Baker picks up first Hobby Stock winbakersfield
Tate Loftis crossed the finish line first, sideways and in the infield, but he was not the winner of a wild 25-lap Hobby Stock feature on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway.
Trevor Baker, who was pushing Loftis’ car as the pair finished the race, was declared the winner as Loftis was disqualified for rough driving.
Baker dove low in turn four and had the lead as the two headed to the white flag. Baker then moved to the preferred high line and Loftis drove hard into turn four on the final lap, drifted up and hit Baker as they exited the corner. Baker’s car turned to the left, his nose into the passenger door panel of Loftis’ car.
Both drivers stayed on the gas as they drifted below the racing line at the finish.
“It was a good race,” Baker said. “Me and Tate battled right there at the end. I passed him, he passed me coming to three and our. He tapped me, got me sideways, I was already losing it when he drifted up the track. You saw what happened.
“Sorry to Tate. Me and him are buddies I don’t know what happened. A win’s a win. I’ll take it.”
It was the first win of the season for Baker, who is the points leader.
Loftis, who led the first 23 laps, was looking for his second win.
Jayden Schweitzer was second, Marcus Wankum third and Johnny Wood fourth.
In the IMCA Modified feature, Ethan Dotson came away with his third victory after prevailing in a late-race battle with Roger Holder.
Holder started on the pole and had a sizeable lead when a caution bunched the field 17 laps in the 30-lapper. That set up a torrid battle for the top five spots over the remainder of the race.
Dotson went low in turn two to take the lead with five laps to go.
If that wasn’t fun for you guys I don’t know what else would be,” Dotson said from victory lane. “ It was a lot of fun from where I was sitting.”
Holder finished second, followed by Robby Sawyer and Scott Pounds.
“It was fun,” Holder said. “Starting up front, I knew they were coming and I couldn’t make any mistakes. Soon as I did Ethan went right by me.”
Doug Thornton of Santa Maria took the lead early and ran uncontested to victory in the 20-lap Pro Mod feature.
It was his first-ever win at the track.
I’ve been trying since 1992 to get a win here,” said a very happy Thornton. “It felt like a slot car out there.”
Justin Crockett was second and Chris Smith third.
Tyler Johnson led all but two laps en route to his third victory in American Stock action.
Johnson took the lead from his nephew Nicholas Johnson on the second lap. His other nephew, Cody Johnson, led the 12th lap by inches but Tyler Johnson had the lead back on the next circuit and kept it for the rest of the 20-lap feature.
“It’s tough racing hard with them,” Johnson said of battling with his nephews. “We don’t give each other any ground. It’s a lot of fun.”
Brandon Ratcliff finished second with Dakota Brown third. Six-time series champ Chuck West took the lead with nine to go and led the rest of the way to win the 20-lap NMRA Three-Quarter Midget feature.
West’s break came on lap 10 when a caution flew and brought leader Chris Thomas back to the pack. West got by Thomas for the lead a lap after the restart. Thomas finished second with West Evans third.