By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Hanford, CA
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Hanford, CA -- Third fast qualifier Craig Stidham won his second 30 lap Rebel Cup winged 360 sprint car feature of 2005 Saturday night at Kings Speedway for a $1500 payday. Heat winner Ricci Faria was a $1000 second and fourth quick Andy Ferris pocketed $650 for third. Seventeen year old Alex Stanford made it two wins in 2005 at the track as he won the IMCA Modified feature in his potent D&M Performance Chassis. A pair of B Main transfers battled through the pack for second behind the $400 winner. In his best career run, Mike Villaneuva drove his Victory Chassis from 17st starting to second with a last turn pass around incoming point leader Aaron Barnell. Barnell had started 13th in his D&M after winning the B Main. The IMCA Modifieds had a great 26 car turnout and the Hot Stocks fielded their best 2005 count with 14. Veteran driver Johnny Cardoza from Carruthers won the Hot Stock feature ahead of incoming point leader Preston Martin and Mark Courtney, who recently moved up from the Enduro class with a former Michael Redding car.
Tommy Tarlton paced the 12 Rebel winged 360 sprint cars with a 14.529 qualifying run. Mini Sprint legend Stan Yockey was just a tick back at 14.550 and C Stidham ranked third with his 15.745 run. Ferris clicked off a 14.753 and Faria posted a 14.790. Garrett Ishii had a 14.854 and visitor Mark Tabor Jr was the final 14 second car at 14.955. Faria won heat 1 over Tarlton and C Stidham. Young Jeff Delte won heat 2 in front of Ferris and Yockey. In the 30 lap feature, it was Stidham getting the win ahead of Faria, Ferris, Robert Ballou, Ishii, Tarlton, Tabor, Monty Ferriera and rookie Joe Mafara.
Picking up a few Bakersfield cars on a dark night for the division there, the IMCA Modifieds split 26 cars into three heats with the top 4 finishers in each advancing to the front six rows for the 30 lap A Main. Brad Pounds was in the second Larry Hood car and he won heat 1 over Lonnie Lacy Jr and Ray Mayer. Tom Stidham captured heat 2 ahead of Mark Hamblin and Jon Schlundt. Hood won heat 3 ahead of Rodney Freitas, who is a new Pro Chassis for 2005. Claudine Contente, fresh off a second in Bakersfield last weekend, ran third ahead of Steve Smothermon. The track transferred ten cars up from a 14 car B Main. Barnell won the B Main ahead of Marcus Aue, William Woodbridge, Joe Chapman, Villaneuva and Chett Reeves. Woodbridge was unable to make the call for the 30 lap feature. Stanford had run 4th in his heat, but raced to a win in the 30 lapper as he mastered the dry slick 3/8 mile clay racing surface. Barnell had lost ground in the feature when he hooked bumpers with Schlundt. C Contente had to pit for repairs after major contact from Smothermon, who was powering through a spin. Top runner Mark Hamblin had to pit with a flat tire after getting hit under caution by a car charging back onto the racing surface. A tap from Barnell got 2nd place Villaneuva out of shape in turn 2 on the last lap, but Villaneuva came back with a perfect charge through turns 3 and 4 to retake second behind winner Stanford. Barnell ran third ahead of Schlundt, Smothermon, Freitas, Joe Gonella Jr, Hamblin, Ed Nichols and Chapman.
The Hot Stock turnout included several new names. Martin won heat 1 ahead of Luis Avila and Courtney. Cardoza had a perfect night as he won heat 2 ahead of J T Contente and Chuck Nevels. Cardoza got the feature win ahead of Coalinga duo of Martin and Courtney. Nevels ran fourth ahead of J Contente, Michael Redding, Chris Davis and James Cornelius. Redding has the car that Ron D’Artenay drove to the 2004 track championship. James Brown was a feature scratch.
On May 21, the Golden State Challenge Series winged 410 sprint cars are back in town for the Cotton Classic and they will be joined by the Bandit unwinged 360 sprint cars. Greg Porte won the Bandit feature at Santa Maria Speedway on May 14.
Summary Hot Stock Heat 1-Preston Martin, Luis Avila, Mark Courtney, Darryl Boatman, Joey Salazar. Heat 2-Johnny Cardoza, J T Contente, Chuck Nevels, Chris Davis, James Brown. Main-Cardoza, Martin, Courtney, Nevels, J Contente, Michael Redding, Davis, James Cornelius, Boatman, Avila, Joe Fisher, Drew Lovell, Salazar. IMCA Modified Heat 1-Brad Pounds, Lonnie Lacy Jr, Ray Mayer, Alex Stanford, William Woodbridge. Heat 2-Tom Stidham, Mark Hamblin, Jon Schlundt, Todd Hermosillo, Chett Reeves. Heat 3-Larry Hood, Rodney Freitas, Claudine Contente, Steve Smothermon, Gerard Felipe. B Main-Aaron Barnell, Marcus Aue, Woodbridge, Joe Chapman, Mike Villaneuva, Reeves, Joe Gonellla Jr, Ed Nichols, Kevin Barnes, Scott Selzer A Main-Stanford, Villaneuva, Barnell, Schlundt, Smothermon, Freitas, Gonella, Hamblin, Nichols, Chapman, Stidham, C Contente, Aue, Hood, Mayer, Felipe, Jim Reed, Reeves, Lacy, Hermosillo, Barnes, Pounds. Rebel Winged 360 Sprint Car Fast Time-Tommy Tarlton 14.529 Heat 1-Ricci Faria, Tarlton, Craig Stidham, Robert Ballou, Mark Tabor Jr. Heat 2-Jeff Delte, Andy Ferris, Stan Yockey, Mike Stallings, Garrett Ishii. Main-Stidham, Faria, Ferris, Ballou, Ishii, Tarlton, Tabor, Monty Ferriera, Joe Mafara, Yockey, Delte, Stallings.