By: Gary Jacob and Don Low|
Where: Bakersfield, CA
Search by Keywords|
Search by Track
Search by Date
Bakersfield, CA --
Using an exciting inside move in turn 2 on lap 16 to take the lead from Porterville's Charles Paul, Alan Updyke from Tustin won the 20 lap IMCA Modified main event at Bakersfield Speedway Park Saturday night. Updyke wheels a Dirt Works Chassis and was the 1999 UMP Modified track champion at Yuma Speedway Park. His win pulled him within one point of opening night winner Mike Corwin in the early season point race at Bakersfield. Corwin finished third behind Wayne Coffman in the 20 lapper as Paul dropped out with overheating woes after getting passed by Updyke. The modifieds raced in conjunction with a USAC Western States Midget and TQ Midget show. Washington's Kasey Kahne won the midget feature in the Dino Tomassi car after gaining the lead late in the action when Jimmy Sills broke in the Calderwood car.
The modifieds had a 16 car field and they were split into two heats. Updyke lined up sixth in the first heat and raced to the win ahead of 4th starter Rick Jenkins and outside front row starter Bill Gates. Paul started on the pole in the second heat and won with 4th starter Dave Sweet second ahead of Gary Dutton. Steve Smothermon missed the heat action, but had his car ready for the 20 lap main. Both Dutton and George Scott were feature scratches.
The lineup for the 20 lapper was set using the IMCA standard point averages system and that put Paul and Matt Brock on the front row with Updyke 7th, Corwin 9th and both Coffman and Smothermon in row 6. Paul raced into the lead over Sweet and Updyke, but Updyke was able to get underneath Sweet for 2nd on lap 4. Corwin took fourth from Gates on lap 4. Updyke was working the inside groove in an attempt to take the lead from Paul when debris forced the first caution flag on lap 8. Buck Cox pitted during the yellow and tagged the field for the restart. Corwin was able to take third from Sweet on lap 9 and Coffman gained fourth a lap later. Updyke's inside groove attempts to pass Paul continued to fail to net the desired result, but he made his winning move on lap 16. Updyke charged into turn 1 in the high groove, then turned hard to the left and dove underneath Paul in turn 2 to snatch the lead. A lap later, Paul pulled into the infield with his overheated mount and Coffman got around Corwin for 2nd on lap 17. Smothermon made a late charge taking fourth from Sweet on lap 18. The race had a lap 19 yellow flag when Kenneth Cleveland hit the wall. Updyke won the one lap shootout with Coffman for the win with Corwin third ahead of Smothermon, Sweet, Alpine CA visitor Jeff Schildmeyer, Gates and Chris Mendenhall.
There was a very scary moment during the night when one of the two pit area grandstands off turn 2 collapsed as the cars were being lined up for the USAC Midget B Main. Several spectators suffered minor injuries, but no major injuries were reported.
Summary Heat 1-Alan Updyke, Rick Jenkins, Bill Gates, Jeff Schildmeyer, Matt Brock. Heat 2-Charles Paul, Dave Sweet, Gary Dutton, Buck Cox, Mike Corwin. Main-Updyke, Wayne Coffman, Corwin, Steve Smothermon, Sweet, Schildmeyer, Gates, Chris Mendenhall, Kenneth Cleveland, Jim Keister, Brock, Buck Cox, Paul, Jenkins
InsideGroove Latest Reports | InsideGroove Archives