By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Hanford, CA
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Hanford, CA -- Leading the final ten laps, Coalinga’s Tim Worth won the season opening 30 lap feature for the California Rebel winged 360 sprint cars Saturday night at Kings Speedway. Heat winner Erik Folger lost his nose wing leading, but charged to a strong second place finish ahead of Andy Ferris. Winning a closing lap shootout with 13th starting Jerome Warmderdam, Davey Pombo Jr captured the season opening 30 lap feature for the Bandit unwinged 360 sprint cars. Warmerdam finished just a car length back in second with A J Burgin third.
As usual, the early March date for the season opener caught many teams unprepared and Rick Williams paced a 13 car field through time trials in the Rebel action. He ran a 14.235 lap on the 3/8 mile clay oval. Ferris was second quick at 14.315 and Mark Barroso had a 14.372. Ron Myska and Luke Bebereia rounded out the quick five as Worth ranked 7th behind Ricci Faria. Monty Ferriera won the first heat race ahead of Worth and Lawrence Edlund. Folger won the second heat race in front of Myska and Ferris. That heat took it’s toll as both R Faria and Stan Yockey broke ending their nights. This left an 11 car feature. Edlund raced into a quick lead over Folger. They waged a side by side duel until Edlund broke an engine on lap 9. Folger now led ahead of Worth and Bebereia. On lap 20, Folger lost his nose wing and Worth was the new leader. Bebereia made contact with Folger and flipped wildily for a red flag. Worth paced the remaining rounds to win ahead of Folger, Ferris, Williams, Myska, Jerry Pelayo and Mike Schriver.
The Bandit unwinged group put 19 cars in the pits and Warmderdam was quick qualifier with a 16.219 lap that easily paced the 16.585 of Gene Manhire. Pombo Jr was third quick at 16.743 and Danny Sheridan ran a 16.888 lap. Greg Porte’s 16.917 and John Burnett’s 16.998 rounded out the 16 second group. Former dirt late model star Rick Gifford won the first heat race in front of Dave Knott and Sheridan. Richard Harvey Jr won heat 2 ahead of Porte and Jonathan Logan. Pombo Jr outraced Brad Evett and Josh Davis in heat 3. Manhire’s night ended in the heat action to leave 18 cars for their 30 lap feature. Warmerdam only managed a 5th in his heat, relegating him to a 7th row start in the lineup. Harvey raced into the lead, but made contact while lapping teammate Dick Stevens and flipped. Pombo Jr gained the top sot and Warmerdam worked his way into third. Logan crashed in turn 1 for a lap 28 red flag and Warmerdam charged into second to wage his two lap shootout with Pombo Jr for the win. They took the white flag side by side, but Pombo won by a car length over Warmerdam. Burgin ran third ahead of Burnett, Aaron Altaffer, Sheridan, Davis and Knott.
Next action for the Bandits is March 22 when they will accompany the Golden State Challenge Winged 410 Sprint Cars. The Rebels return on March 29. On March 15, the IMCA Modifieds and Hot Stocks open their 2003 season with a 100 lap enduro also scheduled.
Summary Unwinged Bandit 360 Sprint Car Fast Time-Jerome Warmerdam 16.219 Heat 1-Rick Gifford, Dave Knott, Danny Sheridan, A J Burgin, Warmerdam. Heat 2-Richard Harvey Jr, Greg Porte, Jonathan Logan, Steve Demott, Aaron Altaffer. Heat 3-Davey Pombo Jr, Brad Evett, Josh Davis, John Burnett, Dan Gonderman. Main-Pombo Jr, Warmerdam, Burgin, Burnett, Altaffer, Sheridan, Davis, Knott, Dick Stevens, Harvey, Gifford, Albert Pombo, Demott, Logan, Jason Montgomery, Evett, Gonderman, Porte. Winged Rebel 360 Sprint Car Fast Time-Rick Williams 14.235 Heat 1-Monty Ferriera, Tim Worth, Lawrence Edlund, Luke Bebereia, Williams. Heat 2-Erik Folger, Ron Myska, Andy Ferris, Mike Schriver, Stan Yockey. Main-Worth, Folger, Ferris, Williams, Myska, Jerry Pelayo, Schriver, Mark Barroso, Bebereia, Ferreira, Edlund.