By: Gary Jacob and Geoff Briggs|
Where: Mohave Valley, AZ
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Mohave Valley, AZ --
Having finished repairs from his hard crash at the last race just hours earlier, Jeff Sheppard made a late race move around Kingman's Steve Simpson Jr to win the 20 lap IMCA Modified main event Saturday night. It was Sheppard's first win at the 3/8 mile clay oval and Simpson ran second over Dan Fitzgerald as point leader Jason Pike pulled high on the final lap to fade to fifth and avoid a potential engine claim. Having led the majority of the last two feature races without winning, Bobby Keirns Sr won the 20 lap factory stock main event. It was the first feature win of his long career and veteran track observers couldn't remember the last time that a larger car like his Chevy Nova had won as Camaro's dominate this class. Mini Sport point leader Dennis Harris won their feature with Monty Alsup second in the Gary Ferguson car as Ferguson is still recovering from his heart attack. Jacob Forbis gained the lead when Rick Layman broke an axle and he won the pure stock main event ahead of Jim Morris.
The IMCA Modifieds had a strong turnout of 23 cars and they were divided into three heats. Simpson won the first heat over rookie Stacey Pike, point leader J Pike took heat 2 with Lyle Abrams a surprising second and Fitzgerald came from over 1/2 lap back to nip Jim Perkins in heat 3. In the 20 lap feature, Simpson fought off Sheppard through five caution periods, but Sheppard found an opening in turn 2 on lap 18 and he paced the final 2 1/2 laps for the win. Two weeks earlier, dusty conditions saw Sheppard crashing into two parked cars that he didn't see and his car was heavily damaged. Once in front, Sheppard had to survive one more restart before posting his win. Simpson was second over Fitzgerald, new rookie Travis Rider and J Pike, who had heard rumors that Mark Hodges wanted to claim his motor. Hodges ended up finishing laps off the pace and he could not claim. Ventura female racer Kathy Pierson was impressive in her Arizona visit as she ran 7th behind Bill McIntosh. S Pike went into the ditch in turn 3 when he lost his steering. Western Region Rookie of the Year hopeful lost an engine in his heat and did not start the feature. Both J Pike and Jensen were on their way to Boone, Iowa to race in the IMCA Modified Super Nationals.
The 14 factory stocks raced in a pair of heat races. Tait Christy won the first over point leader Sean Stewart and Galen Mullis. Keirns Sr won the second with Shawn Hanna second over defending champion Bryan Turner. Derek Allsup was an early dropout in the 20 lap feature, Hanna pressured Keirns Sr in the closing rounds but couldn't get by and Turner was a late dropout while running 2nd. Keirns Sr won ahead of Hanna, Stewart, Farrell Allsup, Doug Humphries and Tim Gagnon. The mini sports had a ten car turnout and Harris preceeded his feature win with a victory in the first heat over Brian Kash. Bobby Keirns Jr won the second heat over Bob Walker, who drew large praise for his race track prepartion work this week. Keirns Jr led the first 12 laps of the feature before he bobbled, allowing both Harris and M Allsup by. Harris won with M Allsup second over Keirns Jr, Chris Golding, Cliff Hutchins and Bill Munger. Harris holds a big 66 point lead over Hutchins and 83 point margin on Wayne Peterson with just two point races left. There were five pure stocks and Lake Havasu's Jim Morris won the heat race over newcomer Maria Stewart. Forbis from Parker dominated their main event until he was caught by Layman. Layman's mount broke an axle and Forbis nipped Morris for the win. Shane Clouse was third over Stewart and Layman.
Summary Pure Stock Heat-Jim Morris, Maria Stewart, Jacob Forbis, Rick Layman, Shane Clouse. Main-Forbis, Morris, Clouse, Stewart, Layman. Mini Sport Heat 1-Dennis Harris, Brian Kash, Robert Davis, Cliff Hutchins, Wayne Peterson. Heat 2-Bobby Keirns Jr, Bob Walker, Monty Allsup, Bill Munger, Chris Golding. Main-Harris, Allsup, Keirns Jr, Golding, Hutchins, Munger, Peterson, Walker, Davis, Kash. Factory Stock Heat 1-Tait Christy, Sean Stewart, Galen Mullis, Farrell Allsup, Tim Gagnon. Heat 2-Bobby Keirns Sr, Shawn Hanna, Bryan Turner, Derek Allsup, Mark Miner. Main-Keirns Sr, Hanna, Stewart, F Allsup, Doug Humphries, Gagnon, Gene Chambers, Mullis, Turner, Christy, Daniel Baysinger, Miner, Sean McGill, D Allsup. IMCA Modified Heat 1-Steve Simpson Jr, Stacey Pike, John Wilson, Travis Rider, Jack Christy. Heat 2-Jason Pike, Lyle Abrams, John Helton, Bill McIntosh, Mark Hodges. Heat 3-Dan Fitzgerald, Jim Perkins, Jeff Sheppard, Don Glover, Chuck Kemp. Main-Sheppard, Simpson, Fitzgerald, Rider, J Pike, McIntosh, Kathy Pierson, Perkins, Christy, Helton, Don Parker, Joseph Cross, Tim Helms, Todd Nunnally, Hodges, Rick Durica, S Pike, Randy Forbis, Glover, Abrams, Kemp, Wilson.