of Mazzei. Aaron Mullins ran a 19.19. A lap 5 crash in their 25 lap main took out race leaders T J Hatz and Paul Spencer. Mazzei raced to the front on lap 7 and won with Herzog second ahead of Jimmy Reeves, Mullins, Mello, Howard Holden and female ace Stephanie Wasson.
Summary Pure Stock Fast Time-Bryan Herzog 19.01 Main-Frank Mazzei, B Herzog, Jimmy Reeves, Aaron Mullins, Rob Mello, Howard Holden, Stephanie Wasson, Justin Greer, Brian Liles, John Hatz, Adam McEwen, Wayne Everett, Paul Spencer, T J Hatz. Toyota Sedan Fast Time-Chris Lewis 18.19 Main-John Bray Jr, Lewis, Rick Martin, Jeff Doran, Lloyd Green, Jeff Fitch, Wayne DePriest, Chris Fennigan, Rick Minor, John McCollum, Steve Nugent, Randy Catanzarite, Clint Madron, Steve Gould, Jimmy Graff, Stuart Ruckman, Bill Harris, Bobby Allison, Mark Stegall, David Lander. Street Stock Fast Time-Frank Borges Jr 15.89 Main-Marc Utheim, Borges, Randy Reeves, Bobby Hurst, John Bryan, Cindy Clark, Jim Earl, Jerry Cutler, Dave Conway, Brett Wasson, Justin Westmoreland, Ron Inman. Asphalt Truck Fast Time-Bill Nason 15.79 Main-Jim Pettit II, Donnie Large, Shawn Wolf, Nason, Mike Lay, Nathan Kircher, Matt Porter, A J Russell, Jeff Steckler, Chris Smith. Late Model Fast Time-Ron Strmiska Jr 14.46 Main-Jim Pettit II, Strmiska, Ken Boyd, Kevin Gottula, John Gaalswyk, Todd Mumma, Dennis Patterson, Jeff McCoun, Jason Fensler, Carl Pearce, Brad Johnson, Mike Ledbetter, Nathan Tucker, Thomas Martin, C J Jahnke, John Dalerio, Bob McCoun, Perry Sauro, Kevin Pugh, Troy Ermish, Cory Petero, David Philpott, Clint Curry.