By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Oildale, CA
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Oildale, CA -- For the first time, the hobby stocks were given a two day role in the 20th Annual Budweiser Western Dirt Track Nationals and Saturday night’s $1500 to win, 30 lap feature was all Chad Johnson as the former track champion scored a wire to wire win from his outside front row start. C Johnson had placed second behind four division racer Larry Hood in the Friday night 12 lap preliminary feature. He beat Hood on the start and was never headed in the rich 30 lapper. Merced Speedway IMCA Modified rookie of the year Marshall Weaver kept his hobby stock for special shows and he raced around Devan Jones for second on lap 4. He remained in second for the rest of the race to gain the $1000 second place money. Eric Cimental had a very busy night as he had to battle through the C and B Mains just to get a starting spot in the 30 lapper. He raced from 15th starting and gained third when track champion Michael Johnson suffered a flat tire on lap 21. Cimental won $600 for third and Tom Klamorick was a $400 fourth. Clyde Benson also came through the B Main and won $300 for fifth. Former division champion Richie McGowan returned to action and also had to come through the C Main to get his $250 sixth ahead of M Johnson.
The front six rows for the 30 lap feature were set in Friday night’s action, but the remaining cars dueled for those final 10 starting spots in the C and B Main action. Michael Redding turned his car over to street stock star Rich Denman for Saturday night, so Denman tagged the C Main with late arrival Ross Spillman. Bryan Terry took the lead from Christine Carl on lap 4 and won the 12 lap C Main ahead of David West, Cimental, R McGowan and Ron Schmidt. Denman ran sixth. Watsonville racer Norm Ayers got into the infield early in the race, then made a hard charge through the pack but his actions drew the attention of the officials and he was blackflagged. Santa Maria Speedway star Doyle Graham Jr led the first 7 laps of the B Main, but spun with a right front flat and Tina McGowan got the win in the time shortened 11 lapper. David West ran second and Cimental was again third ahead of Benson, newcomer Nick Bartels, Terry, Denman and James Cecil. Also transferring into the A Main were R McGowan and Antioch Speedway racer Andrea Petrell.
Hood was again wheeling the Justin Schweitzer car and he brought the 22 car field down for the green flag in the 30 lapper ahead of C Johnson, Wood, Devan Jones and Weaver. Wood got into the infield on lap 1 and C Johnson raced into the lead over Jones, Weaver and Hood. A big tangle on lap 3 sent M’Lissa Manzella and Ray Pezzi to the pits. Jones suffered a major rear supsension failure to end his race on lap 4 with Weaver into second ahead of Hood and M Johnson. Wood crashed into the fence in turn 3 and M Johnson gained third over Hood and Klamorick on lap 7. Cimental was alll the way up to sixth. Bartels threw a wheel for a yellow flag on lap 10 and Cimental then raced around Hood on the restart for fourth. Hood’s car was slow to get up to speed and he parked it in the infield on lap 12. Newcomer Mike Silva spun for a lap 16 yellow flag and Benson was now sixth behind Klamorick. Wood dropped out after spinning for a lap 20 yellow flag and some contact racing put third place M Johnson in the pits to change a flat tire. The restart found Petrell crashing to end her night. C Johnson now led Weaver, Cimental, Klamorick and Benson. Perry VanScoy was a late dropout and Benson began to smoke. The final caution came on lap 28 as T McGowan spun and Terry suffered a right front flat. C Johnson stayed in front of invader Weaver for the $1500 prize. Weaver won $1000 for second and Cimental ran third ahead of Klamorick, Benson, R McGowan, M Johnson, James Deide and the busy Denman. Cecil was 10th.
Summary C Main-Bryan Terry, David West, Eric Cimental, Richie McGowan, Ron Schmidt, Rich Denman, William Schrader, Danny Pruitt, Christine Carl, Mike Armitage. B Main-Tina McGowan, Mike Silva, Cimental, Clyde Benson, Nick Bartels, Terry, Denman, James Cecil, R McGowan, Andrea Petrell, Carl, Jeff Fay, Kirk Morgan. A Main-Chad Johnson, Marshall Weaver, Cimental, Tom Klamorick, Benson, R McGowan, Michael Johnson, James Deide, Denman, Cecil, Terry, Melodie Smith, T McGowan, Perry VanScoy, Petrell, Jacky Wood, Silva, Ray Pezzi, Larry Hood, Bartels, Devan Jones, M’Lissa Manzella.
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