Holder runs away for IMCA win
BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer email@example.com
Roger Holder was hooked up Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway. And that left the rest of the the rest of the IMCA Modified competitors in his dust. Holder had the perfect set up for the dry/slick third-mile clay oval and was nearly a third of a lap ahead of second-place finisher Joey Yantis at the end of the 25-lap feature. “It was all bent up (after a heat race incident),” Holder said of his car, “but we got after it and it was ready to go. This is my first win.” Those chasing Holder knew they stood little chance. “I have to congratulate Roger on his first win,” Yantis said. “I had nothing for him.” Kyle Heckman finished third and pretty much said the same thing. “Holder absolutely waxed us tonight,” he said. Larry Hood finished fourth with Brad Pounds fifth. Holder is the third different winner through the first four races.
Tyler Johnson avoid the early mayhem and went on to victory in the Hobby Stock feature, becoming the fourth different feature winner in as many outings. There were seven cautions in the first nine laps, but by the time the seventh caution fell, Johnson was at the front of the pack. And he didn’t even have to make a pass for the lead. His brother, Chad Johnson, led laps seven and eight, but went off the track with mechanical problems while under caution on the eighth lap. “I was hoping to get to race my brother, but it worked out in the end,” Tyler Johnson said of his victory. The final 11 laps were much cleaner (just one caution) and Tyler Johnson was a full straightaway ahead of runner-up Dylan Hager at the finish. Mike Bulley, who led a couple of early laps, finished third with David Childress fourth.
School often conflicts with his racing, but Jake Vermeer was on top of his game in his 2013 American Stock debut as he led the final nine laps en route to victory. Vermeer is attending school in Walla Walla, Wash, to become a certified John Deere tractor mechanic and was back in town for a break before heading back for his final few months. Kevin Johnston led the first nine laps before being spun, which allowed Teena Childress to take the led. Childress held the point for two laps before Vermeer blew past and proceeded to pull away from the field. Mike Hill Jr. finished second, followed by Childress, Scott Cason and point leader Marcus Wankum.
Michael Black of Taft led wire-to-wire to win the 20-lap NMRA Three-Quarter Midget feature. Black was pressured the the final third of the race, first by Chuck West, who tired several times to get by on the high side but could not, then by West Evans. “It’s my home track, I like it a lot and it was a good track tonight,” said Black, who stayed glued to the bottom for the entire race. Evans finished second with West third.
Fourteen-year old Parker Colston held off a last-lap challenge from veteran Wally Pankratz in the USAC Ignite Midget 20-lap feature. “It’s so fast, so fun,” Colston said of racing at Bakersfield Speedway. “I look forward to it every single time.” Doug Nunes raced to victory in the 20-lap California Lightning Sprint feature. Bobby Michnowicz finished second with Craig Dillard third.