By: Gary Jacob and Don Low|
Where: Visalia, CA
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Visalia, CA -- After racing to third place finishes in both his heat and the dash, fourth fast qualifier Craig Kleinhans turned his pole starting position into a wire to wire feature win in the 30 lap modified mini sprint 600 main event Friday night at Plaza Park Raceway. A big first lap incident reshuffled the lineup and new outside front row starter Shannon McQueen passed Lemoore point leader Scott Martin on lap 2 and finished second with Martin third. The race ran with just a single caution flag after the big first lap incident. Kody Swanson earned the pole for the 30 lap Stock Mini Sprint 600 main event by posting fast time and he ran away to the feature win with Lemoore point leader Chad Boespflug second ahead of Paul Javaux. Javaux moved forward from fifth starting and claimed third on lap 10. Only a second in the dash marred the night for Restricted Mini Sprint 600 star Tanner Swanson. He won his heat race from third and ran second to Kaylynn Kleinhans in the dash. He was a wire to wire winner in the main event from the pole position. Michael Cavalli was second in the 20 lap main event ahead of Kleinhans. Both Tanner and Kody Swanson are sons of long time Madera Speedway star Mike Swanson and grandsons of another famous racer Bill Swanson. Mitchell Faccinto lined up on the pole of the 20 lap Junior Sprint feature, but fell to third on the first lap. He battled back to second on lap 7 and took the lead from Steven Kent on lap 11. Faccinto added to his dash win with the 20 lap feature win with Kent second ahead of Dustin Rhodes.
Stan Yockey was quickest of the 14 modified mini sprint 600ís in time trials with his 11.01 lap. That easily paced the 11.37 turned in by Martin and the 11.46 of Anthony Urias. Kleinhans was fourth quick at 11.47. The heat action uses an invert four lineup and Knute Mynderup won heat 1 from the pole with outside front row starter McQueen second. Australian car builder Dean Alexander won heat 2 from the pole with fellow front row starter Audra Sasselli second ahead of Urias. Sasselli drew the pole for the dash and won with third starter Yockey second ahead of front row starter Kleinhans. The feature lined up 13 cars as Tim Raiskup blew in his heat race. The lineup was an invert 4 off the qualifying times, but Mynderup, Doug Moles, Kevin Barnes, Heather Moles, Todd Hirasuna, Urias and Yockey were all involved in the first lap melee. The race was over for both Barnes and Yockey. The lineup for the restart put Kleinhans and McQueen out front of Martin and Sasselli. Kleinhans charged into the lead with McQueen getting underneath Martin on lap 2 to claim second. Urias was working the bottom groove in his challenge of Alexander for fifth. Urias gained fifth on lap 5. Urias spun for the last yellow flag on lap 17 and both Alexander and D Moles pitted. Kleinhans, McQueen, Martin and point leader Sasselli ran 1-2-3-4 from lap 2 on with H Moles getting around Mynderup on lap 20 to finish fifth. Hirasuna and Buddy Shelton also finished lead lap with Mynderup a late race lap victim.
Kody Swanson outtimed 11 Stock Mini Sprint 600 entries with his 11.70 mark. The time was later tied by Travis Coelho. Also breaking into the 11ís were Boespflug at 11.76 and Eric Westra with a 11.94. Again the heat races were invert 4ís with third starter Westra winning heat 1 over Coelho. Pole starter Javaux won heat 2 with K Swanson in second. Coelho drew the pole for the dash and won with back row starter Boespflug second ahead of outside front row starter K Swanson. The main event was straight up off the timed runs and all 11 cars started. K Swanson took a quick lead over Boespflug and Coelho. Skip Sisson pitted on lap 1 and Larry Thompson went out a lap later. Westra settled into fourth and Javaux took fifth from Fred Galante on lap 3. Galante spun for a lap 5 yellow. Javaux used inside passes in turn 1 to take fourth from Westra on lap 9 and third from Coelho on lap 10. Chase Mack went out at the midway mark and the field raced the final 25 laps without a caution. Point leader K Swanson won ahead of second ranked Boespflug, Javaux, Coelho and Westra. Jason Okajima was a lap down in sixth ahead of Johnny Simoes.
The Restricted Mini Sprint 600 class split 7 cars into a pair of heat races. Tanner Swanson came from third to win heat 1 with pole starter Kaylyn Kleinhans second. Outside front row starter Cavalli won heat 2 with Cory Eliason second. K Kleinhans drew the pole for the dash and won with fourth starter T Swanson second. This main event was straightup off the heat finishes and had just a single caution flag. T Swanson won in wire to wire fashion ahead of Cavalli and K Kleinhans. The 7 cars raced in order for the 20 lap distance with Eliason fourth ahead of Laura Lopez and Mieka Cochran. Dace Taylor finished 3 laps down in 7th. T Swanson took the point lead from the absent Justyne Hamblin with his performance.
The Junior Sprints split 11 cars into a pair of heat races. Outside front row starter Kent won heat 1 with third starter Dustin Rhodes second. Third starter Shane Myhre won heat 2 ahead of fellow second row starter Faccinto. Faccinto drew the pole for the dash and won with Rhodes second. This feature had a four car inversion off the heat results and the scratch of Nicholas Bachant left 10 starters. Faccinto lined up on the pole, but got passed by both Rhodes and Kent on the first lap. Rhodes led two laps, then Kent took over. Faccinto settled into third ahead of Myhre and Allisen Cochran. Kolby Araki claimed fifth on lap 3. Faccinto drove underneath Rhodes for second on lap 7 and raced alongside leader Kent for a couple laps before making his winning pass on lap 11. Myhre then used an outside pass to take third from Rhodes on lap 13. The 20 lapper ran without a caution and point leader Faccinto won ahead of Kent and Roades who retook third from Myhre on the last lap. Second ranked Myhre ran fourth ahead of Araki, Cochran and Austin Manzella, the final lead lap car.
Plaza Park will go dark on June 20 to allow nearby Lemoore Raceway to run itís annual Palace Indian Casino Nationals on June 20-21. The big Outlaw Nationals show at Plaza Park is quickly approaching on July 3-5.