By: Gary Jacob and Don Low|
Where: Visalia, CA
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Visalia, CA -- Third starting Audra Sasselli passed pole starter Shannon McQueen on lap 18 and won the 30 lap modified mini sprint 600 main event Friday night at Plaza Park Raceway. The two female racers are dueling for the track championship and the point season ends on August 22. The 30 lapper was slowed by just one yellow flag and Anthony Kerber ran third. The stock mini sprint 600 30 lapper saw point leader Kody Swanson with a wire to wire win from his outside front row start. Earlier, K Swanson had a night full of seconds as he timed in second quick and placed second in both his heat and the dash. Roger Rose was second in the 30 lapper ahead of Ryan Reeves. Having briefly lost the lead in the middle of the race to Tanner Swanson, restricted mini sprint 600 point leader Justyne Hamblin won the 20 lap main event with T Swanson second ahead of Jenna VanderWeerd. Mitchell Faccinto pulled off a rare clean sweep in the Junior Sprint action as he set fast time and posted wins in the dash, heat and 20 lap feature. Kolby Araki was second in the feature with Shane Myhre third. Sasselli won $200 and the other three winners pocketed $150 each.
With the two-day Giant Automotive Summer Clash happening on August 15-16, the modified mini sprint 600 car count improved to 15. Todd Hirasuna posted fast time with his 10.87 run. That easily paced the 11.08 posted by Kerber, an 11.20 by double division racer Rose and a 11.21 for Sasselli. Rose drew the pole for the dash and won ahead of McQueen and Kerber. Sasselli came from third to win heat 1 over 2nd starter McQueen. Pole starter Scott Martin won heat 2 over Rose and Hirasuna. The feature lineup was a six car inversion off the timed runs to put McQueen and Anthony Urias in the front row. Urias spun for a lap 1 yellow with McQueen leading Sasselli and Hirasuna. Kerber took fourth from Rose on lap 3 and he raced by Hirasuna for third on lap 14. As they lapped Urias, Sasselli took the lead from McQueen on lap 18. Knute Mynderup stalled for the final yellow flag on lap 21. Sasselli led McQueen, Kerber, Hirasuna and Ryan Reeves to the checkered flag. Martin placed sixth ahead of Rose, Craig Kleinhans and Adam Householder.
Jason Mattos was quickest of the 11 Stock Mini Sprint 600s with an 11.09 clocking on the 1/5 mile clay oval. Rose ran an 11.10 and K Swanson had an 11.13. Freddie Galante and Jake Hagopian drew front row for the dash, but it was fourth starter Mattos winning with fifth starter K Swanson second. Reeves won heat 1 from the pole with fourth starter Rose second. Doug Nunes won heat 2 from an outside front row start with second row starters K Swanson and Mattos chasing him to the flag. This feature had a four car inversion and pole starter Galante spun for a lap 1 yellow. K Swanson took a quick lead over Rose and Householder, but Mattos raced into second on lap 2. Reeves gained fifth on lap 7 and began to challenge Householder with an inside groove attack. Jason Rogers spun for the second and final caution on lap 15. Reeves leaped all the way to third behind K Swanson and Rose on this restart. Nunes took fifth from Hagopian on lap 18. K Swanson raced to the win ahead of Rose, Reeves, Householder, Nunes, Hagopian, Mattos, Jason Okajima and Quinton Sall.
Tanner Swanson was fastest of the ten restricted mini sprint 600s with a 12.25 run. Hamblin posted a 12.39 and Richard VanderWeerd ran a 12.51. Jace VanderWeerd and T Swanson drew front row for the dash and T Swanson won with third starter Hamblin second. Hamblin came from fourth to win heat 1 over pole starter Cory Eliason. T Swanson came from 4th to take heat 2 over front row starter Laura Lopez. This division drew a straight up start that put T Swanson and Hamblin in the front row ahead of R VanderWeerd and Jenna VanderWeerd. This 20 lapper also had two caution flags. Hamblin led the first lap over T Swanson and Jenna VanderWeerd. An inside move gained T Swanson the top spot on lap 6 and Hamblin was challenging to retake the lead when Tyler Turner got into the fence for a lap 8 yellow flag. Hamblin continued her inside challenge and she did retake the lead on lap 11. T Swanson immediately tried to retake the lead on the bottom, but Mieka Cochran spun for a yellow on lap 12. Hamblin paced T Swanson over those final 8 laps for the win. Jenna VanderWeerd was third ahead of R VanderWeerd, Eliason, Lopez, Derek Henderson and Jace VanderWeerd.
Faccinto was easily the fastest of the ten Junior Sprints as his two laps were 14.90 and 14.86. Second quick went to the 15.01 posted by Myhre and Araki ran a 15.11. Faccinto drew the outside front row start for the dash and won with fellow front row starter Makenzie Zinger second. Allisen Cochran won heat 1 from the pole with fourth starter Myhre second. Faccinto came from 4th to win heat 2 over Araki and final starter Dustin Rhodes. Rhodes had missed time trials. Zinger flipped in the heat race action, but was able to start the main event. This division also drew a straight up start and ran their 20 lap feature without a single yellow flag. Faccinto took a quick lead over Myhre and Araki. Cody Key settled into fourth and 10th starter Rhodes grabbed fifth from Zinger on lap 9. Araki took second from Myhre on lap 11 and chased Faccinto to his win. Myhre ran third ahead of Key, Rhodes, Zinger, Cochran, Alexandrea Raiskup, Derek Henderson and Dustin Brown as all ten starters finished lead lap.
Summary Junior Sprint Fast Time-Mitchell Faccinto 14.86 Dash-Faccinto, Makenzie Zinger, Shane Myhre. Heat 1-Allisen Cochran, Myhre, Cody Key, Alexandrea Raiskup, Justin Brown. Heat 2-Faccinto, Kolby Araki, Dustin Rhodes, Zinger, Derek Henderson. Main-Faccinto, Araki, Myhre, Key, Rhodes, Zinger, Cochran, Raiskup, Henderson, Brown. Restricted Mini Sprint 600 Fast Time-Tanner Swanson 12.25 Dash-Swanson, Justyne Hamblin, Jenna VanderWeerd. Heat 1-Hamblin, Cory Eliason, Jenna VanderWeerd, Tyler Turner, Jace VanderWeerd. Heat 2-Swanson, Laura Lopez, Richard VanderWeerd, Mieka Cochran, Derek Henderson. Main-Hamblin, Swanson, Jenna VanderWeerd, R VanderWeerd, Eliason, Lopez, Henderson, Jace VanderWeerd, Cochran, Turner. Stock Mini Sprint 600 Fast Time-Jason Mattos 11.09 Dash-Mattos, Kody Swanson, Freddie Galante. Heat 1-Ryan Reeves, Galante, Roger Rose, Adam Householder, Quinton Sall. Heat 2-Doug Nunes, Swanson, Mattos, Jake Hagopian, Jason Rogers. Main-Swanson, Rose, Reeves, Householder, Nunes, Hagopian, Mattos, Jason Okajima, Sall, Rogers, Galante. Modified Mini Sprint 600 Fast Time-Todd Hirasuna 10.87 Dash-Roger Rose, Shannon McQueen, Anthony Kerber. Heat 1-Audra Sasselli, McQueen, Kerber, Craig Kleinhans, Michael Trimble. Heat 2-Scott Martin, Rose, Hirasuna, Anthony Urias, Ryan Reeves. Main-Sasselli, McQueen, Kerber, Hirasuna, Reeves, Martin, Rose, Kleinhans, Adam Householder, Doug Moles, Kevin Barnes, Urias, Heather Moles, Trimble, Knute Mynderup.
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