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Merced Results And Preview July 12  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Friday Jul 13th, 2018 05:46 AM
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Don Martin II
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IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks
Headline Merced Speedway Race



Merced, CA...After a week off, the IMCA Sport Modifieds and the Hobby Stock division roar back into action at Merced Speedway this Saturday night as part of a four division program. Also competing will be the Valley Sportsman division and the California Sharp Mini Late Models.

With six races in the record books, there are five drivers within 18 points of the point lead in the IMCA Sport Modified division. Jeremy Hoff is one of two drivers with six Top 10 finishes, and he also has four Top 5's to lead the standings by four points over the other driver with all Top 10 finishes, Danny Roe. Hoff, who has an Antioch Speedway championship to his credit, is still looking for his first feature win of the season, and he may need it to maintain his lead.

A look back at third in the standings finds second generation racer Tanner Thomas only seven points out of the lead. Thomas has now won three Main Events out of his four Top 5 finishes and is on a pace that could put him into the point lead soon. Another driver to keep an eye on is one-time winner Bruce Nelson, who is only 10 points out of lead. Point racing is nothing new to Nelson, who has two Hobby Stock championships to his credit. Also in the thick of the battle, 18 points out of the lead, is Chris Falkenberg. These five drivers are anticipated this week along with one-time feature winner Chase Thomas, Tim Elias, Jarrod Mounce, Cody Parker and Kelly Wilkinson.

Shannon Nelson opened the season with six straight Top 5 finishes to take the point lead, but she knew that wins were needed to hold on to that. With five feature wins in eight starts, Kodie Dean has taken over the Hobby Stock point lead by four points ahead of Nelson. Dean has had a phenomenal run as he sets his sights on a second consecutive championship. Holding on to a solid third in the standings is Kristie Shearer, 24 points out of the lead, but 38 ahead of fourth ranked Austin Van Hoff.

Van Hoff has had some bad luck this year, but he's also had his moments with four Top 5 finishes. Still, he only has a two point lead over one time winner Robbie Loquaci in the race for fourth. The Hobby Stock division has had some good battles throughout the pack all season long, and other drivers to watch for this week include 2016 champion Michael Shearer, Mike Gernait, John Hensley, James Stockton and Kalob Shelton.

Four races into the season, the Valley Sportsman division finds Watsonville Speedway Hall of Famer Jerry Cecil leading the standings by just six points over Rick Elliott. Both drivers have all Top 5 finishes, and yet they are still looking for their first wins. Back in third and fourth, you'll find the two drivers who have two wins each to their credit, Chris Birdsong and Chris Falkenberg. Falkenberg has had two opportunities to pilot the 2017 championship car of Jeff Bristow. Recently, another Watsonville Speedway Hall of Famer, Ray Johnson, has joined the action, and he finds himself just six points behind Falkenberg for fourth in the standings. Other drivers on the roster this year include Gary Hildebrand, Jeff Bristow, Eric Seeley, Jeff West and Chris Corder.

Tim Crews has been fairly consistent as a podium finisher in the California Sharp Mini Late Model division. He currently leads the standings and has two feature wins. 10 points behind him in second is one time winner Riley Jeppesen, while Carson Guthrie is within striking range in third, 15 points out of the lead. Because he had two non starts, Jesse James Burks is 77 points out of lead. However, he has won four times this year, including the most recent race. These four along with Ian Shearer are anticipated this week.

Saturday night should be a nice program from start to finish. The IMCA Sport Modifieds are highly competitive as we witness the emergence of some new stars. Hobby Stocks always put on a good show, and the Sportsman and Mini Late Model classes give the fans a nice variety. For further information, go to http://www.racemerced.com.



NASCAR Star Kenny Schrader Wins At Merced Speedway



Merced, CA...July 7...NASCAR star Kenny Schrader made a visit to Merced Speedway and won the 25 lap IMCA Modified Main Event Saturday night. The event was sponsored by VH Fresh, and Schrader put on an impressive performance as he started back in 12th. Jarod Fast led the early laps before Ryan Porter went driving by with an outside pass on the backstretch on lap nine. Schrader was already third by then, and he made an outside pass on the frontstretch a lap later to take over second. The battle was on for the lead, but Porter was doing a great job until he was passed on the inside exiting Turn 2 of the 20th lap. Moments later, Porter spun in Turn 3 for a lap 20 caution flag. Schrader led point leader Darrell Hughes II and Santa Maria visitor Chris Crompe on the restart. For the next 5 laps, Hughes did everything he could to get the lead away from Schrader, but Schrader had the line and capped his impressive drive with the Main Event victory. Crompe was a solid third, followed by Ramie Stone, Troy Stone, DJ Shannon, Fast, Derek Nance, Justin Villanueva and Tim Cecil. Eight lap heat races were won by Ramie Stone, Crompe, Schrader and Shannon.

Jacob Williams won the special 20 lap 600 Micro Sprint Main Event. It was the first visit of the year for the group, and they produced a 16 car field. Blake Parmley led for 13 laps before encountering problems and handing the lead to Sage Bordenave. Williams was in second by then, and he made an inside pass on the backstretch on lap 15 to take the lead. Watsonville Sprint Car point leader Koen Shaw was up to fifth by then, and he made a late charge to the front. Shaw made a Turn 2 pass on Ryan Delisle on lap 19 for second. Williams took the checkered flag just ahead of Shaw. Delisle settled for third, followed by Cody Gray, Cameron Paul, Bordenave, Jimmy Katarzy, Parmley, Kiely Ricardo and Randy Thompson. Eight lap heat race wins went to Bordenave, Parmley and Thomas Lieby.

Shawn DePriest won his first 20 lap Mini Stock Main Event. Kevin Lockerby led a lap in his pickup truck before reigning champion Chris Corder made an inside pass in Turn 2 for the lead. DePriest gained second on a lap three restart and quickly moved in to challenge Corder for the lead. Corder started to catch slower traffic, and he was still leading when a lap 13 caution flag flew. Corder led the restart, but an inside pass on the front stretch on lap 15 put DePriest into the lead. Corder pushed high exiting Turn 2 a lap later, allowing his sister Jennifer Corder to move by to challenge DePriest. Jennifer Corder made an attempt to get by for the lead on the outside as they took the checkered flag, but it was DePriest holding her off for a well-earned victory. After both Corders were disqualified in post-race tech, Allen Neal was elevated to a season best second, followed by Lockerby, Lee Ragsdale, Tyler Jackson, Jason Belton Jr, Kristina Cole, Scott Roehrenbaeck, Joe Terry and Jennifer Rodgers. Eight lap heat races were won by DePriest, Lockerby and Allen Neal.

Jesse James Burks won his fourth 15 lap California Sharp Mini Late Model Main Event. Point leader Tim Crews raced into the early lead ahead of Burks and led for five laps before a caution flag slowed the pace. On the restart, Burks raced around Crews on the outside to gain the lead. Burks led the rest of the way for the win, followed by Crews, Riley Jeppesen, Ian Shearer and Carson Guthrie. Crews picked up the win in the eight lap heat race.

Racing action continues next weekend with the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, California Sharp Mini Late Models and the Valley Sportsman division. For further information, go to http://www.racemerced.com.



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