By: Gary Jacob and Jim Jordan|
Where: Merced, CA
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Merced, CA --
Forced to quickly re-assemble his Larkins Chassis from last year when he received an offer that he couldn't refuse for his newer creation after last week's Merced win, Mike Johnson from Clovis cruised from 9th starting to the lead in 8 laps and won the 25 lap main for the IMCA Modifieds for his 15th win of the 2000 season. In June alone, he had six wins and two seconds in 8 starts. Former track champion Tim Etchison Jr was second for the fourth time in the last five races. Ramie Stone won the double point 30 lapper for the street stocks and stretched his point lead to 59 points. John Clarke's 2nd place run moves him past Monty Tomlinson into second in points. Bob Terry had a clean sweep in the Little Truck action as he posted fast time, won the dash, heat and feature. Kurtis Moore from Sacramento was the main event winner in the Pure Stocks. Chowchilla Speedway hobby stock point leader Red Williams was allowed to compete, but he was running a four barrel carburetor and his results were not recorded. He did win the dash with second place runs in both the heat and feature. The Mini Outlaws again returned and it was again Dan Bergen from Clovis with a perfect night that included fast time and wins in the dash and feature.
There were 11 IMCA Modifieds in action and Johnson had run second at Chowchilla the previous night in the return of his older mount. In the heat action, Johnson suffered heavy damage and dropped out with Bob Williamson and point leader Jack Stanford taking the heat wins. His mini sprint schedule has kept Steven Williams away from his home town track, but the son of former NASCAR regional champion Doug Williams returned with a dash win. In the 25 lap main, Williamson and Williams tangled early and Williamson had to pit with a flat tire. Early race leaders included Raymond Casey, Marcus Aue and Bruce Trindade, but Johnson's ability to hold onto the bottom line had him in the lead by lap 8. Etchison started one row in front of Johnson in the lineup and was the only car that could keep pace with the former Santa Maria Speedway track regular. Etchison ran second ahead of Troy Stone, Duane Fast, Aue, Williamson, Casey and Trindade.
There were 8 street stocks on hand and Stone was the fastest in time trials with his 19.340 lap on the 1/3 mile clay oval. Monty Tomlinson ran 19.565 and Danny Baldridge Jr was the final 19 second car at 19.973. Baldridge won the dash and there were no heat races. It was Baldridge's 7th dash win of 2000 at the track. Darcie Odgers and George Leffler shared the front row for the double point 30 lapper. Leffler and Odgers tangled to force a restart and Paula Smith paced the first 3 laps before Tomlinson took over. Stone quickly caught and passed Tomlinson for the lead just before Tomlinson broke. Clarke finished second ahead of Baldridge, Leffler and Smith. There were only four Little Trucks on hand and Altamont Raceway Park regular Dick Carter trailered after time trials. Terry was fastest at 20.693 compared to the 21.103 of defending track champion Kevin Lockerby. Terry beat Brian Hughes in both the dash and heat, but it was Lockerby second ahead of Hughes in the main event.
While Williams wasn't being scored, he was certainly a big part of the pure stock action. Mike Blurton won one heat and Williams finished right behind Wes Hogan in the other. Williams was first to the checkered flag in the dash, but the win was awarded to Mike Hamilton. Moore won his fourth main event and announced that he was given an IMCA Modified as a present for his 31st birthday. Williams ran second in the main, but again was not scored with point leader Hogan the official second ahead of Robin Fast, Aaron Widick, Jeff Casey and Hamilton.
The mini outlaws brought 7 entries, but fourth fast Rich Earnest broke in the dash to end his night. Bergen was again easily the quickest with a 16.175 lap compared to the 16.618 of Cypress long tow Steve VanZant. Ron Ward was the only car in the 17's at 17.952. Bergen and VanZant were 1-2 in the dash with Ed Thompson the heat winner. In the main, it was again Bergen and VanZant 1-2 ahead of Ward, Jeff Craig, Sheryl Earnest and Thompson.
Summary Mini Outlaw Fast Time-Dan Bergen 16.175 Dash-Bergen, Steven VanZant, Ron Ward. Heat-Ed Thompson, Sheryl Earnest, Jeff Craig. Main-Bergen, VanZant, Ward, Craig, S Earnest, Thompson. Pure Stock Dash-Mike Hamilton, Wes Hogan, Mike Blurton. Heat 1-Blurton, Hamilton, Kurtis Moore, Jeff Casey. Heat 2-Hogan, Aaron Widick, Robin Fast. Main-Moore, Hogan, Fast, Widick, Casey, Hamilton. Little Truck Fast Time-Bob Terry 20.693 Dash-Terry, Brian Hughes, Kevin Lockerby. Heat-Terry, Hughes, Lockerby. Main-Terry, Lockerby, Hughes. Street Stock Fast Time-Ramie Stone 19.340 Dash-Danny Baldridge Jr, Stone, Monty Tomlinson. Main-Stone, John Clarke, Baldridge, George Leffler, Paula Smith, Richard Barcellos, Darcie Odgers, Tomlinson. IMCA Modified Dash-Steven Williams, Bruce Trindade, Troy Stone. Heat 1-Bob Williamson, Williams, Trindade, Tim Etchison Jr, Duane Fast. Heat 2-Jack Stanford, Marcus Aue, T Stone, Raymond Casey, Mike Johnson. Main-Johnson, Etchison, Stone, Fast, Aue, Williamson, Casey, Trindade, Stanford, Robert Marsh, Williams.