By: Gary Jacob and Don Low|
Where: Oildale, CA
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Oildale, CA -- The California Lightning Sprints raced wingless Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway Park and sixth starting Jonny Bates grabbed the lead from Brent Sexton on lap 9 and drove to a win in the 20 lap feature. The race had a lap 2 red flag when three different drivers flipped, but then ran the final 18 laps without another caution. Sexton ran second and Donny Gansen leaped from fifth to third on the final round. The super street stocks had a season low seven cars and point leader Robby Sawyer drove from fifth starting to the lead in just 3 laps to win his sixth 20 lap feature of 2004. The division was given a rare opportunity to time trial and Sawyer was 3/10 of a second faster than second quick. Second ranked Jeremiah VanScoy ran second, but has fallen 44 points back of Sawyer in the track title fight. Watsonville regular Philip Priddy made the long tow south from Salinas and ran third. Steven Johnson led all 20 laps from his outside front row start and stayed in contention for the hobby stock track title with his third win of 2004. Point leader Richie McGowan ran second and now holds a 23 point lead on dash winner Rick Spicer and a 37 point advantage on S Johnson. Spicer was sixth in the 20 lapper.
The California Lightning Sprints started running parts of their schedule without wings in 2003, but this was a rare wingless effort on the 1/3 mile clay oval and they produced an 18 car field. Outside front row starter Josh Williams won the first heat over third starting Brent Sexton and pole starter Steve Barnette. Heat two also went to the outside front row starter as Brad Russell won with sixth starter Gansen second over 8th starting Bates. Gansen, Sexton, Russell, Josh Williams, Barnette and Bates made up the front 3 rows for the 20 lap feature. Sexton took a quick lead over Gansen and Bates. The red flag dropped on lap 2 as Barnette, Russell and Dylan Morris all flipped. Jarrett Kramer also dropped out and Gansen got shuffled back to fifth on the restart as Bates raced into second ahead of Josh Williams and Ryan Silva. Lonnie Lopez gained fifth on lap 4 and Bates made his winning pass on Sexton on lap 9. Silva got around Josh Williams for third before Josh Williams pulled off the track. Only one car was lapped among the 13 finishers as the field ripped off 18 straight green flag laps to finish the 20 lapper. Sexton ran second and Silva had problems on the last lap to fall to 12th. Gansen gained third over Lopez, Keith Janca, Seth Kramer, Jesse Dean, early flip victim Morris, Dale Gamer and Greg Bardonnex with point leader Ernie Bartley III settling for 11th.
With the short field of super street stocks, the track elected to let them time trial and Sawyer was easily the quickest with his 15.778 lap. VanScoy posted a 16.094 and Zach Forster a 16.317. Outside front row starter Priddy won the dash over fourth starting VanScoy and pole starter Wayne Heurung. For the 20 lap feature, Charles Paul and Bill Little had the front row and Little spun after racing to second behind Paul on the opening lap. VanScoy and Sawyer raced into the 1-2 slots on the restart with Paul all the way back to fifth. Sawyer took the lead from VanScoy on lap 3 and Paul had to pit with a flat left rear tire on lap 5. A second spin ended Little's race on lap 7 with Forster into fifth. Heurung took third from Priddy on lap 8, but did it with a jump start. Priddy was able to regain third on lap 12 and he chased Sawyer and VanScoy to the checkered flag. Priddy had scored his second 2004 win at Watsonville on Friday night. The jump start penalty dropped Heurung from 4th to 6th with both Forster and Paul moving up a slot.
The hobby stock count rebounded to 21 cars and Sean Minor won heat 1 from the pole over Devan Jones. Minor broke in the dash and his night was over. Spicer took heat 2 from 4th starting and Chad Johnson ran second with red hot Mike Wilson coming from fifth to win heat 3 over pole starter Eric Olson. Spicer turned an outside front row start into a dash win over Steve McGowan. Tom Klamorick and S Johnson had the front row for the 19 car grid for the 20 lap feature. S Johnson took the lead over Klamorick and Clyde Benson. Jones stalled for a lap 2 yellow flag and C Johnson took fourth from Wilson on lap 4. C Johnson briefly gained third on lap 5, but lost it back to Benson a lap later. Klamorick brought out the second yellow flag on lap 6 and Benson was now second over Wilson and C Johnson. C Johnson passed Wilson on lap 8 and Benson on lap 9. Wilson gained third on lap 10 and C Johnson forced the third caution on lap 11. Benson had to pit from fourth with a broken axle. S Johnson now led Wilson and R McGowan. Spicer raced by Jim Perry for fourth and Eric Cimental lost his engine in a ball of flames for a lap 14 yellow flag. R McGowan moved around Wilson for second on lap 17 and Justin Schweitzer broke into the top five. Despite a lap 19 yellow flag when Roger Brewer stalled, S Johnson stayed out front for the win. R McGowan ran second and Wilson was penalized from third to fifth for a jump start. That moved Perry up to third and rookie Schweitzer failed to go to tech because he didn't know the Wilson penalty had advanced him into the top four. That disqualified Schweitzer and gained Wilson fourth ahead of S McGowan, Spicer, Rachel Paul and Brewer.
Summary Hobby Stock Dash-Rick Spicer, Steve McGowan, Devan Jones. Heat 1-Sean Minor, Jones, S McGowan, Steven Johson, Justin Schweitzer. Heat 2-Spicer, Chad Johnson, Lou Wolfe, Clyde Benson, Roger Brewer. Heat 3-Mike Wilson, Eric Olson, Tom Klamorick, Richie McGowan, James Perry. Main-S Johnson, R McGowan, Perry, Wilson, S McGowan, Spicer, Rachel Paul, Brewer, Wolfe, Jones, Brice Rutledge, Amy Hedden, Eric Cimental, Benson, C Johnson, Shane LeBlanc, Klamorick, Olson. Super Street Stock Fast Time-Robby Sawyer 15.778 Dash-Philip Priddy, Jeremiah VanScoy, Wayne Heurung. Main-Sawyer, VanScoy, Priddy, Zach Forster, Charles Paul, Heurung, Bill Little. Lightning Sprint Heat 1-Josh Williams, Brent Sexton, Steve Barnette, Jarrett Kramer, Dylan Morris. Heat 2-Brad Russell, Donny Gansen, Jonny Bates, Ryan Silva, Dale Gamer. Main-Bates, Sexton, Gansen, Lonnie Lopez, Keith Janca, Seth Kramer, Jesse Dean, Morris, Gamer, Greg Bardonnex, Ernie Bartley III, Silva, Joel Williams, Josh Williams, #1, Russell, Barnette, Kramer.