Heckman wins twice at Speedway, takes IMCA Modifieds point leadbakersfield
BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle Heckman had two wins and the points lead coming into the IMCA Modified race at Bakersfield Speedway on Saturday night.
One of those wins came when six-time winner Brad Pounds was not on the ground and the other came in a race during which Pounds broke (although Heckman had taken the lead from Pounds before Pound broke.)
Heckman answered those who questioned if he could beat Pounds one-on-one as he pulled away from a spirited duel late in the 25-lap feature for win No. 3 on the third-mile clay oval.
“This was about as heads-up as you can get,” Heckman said. “This thing was a rocket ship. I was able to hug (the bottom) off the exit of turn two and edge up on him every lap and eventually got him.”
Pounds, running the high groove, took the lead on the ninth lap with Heckman — running low — right behind him.
The two ran virtually side-by-side with Heckman edging ahead on the 14th lap. Heckman gained a little each lap and won by a few car lengths.
“It sucks,” Pounds said of finishing as runner-up. “He had a helluva a race car. We had a good car, obviously not as good as him.”
Jay Marks was third, followed by Robby Sawyer and Ryan Daves.
Nick Sylvester led wire-to-wire to win the 25-lap Sport Mod feature for his first win of the season.
Sylvester held Levi Kiefer at bay for 20 laps then pulled ahead to win by about four car lengths.
“I’ve been trying to get up here on this stupid dirt (the raised victory lane) for so long, it’s a big, big win,” Sylvester said. “I’ve got to thank Levi, he ran me clean.”
Kiefer pulled alongside Sylvester a few times, but didn’t quite have enough to get past.
“He was definitely good,” Kiefer said. “I think the only way I could have passed him was to wreck him.”
It was a tight battle for third with Kruz Griffith edging out Jay Marks and Lee Jensen.
Lonnie Welch passed Wayne Coffman with a handful of laps left to win the 20-lap IMCA Super Stock.
Billy Simkins led the first three laps before Coffman, using the high groove, moved to the point. Welch moved into second following a restart on the sixth lap and kept his car down low which eventually paid dividends.
“He had a good run up high, I just had to remain patient,” Welch said.
Coffman wound up second, followed by Simkins, Chad Webber and Tim Randolph.
Rookie Carson Puryear took the lead on the 14th lap and pulled away for his first victory in the 20-lap American Stock feature, becoming the eight different winner in 10 races.
“It’s been rough getting here, but we did it,” said Puryear, who was 12th in points and did not have a top-five finish coming into the race.
Puryear started on the pole and fell in behind Wade Eurto as the two set the pace. Puryear went low in turn four to grab the lead then pulled away to win by a full straightaway.
Dakota Brown came from the ninth starting position to second in a race that ran caution free. Roger Welch was second, followed by Kevin Johnston, Chris Settlemire.