By: Gary Jacob and Don Low|
Where: Bakersfield, CA
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Bakersfield, CA --
Surviving a last lap encounter with a spun car that ripped much of his bodywork off, Keith Heaslet raced to a $1,000 win in the 30 lap Open Comp Super Street Stock main event as Bakersfield Speedway Park staged their annual no-rules Veteran's Day race. Heaslet was running a huge sideboard that stretched high into the air and ran the length of his car with feature runnerup Rich Denman running a super modified win on his Camaro. Third place finisher Brady Bell was running without his roof and Santa Maria Speedway track champion Joey Claborn added a sprint car wing to his Camaro for his 4th place run. After the race, Heaslet announced that he was going to park his car and wait for his son to get old enough to race it. The $300 win in the hobby stock portion was decided in the tech area as both winner Jeff Barrett and runnerup Rodney Jennings, the track champion, were disqualified for exceeding the 170 pound cranking compression rule. Gene Verbeek added a wing to his mount and raced it to third only to also be disqualified for not reporting to tech. This gave the $300 win to fourth place finisher Ricky Spicer, who was making his hobby stock debut while continuing to race in his normal American Stock division. Newcomer Bob Riggs wheeled the Chad Henry car to second ahead of Ted Rogers. The three cars that were disqualified had finished a lap ahead of the field.
The Super Street Stock action had a 23 car turnout and they were divided into three qualifying heats. Hoping to beat the cars that went the wing and sideboard route, Steve Cargill won the first heat in his conventional mount ahead of Heaslet and the winged creation of Brandon Cortner. Bell won heat 2 with Ray Marroquin second over last starter Tom Manzella. Denman missed all of the October schedule as he races regularly with the 360 super modifieds, but brought his former Billy Wilker car out of mothballs and won heat 3 ahead of fellow front row starter Ed Perry and Tim Randolph. Joe Wilson Jr was the only feature scratch.
The 30 lap feature was lined up straight up off the heat finishes and that put Cargill, Bell and Denman in the front. The race was red flagged after Roger Remy Sr hit the wall and flipped his former Doug Jeffers MonteCarlo. Raymond Noland pitted his heavily smoking mount. Perry hit the front wall after hooking bumpers with Manzella and the smoking Larry Wise was blackflagged. Bell was leading Denman and Heaslet when Marroquin spun for a lap 4 yellow flag. Heaslet got around Denman for second and began to work the inside of Bell. K Noland Jr stalled for a lap 6 yellow flag. Having a great setup for his new aerodynamics, Heaslet got underneath Bell for the lead on lap 8 as Cargill continued to ride fourth over Steve Noland. Cortner moved into fifth on lap 15 and Cargill took third from Denman. As they were lapping Ed Barrett, Cortner and Cargill made it three wide and the contact led to a lap 18 yellow flag. Both Cortner and Cargill had to pit for repairs and Denman was now third ahead of Claborn. Denman took second from Bell on lap 20 and the final yellow flag fell for a spin by Darrell Hood. Both Marroquin and Cortner dropped out on this caution flag. Heaslet led Denman and Bell for the remaining laps. On the final lap, Heaslet clipped a spun Mike Letcher, who was driving the James Hammons car. The impact ripped the bodywork loose on the Heaslet car, but didn't damage his steering. Heaslet won ahead of Denman, Bell, Claborn, S Noland, K Noland Jr, Hood and Larry Blake.
The hobby stocks also had a 23 car turnout. Jennings won the first heat over fellow front row starter M'lissa Manzella. Rick Childress wheeled the Laura Yeager car to third. Pole starter Ted Rogers from Porterville won heat 2 over Larry Childress, who was in the James Diede car. Darren Hopkins came from third starting to win heat 3 over J Barrett. Again, the three heat winners started in the front of the 30 lap feature grid with 20 cars starting. Rogers took a quick lead over Jennings and Manzella. Eric Farris flipped for a lap 1 red flag. Manzella had moved into second ahead of J Barrett when Hopkins broke an axle for a lap 3 yellow. Mike Joplin also broke an axle and Jennings pitted with a flat right rear tire. Manzella and Brian Puckett spun for a lap 5 yellow flag. Barrett was now second ahead of R Childress and they both passed Rogers on lap 7. Alvin Ince hit the wall for a lap 9 yellow flag and Zach Foster had a broken axle. L Childress had moved into fourth and brief contact between L Childress and Rogers saw Rogers pin. R Childress pitted from second on lap 14 and Mike Lee pitted from fifth. L Childress was blackflagged as Barrett led Rogers, Jennings and Verbeek. Rogers dropped out on lap 20 and Jennings had a right rear tire go flat on lap 28. He managed to hang onto second behind apparent winner Barrett and and ahead of Verbeek. Both Barrett and Jennings failed the cranking compression test and Verbeek never appeared in tech to shuffled the finishing order. This gave the win to the lapped car of Spicer ahead of Riggs, Rogers, Mike Carter and Lee.
Summary Hobby Stock Heat 1-Rodney Jennings, M'lissa Manzella, Rick Childress, Ricky Spicer, Laura Yeager. Heat 2-Ted Rogers, Larry Childress, Brian Puckett, Robby Sawyer, Mike Joplin. Heat 3-Darren Hopkins, Jeff Barrett, Mike Lee, Larry Hood, Zach Foster. Main-Spicer, Bob Riggs, Rogers, Mike Carter, Lee, Lou Wolfe, R Childress, Manzella, Chad Huffman, Foster, Alvin Ince, Puckett, Hood, Hopkins, Joplin, Sawyer, Eric Farris. Super Street Stock Heat 1-Steve Cargill, Keith Heaslet, Brandon Cortner, Steve Noland, Darrell Hood. Heat 2-Brady Bell, Ray Marroquin, Tom Manzella, Karl Noland Jr, Roger Remy Sr. Heat 3-Rich Denman, Ed Perry, Tim Randolph, Joey Claborn, Raymond Noland. Main-Heaslet, Denman, Bell, Claborn, S Noland, K Noland Jr, Hood, Larry Blake, Toby Randolph, Manzella, Mike Bulley, Mike Letcher, Cortner, Marroquin, Cargill, Ed Barrett, Danny Baldridge Jr, Tim Randolph, Larry Wise, Perry, R Noland, Remy.