By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Bakersfield, CA
Search by Keywords|
Search by Track
Search by Date
Bakersfield, CA --
.It didn't happen until the postrace disqualification of Wayne Coffman, but Bakersfield Speedway Park IMCA Modified point leader Steve Smothermon won his fifth main event in Saturday night's 20 lapper. Smothermon's win improved his point lead over Buck Cox to 12 points as Cox finished second despite having problems with his rear end from the early stages of the race. Coming off a strong Friday night effort in Chowchilla, Coffman had led the final four laps after Matt Barrett spun leading in the Scott Pounds' car. Coffman was disqualified in the post race tech for having illegal body panels. Smothermon advanced to the win ahead of Cox, Jim Deines and Gary Dutton. In the hobby stock 25 lapper, Darren Hopkins led wire to wire to post his third win of the season with point leader Rodney Jennings advancing to a second place finish when runnerup Larry Hood was disqualified for exceeding the engine compression limit for the division.
The IMCA Modifieds had a 14 car turnout, but Bill Gates broke in hot laps for the third straight race. Coffman won the first heat race from last starting over Dutton and Jeff Miller. Barrett won heat 2 from the pole over Cox and rookie Mike Scott. The track was watered before the modifieds raced their main event after the 40 lap late model show. As the cars were wheelpacking the wet surface, Ken Hobson broke to join Gates as a feature scratch. Barrett charged into the lead over Scott with Cox into third on lap 2. Smothermon was up to third on lap 5 as both he and Miller passed Cox. On lap 7, Smothermon got underneath Scott for 2nd and Miller used an outside pass on the same lap to take over third. By the midway mark, Barrett built his margin to 1/4 lap. Just after he passed Scott for fourth, Cox spun to force a lap 12 yellow flag. Barrett was protected from the field by two lapped cars and Scott made a strong move into third only to spin himself. Three more yellows slowed the action. Dutton spun, Troy Morris Jr crashed hard into the turn 1 barrier and Miller broke coming down for a green flag. Lin Deines dropped out and Barrett led lap 16 over Smothermon, Coffman and J Deines. On the next lap, Barrett got out of shape in turn 2 and Coffman was able to drive underneath Smothermon for the lead. Barrett again spun in the closing rounds as Coffman held off Smothermon's challenges. With Coffman's disqualification, the Porterville based car builder Smothermon gained the win over Cox, J Deines, Dutton, Victorville regular Joe Blackmore, Scott and Barrett.
The 20 hobby stocks were divided into three heat races. Charlie Evans won the first over Jacky Wood and Hood. Brian Puckett won heat 2 with Doug Robinson second. Jeffrey Barrett won heat 3 over Lee Walker as Hopkins had a flat running 2nd in this race. Because only four cars were still running in the heat when Hopkins had his flat, Hopkins got an up front starting slot in the 25 lapper. This division also started their extended lap event on a wet surface. Hopkins raced into the lead over Wood and Hood. Newcomer Mike Joplin crashed on the first lap. Robinson crashed hard into the turn 1 barrier for alap 2 yellow and clipped David Hayder, who had to pit with a flat tire. Puckett spun without a yellow flag on lap 6 and Hood passed Wood for second. Jennings was up to third on lap 9 and M'lissa Manzella took over fourth on lap 10. Hood caught leader Hopkins with five laps to go, but couldn't make a pass. Evans broke late and point title hopeful Lee Walker and Ted Rogers got hooked together and crashed on the final lap. This was a tough blow for Walker as his failure to finish put him behind the lapped cars in the final rundown. Hood was disqualified for exceeding the engine compression limit for hobby stocks and this moved Jennings into second behind winner Hopkins. Manzella ended up tird ahead of Laura Yeager, Puckett, Wood and Lee Ullmann, the final lead lap car.
The show was also to include the debut of the All Pro Sprint Cars from Antioch Speedway, but they cancelled in midweek.
Summary Hobby Stock Heat 1-Charlie Evans, Jacky Wood, Larry Hood, Matthew Rogers, Lee Ullmann. Heat 2-Brian Puckett, Doug Robinson, Rodney Jennings, M'lissa Manzella, Gene Verbeek. Heat 3-Jeffrey Barrett, Lee Walker, Laura Yeager, Darren Hopkins, Ivan Crawford. Main-Hopkins, Jennings, Manzella, Yeager, Puckett, Wood, Ullmann, Evans, Lou Wolfe, Walker, Ted Rogers, David Hayder, Barrett, Jerry Keaton, Crawford, Robinson, Mike Joplin. IMCA Modified Heat 1-Wayne Coffman, Gary Dutton, Jeff Miller, Lin Deines, Troy Morris Jr. Heat 2-Matt Barrett, Buck Cox, Mike Scott, Steve Smothermon, Jim Deines. Main-Smothermon, Cox, J Deines, Dutton, Joe Blackmore, Scott, Barrett, L Deines, Miller, Morris, Kenny Farris.