Johnson Repeats in Hobby Stocks at Speedwaybakersfield
BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian
Steven Johnson climbed out of his car and pumped his fist in the air, thrilled to be in Victory Lane.
Johnson became the Hobby Stock division’s first repeat feature race winner of the year with a dramatic victory Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway.
Johnson, the Hobby Stock points leader coming into the night, out-dueled Rick Childress Jr. over the closing laps of the 25-lap event to take the caution-filled race.
“That was a fun race,” Johnson said. “A tough one as well.”
Wood led the first 18 laps on the third-mile clay oval before getting loose and passed by both Childress and Johnson at the same time on lap 19.
After that Childress and Johnson battled each other up front until the conclusion of the race.
Wood and Kevin Irwin both slipped by Childress on the last lap to finish second and third respectively. Aaron Stewart finished fifth.
Dakota Brown went from worst to first to take the 20-lap American Stock feature.
Brown started dead last in the 13-car field but was first to take the checkered flag.
After moving up to third place on lap 11, he lmuscled inside of Traci Childress for the lead with three laps remaining and never looked back.
“It’s been forever since I’ve been in Victory Lane,” Brown said after his first win of the year.
Childress finished second followed by Brian Childress, Roger Waters, and Roger Welch.
Johnny Wood led the first three laps before pulling over onto the apron on the backstretch, allowing Welch to take over the point.
Welch ran up front for 10 circuits until his hood popped up causing him to be unable too see out of his front windshield.
That allowed Traci Childress to begin her three-lap run at the front of the field.
Pole-sitter Tyler Irwin spun out in the apex of turns three and four during the first lap of the race, causing a six-car pileup.
Irwin’s car, which had to be towed off the track, was the only one that suffered serious damage.
Cheyenne Flippo rallied from last position on the starting grid to win the 15-lap Senior Mini Dwarf A-main event.
Flippo’s older brother Jerry Flippo led most of the race but was hit from behind by Jeremy Clark and spun out heading to the checkered flag.
Clark was first to the finish line but was penalized for his actions and Cheynne Flippo, who came across second, was awarded the victory.
Ryley Millard took second place. Sunnie Simkins finished third. J.D. Brown was fourth and
Anthony Balcazar, winner of the division’s first two feature races of the year ended up in fifth.
Kabe McClenny dominated the 12-lap Junior Mini Dwarf feature. The two-time defending track champion led from wire-to-wire in winning for the second time in three A-main events this year.
Mason Ratcliff made a late charge at McClenny and finished second.
Jakob Carey, the division points-leader coming into the night, was third followed by Madison Meyers and Kercia Jung.