By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Oildale, CA
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Oildale, CA -- After crashing in hot laps and suffering ignition problems in his heat race, Mike Hood battled from an 8th row start to lead the final 7 laps of a shortened 20 lap IMCA Modified feature race Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedwy Park. His third win of 2004 left him just 8 points back of point leader and cousin Larry Hood but the division has only one remaining point race on Sept 25th. Nick Sylvester led four laps before getting passed by M Hood and ran second to the $400 winner. L Hood had to switch to the former Sidney Payne car after the heat action so he tagged the 17 car field and raced to a third place finish as only 9 cars saw the checkered flag. Zach Forster led the final 3 laps to win the 20 lap super street stock feature. His third win moved Forster to within 6 points of second ranked Jeremiah VanScoy. Point leader Robby Sawyer lost part of his large margin when he broke leading with just 3 laps to run. Darren Hopkins ran third in his first 2004 appearance. Rick Henderson won a main event in the car earlier this season. Chad Johnson celebrated his 25th birthday with a wire to wire win in the 20 lap hobby stock feature. Jacky Wood made a rare appearance and ran second over red hot Steven Johnson. S Johnson closed to within 28 points of point leading Richie McGowan, who moved up to 4th when Devan Jones was disqualified for too much engine compression. Celebrating his 40th birthday, former street stock star Paul Menees jumped into the Geoff Menees car and wheeled it to fifth place. James Cecil turned an outside front row start into a wire to wire win in the 20 lap American Stock main event for his first ever victory. Matt Morris was second ahead of Jesse Bowles. Sam Henry ran fourth and cut Michael Johnson's point lead down to just 3 points as Johnson placed 6th. Three Santa Maria Speedway regulars joined the mini stock action and Todd Burnett from Solvang won the 20 lap feature, leading the final 7 laps after Tina McGowan was spun out of the lead by Mike Lealand. Kenny Farris ran third and McGowan came back to gain third with the disqualification of Eric Farris for having an illegal carburetor. Modified racers Larry Hood and Jeff Miller ran a memorial lap for long time Bakersfield area engine builder Bill Malm who suffered a fatal heart attack on August 15th.
The IMCA Modifieds split 19 cars into three heat races and Jason Selvidge came from third to win heat 1 with his D&M Performance mount ahead of Lonnie Welch. Jimmy Irwin won heat 2 from third and Jeff Miller ran second. Outside front row starter Chett Reeves beat Steve Morrison in heat 3. Robert Sanders lost an engine in his heat and joined Darrell Hood as a feature scratch. It was a tough early night for the Hood clan as M Hood lined up 16th and L Hood 17th after L Hood switched cars for the 20 lapper. Reeves led the opening lap of the feature and Jimmy Goldsmith lost a tire for a yellow flag. It was Irwin taking over on lap 2 as Welch and Miller also got by Reeves. Goldsmith was blackflagged off the track when he spun for a lap 6 yellow flag. Sylvester raced into fourth on lap 7 and he gained third when second place Welch stalled for a lap 9 yellow. Miller was now second. The yellow again flew on lap 10 as leader Irwin hit the fence to hand the top spot to Sylvester ahead of Miller and M Hood. M Hood raced into second on lap 11 and L Hood spun out of 4th for a lap 12 yellow flag. The final 8 laps were run without a caution and M Hood took the lead from Sylvester on lap 14. Sylvester hung on for second with L Hood racing back to third ahead of Jim Deines and Lin Deines, the final two lead lap finishers. Miller is third in points, 19 behind M Hood and just 12 ahead of Morrison. Sylvester ranks fifth.
The ten car super street stock field included visitors Rich Denman and William Woodbridge from Coalinga. Denman won the 2004 California State Street Stock Series title. Forster had a perfect night as he won heat 1 over Bill Stevens. Sawyer beat Wayne Heurung and Denman in heat 2. Bill Little was a main event scratch and Forster started on the pole with Stevens alongside. Sawyer and Heurung made up row 2 and Denman lined up fifth. Forster took an early lead over Sawyer and fifth place Denman blew in a ball of flames for a lap 2 yellow flag. Roger Blankenship fell out and Stevens spun out of third on lap 6 to move Heurung into that spot. Sawyer took the lead from Forster on lap 9 and Woodbridge spun for a lap 11 yellow. Jeremiah VanScoy began a charge, taking fourth from Hopkins on lap 13 and third from Huerung on lap 15. Sawyer appeared headed to his 7th local win when he broke with just 3 laps to run. VanScoy also had a problem and Forster paced those final 3 laps for the win over Heurung and Hopkins. Stevens ran fourth over Woodbridge and VanScoy. Sawyer's point lead is 42 over VanScoy and 48 in front of Forster. Heurung is another 40 points back in 4th.
The 19 hobby stocks were divided into three heat races. Jones won the first heat over Ron Schmidt and Wood turned an outside front row start into a win in heat 2 over C Johnson. Billy Irwin beat fellow front row starter Amy Hedden in heat 3. The main event grid had C Johnson and Sean Minor on the front row ahead of Wood and Irwin. Lou Wolfe broke in hot laps to leave an 18 car feature. Celebrating his birthday in style, C Johnson led all 20 rounds for his first win of 2004. Minor lost second to Irwin on lap 2 and Hedden suffered a broken front end for a lap 3 yellow. James Diede moved into third and Clyde Benson stalled for a lap 5 yellow. Second place Irwin was penalized to the rear and C Johnson led Wood, Diede and S Johnson on the restart. Diede blew his engine for a lap 10 yellow and the final 10 laps ran without a slowdown. C Johnson won ahead of Wood and S Johnson. Jones crossed in 4th, but his disqualification moved 16th starter R McGowan up to fourth ahead of the comeback effort for P Menees. Schmidt ran sixth over Steve McGowan and Eric Cimental. Fourth ranked Jones lost all of his season points and third ranked Rick Spicer broke to fall 51 points behind point leader R McGowan.
The American Stocks continue to maintain solid car counts with 24 cars checking in. Bowles won heat 1 from the pole over Cecil and Mike Armitage. Talented rookie Rick Childress Jr won heat 2 over fellow front row starter M Johnson. Adam Watkins took heat 3 over Morris. Both Watkins and Kenneth Dixon were feature scratches. The 20 lapper was run with just a single caution flag as Steve McKinley climbed the fence in a tangle with Jason Bannister and Roxie Johnson on lap 12. Cecil took a quick lead over Morris and Armitage. Armitage took over second on lap 5 and Henry raced around Lisa Hudnall for fourth. Bowles broke into the top five and Armitage pitted from second on the lone yellow flag. Point title hopeful Christine Carl was blackflagged for a loose bumper as Cecil continued to pace Morris and Henry. Bowles took third from Henry on lap 18 as Cecil got his first win. Morris ran second over Bowles, Henry, Johny McKinley, M Johnson and newcomer Rick Bennett. M Johnson is just 3 points up on Henry and 25 ahead of Martin. Carl fell 13 points behind Martin. Bowles climbed back into fifth, 18 points up on Mike Boyd.
The expanding first year mini stock class fielded 17 cars and consistent Van Nuys long tow Lulu Strub won heat 1 over Kevin Swanson, teammate to feature winner Burnett. Chris McKellar won heat 2 over visitor Mike Lealand and E Farris. Kenny Farris paced the first 2 laps of the 20 lap feature before Strub spun for a lap 2 yellow. Tina McGowan had taken second from E Farris on lap 2 and she raced into the lead with an outside move around K Farris on the restart. Burnett moved up to duel Lealand for fourth behind E Farris and K Farris regained the lead on lap 10. He led two laps before T McGowan raced back in front. E Farris climbed into second only to see Lealand gain the spot on lap 13. A tap from Lealand turned leader T McGowan around on lap 13 for a yellow flag. On the restart, Burnett found himself leading K Farris, Lealand and E Farris. Lealand lost third with a last lap spin and Burnett won over K Farris. E Farris crossed I third, but his disqualification moved T McGowan up to third ahead of Kyle Calloway, 17th starting Anthony Miller and Richard Graves. Point leader Jimmy Mason was a late dropout but still holds a huge 227 point lead on Strub. Strub is just 11 points up on T McGowan and 22 in front of Graves.
September 4th will see the CarQuest Western Xtreme Dirt Car Series in town for their next to last point race of 2004 as defending series titlest John Silva duels Bobby Hogge IV and Eric Jacobsen for the series title. Silva leads Hogge by 17 points and Jacobsen by 20 going into those final two races. The hobby stocks, American Stocks and Miin Stocks will also race.
Summary Mini Stock Heat 1-Lulu Strub, Kevin Swanson, Jimmy Mason, Kenny Farris, Tina McGowan. Heat 2-Chris McKellar, Mike Lealand, Eric Farris, Todd Burnett, Delbert Hill. Main-Burnett, K Farris, McGowan, Kyle Calloway, Anthony Miller, Richard Graves, Lealand, Scott Kerley, Mason, Swanson, Strub, Robert Tucker, McKellar, Darren Akins, Jerry Mayall, Hill. American Stock Heat 1-Jesse Bowles, James Cecil, Mike Armitage, Johny McKinley, Steve McKinley. Heat 2-Rick Childress Jr, Michael Johnson, Michelle Childress, Christine Carl, Sam Henry. Heat 3-Adam Watkins, Matt Morris, Chris Martin, Lisa Hudnall, Rick Bennett. Main-Cecil, Morris, Bowles, Henry, J McKinley, M Johnson, Bennett, Wade Meinke, Wayne Dotson, Armitage, Martin, M Childress, Conrad Feliks, Roxie Johnson, Mike Boyd, Carl, Hudnall, Childress Jr, Jason Bannister, S McKinley, Walt Farris III, Bobby Thompson. Hobby Stock Heat 1-Devan Jones, Ron Schmidt, James Diede, Paul Menees, Eric Cimental. Heat 2-Jacky Wood, Chad Johnson, Rick Spicer, Clyde Benson, Eric Olson. Heat 3-Billy Irwin, Amy Hedden, Sean Minor, Steven Johnson, Eric McGough. Main-C Johnson, Wood, S Johnson, Richie McGowan, Menees, Schmidt, Steve McGowan, Cimental, Irwin, Jim Perry, McGough, Spicer, Minor, Diede, Olson, Benson, Hedden. Super Street Stock Heat 1-Zach Forster, Bill Stevens, Darren Hopkins, Bill Little, Jeremiah VanScoy. Heat 2-Robby Sawyer, Wayne Heurung, Rich Denman, William Woodbridge, Roger Blankenship. Mai-Forster, Heurung, Hopkins, Stevens, Woodbridge, VanScoy, Sawyer, Blankenship, Denman. IMCA Modified Heat 1-Jason Selvidge, Lonnie Welch, Marvin Leist, Jim Deines, Jimmy Goldsmith. Heat 2-Jimmy Irwin, Jeff Miller, David Childress, Larry Hood, Lin Deines. Heat 3-Chett Reeves, Steve Morrison, Nick Sylvester, Mike Scott, Chris Mendenhall. Main-Mike Hood, Sylvester, L Hood, J Deines, L Deines, Mendenhall, Morrison, Scott, Robert Pierce, Miller, Leist, Irwin, Reeves, Welch, D Childress, Selvidge, Goldsmith.