By: Gary Jacob and Don Low|
Where: Oildale, CA
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Oildale, CA -- having lost a prior feature win in the tech area, Jason Wilson won an exciting duel with Kevin Johnson to capture the 20 lap main event for the American Stocks on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway Park. Jaron Parks ran third ahead of Wade Meinke. Jared Schweitzer had flipped in his only previous mini stock event, but he returned to action in a big way as he led all 20 laps from the pole to get the feature win. David Childress ran second and became the new point leader as incoming point leader Roy Duncan lost a wheel after climbing from 12th starting to 2nd. Schweitzer survived a late race challenge from D Childress that saw them go three wide in lapped traffic. Clint Duncan ran third ahead of Lloyd Wren Jr. The Junior Mini Stocks ran their feature after the 40 lap dirt late model race and only manged to get three laps scored in a rash of yellow flags. Third ranked Tyler Johnson got his first feature win with Brian Clark second ahead of Kyle Wood.
The American Stocks split 20 cars into three heat races and Wilson had a perfect night as he won heat 1 from an outside front row start. Pole starter Tom Lowry ran second ahead of sixth starting K Johnson. Mike Waters won heat 2 from the outside front row and Meinke came from fifth to get second over Jess Daigle. Point runnerup Eric Standridge came from sixth to win heat 3 over fellow back row starter and defending champion Jason Bannister. Eric Waters was a feature scratch to leave 19 starters. Daigle started outside front row and paced the first 3 laps. He pitted during a debris caution and Adam Wadkins was out front for the next three laps. Bill Brown broke an axle and Wilson raced into second. K Johnson pushed his Cadillac around Barren Leonberg for third on lap 6 and Wadkins slowed with a flat tire on lap 7 as Wilson and K Johnson took over 1st and 2nd. K Johnson raced inside Wilson for the lead on lap 8 and Leonberg was back to third over Meinke and Parks. Standridge slowed with a right rear flat tire to draw a lap 13 yellow. On the restart, Parks retook the lead from K Johnson. M Waters pitted with a flat tire and Leonberg’s strong run ended as he stalled for a lap 16 yellow. A final yellow tightened the field again on lap 18 and K Johnson made another spirited inside challenge at leader Wilson, but settled for a solid second place finish. Parks got around Meinke on the last lap for third. Meinke ran fourth over Toren Loveless, Bannister, Lowry and Anthony Sly. Bannister increased his point lead to 20 tallies over Standridge and he is 32 in front of Meinke. K Johnson is 54 points out of the lead in fourth and 8 ahead of Loveless.
Twenty five mini stocks were also divided into three heat races. In a new car, Richard Halfenstein won heat 1 from the pole over fellow front row starter D Childress. D Childress was only six points back of R Duncan starting the night. Lance Hilderbrand also returned from an absence to win heat 2 from third starting. Pole starter Schweitzer ran second ahead of R Ducan, who started sixth. Ed Elliott captured heat 3 from fourth starting and defending champion Aaron Stewart ran second from fifth. Outside front row starter Darren Akins ran third. Only 12 cars advanced from the heat action and female stars Tina Wheeler and Lulu Strub ran a race long 1-2 in the 10 lap B Main. Steve Roark ran third over Brian Daves and Mike Pezzi. The 20 lap A Main had 20 starters as outside front row qualifier Ray Gribben pitted during the pace laps and back row starter Billy Winchester did not appear. Schweitzer raced into the lead from the pole with Hilderbrand second on lap 1. Hilderbrand pitted on lap 2 and Elliott raced into second over Halfenstein. Stewart had to pit with a flat on an early caution and D Childress raced from 11th to 3rd in just 4 laps. R Duncan was right behind in fifth as Halfenstein hung onto fourth. Halfenstein threw a wheel for a lap 6 yellow with R Duncan now third ahead of D Childress and C Duncan. Second place Elliott had a flat on lap 8 and new second place R Duncan then threw his wheel for a yellow flag. When racing resumed, Schweitzer now led D Childress, C Duncan, Wren and Junior Valdez. The final 11 laps ran without a yellow. D Childress pulled alongside leader Schweitzer as they finished lap 16 in traffic three wide, but Schweitzer was again able to nose ahead for the win. D Childress now has three seconds to go along with his lone win. C Duncan ran third ahead of Wren, Stewart, Valdez, Wheeler and Strub. With top four ranked Lee Stoops and Steve Ayler both missing, D Childress emerged as the new point leader 18 tallies ahead of R Duncan. Valdez moved up to third, but stands 92 points back of D Childress. Stewart is now fourth, 20 behind Valdez and 12 ahead of C Duncan. 70 different drivers have earned points in this class in 2006.
The Junior Mini Stocks appeared 13 cars strong and ran a pair of heat races. T Johnson had a big night as he won heat 1 from fifth starting over pole starter Emily Allen and sixth starting Steven Johnson. Clark won heat 2 from the pole over fourth starting Teena Childress and outside front row starter Scott Black. Four caution flags ate up the minutes and only three laps were scored in their main event before the track’s 11 o’clock curfew stopped the action. S Johnson led the opening lap over Allen and T Johnson. Brian Childress pitted after spinning and Candace McCulty hit the wall. S Johnson got a flat and Teena Childress threw a wheel. Allen had to pit from third with a flat and Jessica Rhine spun for the race ending caution. T Johnson led from lap 2 as Clark ran second over Kyle Wood, Tracie Childress, Black, Brittany McCulty and Amanda Zenger. Teena Childress saw her point lead cut to 14 tallies by B Childress and she is 20 points ahead of T Johnson. Tracie Childress moved up to fourth, 16 behind T Johnson and 4 ahead of Rhine.
June 24 will be headlined by the USAC Midgets with the Ford Focus Midgets, super street stocks and mini stocks all in action. The $5000 to win, $27,000 Firecracker 50 on July 1 for the Western All Stars dirt late models will run on July 1 with the IMCA Modifieds and Hobby stocks provided the support action that night.
Summary Junior Mini Stock Heat 1-Tyler Johnson, Emily Allen, Steven Johnson, Jessica Rhine, Kyle Wood. Heat 2-Brian Clark, Teena Childress, Scott Black, Brian Childress, Tracie Childress. Main-T Johnson, Clark, K Wood, Tracie Childress, Black, Brittany McCulty, Amanda Zenger, Rhine, S Johnson, Teena Childress, Allen, Candace McCulty, B Childress. Mini Stock Heat 1-Richard Hafenstein, David Childress, Junior Valdez, ray Gribben, Mike Pezzi. Heat 2-Lance Hilderbrand, Jared Schweitzer, Roy Duncan, Lloyd Wren Jr, Tina Wheeler. Heat 3-Ed Elliott, Aaron Stewart, Darren Akins, Clint Duncan, Lulu Strub. B Main-Wheeler, Strub, Steve Roark, Brian Daves, Pezzi, Brian Williford, Johnny Wood, David Escobedo, Billy Winchester, Paul Weeden. A Main-Schweitzer, D Childress, C Duncan, Wren, Stewart, Valdez, Wheeler, Strub, Roark, Pezzi, J Wood, Escobedo, Williford, R Duncan, Elliott, Weeden, Halfenstein, Daves, Darren Akins, Hilderbrand. American Stock Heat 1-Jason Wilson, Tom Lowry, Kevin Johnson, Barren Leonberg, Jaron Parks. Heat 2-Mike Waters, Wade Meinke, Jess Daigle, Jeff Wadkins, Eric Waters. Heat 3-Eric Standridge, Jason Bannister, Bill Brown. Main-Wilson, K Johnson, Parks, Meinke, Toren Loveless, Bannister, Lowry, Anthony Sly, Daigle, Standridge, Mark Hogue, Robert Swearengin, Wadkins, Michelle Leist, Leonberg, M Waters, Shannon Brown, B Brown, Eddie Goodwin.