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Hood dominates first Sport Mod race of 2013

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BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer mgriffith@bakersfield.com

 

Darrell Hood picked up where he left off in 2012. Hood dominated the Sport Mod division last season en route to the championship and he served notice on Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway that he would be just as tough this season. Hood started on the pole and led all 25-laps in a 22-car field to win the first feature of the season at the third-mile clay oval. And he did it mostly on three wheels as his left front-tire was rarely on the ground. “Boy, Terry Henry put a hot rod under me tonight,” Hood said. “I’m going to have to have him calm it down. I’m too old for that. It was a god, good car.” Hood did get passed once, as he bobbled coming off turn turn on the 14th lap. That allowed Nick Spainhoward to get past but a caution flew before Spainhoward completed the lap and the running order was reverted to the last lap completed, Giving the lead back to Hood. Spainhoward never got close enough to challenge the rest of the way. “What can you do?,” Spainhoward said of the caution. “I think this going to be the car to watch in 2013.” Spainhoward finished second, followed by Wayne Dotson, Marvin Leist and Tina McGowan.

 

Brad Pounds avoided a big pile up early in the race and went on to victory in the IMCA Modified feature. It was the second win in as many races this season for Pounds, who won the track championship last season. Pounds started 12th in the 20-car field but was able thread his way around an early accident and gain a ton of track position in the process. Joey Yantis spun in turn two while running second on the eighth lap, resulting in a multi-car wreck that left six cars piled up like cord wood. The trace was stopped briefly to untangle the mess and clear the track. When the race restarted, it took Pounds just two laps to blow past Jeff Streeter and into the lead. Streeter finished second with Troy Morris Jr. third and Michael Johnson fouth.

 

Billy Simkins started on the pole and led all the way en route to victory in the 20-lap Super Street feature. Brady Bell pressured Simkins for the first couple of laps before Tim Randolph applied the pressure for the remainder of the race. “There may have only been eight cars, but these are the fastest eight cars in California,” Simkins said of the small field. “Tim Randolph — no matter how fast you are he’s always going to be there.” Randolph finished right behind Simkins for second with Lee Jensen a close third.

 

Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita led wire-to-wire in a lightning quick 20-lap California Lightning Sprint feature. The feature was caution free and took just a tick over five minutes to run. “This is my favorite track in the country, I come here and I just love this place,” Michnowicz said. “I’ve been coming here since 1980 and it’s still my favorite track.” Brian Corso finished a distant second with Dakota Albright as Michnowicz lapped most of the 20-car field.

 

Jeremy Clark led the final three laps of the 15-lap Sr. Mini Dwarf race to win the first feature of the year. Karson Sylvester had more than a half-lap lead when he spun and lost the lead on the 12th lap. Andrew Orlando was second and Anthony Balcarzar third. Troy Morris III won the 12-lap Junior Mini Dwarf feature.

 

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