By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Perris, CA
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Perris, CA -- Having started the night just 21 points back of point leading rookie Chad Jones, veteran Jeff Dunham gained the lead late when Ron Meyer broke a driveline and raced to a $490 win in the 20 lap feature for the Art’s Concrete Pumping sponsored XTRA Topless Dirt Late Models Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway. It was the second 2006 win for the division rookie, who races a Rayburn owned by and using engines built by Bobby Goodwin. It was a big night for Dunham as he turned in quick time and ran second to Mike Hixson in heat 1. Teenaged rookie Nick Bartels will also move up in the standings following his $280 second place run. He had earlier won a heat race in his Rayburn. He ran here while the remainder of his family, grandfather Bill, father Ron and uncle Scott were all racing in the Western All Stars race at Bakersfield. Recent feature winner Carla Laney was a $175 third and Jones will protect his point lead following a fourth place run. Bill Bartels was tied for second in track points with Art Peterson, 16 points behind Jones, starting the night but elected to support the Western All Stars action at Bakersfield. Peterson was the first car out of tonight’s feature.
Dunham was quickest of 13 topless dirt late models with a 19.07 qualifying run. Meyer ran 19.30 and Peterson posted a 19.36. Laney was fourth at 19.47 and Jones ran a 19.58. Terry Hershberger returned to Perris action, but broke in hot laps and Russ Wernimont was unable to race after sufering an off road truck injury during the week. The heat races are completely inverted off the timed runs and Hixson got the first heat win over Dunham, Peterson, Mark Anderson and Jones. Rapidly improving N Bartels won heat 2 over Laney, Meyer and Doug Aldridge. Meyer dominated the feature action until he dropped his driveline on lap 16. Dunham inherited the lead and raced to his second win on the clay half-mile. Peterson went out on lap 7 and Laney traded second in the closing rounds with N Bartels before settling for a third behind her teammate. Jones ran fourth over Kevin Hocking, Hixson, Anderson and Aldridge.
The XTRA Topless Late Models return to Perris on July 8 and have a special $1500 to win, 30 lapper on July 15.
Summary Fast Time-Jeff Dunham 19.07 Heat 1-Mike Hixson, Dunham, Art Peterson, Mark Anderson, Chad Jones, Virgil Haney. Heat 2-Nick Bartels, Carla Laney, Ron Meyer, Doug Aldridge, Kevin Hocking. Main-Dunham, Bartels, Laney, Jones, Hocking, Hixson, Anderson, Aldridge, Meyer, Haney, Peterson.