By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Victorville, CA
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Victorville, CA --
Wayne Francis won the IMCA Modified main event Saturday night as Route 66 Raceway closed their regular season. Dale Underwood ran second and track champion Jimmy Barttelt was third in a car built by Underwood. Randy Vogel came from 12th starting to win the street stock main event ahead of Chris Funkhouser and Mark Forbes. With the track championship already wrapped up, Roger Gordon let Gary Gordon drive his car on this night. Mark Nustad from Johnson Valley wrapped up his track championship year in the mini stocks by wheeling his Pinto to a win in the final main event ahead of point runnerup Craig Baker and Paul Bender. David Andersen won the All American Stock main event with third ranked Jason Irwin second ahead of track champion Jim Cox Jr, who lives in Hemet.
IMCA cuts off their points on September 30, but the class returned for an additional race at Route 66 with 11 cars on hand. Francis won the first heat from his outside front row start as point runnerup Kevin Hocking placed second. Rick Grimes won heat 2 from the pole with long tow Troy Ferrari second. Ferrari is from Las Vegas, NV, but his car resides in Hurricane, Utah. It was a tough luck year for Francis, but he won tonight's feature from third starting as 5th starter Underwood ran second ahead of champion Barttelt, who started 9th. Al Bernal was fourth ahead of Ridgecrest's Danny Quinn, Ferrari and David Lord. Lord was making his modified debut as he started the year as one of the leading drivers in the All American Stock class.
The street stocks had another large turnout with 33 cars in action. Keith Prischmann won the first heat from 4th starting with Phil Fiehler second. Pole starter Rick Gilmore won heat 2 over Robert Baker. Steve Rose won the third heat with Bakersfield's Chad Johnson second. Scott Stevens won the fourth heat over Gary Owen and Jacky Wood, a paraplegic racer from Bakersfield. The top four from each heat advanced into the A Main where they were joined by four transfers from the B Main. Rebounding from a fire in his heat race, Don Zoll Sr won the B Main over Scott Stevens and point runnerup Mike Milender. Gilmore and Fred Otte shared the front row for the 20 lap feature. Gilmore led early in the race, but ended up in the infield as Vogel worked his way forward from the sixth row to win over 7th row starter C Funkhouser. Mark Forbes came from the 8th row to place third ahead of 7th row starter Scott Curry and B Main transfer Dave Tomkins, who started dead last. Making the long tow from Bakersfield for all the races, Johnson ran sixth in the finale to finish 10th in points. Stevens was 7th ahead of Milender. Milender ended up second in points, 12 ahead of Curry as Forbes ranked fourth ahead of Jim Rook, who did not make it out of the B Main this night. Gary Gordon was 9th in the B Main as he subbed for track champion Roger Gordon.
The mini stocks closed their point season with a strong 17 car turnout. Baker won the first heat from 8th starting as Don Clark ran second. Nustad also won his heat from 8th starting with Andy Moreton second. A tap from Nustad sent James Chandler spinning in the feature race and he was hit headon by Moreton. Nustad overtook Paul Bender and Clark to take over the lead and he went on to win over Baker and Bender. Nustad and Baker had shared the 8th row on the start and they ran 1-2 in the 20 lapper. Kevin Holden ran fourth over Clark, Marvin Grinder, Sands Sprague and Chris Hibshman. Nustad won the title by 129 points over Baker with Moreton 50 points back of Baker. Holden placed fourth in the point race with Mike Gibson fifth ahead of Sprague, who towed down from Ridgecrest to race.
The All American Stocks had a 16 car field. Jason Irwin won the first heat from 4th starting with Damon Felly second. The new owner of the Lord All American Stock, Jim Abright won the second heat from 4th starting with Frank Hopkins second. In the 20 lap feature, Andersen came from 6th starting and chased down leader Vance Rogers for the win. Irwin started 7th and finished 2nd with track champion Jim Cox Jr coming from 14th to place third. Nathan Gruwell ran fourth ahead of Brian Rucker, Rogers, Brandon Bennett and Jeff Bailey. Cox won the championship by 134 points over Bailey with Irwin third ahead of Bennett and Andersen.
The track also raffled off a race car and sold 3,000 tickets for one dollar each. After buying 11 tickets during the season, John Lewis from Hesperia, won the drawing and the car. They plan to have their son-in-law drive it next season.
While this was the point season finale for the track, Route 66 Raceway has one huge event left on the 2001 schedule. The Turkey Classic formerly held at Pearsonville Speedway will be run at the Victorville track on Nov 24-25 with the dirt modifieds, super streets, street stocks, dwarf cars, mini stocks and All American stocks all in action.
Summary All American Stock Heat 1-Jason Irwin, Damon Felly, Brandon Bennett, Vance Rogers, Jefro Blalock. Heat 2-Jim Abright, Frank Hopkins, Jim Cox, Brian Rucker, David Andersen. Main-Andersen, Irwin, Cox, Nathan Gruwell, Rucker, Rogers, Bennett, Jeff Bailey, Sterling Nicolson, Bill Pickard, Chris Kelley, Abright, Blalock, Felly, Steven Funkhouser. Mini Stock Heat 1-Craig Baker, Don Clark, Robby Cockrell, Ron Hester, Chris Hibshman. Heat 2-Mark Nustad, Andy Moreton, Paul Bender, Chris Peterson, Marvin Grinder. Main-Nustad, Baker, Bender, Kevin Holden, Clark, Grinder, Sands Sprague, Hibshman, Jim Bard, Daniel Dyer, Aaron McLaughlin, Mike Gibson, Hester, Peterson, Cockrell, James Chandler, Moreton. Street Stock Heat 1-Keith Prischmann, Phil Fiehler, Chris Funkhouser, Don Zoll Jr, Mike Milender. Heat 2-Rick Gilmore, Robert Baker, Chuck Ribbe, Jimmy George, Marvin Vanderwerff. Heat 3-Steve Rose, Chad Johnson, Scott Curry, Fred Otte, Lonnie Skillman. Heat 4-Mark Forbes, Gary Owen, Jacky Wood, Randy Vogel, Scott Stevens. B Main-Don Zoll Sr, Stevens, Milender, Dave Tomkins, Skillman, Wayne Childress, Vernon Wagner, Victor Wu, Gary Gordon, Vanderwerff. A Main-Vogel, C Funkhouser, Forbes, Curry, Tomkins, Johnson, Stevens, Milender, Prischmann, Wood, Rose, Gilmore, Ribbe, Baker, Otte, George, Fiehler, Zoll Sr, Owen, Zoll Jr. IMCA Modified Heat 1-Wayne Francis, Kevin Hocking, Dale Underwood, Jimmy Barttelt, Danny Quinn. Heat 2-Rick Grimes, Troy Ferrari, Al Bernal, Steve Smith, Brad Bennett. Main-Francis, Underwood, Barttelt, Bernal, Quinn, Ferrari, David Lord, Grimes, Hocking, Bennett, Smith.