Hill gets first win of 2017 in Hobby Stockbakersfield
There was no catching Mike Hill Jr. on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway.
Hill took the lead early in the 25-lap Hobby Stock feature and pulled out to a huge lead before late-race cautions reeled him back.
Those cautions only delayed Hill’s march to victory as he easily pulled away on the restarts, the last coming two laps from the finish.
Hill was taking the checkered flag while second-place finisher Don Mead was in turn four. Trevor Baker finished third.
“We did a lot of work on the car over the winter and it didn’t work out too well in the first race,” said Hill, the defending track champion. “We went back to the drawing board and I think we have it pretty well dialed in.”
Robby Sawyer of Bakersfield bested the 21 car field of IMCA Modifieds. Rod Sanders finished second followed by Brad Pounds and Cody Laney.
Tyler Johnson started on the outside of the front row and led all 20 laps to win the American Stock feature.
Johnson was the class of the field as no one could keep pace. There was a restart midway through the race and Johnson had a full straightaway lead within five laps.
Miranda Scott was second with Clay Waters third.
The race had quite a wild moment on lap seven as Doug Woodward came off turn four sideways, overcorrected, then had his car snap back to the left, nailing the rear of first-week winner Cody Johnson’s car, shearing the right rear tire and wheel off. The tire came to rest in the racing groove and Brody Schweitzer hit it, causing his car to do a wheelie and causing enough damage to end his night.
Justin Crockett raced to victory in the 20-lap Pro Stock feature.
Crockett inherited the lead 14 laps into the race when Brady Bell, who had led from the outset, suddenly slowed in turns one and two before leaving the track. Crockett was challenging Bell for the lead when Bell broke.
“I’ve been racing here a long time and I’ve never won at Bakersfield Speedway,” Crockett said. “It has some of the best competition and die-hard fans, I wish my home track (Santa Maria Speedway) was like this.”
Billy Simkins came from the rear of the field to finish second, followed by Doug Thornton and Jerry Stewart.
It was a wild finish to the 20-lap Mini Stock feature as the action continued after the checkered flag.
Misty Warren and a hard-charging Steve Roark crossed the finish line in a near dead heat with Warren being declared the winner. The two continued to circle the track a good clip, touched in turn three and Roark’s car sailed high into the air, flipped and barrel rolled before coming down on its side in turn four. Roark climbed out unhurt.
“The race was over, the next thing I knew we had impact and he was flying,” Warren said.
Warren took the lead on the sixth lap and led the rest of the way though she was pushed hard by Jacob Shepherd. Roark went from third to a near-win on the final lap. Shepherd was third.