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|Fred Ryland Wins John Fore Jr. Memorial At Merced Speedway|| Rate Topic
|Posted: Thursday Sep 14th, 2017 06:41 AM||
Don Martin II
Merced, CA...September 9...Fred Ryland won the $1,500 first prize in the 50 lap John Fore Jr. Memorial Saturday night at Merced Speedway. The race was presented by Bob Smith Truck Repair, and it was the second win of the season for the current Sport Modified point leader. The Sport Modified car count grew to 31 cars for the extra money race that honors John Fore Jr. Fore was a former Top 5 point competitor who died in a work related accident in early 2016.
The track ran time trials with the Top 9 starting positions in the Sport Modified Main Event filled by time. IMCA State point leader Shane DeVolder set quick time of 14.656 to beat the 14.765 lap of F. Ryland. Josh Hensley won the first nine lap heat race ahead of Brian Cooper. Anthony Giuliani won the second heat ahead of Lee Jensen and the third heat was won by Jeremy Hoff in front of Andrew Peckham. The Top 3 heat race finishers earned Main Event starting spots. The Top 4 finishers of the 15 lap B Main earned the final starting spots in the 22 lap feature, and Bakersfield star Michael Johnson won that race ahead of Cody Parker, Patti Ryland, Chris Falkenberg and Tanner Thomas.
DeVolder raced into the early Main Event lead ahead of F. Ryland, but Garrett Jernagen moved by Ryland on lap two to grab second. Phillip Shelby took fourth from Rick Diaz on lap six, and the yellow flag flew on lap 12. DeVolder continued to lead Ryland and Jernagen on the restart. 2016 Fore Memorial winner Clint Reichenbach moved into fourth on lap 25. A low pass in Turn 4 of the 28th lap gained F. Ryland the lead from DeVolder. Jernagen spun from third in Turn 4 on lap 35, and Reichenbach found himself in second on lap 37 when DeVolder spun in Turn 2. F. Ryland ran smooth down the stretch and went on to grab the big victory ahead of Reichenbach, Diaz, Nick Spainhoward, Johnson, Cooper, Hensley, Chase Thomas, Jensen and DeVolder.
Billy Nelson won the 50 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. The win paid $500 to the three time Watsonville champion. The first nine starting positions in the big race were set by time trials, and Nick Lawrence set the fast time of 17.075. Two time champion Bruce "Bubba" Nelson was second quick with a lap of 17.089. Four time Merced champion Raul Rodriguez Sr. won the first heat race ahead of Dexter Long to earn the tenth starting position. Point leader Kodie Dean won the second heat ahead of Watsonville champion Rob Gallaher to earn the 11th starting spot. Gallaher started back in 13th.
The first half of the Hobby Stock Main Event was plagued with yellow flags, and championship contender Garrett Corn dropped out with a broken driveline early on. Bruce Nelson raced into the early lead ahead of Lawrence and Billy Nelson. An inside move on the back stretch of the fifth lap gained Billy Nelson second from Lawrence. Billy Nelson made a high pass in Turn 4 of the eighth lap to take the lead from Bruce Nelson, and the two Nelsons ran close at the head of the pack. Austin Van Hoff took third from Lawrence on lap 10. Bruce Nelson made a low pass in Turn 2 of the 20th lap to take the lead from Billy Nelson as Rodriguez ran a close fourth behind Van Hoff. A low move in Turn 3 of the 21st lap gained Rodriguez third from Van Hoff, and Gallaher grabbed fourth on lap 27. An inside move on the front stretch of the 28th lap regained Billy Nelson the lead as the final 28 laps ran caution flag free. Bruce Nelson had problems and fell out of second on 39, and Billy Nelson now had a straightaway advantage over Rodriguez. Billy Nelson set a blistering pace in scoring the impressive victory ahead of Rodriguez and Gallaher. Van Hoff had a good run in fourth as Kevin Joaquin, Mike Stockton, Wally Kennedy, Kristie Shearer, Kalob Shelton and D.J. Keldsen rounded out the Top 10 in the 24 car field.
Rick Diaz won the 20 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event. Two time IMCA Sport Modified champion Diaz took the wheel of one of the FND Motorsports cars and enjoyed a good battle with Tommy Bostic. Bostic beat Diaz in the six lap heat race, and Bostic raced into the early Main Event lead ahead of Diaz and Raulie Rodriguez. When the second caution flag flew on lap five for Portland, Oregon's Paul Meusling, Diaz made his move. Bostic picked the inside on the restart, but Diaz raced into the lead down the back stretch. Tim Crews took third from Rodriguez. A lap 16 caution flag slowed the pace one last time, but Diaz maintained the lead on the restart and brought it home to victory ahead of Bostic, Crews, Rodriguez, Riley Jeppesen, Meusling and Ian Shearer.
Racing resumes this Saturday night with IMCA Modifieds back in action along with IMCA Sport Modifieds, Mini Stocks and California Sharp Late Models. It will be a double point race for the Mini Stocks. For further information, go to http://www.racemerced.com.
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