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 Posted: Friday May 11th, 2018 02:39 AM
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Don Martin II
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BCRA Midget Lites Join Hobby Stocks To Headline Merced Speedway Show Saturday Night



Merced, CA...After an exciting Ted Stofle Classic, Merced Speedway has another great lineup of racing for the fans this Saturday night. The Bay Cities Racing Association Midget Lites will be competing along with the track's regular Hobby Stock, Mini Stock and California Sharp Mini Late Model divisions.

Fans who have seen the BCRA Midget Lites know that they bring the speed every time they come to town. This show should be no different. The group is coming off of their third event of the season at Placerville Speedway last week, which was won by young Bradley Dillard ahead of Scott Kinney and Steve Brown. Dillard is part of a close championship battle with Dakota Albright and Hunter Kinney, and there were just six points separating the three heading into last weekend.

The Midget Lites run a 1200cc engine. Much like the popular Dwarf Car division, these competitors were first seen racing in Northern California on the smaller one-eighth mile ovals, such as Delta Speedway in Stockton. Once they got a taste of bigger tracks, the drivers organized and began running a circuit. Eventually, BCRA, which is the oldest California based sanctioning body, took over sanctioning of the Midget Lites.

Albright and Aidan Lange are the other feature winners so far this season. Other competitors to watch for this week include Hunter Kinney, Terry Bergstrom, Gus Carcione, Brandon Leedy, Danika Jo Parker and Dan Foster.

Reigning Hobby Stock champion Kodie Dean may be hitting his stride, which would be bad news for the rest of the competition. Last week, Dean picked up a win ahead of Ocean Speedway champion Rob Gallaher. However, the consistent Shannon Nelsen has all Top 3 finishes in her four starts to maintain an eight point advantage over Dean going into this race. Nelson picked up another third place finish last week as she is in search of her first Main Event win since 2015.

Robbie Loquaci set the early pace in the most recent race before settling for a fourth place finish. Robbie won the previous race, but some bad luck already this year has him 41 tallies out of the lead. However, it's still early enough in the season that anything can happen. Mike Germait is having a good year so far in fourth, eight points behind Khristie Shearer for third. Other drivers to watch for this week include James Stockton, Austin Van Hoff, John Hensley and 2016 champion Michael Shearer.

The Corder name still sits on top of the Mini Stock point list after three events, but it's Jennifer Corder in the lead. This is because three-time reigning champion Chris Corder had mechanical issues in is heat race and didn't start the most recent Main Event. It was Robert Jackson giving the division a new winner in that race. The point list finds 26 points separating the Top 10 drivers, and anybody has a chance to get a win.

The remarkable news is that the Mini Stock division has seen multiple car counts of over 20 so far as several new drivers have joined the excitement this season. Jennifer Corder only has a one point advantage over Allen Neal and a two point lead over the tied Lee Ragsdale and Bryant Desaire. Tyler Jackson and Jennifer Rogers round out the Top 6, all within eight points of the lead. Only Jennifer Corder is a feature winner among those drivers. It appears that there is change in the air in the Mini Stocks, and it's very likely that we will see some first time winners in the weeks ahead.

As promised at the end of last season, promoter Ed Parker has added a point list for the California Sharp Mini Late Model division. This class is offering a gateway for the Outlaw Kart racers into racing on the bigger track. These Mini Late Models are a smaller-scale version of Late Models with a 600cc engine, and Michael Shearer and FND Motorsports is the official car dealer in California, helping to establish this class.

Tim Crews picked up the season opening victory and followed that up with a second place finish in the most recent event to maintain a four point advantage over Riley Jeppeson and Carson Guthrie. Jepprson was a feature winner last season and is very much in contention to win again this year. The most recent winner was Jesse Burks, but a bad night at the opener has him 39 points out of the lead. Second generation competitor Ian Shearer is only six points out of the lead and another driver hungry for victory.

Merced Speedway is offering a variety of different classes in this weekend's event. We're also about a month away from the big WSDCA Dwarf Car Nationals event, which is scheduled for June 15th and 16th. For further information, go to http://www.racemerced.com.


Stone, Thomas, Dean Win Ted Stofle Classic Main Events At Merced Speedway



Merced, CA...May 5...Paul Stone protected his point lead by winning the IMCA Modified portion of the Ted Stofle Classic Saturday night at Merced Speedway. Ryan Porter led the early laps of the 25 lap race with reigning champion Randy Brown moving past Darrell Hughes II for second on lap nine. The battle up front got heated as the leaders exchanged paint through every corner. Working lap 21, contact from Porter sent Brown spinning. Porter was penalized at that point, giving Paul Stone the lead. Stone led the rest of the race for the victory. Hughes settled for second ahead of Brian Pearce, Ramie Stone, Justin Villanueva, Jeff Streeter, Ricky Thatcher, Troy Stone, Harley Turner and Tim Cecil. Eight lap heat race wins went to Brown, Troy Stone and Hughes.

Tanner Thomas bested the 23 car field to win his second 25 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event. Thomas started on the pole, but he still had to contend with Jeremy Hoff's constant pressure throughout the race. Thomas was just a little quicker as he took the checkered flag ahead of Hoff. Ryan Bledsaw finished third ahead of Jarrod Mounce, TJ Etchison III, Chase Thomas, Mark Odgers, Kelly Wilkinson, Danny Roe and Chris Falkenberg. Chase Thomas, Hoff, Mounce and Bledsaw each won eight lap heat races.

Reigning champion Kodie Dean won the 25 lap Hobby Stock Main Event. Robbie Loquaci led the first six laps before Dean made a Turn 4 pass to take the lead. Reigning Watsonville champion Rob Gallaher quickly moved into second. Dean ran smooth down the stretch for a well-earned victory. Gallaher had a good battle with point leader Shannon Nelson before finishing second as Nelson placed third. Loquaci settled for fourth ahead of Austin Van Hoff, Michael Shearer, Thomas Suarez, Kristie Shearer, Joe Gallaher and Cody Smiley. Dean, Van Hoff and Shearer each won eight lap heat races.

Eight vintage race cars from the California Hardtop Association made an appearance and ran a 15 lap Main Event. Wet conditions from the freshly watered track resulted in mayhem at the start. Dave Reed spun and was hit hard by Ken Clifford in Turn 1, doing severe damage to the Clifford mount. Jason Armstrong joined Clifford and Reed in the pits, and Dave Mackey jumped out to the lead on the restart. After starting back in the fourth row, Ron Ruiz raced past Joe Shenefield for second. Mackey pitted from the lead on lap eight, putting Ruiz in front. Ruiz led the rest of the way to win ahead of Roger MacShain, Shenefield and Dennis Armstrong.

Jesse Burks use his pole position start to collect the victory in the 14 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event. Burks won the race ahead of previous winner Tim Crews. Riley Jeppesen settled for third ahead of Ian Shearer and Carson Guthrie. Burks also won the eight lap heat race.

Racing resumes next Saturday night with BCRA Midget Lites making an appearance along with Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and California Sharp Mini Late Models. For further information, go to http://www.racemerced.com.

Last edited on Friday May 11th, 2018 02:40 AM by Don Martin II



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