Dirt Track Racing News
Merced Speedway Honors Bill Egleston With Action Packed RaceMerced, CA...April 14...Merced Speedway held their event remembering Bill Egleston last Saturday night, and the pits filled up so quickly that race cars ended up having to be parked in the parking lot. Nearly 140 racers competed in the five division show. When the checkered flag flew in each of the Main Events, wins were scored by Danny Lauer in the IMCA Modifieds, Nick Spainhoward in the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Billy Nelson in the Hobby Stocks, Chris Corder in the Mini Stocks and Scott Dahlgren in the South Bay Dwarf Cars.
With $4,015 on the line for the IMCA Modified 50 lap Main Event winner, some of the best drivers in the state came out for a shot at the glory. However, the driver they were chasing all race long was multi-time Santa Maria champion Danny Lauer. Lauer started on the outside front row of the Main Event and raced into the lead at the start ahead of fellow front-row starter Austin Burke. In fact, it was Burke chasing Lauer for the entire distance for the $1,015 second place finish. Darrell Hughes II ran a strong third ahead of Roger Holder, Bret Bennett, Shane DeVolder, Troy Foulger, Cody Burke, Paul Stone and Bobby Hogge IV, who started back in 15th after finishing second behind Chett Reeves in the first of two 15 lap B Mains. It was Robbie Sawyer winning the second B Main ahead of Brian Pearce. The 38 car IMCA Modified field was split into six eight lap qualifying heat races with wins going to Cody Burke, Hughes, Lauer, Nick Trenchard, Foulger and Austin Burke.
Nick Spainhoward came to town, and the 2014 IMCA Sport Modified State champion left with the $1,800 prize money. Spainhoward started on the front row outside and sprinted ahead at the drop of the green flag. Garrett Jernagen made an early pass on pole sitter Tim Elias and was a race long second. Elias settled for third ahead of reigning track champion Fred Ryland, Chris Falkenberg, Danny Roe, Bruce Nelson, Matthew Mayo, Andrew Peckham and Jeremy Hoff. They ran two 15 lap B Mains with Austin Manzella winning the first one ahead of Anthony Giuliani. Peckham won the second B Main in front of Jack Aguiar. The 33 car field ran six eight lap qualifying heat races with Hoff winning the the first one. Other wins were scored by Falkenberg, Kevin Johnson, Chuck Weir, Ryland and Tim Elias.
Billy Nelson won the 25 lap Hobby Stock Main Event, and the three-time Watsonville champion left with the $1,200 first prize. 2016 champion Michael Shearer paced four laps before Billy Nelson raced by for the lead. Michael Shearer held the second position until lap 21 when 16th starter Shannon Nelsen made the pass to claim the runner-up finish. Shearer settled for third ahead of Syd Finn, Robbie Loquaci, Chris Bennett, Dexter Long, Joey Ridgeway, Kristie Shearer and Kyle Eurto. The 25 car field ran four eight lap qualifying heat races with Jeff Lacy, Billy Nelson, Chris Long and reigning champion Kodie Dean picking up the wins.
Three-time reigning Mini Stock champion Chris Corder won his heat race and used his pole position start to lead all 20 laps in scoring the Main Event win ahead of his sister, Jennifer Corder. Teammate Destiny Carter completed the sweep of the podium as Lee Ragsdale, 2016 Watsonville champion DJ Keldsen, Allen Neal, Bryant Desaire, Ray Jackson, Kevin Lockerby and Joe Terry rounded out the Top 10. A track record 22 Mini Stocks competed in this event, and siblings Chris and Jennifer Corder won eight lap heat races along with Dan McCabe and Kevin Lockerby.
Scott Dahlgren won a thrilling 25 lap South Bay Dwarf Car Main Event. Jack Haverty led early before surrendering the front spot to past champion Shawn Jones. Dahlgren quickly settled into second and put the pressure on Jones for several laps. Working the 23rd tour, Dahlgren made his winning pass on Jones and scored the victory. Jones settled for second ahead of Michael Grenert, Haverty, Mark Biscardi, Zach Price, Mark Hanson, Ryan Amlen, Gene Pires and Eddie Claessen. Haverty, Dahlgren and Jones each one eight lap qualifying heat races.
Merced Speedway management wishes to think B&M Trucking, P&F Metals, Cal Mill and Maria Egleston and family for the additional sponsorship that helped make this event such a huge success. Coming up next Saturday night will be an open wheel themed event, featuring BCRA Midgets, USAC Speed 2 Midgets and the Valley Sportsman division. For further information, go to www.racemerced.com.
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