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|Merced Results And Preview July 19|| Rate Topic
|Posted: Friday Jul 20th, 2018 02:02 AM||
Don Martin II
IMCA Modified Classes Headline Four Division Show At Merced Speedway
Merced, CA...Merced Speedway will be offering the fans their classic lineup this Saturday night. The IMCA Modifieds are back In action along with the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks. The track will be going on summer break for a couple of weeks, so this event, sponsored by D&L Pump Service of Merced, will be your last opportunity to see some racing at the Merced Fairgrounds oval until Legends Night on August 11th.
Though he wasn't quite fast enough to overtake Kenny Schrader last time out, Darrell Hughes II had a nice charge from the back of the pack to a second-place finish. That finish moved him 19 points ahead of Brian Pearce in the IMCA Modified point battle. Hughes, who is a third-generation racer, counts one victory among his five Top 5 finishes. He's in the midst of his best season yet, and though the team isn't picking a spot for that championship trophy on their mantle place just yet, they are beginning to feel pretty good about their chances.
With Ramie Stone in the field, it's always best not to get too confident. The Big Dog is a feature winner this year and a four-time champion in this class through the years. He trails Pearce by 12 points in the race for second. Ramie's brother Troy Stone is tied with cousin Paul Stone for fifth in the standings. He has one Top 5 finish so far, but he's looking to get back into the Winner's Circle. Ryan Porter is somebody who always makes a good challenge as he searches for his first win of the season. Other drivers to watch for this week include Derek Nance, Justin Villanueva, Jeff Streeter, Ricky Thatcher, Tim Cecil and Jarrod Fast.
The championship battle in the IMCA Sport Modified division is just a little bit closer. As of this writing, we haven't seen the latest point list, but it's likely that Danny Roe used his Top 5 finish at the recent race to overtake Jeremy Hoff for the point lead. When points are added up, there should still only be less than 20 points separating Roe from Hoff, Tanner Thomas, Bubba Nelson and Chris Falkenberg. Nelson and Falkenberg also looked good last time out with their Top 5 finishes behind winner Kelly Wilkinson. Wilkinson makes five different winners so far this season.
Rising young star Tanner Thomas is the only multi-time winner at this stage of the season with three victories. His most recent start still resulted in a Top 10 finish, though not as high as he would have liked. The second generation racer is keeping the pressure on Roe and Hoff. Tanner's brother Chase Thomas is also a one-time winner this year. He will be going for another win, and other drivers to keep an eye on include Tim Elias, Cody Parker, Chuck Weir, Jarrod Mounce and Mark Odgers. Parker looked good last week before mechanical issues sent him to the pits.
The pressure is on Shannon Nelson to put the F&D Motorsports #4b car into the Winner's Circle this week. Though she is still within 5 points of reigning champion Kodie Dean, Shannon knows that she will have to start winning some races. She and Dean both have seven Top 5 finishes, but Dean has won six of the 9 Main Events held so far. Nelson hasn't scored a feature wins since 2015, but she's running well enough to get the job done this season.
Another driver on a quest for her first win since 2015 is Kristie Shearer. Shearer is a solid third in the standings, but only has one Top 5 finish so far. Austin Van Hoff, meanwhile, drove to a third place finish after a spirited duel with Donnie Shearer last time out. Though still looking for his first win this year, Austin has a slim two point lead over one time-winner Robbie Loquaci in the race for fourth. Other drivers to watch for this week include Michael Shearer, Mike Germait, John Hensley, James Stockton, Kalob Shelton and Cody Smiley.
There's a change taking place in the Mini Stock division. Three-time reigning champion Chris Corder has walked away from the division following a tech disqualification last time out. Sister Jennifer Corder, however, still is in the hunt her first championship despite being disqualified that night as well. The consistent Allen Neal holds a slim eight point lead over Lee Ragsdale. Both drivers have four Top 5 finishes in six starts. Tyler Jackson is 21 points back in third in a closer battle with Jennifer Rodgers and Jennifer Corder. The two ladies are within 10 points of Jackson, and all Top 5 drivers are still looking for their first wins this season.
Shawn DePriest recorded his first win of the season last time out. It had to be satisfying for him as both Corders were chasing him. Robert Jackson counts himself as a two-time winner this year and is also among the Top 10 drivers. Lucy Falkenberg and Devin Bolton are among the other drivers to watch for this week. Word out of the Fresno area is that Central Valley Mini Stock competitor Dan Myrick is planning to come challenge the Merced racers as his group gets ready for a big show on Sunday at Lemoore. It's also possible that a few more drivers from his group will be at Merced.
The Saturday night lineup will be good from top to bottom and is sure to leave the fans wanting more as they head into the two-week break. For further information, go to http://www.racemerced.com.
Wilkinson Wins, Dean Continues To Roll At Merced Speedway
Merced, CA...July 14...Kelly Wilkinson won the 25 lap IMCA Sport Modified Main Event Saturday night at Merced Speedway. It was the first win of the season for Wilkinson. Cody Parker had the pole for the feature and raced into the lead at the green flag. Wilkinson settled into second ahead of Bruce Nelson. On the eighth lap, Wilkinson made a Turn 2 pass on Parker to gain the lead, and Nelson raced by Parker for second in Turn 4. Nelson was providing pressure for Wilkinson until the final caution flag waved on lap 20. On the restart, Wilkinson pulled ahead just a bit as Nelson was in a close three-car battle for second with Chris Falkenberg and Mark Odgers. Wilkinson took the checkered flag a few car lengths ahead of Nelson. Falkenberg was third, followed by Danny Roe, Nick Tucker, Jarrod Mounce, Austin Williams, Chase Thomas, Odgers and Tanner Thomas. Eight lap heat race wins went to Falkenberg, Wilkinson and Nelson.
Point leader Kodie Dean continues to roll as he won his sixth 25 lap Hobby Stock Main Event of the season. Dean had the pole for the Main Event and raced into the lead from the start, followed closely by championship rival Shannon Nelson. The lead duo ran closely throughout the race, leaving the battle for third. Donnie Shearer held the spot in the waning laps, but he pushed high in Turn 4 on lap 22, which allowed to Austin Van Hoff to race underneath for the third place finish. Donnie Shearer settled for fourth, followed by Michael Shearer, Kristie Shearer, Kalob Shelton, Brad Myers, John Hensley and Breanna Troen. Shannon Nelson, Michael Shearer and Kodie Dean each won eight lap heat races.
Chris Birdsong piloted the Jeff Bristow car to victory in the 15 lap Sportsman Main Event. This is the third win for the Bristow car as Chris Falkenberg has won with it twice. Birdsong charged into the lead at the start of the non-stop race and proceeded to pull away by half a lap, leaving the battle for second. Eric Seeley charged past Chris Delfs on lap two to gain second with point leader Jerry Cecil following closely into third. Birdsong went on to win his third Main Event of the season, followed by Seely, Cecil, Delfs, Mike Friesen, Rick Elliot and Jeff West. Delfs scored the victory in the eight lap heat race.
Jesse James Burks won his fifth California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event of the season. He charged into lead from the start and led the entire distance with point leader Timmy Crews in close pursuit in second. Carson Guthrie and Ian Shearer rounded out the field. Guthrie scored his first eight lap heat race win of the season. For further information, go to http://www.racemerced.com.
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