Pounds gets 100th IMCA feature win
BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian
Brad Pounds doesn’t win every IMCA Modified race at Bakersfield Speedway. It only seems that way. Pounds, nicknamed “The Dominator” collected his 100th career feature win in a IMCA Modified on Saturday night. “It’s something to be proud of, that’s for sure,” Pounds said. “I”m pretty pumped right now. Hopefully we carry on tomorrow night and get another one.” Holder led the first 18 laps. He was more than 10 car lengths ahead of Pounds when a caution came out on lap No. 13. But after hounding Holder for several laps, Pounds got the opening he needed. Holder got loose coming out of turn four opening the door to pass him. “I didn’t really know what to do,” Pounds said. “Roger’s stuff was pretty darn good. We got the yellow there and I thought I had a good shot at him. I tried rolling on the outside and really couldn’t make it happen. So I decided to dog him into making a mistake and I was there to capitalize.” Holder held on to take second. Larry Hood was third followed by Cody Laney and Troy Morris Jr.
Lonnie Welch of Bakersfield dominated the 20-lap IMCA Super Street Stock main event. Welch powered to the lead on the race’s second lap and never looked back, taking the checkered flag by about 25 car lengths. Clay Daly was second followed by Billy Simkins, Johnny Bedingfield Jr. and Brady Bell. “I forgot where (Victory Lane) was,’ Welch said “It’s been so long since I’ve been here. We finally got one.”
Lee Jensen won a caution-filled 25-lap IMCA Sports Mod feature. There was a scary incident on lap No. 6 when John Blackford of Santa Maria tried to exit the track in a hurry and the rear of his car clipped the wall leading to the pits, causing his car to spin. Fortunately Blackford was OK. Levi Kiefer led 18 laps and appeared to be poised to take the victory before spinning out after contact with Kyle Griffith with five laps to go. The incident allowed Jensen, who was running third at the time, to take over the lead. Kiefer dominated the early going. John Piker made attempt to pass Kiefer on with eight laps to go but lost control as the two got side-by-side in turn three. There were six cautions during the first 11 laps and 10 overall. Ethan Dotson made a last-lap pass of Tina McGowan for second place. Brenda Kirby was fourth and Kruz Griffith finished fifth. “I think I had a really good car,” Jensen, the division’s points leader, said. “You just weren’t going to make any big moves real fast on this track. I hung in there, picked them off one at a time…I feel bad for Levi. He had a good car. I still thought we were a little bit better but we didn’t get to see because he got taken out,”
Bobby Michnowicz of Lomita cruised to an easy victory in the 20-lap California Lightning Sprint main event. Michnowicz passed Bradley Dillard for the lead with 14 laps remaining en route to winning the race by nearly half a lap. “We don’t have rearview mirrors on these things so I didn’t know if anyone was close or not,” Michnowicz said. “So I just kept running hard. We decided to get aggressive with the setup and it was so aggressive that I could hardly drive it the thing, but it was good enough.” Jeff Dyer, an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army, took second. Brian Corso was third. Dillard finished fourth and Damon Arnett came home in fifth. Michnowicz won the series’ previous race a week earlier at Perris Auto Speedway. Dakota Albright, who won the first California Lightning Sprint race of the year at Bakersfield Speedway, rolled his car on the fifth lap of the race but was able to continue.
Doug Shepherd became the first driver to win back-to-back Mini Stock feature races this year. Shepherd took the lead from Steven Settlemire on lap five of the 20-lap event and then held off Tina Bell and four other drivers during a green-white-checkered finish. “Where was she?” Shepherd said of Bell. “I don’t know.” Bell was second followed by Gary Spiller Jr., Roy Maynard Jr., and Mitchell Tate. Shepherd’s son Jacob Shepherd won consecutive Mini Stock main events earlier in the year but missed a race in-between.