By: Gary Jacob and Geoff Briggs|
Where: Mohave Valley, AZ
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Mohave Valley, AZ -- Having won the previous weekend at the season opener in Pahrump, NV, Dan Fitzgerald from Las Vegas made it two wins in three starts in 2003 at Mohave Valley Raceway Saturday night. It was a clean sweep for Fitzgerald and his Victory Racing owned Belleville MotorSports Chassis as he also won his heat race. Utah connected Troy Ferrari drove the Big Dog that Jim Bonetti won the 2002 track title in to a second in front of impressive 2003 racer Travis Rider. Bonetti himself suffered a fierce flip in the feature with his new Big Dog. Despite losing a cylinder late in the race, Bryan Turner from Kingman won the super stock main event ahead of Deron Kramer. Aaron Williams also made it two wins in 2003 with his victory in the mini sport feature as he paced the final two laps after passing defending champion Bill Munger. Williams was also out front in that third race of 2003 when his fuel pump failed. The trackís new mini stock class debuted and Mike Garcia won the feature.
There were 22 IMCA Modifieds in the pits and heat winners were Don Glover, Fitzgerald and John Wilson. Jack Christy was the only main event scratch so that left a big 21 car grid for the 20 lapper. Bill McIntosh led the first 11 laps of the 20 lapper. The race had been red flagged on lap 10 when Bonettiís mount dug into turn one and did a violent series of flips. Steve Simpson Jr and Fitzgerald challenged leader McIntosh and Simpson took over the top spot. Simpson led four laps before harmonic balancer failed for the Kingman racer. Fitzgerald led the rest of the way with Ferrari second ahead of Rider, another impressive 2003 effort for David Boardman, Pahrumpís Scotty Slatter and another impressive finish for 16 year old rookie Jeff Sheppard Jr. Ronnie Williams and McIntosh rounded out the top 8.
The 14 super stocks were split into a pair of heat races. Kramer beat Kevin Turner and B Turner in heat 1. Sean Stewart won heat 2 ahead of Tony Sturdivant and Larry Fleming. Kramer was setting the pace late in their feature when an encounter with a lapped car cost him the top spot to B Turner. Kramer did run second ahead of Stewart, Shawn Hanna, Pahrumpís Rick VanBuytene, Gene Chambers, Sturdivant and Doug Humphries. The 11 mini sports were divided into a pair of heat races. Wayne Peterson won the first ahead of newcomer Brandon Davis. Gary Ferguson won heat 2 with Williams second. Peterson and Ferguson checked out from the field at the start of their 15 lap feature. Peterson led 6 laps, then Ferguson took over. On lap 9, they approached a lapped car and both dove for the same spot. They tangled and both spun. Both restarted in the rear with Munger the new leader. Munger set the pace until Williams got back in the closing rounds for the win. Munger ran second ahead of another impressive run for inexperienced Gary Messer. Davis, Ferguson and Cliff Hutchins rounded out the top six with Peterson in 7th.
Having raced with the mini sports earlier in the season, Kelly Stone won the mini stock debut heat race with his min truck. Garcia ran second in the heat race, then beat Pahrump regular Elisha Tennell and Stone in the feature where they raced with the mini sport class.
Next action at Mohave Valley Raceway is March 22 with the dwarf cars running for the first time in 2003 at the 3/8 mile clay oval with the IMCA Modifieds, Super Stocks and Mini Sports also in action.
Summary Mini Stock Heat-Kelly Stone, Mike Garcia, Elisha Tennell. Main-Garcia, Tennell, Stone. Mini Sport Heat 1-Wayne Peterson, Brandon Davis, Bill Munger, Cliff Hutchins, Jimmy Muller. Heat 2-Gary Ferguson, Aaron Williams, Gary Messer, Ike Reed, Bob Walker. Main-Williams, Munger, Messer, Davis, Ferguson, Hutchins, Peterson, Muller, Ed Dingle, Hutchins, Reed. Super Stock Heat 1-Deron Kramer, Kevin Turner, Bryan Turner, Gene Chambers, Doug Humphries. Heat 2-Sean Stewart, Tony Sturdivant, Larry Fleming, Shawn Hanna, Rick VanBuytene. Main-B Turner, Kramer, Stewart, Hanna, VanBuytene, Chambers, Sturdivant, Humphries, Merlin Whitson, Fleming, Robert Jantz, Mike Thomas, Mark Hodges, K Turner. IMCA Modified Heat 1-Don Glover, Bill McIntosh, David Boardman, Jeff Sheppard Jr, Ronnie Williams, David Day. Heat 2-Dan Fitzgerald, Steve Simpson Jr, Steve Taylor, Jim Bonetti, Travis Rider. Heat 3-John Wilson, Troy Ferrari, Scotty Slatter, Danny Mitchell, Rick Durica. Main-Fitzgerald, Ferrari, Rider, Boardman, Slatter, Sheppard, Williams, McIntosh, Lyle Abrams, Day, Wilson, Mitchell, Joseph Cross, Durica, Taylor, Simpson, Tim Helms, Bonetti, Harry Anderson, Glover, Chuck Kemp.