By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Lemoore, CA
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Lemoore, CA -- After he led the final 25 laps, Richie Beck was stripped off his $1,000 win in the Modified Midget 250 segment of The Palace Indian Gaming Center Nationals Sunday afternoon at Lemoore Raceway when he came up four pounds late at the postrace weighin. That moved the $1,000 victory to the Sun Electric sponsored, Kenny Piraro built mount of San Jose's Jeff Delte, who also won the previous week. Unsung Matthew Mitchell moved up to the $600 second place with track point leader Duane Soares a $250 third. A disappointing Saturday night effort put Justyne Hamblin 7th on the grid for the Restricted Mini Sprint 600 30 lapper, but she battled her way to second in 9 laps and took the lead from Heather Pena on lap 19 for that $1,000 win. Track point leader Kari Henderson was a quarter-lap back in second for the $600 second and Mark Sapien a half lap behind the winner for a $250 third. Hamblin and Henderson also ran 1-2 Friday night at Plaza Park. A strong Saturday night effort put Laura Lopez on the front row for Sunday's Junior Sprint 30 lapper and she led wire to wire for the $1,000 win with track point leader Derek Henderson getting by Britney Snow for second. Henderson won $600 and Mitchell Faccinto wheeled his sister Marissa's car to a $250 third. The track officials were so enthused about the car turnouts that they paid the $1,000 to win in all five divisions and expanded the payout to include everyone, not the 50% of the field originally stated.
The Modified Midget 250 50 lap feature had 17 starters with Delte's teammate Rob Russell on the pole and Beck outside front row. Brian Poe and Kelin Fipps shared row 2 as Delte and Soares started in row 3. Russell took a quick lead over Poe and Delte, but Beck took over third on lap 2. The first yellow came on lap 10 as Jerry Beck broke. On the restart, R Beck moved into second over Poe and Beck's teammate David Alexander. Poe spun in turn 4 for a lap 15 yellow flag with both Fipps and Thomas Leiby falling out. Alexander was now third over Delte and Soares. Delte gained third on the restart, but Alexander used an inside pass in turn 4 to regain the spot on lap 20. When Leiby stalled for a lap 25 yellow flag, the midrace fuel break was called. On the green flag to start the second 25 lap segment, leader Russell spun high in turn 2 with R Beck the new leader over Alexander and Delte. Alexander broke for a lap 30 yellow flag and Bandit sprint car star Jerome Warmerdam fell out. Poe's race was over as he tangled with Soares. Soares was placed back in third for the restart as R Beck led Delte, Soares, Mitchell and Russell. Russell moved back to 4th on lap 34 and the yellow fell a lap later when Mitchell got into the infield. On the restart, Rory McCarthy and Russell got together and Russell flipped without injury. The race was over for both. Over the remaining laps, R Beck stretched his lead to 1/3 lap over Delte, but fell 4 pounds short of the 590 pound weight rule. Beck protested the decision and left his car parked at the scales as he raced the Modified Mini Sprint 600 feature. His team reweighed the car after that race finished and it came up 592 pounds, but the track refused to do a second weigh-in. Delte advanced to the win with Mitchell getting around Soares late for second. Soares ran third over Andy Field and Wes Shaw, who missed 13 laps in the first 25 lap segment.
The Restricted Mini Sprint 600's had a 12 car turnout. Based on their Saturday night efforts, Heather Pena and Sapien shared the front row with Blaine Fagundes and Henderson in row 2. Kaylyn Kleinhans and Jared Little were in row 3 as Hamblin started 7th. The 30 lapper was restarted after Tanner Swanson got into the turn 1 fence and flipped. He was able to tag the field for the restart. Pena raced into the lead over Sapien and Fagundes. Hamblin was fifth on lap 2 and fourth on lap 3. She took third from Fagundes on lap 5 and Swanson's race ended when he crashed on lap 8. Hamblin took second from Sapien on this restart with Fagundes and Jenna VanderWeerd tangling for a lap 13 yellow. Henderson retook fourth from Jake Hagopian on this restart. The front twsome of Pena and Hamblin checked out on the pack. Hamblin gained the lead with an inside move at start-finish as they completed lap 19. Pena then spun in turn 1 for a yellow flag. Michael Faccinto spun for another quick yellow flag. Henderson took second from Sapien on lap 22 and finished there. Sapien was a half-lap behind the winner in third. In their fourth place duel, Pena and Little spun in turn 3 on the final lap to hand the spot to Hagopian. J VanderWeerd was fifth ahead of Kleinhans and Michael Faccinto.
The Junior Sprints had an outstandings 19 car field for their 30 lap feature. Newcomer Britney Snow shared the front row with Lopez as Richard VanderWeerd and Jace VanderWeerd were in row 2. Tyler Turner and Mitchell Faccinto shared row 3 with Pena and Tyler Ramsey in row 4. The race had to be restarted when teammates Keith Skaden and Gary Skaden tangled. Lopez took a quick lead over Snow and R VanderWeerd. K Skaden was eliminated in the first lap incident and G Skaden spun out of the race on lap 7. R VanderWeerd got underneath Snow for second on lap 17. Faccinto took fourth from J VanderWeerd on lap 21 and Mark Cypert spun for a lap 23 yellow. Ramsey had climbed to fifth, but he was penalized back to 7th for the restart. Snow faded back in the pack with Faccinto into third over Blaine Fagundes. Ramsey gained fifth when Pena spun on lap 27. Lopez won with R VanderWeerd second over Faccinto, Fagundes, Ramsey, J VanderWeerd, Snow, Friday night Plaza Park winner Cory Eliason, Pena and Lemoore point leader Derek Henderson.
Summary Modified Midget 250 Main-Jeff Delte, Mathew Mitchell, Duane Soares, Andy Field, Wes Shaw, Rory McCarthy, Rob Russell, Jerome Warmerdam, Brian Poe, Dave Alexander, Josh Boucher, Thomas Leiby, Kellin Fipps, Jerry Beck, Karl Rose, Jason Neverkovek. Restricted Mini Sprint 600 Main-Justyne Hamblin, Kari Henderson, Mark Sapien, Jake Hagopian, Jenna VanderWeerd, Kaylyn Kleinhans, Michael Faccinto, Blaine Fagundes, Jared Little, Heather Pena, Tyler Costa, Tanner Swanson. Junior Sprint Main-Laura Lopez, Richard VanderWeerd, Mitchell Faccinto, Blaine Fagundes, Tyler Ramsey, Jace VanderWeerd, Britney Snow, Cory Eliason, Heather Pena, Derek Henderson, Jordan Silva, Jacob Gilbert, Shane Myhre, Tyler Turner, Koen Shaw, Mark Cypert, Austin Hansen, Gary Skaden, Keith Skaden.