SATURDAY APRIL 19th....MODIFIEDS....HOBBY STOCKS....AMERICAN STOCKS....NMRA MIDGETS....CA LIGHTNING SPRINTS....GATES OPEN AT 4:00 PM....RACING AT 6:00 PM....PIT GATE OPENS AT 2:00 PM...

Sawyer dominates IMCA Modified feature

 

BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer mgriffith@bakersfield.com

 

Robby Sawyer showed his cards in his heat race and when it came time to lay them on the table in the IMCA Modified main event, no one could beat his hand.

 

Sawyer dominated his heat race early Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway, and three hours later, he was the class of the field in the feature event on the third-mile clay oval.

 

Sawyer edged past Scott Pounds to take the lead on the 12th lap then powered away from the competition for his first victory of the year.

 

A caution flag with two laps to go erased a full straightaway lead for Sawyer, but his pulled away to a 10-car length win over the final two-lap dash to victory.

 

“Our car’s been really good lately, but I couldn’t do it without my family and sponsors,” Sawyer said. “I’m looking forward to next week for sure.”

 

Pounds finished second, followed by Gary Dutton, Nick Sylvester and Josh Vogt.

 

Wayne Dotson powered away from the field over the final eight laps for his first victory in the Sports Mod division.

 

The race was stopped before a lap was complete as pole-sitter Patrick Weekly of Tehachapi went hard into the pit exit at the start of the race.

 

Weekly appeared to bounce off the wall just past the start/finish line and was hit by Justin Tuey. Weekly could not make the turn into turn 1 and ended up heading into the exit to the pits, making hard contact with the retaining wall. He was awake and alert after being helped from his car, but was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

 

There were five cautions over the first eight laps after the race restarted but the remainder went all green and there was no catching Dotson, who took the lead on the 17th lap.

 

Darrell Hood finished a distant second, followed by Randy Schweitzer and Loren DeArmond.

 

Brent Hosfeldt of Porterville raced to his third straight victory in American Stock action.

 

Hosfeldt started in the middle of the pack, moved into second on the 15th lap and had the lead a lap later in the 20-lap feature.

 

Brian Childress finished second, followed by Don Mead, points leader Matt Lewis and Teena Childress.

 

Doug Shepherd took the lead with three laps to go then held off a challenge from his nephew and points leader Clay Wattenbarger in the 20-lap Mini Stock feature.

 

Wattenbarger got under Shepherd a couple of times, including in the final two corners heading to the checkered flag.

 

Shepherd got just enough drive coming off turn four to earn his second win, finishing a half car length in front of four-time winner Wattenbarger.

 

“I saw him coming to the inside,” Shepherd said of the battle, which actually started with about eight laps to go with the two racing for second as Kyle Hood led until a flat tire on lap 16. “It was fun. You can’t ask for any more fun.”

 

West Evan passed Anthony Lopicole with three laps remaining to win the 20-lap NMRA Three-Quarter Midget race.

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